Simple Vibrant Summer Salads: Cold Peanut Noodles and Beet Slaw with Lime Dressing

Here are two easy and colorful salads. Maximum flavor. Minimum effort. Just what the doctor ordered for hot days.

Peanut Noodles with Veggies: 

Ingredients:

1/2 lb soba noodles or your favorite long pasta ( spaghetti or linguini work well)

2 large zucchini, cut into bite sized pieces

1 large head broccoli, cut into bite sized florets

2 large carrots, cut into small rounds

1 package firm tofu, cut into small cubes

4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 Tbs. grape seed oil

4 Tbs. natural creamy salted peanut butter

1 1/2 Tbs. less sodium soy sauce

2 tsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. honey

1 Tbs. lime juice

1-2 Tbs. water

1/2 tsp. chili flakes or however much sriracha you can handle (optional)

 

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Boil a large pot of water with salt and a drizzle of oil. Cook pasta or soba noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside. In the same pot, heat 1 Tbs. grape seed oil over medium high heat. You’ll want to use grape seed instead of olive oil here because an olive oil flavor doesn’t go so well with soy sauce and peanut butter and because grape seed oil has a higher smoke point, and is therefor better for cooking over a flame at high heat. Add in chopped garlic and sauté until it starts to brown. Turn the heat down to medium low and stir in the peanut butter with a wooden spoon. Once it starts to come together with the garlic, add the soy sauce to begin to thin it out. Stir well. Stir in the brown sugar and honey and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the lime juice and the spiciness if you so desire. The mixture should be the consistency of a custard or pudding–thick, but not so thick that you can’t stir it. If it’s too thick, add a bit of water. Remove the sauce from the pot and set aside in a small bowl.

Add a splash more oil into the pot and sauté zucchini, broccoli, carrots and tofu over medium high until tofu starts to brown. You’ll be picking up all the remnants of garlic and sauce from the pot and that is definitely not a bad thing. Add about 1/4 cup water to the bottom of the pot, cover, turn flame down to low, and let veggies cook through for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let cool slightly 5 minutes.

Add the noodles to the veggies and tofu in the pot. Stir in the peanut sauce. The bit of water from the veggies and the moisture from the noodles will help distribute the thick sauce throughout the dish. Once everything has been mixed together, arrange the noodles on a serving platter or in a large bowl, cover, and let chill in the fridge for an hour before serving.

Serves 6-8.

Beet Cabbage Slaw with Lime Dressing:

Ingredients:

1/2 large head of your favorite cabbage

1 large beet

3 large carrots

the juice of one lime

1 Tbs. honey

2 Tbs. rice vinegar

2 tsp. soy sauce

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Finely chop your cabbage into small strips. Place in a large bowl. Wash your beet and peel it if it’s not organic (but try to get organic because it will taste so much better, not to mention be so much better for your body). Cut off the ends. Use the largest holes of a box grated to shred the beet, being extra careful not to shred your fingers. Add the beet to the bowl with the cabbage. Shred your carrots in the same way. Mix your veggies together. Your beets will stain everything else red. This is part of the fun of it!.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together lime juice, honey, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Taste to see if you like the balance of salty to sweet to acidic. Adjust by adding more honey, vinegar or soy sauce to your taste. Pour over the slaw and mix well.

Serves 4-6.

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