Sunday, April 8, 2012

Vegan Asian Noodle Salad

I've heard it said that you can never have too much butter, but my complexion says that in fact, you can. In embracing my new life here in Europe, I plunged headlong into a love affair with dairy. Stilton. Cambozola. Parmigiano Reggiano. Danish Butter. Irish Butter. British Butter. Oh my!

This new affection coincided nicely with my training for the Suffolk Heritage Coast Marathon next month. But some late snowfalls, back-to-back viruses, and a general disdain for running for more than two hours at a time   knocked me off the wagon. For the record, you cannot eat butter and cheese with reckless abandon without some consequences to your waistline.

So here I am, wearing my fat pants and thinking I either need to spend all day Saturday logging miles or perhaps start embracing some of my favorite vegan recipes. Armed with the book, River Cottage's Veg Everyday and an amazing produce market in our village every Friday, I'm all in.

I've made this salad a few times and absolutely love it! It reminds me of those Asian salads at chain restaurants. Enjoy this salad as a starter, or serve as an entree with seared tofu.

serves two as an entree, or four as a starter

200 grams rice noodles, soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drained
8 cups mixed greens
1/2 English cucumber, sliced
1 cup green beans, blanched and cut in half

1/2 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
3 sprigs mint, leaves only, finely chopped

1 teaspoon minced chili
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lime, juiced and zested

Arrange greens, noodles and vegetables on a platter. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and drizzle over platter, tossing gently to combine. Top with peanuts, cilantro and mint. Serve immediately.

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