Guest post: Krista Ettles, Real Food, Real Simple.
It’s summertime and living is easy. I don’t know about you but when summer hits, I’m much more interested in soaking up the heat from the sunshine rather than at the stove.
Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking and do think about food almost all the time (occupational hazard) but when it’s hot out I’m always looking for ways to beat the heat of the kitchen and without sacrificing flavour or good nutrition.
Enter the cold noodle salad. The only cooking required is boiling some water and some light chopping. This is a great option for picnics or a patio party as they can be made ahead and actually taste better the longer they sit. And you can substitute for different vegetables as well as the type of noodles depending on what you have on hand. Go ahead and get creative!
Cold Noodle Salad
Serves 2 to 3
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 6 to 8 tablespoons water, to thin out to desired consistency
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- 1 fresh Thai (also sold as “bird’s eye”) chile, minced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 8 ounces thin rice noodles (roughly the width of linguine)
- 3 or 4 napa cabbage leaves, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 cup snap peas, thinly sliced
- 1 cup radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 handful chopped fresh herbs, preferably a combination of basil, cilantro, and mint
- 1 medium sized mango, cut into chunks
- 2 cooked shrimp or tofu, optional
- 1/2 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- Siracha sauce or other hot sauce to taste
To prepare the dressing, combine the peanut butter, fish sauce, lime juice, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 6 tablespoons of water, garlic, chile and sesame oil. Whisk well. If it’s too thick, add more water to thin it out. If you’d like more sweetness, add more maple syrup 1/2 tablespoon at a time. Remember that you’re going to be putting this dressing on unsalted vegetables and noodles: you want the dressing to have a lot of flavor, but it shouldn’t knock you over. Pour into a serving bowl. (Covered and chilled, the dressing will keep for 3 days to a week.)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Pour over the rice noodles, and let stand for 10-15 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Immediately drain the noodles into a colander, and rinse them well with cold water. Lay out a clean kitchen towel on the countertop, shake the colander to drain away excess water, and then spread the cooked noodles on the towel to drain further.
Divide the noodles between good-sized bowls and top with the vegetables, herbs, and shrimp or tofu. Scatter the peanuts on top. Allow each person to spoon on dressing to taste. Toss well, and eat.
About the contributor:
Krista is a healthy living expert, wellness coach, real food lover and creator at Real Food, Real Simple. She’s on a mission to educate and inspire others to create happier, healthier lives.
Her philosophy about healthy food is that it doesn’t have to be difficult or boring. She helps people take the confusion out of food and offers simple solutions to eating well. Krista believes in creating healthy habits, not restrictions.
Krista lives in Vancouver and enjoys an active lifestyle through hiking, biking and beach volleyball.
Real food made simple for your real life!