A protein punch

Add fun, flavorful variety to your summer cookout

7/1/2016, midnight
If you’re looking for a fresh way to pack more nutritious protein into this summer’s family cookouts, consider cooking with ...

If you’re looking for a fresh way to pack more nutritious protein into this summer’s family cookouts, consider cooking with a plant-based protein such as peanuts or peanut butter.

You may think of peanuts as a tasty and convenient snack food—and that they are—especially in a trail mix to refuel after some fun in the sun, but peanuts and peanut butter are actually part of the protein food group.

In fact, peanuts and peanut butter have more protein than any other nut and are rich in healthy oils, fiber, many important vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients. The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest eating at least two servings of peanuts a week as part of a healthy diet.

Getting your weekly servings is easy when you explore the variety of ways you can cook with peanuts and peanut butter. The unique flavor of peanuts and peanut butter adds depth and fulfillment, in addition to quality nutrients.

The whole family can enjoy these cookout-friendly dishes showcasing how simple it is to create delicious meals using peanuts in everything from sides to main dishes to desserts. Find more recipes featuring protein-rich peanuts and peanut butter at gapeanuts.com.

Asian Peanut Slaw

1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges

1/4 cup Asian sesame dressing

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 cup coarsely chopped dry roasted peanuts

1 bag (16 ounces) three-color deli slaw mix

chow mein noodles

Drain juice from mandarin oranges into mixing bowl and reserve oranges.

Add dressing, peanut butter and red pepper, and whisk until well-blended. Add peanuts, oranges and coleslaw mix, and toss until thoroughly coated. Garnish with chow mein noodles before serving.

Peach Peanut Salsa

1 pound ripe firm peaches, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

3 ounces lightly salted dry roasted peanuts

1/3 cup chopped white onion

1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1/4 teaspoon salt

In bowl, combine peaches, tomatoes, peanuts, onion, jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro and salt. Mix well and let stand at least 30 minutes before serving.

Beef Kabobs with Peanut Sauce

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon light brown sugar, plus 2 teaspoons

1 teaspoon chili powder, divided

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided

1 pound beef fillet, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 small onion, grated

1 cup coconut milk

8 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

8 skewers

assorted vegetables (optional)

In bowl, mix curry powder, sesame oil, lime juice, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Add in beef cubes and toss to evenly coat.

Cover and leave in fridge to marinate at least 30 minutes, or as long as overnight.

Soak skewers in water.

Heat broiler or grill to medium-high heat.

Before cooking beef, mix remaining chili powder, remaining soy sauce, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, onion, coconut milk and peanut butter in saucepan. Stir sauce frequently over medium heat until simmering. Cover and remove from heat, but keep warm.