During my junior year of college school I went through this psychotic phase where I actually craved vegetables. I’m not sure how I ended up with such virtuous cravings, but I suspect it had something to do with me wanting to keep my svelt, post-wisdom teeth extraction, post-co-dependent relationship depression (yes, I was dumped the weekend after painful dental surgery) figure. Regardless, somehow I ended up with a love of veggies. I remember walking too and from class thinking, “man…I wish I had some asparagus. Oh! Oh! Or maybe some broccoli…yeah…that’s what I want.” See. I told you I was nuts.
As is wont to happen with all positive “vices, ” somewhere along the way my veggie cravings were derailed. Most probably by a hot bowl of queso and a margarita. Or three. However, if I had the inclination to reignite my passionate love of veggies this dish just might do the trick. It’s a Jamie Oliver recipe that The Pioneer Woman tweaked, and Y’ALL it is fantastic. I took it to a book club meeting and everyone oohed and ahhed over it like it was a hot bowl of queso and a margarita. Well…almost. But seriously, truly, if your “diet” needs a kick in the pants, this dish will get you happily back on the straight and narrow.
Asian Noodle Salad
adapted from Jamie Oliver
1 package linguine noodles, cooked, rinsed, and cooled (I used 1 lb.)
1/2 to 1 head sliced Napa cabbage
1/2 to 1 head sliced purple cabbage
1/2 to 1 bag baby spinach
1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin
1 small bag bean sprouts
3 sliced scallions
LOTS of chopped cilantro-up to one bunch
1 can whole cashews, lightly toasted in skillet (I didn’t have any cashews, but I will definitely add them next time)
(Use whatever veggies you like, too. I don’t think you can add too many to this dish.)
Juice of 1 large lime
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 hot peppers or jalapenos, chopped ( I used 1 seeded serrano pepper)
More chopped cilantro-LOTS
Toss salad ingredients. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on platter. Dressing keeps up to three days before serving, WITHOUT cilantro.
*I ate the book club leftovers the next day for lunch and the salad was still super yummy. Not a slimy vegetable in sight!
**A coworker of mine added some grilled shrimp to make it more of a main dish salad and got rave reviews.