Monday, April 11, 2011

Asian Beef and Noodle Salad

Do you ever get sick and tired of pasta salad smother in mayo or bottled Italian dressing? I know that is one of my least favorite summer dishes. The weather is getting warmer in parts of the country and that means it will be picnic season really soon. I absolutely love picnics. Something about sitting on a blanket and (usually) being out in nature makes for the ideal eating experience. So here's a delicious Asian noodle salad that will add some flavor to your summer menu.

It's made with beef, but I would make it vegetarian for a picnic dish (something about cold beef has never gone over well with me). If you're making this at home for dinner, throw in the meat and you have all of the food groups in one dish. It holds up pretty well on day 2, but if you want to make it ahead of time, just keep the dressing separate until you're going to serve it. There's a lot of dressing on this, but it's pretty healthy and has a really good flavor.

Adapted from Feast from the East via SparkRecipe
Serves 4 as a main
Prep time: 40 minutes

8 oz uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
1 lb sirloin steak, grilled & cut into strips
2 cups small broccoli florets or baby broccoli
1 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup cucumber, seeded and diced
1 cup carrots, grated
1 cup whole snow peas (a generous handful will do)
1/2 cup green onions
, chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
, chopped

scant 1/2 cup chicken broth
scant 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
tablespoon toasted sesame oil
tablespoon ginger, grated
2 teaspoon orange peel, grated (optional)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate unit ready to use. 

Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the spaghetti until it reaches your desired level of doneness.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium heat on one side and high on the other. Season the steak with salt and pepper; grill on high until cooked to your liking. Add the broccoli, bell pepper, and snow peas to the grill on medium heat and cook until still crunchy, but slightly softened. This will take about 5 minutes. The pepper will be very slightly charred. Remove the bottom stems from the baby broccoli, if using. 

Combine everything except the dressing in a large bowl. If you want to serve it warm (which also tastes good), toss with dressing and eat. If you want this salad cold, put the bowl in the fridge and allow to cool. When ready to eat, toss with dressing. Pin It Now!

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