It’s been very hot in Minnesota so I don’t feel much like cooking never mind eating something hot. I’ve been looking for salad recipes and this one is scrumptious and quite easy to put together. Most of the vegetables are raw which means some cutting but very little cooking. Boiling noodles, no problem there. And the sauce can be whisked together very easily. Add some cold meat if you like; I added some grilled chicken breast to mine but even without that, it’s very filling and delicious. This recipe makes two servings as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.
First, put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. When the water boils add:
6-8 ounces Thai rice noodles or whatever type of gluten-free pasta your family likes
1 teaspoon salt
Cook following package directions. I used the Thai Kitchen brown rice noodles which you throw in boiling water and remove from heat, let sit in the hot water for 5 minutes then drain and put in a bowl of cold water until ready to use.
Next, prepare the vegetables. I can’t eat raw onions or sweet pepper so I sauteed them for several minutes to soften on the cooktop but feel free to add them raw if you like them that way. Into a medium (4-quart sized bowl), combine:
6-8 (depending on size) baby onions (the white parts of the scallions, should be about a half-inch in diameter; these are sometimes called spring onions)
1/2 of a yellow, orange, or red sweet bell pepper, sliced thin
8-10 baby carrots, grated, diced, chopped (I used the food processor for this) or one regular-sized carrot
2 baby cucumbers, peeled and diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
1 small can diced water chestnuts OR 1/2 medium jicama, diced
Next, make the sauce. In a small bowl add:
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce substitute (see recipe under sauces/condiments/dressings)
2 tablespoons seed or nut butter (I used my pumpkin seed butter)
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon date syrup
1/2 teaspoon garlic puree (or crushed garlic)
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce or siracha (more if you want it quite spicy; I think 1 teaspoon would have been better)
1-3 tablespoons hot water to bring the sauce to the right consistency
Whisk together everything except the water. If the sauce seems too thick (it should be the consistency of a creamy salad dressing), add the water a little at a time.
Pour the sauce over the vegetables, drain the noodles and toss them with:
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
and add them to the bowl and mix to combine. Cut:
1-2 scallion greens
On the diagonal as a garnish. Add more sesame seeds as a garnish as well (about 1 tablespoon). Serve.
To serve as a main dish, add some diced grilled chicken breast; diced beef; shredded turkey breast; or other protein like grilled tofu. This would be the perfect vehicle for leftover rotisserie chicken or turkey breast.