Asian Noodle Zoodle Salad with Peanut Sauce
The Recipe Redux – July, 2016: Get your Fruits and Veggies in Shape
Here’s the problem with pasta in a healthy, balanced diet: When properly portioned, a single serving is so ridiculously tiny on your plate, you think someone is trying to starve you. That’s why with pasta it is really easy to find yourself overeating your starch portions.
Here’s my easy solution: mix in delicious veggie noodles, or “zoodles,” along with the grain-based pasta. Now you can have your big plate full of noodles, and feel good about it too. It is really fast and easy to make zoodles out of zucchini, as long as you have the proper slicer or spiralizer tool on hand. If fact, you can probably make the zoodles faster than you can bring the pot of pasta water to boil for the noodles!
I love the color contrast between the black rice noodles and the zoodles. They sure do taste great together too.
Can’t find black rice noodles? Then substitute with buckwheat pasta; you won’t have as much color contrast but it will still have delicious flavor (do make sure there’s no wheat in either noodle variety if you want dish gluten-free). If you are using brown or white pasta noodles I suggest substituting black sesame seeds for the white for more color contrast on your plate.
This pasta salad includes a rainbow in veggie colors. Any meal you can squeeze in a whole bunch of antioxidants I say is a meal put to good use!
The secret to the best peanut sauce is using a great Asian spice blend. Here’s the one I usually use:
I love this stuff! It adds great flavor and heat to practically any Asian dish, and a little goes a long way. It is one of my kitchen’s secret weapons, and now it can be one of yours too. I have seen it for sale in some regular grocery stores down South and out West in the US, but in the Northeast I only seem to find it available in Asian specialty stores. It’s worth the trip to the specialty store to have this included in your culinary arsenal.
4 ounces Black Rice Pasta
2 teaspoons Olive oil
2 large Zucchini
1 large Red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 cup Tomatoes, grape, yellow, sliced
1 large Carrot, shredded
2 large Scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup Cilantro, fresh, minced
1 tablespoon Sesame seeds, white
for the sauce:
2 tablespoons Tamari, low-sodium
2 tablespoons Peanut butter, creamy
2 tablespoons Lime juice
1 tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
1 tablespoon Water
2 teaspoons Honey
1 teaspoon Sesame oil
1 tablespoon Ginger, fresh, minced
2 medium Garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon Asian spice blend
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Break pasta in half to shorten, add to boiling water and cook until al dente.
While pasta cooks, cut zucchini into long, thin, noodle strands. Set aside.
Once cooked, strain pasta from water with a colander, then add pasta to a large mixing bowl. Toss pasta with olive oil to coat. Add the cut zucchini, pepper, tomato, carrot, scallion, cilantro and sesame seeds and lightly toss to mix.
In a medium mixing bowl add all the sauce ingredients. Whisk everything together until thoroughly combined.
Pour sauce over noodles. Toss to coat salad entirely with sauce. Refrigerate for at least an hour so that the flavors meld. Serve cold or room temperature
Makes 6 servings.