We may have enjoyed a nice, cool spring, but make no mistake — summer is here. There’s no complaining from my corner (yet), but it’s getting hot. Yes, it’s approaching that time of year where it’s too hot to do much of anything, and I’m certainly not in the mood to heat up the kitchen with a lot of cooking.
When summer really heats up, I turn to cooler meals to help keep everyone (including the chef) comfortable. Gazpacho, anyone? One of my latest favorites, though, is an Asian-inspired cool noodle salad. Soba noodles, studded with crispy veggies (cucumbers, carrots, purple cabbage) and chopped cashews, and dressed in a sesame peanut sauce with a little extra tamari for flavor, delivers the goods.
I add crispy fried tofu for protein, but you could easily substitute shredded chicken if you prefer. I like to keep it simple by using bottled dressing and pre-packaged broccoli slaw mix, but you can always do your own chopping and dressing-making if you’re feeling so inclined. I also cut down cooking time (only one minute!) by using refrigerated fresh soba noodles instead of dried ones.
These cold noodles were a hit with the grown-ups — both hubby and I went back for seconds, and he kept talking about how it was the best new meal he’d had in a long time. Although it took a great deal of convincing for my two-year-old to accept that the noodles weren’t cold because I forgot to cook them, she eventually did come around. And the verdict?
Need I say more?
Soba Noodle Salad
1 lb soba noodles
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, cut on the bias
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and sliced into matchsticks2 cups broccoli slaw mix
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup cashews, chopped
sesame peanut dressing, or other Asian-style dressing of your choice
tamari or soy sauce
Crispy fried tofu (or other protein of your choice)
Cook the soba noodles per the package directions, drain and rinse with cold water until cool. Set aside while you prepare your tofu or other protein.
In a large bowl, toss the noodles with the onions, cucumber, broccoli slaw mix, cilantro and cashews. Add a generous amount of dressing, and season with tamari to taste.
Serve room temperature or chilled topped with the tofu or other protein.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.livemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/lauren.jpg[/author_image] [author_info] Lauren Walz is a freelance writer and editor and mama to a two-year-old girl. While she’s quick to brag about being a fifth-generation Texan, Lauren moved to Northern California in 2004 after graduating from UT Law and lived in the Silicon Valley area until last spring, when she and her family were drawn back to Austin. Lauren is busy getting re-acquainted with her old stomping grounds and is astonished by how the food and wine scene has changed in Austin in the past 8 years. Lauren also blogs about cooking and parenthood on gourmetveggiemama.com.[/author_info] [/author]