Thursday, September 27, 2012

Udon Noodle Salad with a Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette

3's a Charm!  Today I am making my third guest appearance on the television show New Day Cleveland!  I don't think I could ever get tired of this much fun!  This morning they asked me to share a recipe that is great for getting back into the school mode.  Right away I thought of my Udon Peanut Noodles.  It is something simple to prepare with all of the new schedules us as parents are trying to juggle, but also great for the learning minds!  This recipe is on a very regular rotation in our home.  I could probably eat this on a weekly basis, no joke!  We LOVE it!

This is a chilled pasta dish, easily working perfect packed in the lunch boxes giving a nice change up to the sandwich they normally might carry.  The sauce is made with peanut butter, which kids seem to get a kick out of!  But the recipe is also chock full of vegetables and lean protein that makes us more then happy to serve it to them!  It is a meal I can feel good about giving and also enjoy eating myself!

There is a slight spice but nothing that my own children feel is too hot.  But please feel free to adjust to your families preferences!

There is a similar recipe I have already shared with you, but this one I did some tweaking and love it even better.  I made the sauce lighter, more vibrant and better for a cold dish. I hope you all love it as much as we do!

Udon Noodle Salad with a Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette

For the Noodles:
1 Package Thick Udon Noodles, cooked according to package directions, then chilled (spaghetti or linguine would also work just fine)
The meat from one prepared rotisserie chicken, chopped
2 Cups carrots, julienned (I bought the bag in the produce aisle all prepped for me already)
2 Cups english cucumber, julienned
2 Cups cabbage, shredded (again, I used the coleslaw bag in the produce department)
4 green onions sliced, white and green parts
2 Cups Sugar Snap Peas
2 Cups bean sprouts
2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds, toasted
3/4 Cup shelled peanuts, chopped

Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
Makes 1 cup

1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
4 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated (or 1 tsp. dry ground)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Add all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a hand blender (or stand up blender), mix everything until smooth, about 30 seconds.

You may also use a hand whisk to make the vinaigrette, although the blender makes quicker work of it! If you do not own a blender, microwave peanut butter for 15 seconds, softening to make mixing easier. Add to remaining vinaigrette ingredients. Whisk everything until fully incorporated and beginning to froth. Set aside.

In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook the udon noodles for about 5-7 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse the noodles under cold running water. Set aside.

Using a DRY large frying pan, heat the sesame seeds on Medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally. Remove from pan when they begin to turn a light brown and become fragrant (about 3-5 minutes). Do not allow to burn!

Combine the cooked noodles, chicken, cucumber, sprouts, carrot, green onions, sugar snap peas, peanuts and toasted sesame seeds, reserving some of the veggies and sesame seeds and peanuts for garnish. Pour the Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette over the salad. Toss until well coated.

Serve chilled, garnished with the reserved veggies, peanuts and sesame seeds. Don't forget to have Sriracha on the side for those who like to add a little extra heat! Yum!

I will be back to share of my awesome experience and also to post a link of my clip for all of you that may have missed it!  See you soon!

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