Personal Taste: Cooking for friends with dietary restrictions

Personal Taste: Cooking with dietary restrictions

SUNY-ESF alumni Sam Greulich translates recipes with his own cooking style for vegetarian friends.
Published: December 14, 2021
Personal Taste Podcast: Episode 3 with Sam Greulich

In the third episode of Personal Taste, Sam Greulich talks about cooking vegetarian dishes for his close friends, as someone who generally builds his dishes around meat proteins. Greulich discusses his spicy peanut noodle dish that has become a favorite with his friends and has allowed him to adjust his cooking for various dietary restrictions while also getting his friends involved in the kitchen.

Greulich graduated from SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry in December 2019, where he spent a lot of time exploring the natural spaces of upstate New York and fostered his love for barbecuing and smoking meat.



Greulich was inspired to cook by his mother, who tried very hard to cook for his family but did not have the same knack for pairing spices as her son. Sam is very thankful for his mother’s efforts and credits her lack of finesse in the kitchen with inspiring his interest.

To learn more about Greulich and his spicy peanut noodle recipe inspired by the recipe for Sesame Noodles with Cucumber and Radishes from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen listen to the full episode of Personal Taste below.

Spicy Peanut Noodles by Sam Greulich

In future episodes, Fritz will speak to local cooks of various abilities about the food they share with their friends, family, and loved ones. This podcast will look at cooking not only through recipes and kitchen talk, but by telling the personal histories of people including why they cook, what they cook, and who they cook for.

Personal Taste is available to listen to on Spotify and through The NewsHouse website. Transcripts of every episode will also be made available for access. 

Sam Greulich’s Spicy Peanut Noodles

Inspired by the recipe for Sesame Noodles with Cucumber and Radishes from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen.

Ingredients List

I pack of Wheat noodles (to make gluten-free use sweet potato noodles)

¼-½ cup of Smooth peanut butter

2 handfuls of peanuts

3.5 Tablespoons of Sesame seeds

3-5 Radishes

2-4 Green onions

2 Shishito peppers

1 Cucumber

1 Lime

1-2 Large carrots

1 Serrano pepper

½ Bunch of Cilantro

4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

1 tsp Gochujang hot pepper paste

2 Tablespoons Rice vinegar

¼ cup Brown sugar

1 inch of Ginger root

3-5 Garlic cloves

½ Cup of Water


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil then add noodles of choice. Cook until tender then drain and chill.
  2. Toast sesame seeds in a medium pan on medium heat, constantly stirring to ensure none burn. Once all seeds are browned, place them in a container and set them aside.
  3. Make the sauce before prepping toppings so the sauce has time to chill (blending the sauce heats it up slightly).
  4. Add the water, soy sauce, peanut butter, 3 cloves of minced garlic, grated ginger root, rice vinegar, brown sugar, juice from half a lime, 3 tbsp. of the toasted sesame seeds and gochujang paste to a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust soy sauce, brown sugar, gochujang, or garlic based on preference. Then add peanuts and pulse until the mixture has evenly distributed chunks of peanuts throughout.
  5. Place sauce in a container and chill in the fridge while preparing toppings.
  6. Cut cucumber lengthwise then halved. Do the same for the carrots but peel before cutting. Roughly chop cilantro and set aside. Slice the green onions finely and set aside. Slice radishes thinly than in half to create half-circle slices. Then slice serrano and shishito peppers and set them aside.
  7. Once noodles and sauce are cooled, add the sauce to the noodles and toss.
  8. Add all cold toppings to the top of the noodles, juice from the remaining half of the lime, along with the rest of the toasted sesame seeds then mix into the noodles. Once the toppings are evenly distributed throughout, the dish is ready to be served. Other toppings such as jalapeño peppers or bell peppers can be added as a garnish to this dish based on preference.