I don’t know about all of you, but after my weekend and the copious amount of calories ingested, I need some major detoxing! The only thing that sounds good right about now is a giant salad. And today is a two-for-one, so check out the post below this one for the other half to this recipe!
I’ve mentioned how much I love Kate’s Thai Peanut Noodles only about four-thousand times in the last year or so. I love them so much that I always overestimate how much I’ll eat and I end up making way more than my little family can handle. So then I put the extras in the fridge and I find myself sneaking back into the kitchen all night slurping cold noodles out of the container. The next day the huge container only has a small puddle of sauce with a few noodles in it and my husband always asks why have such a hard time estimating the size of tupperware I need when putting food away. What can I say? Apparently I’m just bad at estimating all together. Back to the cold noodle slurping though. I realized I really like those noodles cold. I also really love Asian inspired noodle salads which involves mixing a bunch of salad ingredients with some pasta and drenching it in a yummy dressing. It seems everyone has their own version and they all are pretty similar. I created mine to taste like the Thai Peanut Noodles so I can actually have this as a meal and get over the late-night cold noodle slurping habit.
This salad is awesome as a meal because it just combines everything in one pot. It’s a great luncheon salad for the same reason. I tested it out recently on a group of girlfriends (my girlfriends, not some random group of chicks like that kind of sounded like…) and they voted it a keeper. This is one of my new favorites and I think I’ll be making it a lot this summer because I love cold meals on hot days! All you vegetarians out there, just skip the chicken and you’ve got a nice hearty meal.
Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
8 oz Linguine Fini (or regular linguine)
4 C shredded greens: any combo of napa cabbage, romaine lettuce or even spinach
2 C thinly sliced purple cabbage
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, julienned
1/2 medium cucumber, halved and sliced
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
3 C diced grilled chicken
honey roasted peanuts (about 1/2 cup)
Thai Peanut Salad Dressing (save some time and make this part ahead!)
Boil noodles, then strain and rinse with cold water. Toss noodles and veggies together and then toss with desired amount of dressing.
Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Add a spoonful of salt and then add your pasta. While pasta is cooking, start chopping those veggies.
You can really use any mix of veggies you want. I have a thing with rainbows, so whenever I make this type of salad I pick the vegetables purely based on color so I can have something in every shade of the rainbow. I think it makes for a happy salad and happy salad makes happy people. But use what you like, pretty much anything slathered in this dressing is going to taste good. For me, it’s this stuff:
See, happy right?? I mentioned you can play around with the leafy greens. I like to use both napa cabbage and romaine lettuce. If you’re eating this right away lettuce works great, and spinach is even good in there. However, if you’re taking it to a picnic, or serving it on a buffet or anything like that where it will sit a while, I recommend going heavy on the cabbage because it will stay nice and crunchy for ya.
As soon as your pasta is done drain it and run some cold water over it until it’s cool. If you’re not going to use it right away, add a drizzle of the salad dressing and stir to coat. This will prevent the noodles from getting all clumpy. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
When you’re ready to assemble the salad, place noodles, veggies, and chicken in a large bowl.
Pour the Thai Peanut Dressing over everything, stirring as you go until you have enough to coat. I use it all!