Particularly when it comes to cooking (vs. baking), I like to look at recipes as a framework or starting point from which you can make adjustments or customizations to suit your taste preferences, dietary needs, ingredients you have at hand, etc. It can be tricky depending on what it is you’re making, but this spicy sesame “salad” is a pretty fool-proof recipe that is easy to tweak. I’ve made it a couple of times now – a little differently each time – but have enjoyed the finished product of each attempt equally.
It’s teeters between light and hearty, and is quite filling and satisfying – thanks to the hefty dose of fiber and protein from the whole grains and vegetables. The hot sesame oil and Thai chili add a decent kick to this, so if you don’t like spicy food, eliminate the pepper and use regular sesame oil instead of hot.
What You Need
- About 5 cups shredded/chopped vegetables
(This time, I went for a mix of julienne yellow and red peppers, finely sliced green onion, chopped broccoli, edamame beans, chopped red cabbage and shredded carrots. Other possibilities include zucchini, squash, tomatoes, tofu, bok choy, bean sprouts, etc.)
- 8 oz whole wheat linguine, cooked
- 2-3 tbsp sesame seeds
- 5 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 2 tbsp hot sesame oil
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tbsp honey
*NOTE: to truly make this recipe vegan, swap out the honey for agave
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 minced small red Thai chili pepper, seeds and ribs removed (a green chili or habanero also does the trick)
- 1/3 cup peanuts
What You Do
- Cook noodles according to instructions on package.
*NOTE: Since this is a cold dish, when I drain the linguini in a colander I run cold water over the noodles as well to stop the cooking process and reduce the heat.
- Prepare vegetables and combine in a large bowl.
- Puree all of the dressing ingredients – minus the peanuts – in a food processor until smooth.
- Add peanuts to food processor and blend until finely chopped.
- Combine vegetables, noodles, dressing and sesame seeds in a large bowl, and toss to distribute the dressing evenly.
- Refrigerate to chill, and then devour!
Recipe adapted from PinchofYum.