Summer has hit and with it veggies in all the colours of the rainbow. In a desire to have lighter fare (both on the body and budget), here are three noodle salads to concoct: yakisoba, vermicelli, and spaghetti squash.
The first one is my fav. A spin on the yakisoba noodle dish, this one uses linguine instead of ramen. Not the healthiest noodle dish around, but definitely the fastest, perfect for dinner after work. This one is a stir-fry. One of my favourite foods are, you’ve guessed it, ramen noodles. In an effort to ditch MSG, or at least, take it easy on the MSG, I use half the flavouring package most times, saving the water to boil other dishes, use as a base, or cook rice in. Love my MSG… it’s unfortunate but true. Gotta quit! Or perhaps it’s the umami flavours so readily introduced in those packages. Anyway, I digress. This dish was flavoured by two ramen packets – one a regular powder, the other a chili oil & paste. Play around with it, but make sure to edit it with a liquid/paste of some kind, otherwise it’ll dry out. I used vegetable oil to stir-fry. Veggies included: onion, garlic, red cabbage, peeled carrots, cherry tomatoes and zucchini.
The second is a spaghetti squash salad. This one took a bit of work, but in terms of raw food is the healthiest on the menu. I baked the spaghetti squash for 40 minutes at 400F, then forked out the spaghetti strips. One small squash delivers a deceivingly large quantity of noodle. Ben said “hmm it tastes like a vegetable.” Regardless, we both ate as much of it as we could and were stuffed. The squash was flavoured with a garlic Parmesan dip – tossed in tarragon, though olive oil and a traditional tomato sauce would’ve probably tasted better. However, after several meals of rich cooked food (I was cooking for a crowd the week before), I was really craving a salad…. which NEVER happens. In this salad: green cabbage – shredded, red bell peppers – diced, mango – strips, cucumber – julienned, and a small handful of pistachios.
The third was great in concept, but not so great in flavour. I doused it with vinegar and other seasonings and it was just hard to eat. Based on the light and tangy Vietnamese vermicelli salads, I had big dreams for this salad. Alas, being in a hurry to eat, I went overboard with the sauce concoction. Again, great idea, poor turn out. Anyone have any ideas on how to make a really awesome Viet vermicelli salad? Tips welcome with showers of love.
Included: shredded iceberg lettuce, beansprouts, basil, peeled carrots, cherry tomatoes, shrimp (fried in garlic).