Monday, July 12, 2010

Asian Noodle Salad

Being a fan of hyperbole, I was immediately drawn to the title of a blog post from the Pioneer Woman. The title was: "My Most Favorite Salad Ever. Ever, Ever, Ever!"

The Pioneer Woman has all kinds of great recipes, and she has about a kazillion readers. I think the key demographic she's going for are truly beginner cooks because I personally get a little irked by all the photos of her chopping and preparing every single ingredient that goes into each dish. Like, really? That's how you cut up cabbage? Well shucks, I thought you used a fork! (Excuse the extreme sarcasm, it's late and I haven't had any alcohol at all today. Detoxing from vacation is hard!)

Anyways, the complete over-the-top gushing over this salad was enough to convince me to try it. And I'm glad I did, it was very good and very healthy. But it is a far cry from my most favorite salad ever (Anyone? Yep, it's the Nicoise! Which I've only mentioned about 8 thousand times on the blog). I liked this asian flavored salad because it wasn't doused in a high calorie peanut butter sauce for a change. It's light and very refreshing.

Also, the preparation of this salad was thrilling! Seriously - to be back in my kitchen after a vacation, prepping fresh veggies and whisking a's my happy place, my zen palace, my calm oasis. Chopping vegetables may just be one of the most therapeutic and restorative pasttimes I will ever experience. Just me and my Wusthof, slashing away at fresh summer produce!

I served my salad with some baked tofu (yeah, the pre-packaged Thai-flavored kind) for additional protein. Next time I'll grill my own tofu cuz that will taste way better. In the end, it was a satisfying, CRUNCHY, and pretty dinner.

Asian Noodle Salad, from The Pioneer Woman
1/2 lb cooked whole wheat pasta noodles (fettucini, linguini, or spaghetti will work)
1 head napa cabbage, chopped
1 bag bean sprouts
sliced bell peppers, in a variety of colors
a big bunch of spinach
a few scallions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
*add any other veggies that strike your fancy!

Add all these veggies and noodles to a BIG bowl, then prep your vinaigrette.

8 Tbsp soy sauce
8 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (yes, really! Another bunch!)

Whisk these ingredients together and toss with your veggies. Like any other cabbage slaw, it wilts a little so you may think you don't have enough liquid at first but trust me, you will.

ONE YEAR AGO: Collard Wrap

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