Consider this a friendly reminder that when your pantry is stocked with a jar of peanut butter, you are that much closer to a quick and tasty protein boost. Sometimes that means peanut butter and jelly or a generous dab of peanut butter stirred into a bowl of instant ramen. Or maybe it’s even simpler than that: Have you had peanut butter spoon? (This is exactly what you think it is: Take a spoon, open your jar of peanut butter, and eat some peanut butter with the spoon. Drizzle each spoonful with honey if you’re really trying.)

For the times you’re feeling a little more motivated, you’ll be glad to have that jar handy in your pantry. Here are a few recipes from our archives to get you started.

Norwegian Salmon in Foil, above. This is what happens when your penchant for packet cooking takes a trip to the cupboard and comes back with some nutty undertones. Serve it with crème fraîche or sour cream to really gild the fatty lily, and don’t skimp on the lemon juice and sweet chile sauce, which help tame and cut through all the richness on your plate.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Quick Chicken and Baby Broccoli With Spicy Peanut Sauce. A simple nutty sauce embellished with sesame oil, soy sauce, sriracha and rice vinegar coats the chicken and vegetables, which broil on a baking sheet for a mere 10 minutes. Serve with some of the reserved sauce and flatbread for scooping.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

West African Peanut Soup. This smooth soup is a hearty blend of sweet potato, tomato juice and peanut butter (plus a few other vegetables to round it all out.) It’s healthful, vegan and reheats very well.



(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post)

Spicy Peanut Chicken Stir-Fry. Use smooth or chunky peanut butter as the base of a spicy sauce, then use whatever vegetables need to be used up to make a quick, easy meal.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Noodle Bowls With Peanut Dressing. This is what you make when you’re craving takeout but not necessarily the sodium levels that tend to come with it. (Although to be honest, we tend to up the sodium a bit by squeezing some hoisin sauce or sambal oelek — or both! — on top.)



(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post)

A La Carte Chopped Salad. Here’s another take on the peanut dressing, this time deployed on a mélange of salad fixings that you gather from the grocery store salad bar. Double or triple the dressing; it keeps for a few days in the refrigerator, and any extra can be tossed with noodles for a quick lunch or dinner.

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