Creamy Almond Butter Noodles

So, there are days — more frequently, lately — where I have this nagging urge to just stop what I’m doing, throw my hands to the air and scream why can’t I just be normal?!?!?!?!?!?

Am I alone here?

Take, for example, today. Dishes piled high in the sink. Wedding thank you notes waiting to be written. A workout routine that’s been neglected for far too long. Friends whose calls have gone unreturned. Job applications waiting to be sent out. A doctors appointment that needs to be made. It would be a good idea to tackle one of these items on my to-do list, don’t you think? Yeah, I think so, too. So what do I do? I decide to bake a cake.


Aside from baking cakes at very inopportune moments, I have other traits that are really starting to get in the way of real life these days. Like my incessant need to tweak this site. If you haven’t noticed (and how could you not), the tweaking — of the logo, the setup, the sidebars, even the photos — has bordered on compulsive. This has made being normal quite the challenge. Weekend plans with Gennaro to catch a long-anticipated movie can be easily threatened by my sudden awareness of a glitch in the way this site appears in a certain browser. You know, because double- checking different browser shots is the kind of thing I do to pass the time before heading out to the movies. Hours later, I’ve re-vamped the entire look, only to discover, this time, that my pictures are ever-the-slightest bit bigger in this new design. And I don’t like it. By now, Gennaro is asleep on the couch, and I’m having one of those moments again.

What is wrong with me?!?

As you may have quessed, the compulsive tendencies carry over into my recipe-writing as well. I’ve even been known to make recipes after they’ve been posted and decide, this really would be better with less sweetener, and more nuts. And so I’ll change it, likely annoying several people in the process, none more so than myself. Can I pass this all off as “being a perfectionist” and call it a day? Well, luckily, I do recognize (sometimes) when enough is enough.

…Like with these noodles. I adapted the recipe for this sauce from a recipe in Delicious Meets Nutritious, the cookbook from the folks at Xagave (which is actually a pretty awesome cookbook, by the way). When I say adapt, I usually mean “overhaul,” since I am not always content to only play around with a recipe a little bit (surprise, surprise). But in this case, I made 3 very small changes. Tasted it. Loved it. Thought about it.

No, I wasn’t going to change anything else, thank-you-very-much.

It was the ultimate exercise in restraint, but the right choice. Sometimes, you have to quit while you’re ahead. This recipe was the perfect balance of creamy, spicy, sweet and salty. Over noodles, it was downright addictive. You can substitute peanut butter for the almond butter here (the original recipe calls for peanut butter). You can also use this as a dipping sauce, which is how it’s billed in the cookbook. Instead of heating this, you can also blend everything in a blender. But I like the way the flavors of the ginger and the garlic are sort of mellowed out when it’s heated through. This is such an easy, quick dinner, that it almost justifies a reckless foray into unecessary cake-baking for dessert.


One Year Ago Today: Nexium

Creamy Almond Butter Sauce:

Adapted from Delicious Meets Nutritious

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1/4 cup creamy almond butter

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 clove garlic, grated or pressed

1/2 cup lite coconut milk

3 tablespoons wheat-free tamari soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine all ingredients except for lime juice. Whisk until almond butter is melted and the sauce is heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Set aside.

Toss with:

1/2 lb. cooked gluten-free linquine (eyeball it if using a 1 lb. package)

3 scallions, chopped

This recipe serves about 3-4 but can easily be doubled.



  1. says

    I don’t think I have 1/4 cup of almond butter left in my jar, but I bet I could “squeeze” enough out to make dish. It looks heavenly and hubby flips over pasta.

    As far as what’s wrong with you, a couple of comments … first, probably nothing is wrong with you … baking is therapeutic, blogging (and reading/commenting on blogs) is addictive, I’m commenting on your post when I need to write two posts myself (avoidance there, too), and meditation and yoga make me much better about those things. I’m more likely to spend needed time with hubby if I’ve done them and be more reasonable in working on what needs to be done.

    I better go … I’ve got dishes in the sink AND the posts to be written. LOL, but true!


  2. says

    The recipe sounds fabulous–EXACTLY THE WAY IT IS. ;) Seriously, I think we all fall into the “do too much don’t have time overlook other things for our blog tweak fret bake” mode far too often! I also bake as a stress reliever. And you don’t want to see the pile of stuff on my desk right now–I can’t even *find* my to-do list! Is it a North American thing?? Not sure. All this to say, you ARE “normal” already! I know: let’s all go out for cookies and tea and just relax! :)

  3. says

    I found great solace in your pain. Wait. Let me say that another way. I totally understand and am with you 100%. Compulsively tweak blog, check. Avoid work that needs to be done by doing anything blog-related, check. Think about, research online and in cookbooks, dream about all things food & blog, check. Post recipes only to tweak them afterwards, check. Shall I continue? You get the point. I’ll bet my bottom dollar that many of us food bloggers fall under the same spell. I’d like to call it passion rather than compulsion. What do you think??!!!:)

  4. Beth says

    Ah, I knew I could find support in my fellow blogger buddies! : ) And since all your blogs are among my ultimate faves, at least the neurosis — ahem, passion (thanks, Ellen) — can pay off! And yes, baking is also a great stress reliever for me, which probably explains why I am so drawn to it in times of stress.

  5. Sabrina says

    Hi, I am a fairly new reader of your blog. But, I felt relieved that someone else feels and acts the way I do. I often feel like I am drowning in stuff to do and NEVER catch up. And yet, I’ll sit down and knit for hours on end. Sometimes I think it’s one of the only things that keeps me sane. haha

    Thanks for your recipes…one of the things that makes me feel like a freak is all the foods I CAN’T eat!

  6. Beth says

    Sabrina — I think we all have our little hobbies of refuge. It’s good to know from the feedback that I’m not alone!! : )

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