Monday, June 4, 2012

Quinoa Noodle and Vegetable Salad

During the summer, Asian noodle salads are a great dinner option. I already have a few different variations of this dish on my blog (like Asian Beef and Noodle Salad and Soba Noodles with Fresh Vegetables), but I can't seem to get enough it. It is such a fresh and light meal, but I generally end up eating about 3 plates full since it's so good. Yes, I love it that much. Another plus side is that these kinds of salads make great leftovers. Possibly one of the best lunches is a cold bowl of leftover Asian noodle salad. Just be warned, the noodles can be extremely slippery, so don't make this if you're trying to impress someone with your table manners.

When it comes to the veggies in this dish, use whatever you like. If I could have found sprouts at the market, I would have thrown them in. I also would have loved to add peanut or cashew pieces to this, but of course didn't have those either. Baby corn or snow peas would have tasted great in here as well. For the pasta, I used quinoa pasta. Never tried it? It tastes almost exactly like regular pasta, so you won't notice the difference, but it is made from a protein rich grain. If you could care less about the health factor of your pasta, use linguine or spaghetti.

Adapted from Pioneer Woman
Serves 4 to 6

For the salad:
2 8-oz. packages quinoa spaghetti (or regular spaghetti), cooked and cooled
2 bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow), cut into matchsticks
5 Persian cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
1 small head Napa cabbage (or 1/2 a large), thinly sliced
3 scallions, sliced
cilantro (I used about 1/2 a bunch but use however much you like), chopped
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts (or 1 bag)
10 oz of toasted cashew or peanut pieces (optional)

For the dressing:
1 lime, juiced
5 tablespoons olive oil
8 tablespoons soy sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons sesame oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, chopped (removed seeds for less heat)
chopped cilantro, to garnish

In you serving bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing. Add the salad ingredients and toss. Pin It Now!

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