Hot and humid summer days here in Tennessee can bring one to barely step outside at times. The August humidity makes you start sweating as soon as you step out of the shower.
This leads one to get creative with ways in which to stay cool.
Wearing a dress (or nothing but your underpants) and standing over a cool air vent works like a charm! Drinking iced cold beverages and noshing on scrumptious cold noodle dishes also helps to beat the heat whilst satisfying my summer food cravings.
Enter the tahini soba noodle salad. I love Thai peanut sauces, but often find them to be heavy on the caloric intake and a bit too sweet for my taste. Tahini is a toasted sesame butter generally used in hummus, so it’s a flavorful substitute to the traditional Thai peanut sauce.
When I’m trying to mix it up in the kitchen with new dishes I often find packages of all sorts things hiding in the back of my pantry that are in need of attention. A huge pet peeve of mine is throwing out unused fresh or packaged food because it’s past its expiration date.
To avoid the cardinal sin of wasting precious dollars on uneaten food, USE WHAT YOU HAVE FIRST instead of searching for a recipe and buying all sorts of ingredients that aren’t currently stocked in the fridge. This will save you money and a few trips to the grocery store.
The week before I made a stir fry with all the veggies present in this noodle dish. I also unearthed a lovely package of organic soba noodles patiently waiting for someone to love them! No grocery stop necessary. If you have veggies that need to be used, by all means, substitute them in this dish.
Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour, which is actually gluten-free. Often times soba noodles have regular wheat flour added to help the texture, but you can still use gluten-free noodles if you wish. The higher the percentage of buckwheat flour the noodles have, the darker they will be.
The vinaigrette has a touch of soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari can be subbed), fresh ginger, garlic, and honey. It has a distinctive earthy, nutty flavor that is really unique and blends beautifully with the crisp vegetables.
I had red and yellow bell pepper, green onions/scallions, red onion, and dried cranberries for an added kick of sweet and tart. This is a quick preparation, requiring only the time it takes to boil a large pot of water plus 4 minutes of cooking time.
While the water is boiling, soak your cranberries in orange juice to soften them wake up their flavor. Chop the veggies, make the vinaigrette, top with toasted cashews or peanuts, toss the ingredients in the cooled noodles, and VOILA!
Cold Tahini Soba Noodle Salad
For the Noodles
- 1 oz package Soba Noodles about 9.5 .
- one half of a Red Bell Pepper finely diced
- one half of a Yellow Bell Pepper finely diced
- 3 Tbsp . Red onion finely diced
- 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
- 2 Tbsp . Scallions chopped
- 1 Tbsp Orange Juice
- Drizzle of Toasted Sesame oil
- 1/4 cup toasted cashew or peanuts chopped
For the Tahini Vinaigrette
- Juice of one Lime
- 1/4 cup Grapeseed Canola, or neutral oil
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari for gluten free version
- 1 Tbsp Tahini
- 1 tsp . Garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp . Ginger grated or finely chopped
- 1 tsp . Honey
- dash of White Pepper
Heat a large pot of water on the stovetop on high heat.
Meanwhile, soak the cranberries in orange juice.
Chop the veggies, scallions, garlic, and ginger.
For the vinaigrette:
Whisk the tahini, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger, honey, and white pepper. Whisk in oil until emulsified.
Salt the boiling water and cook the soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cool water and drain again. Top with sesame oil and separate a bit to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
Remove the cranberries from the orange juice and set aside.
Add the reserved liquid from the cranberries to the vinaigrette.
Combine the noodles, veggies, vinaigrette and serve immediately with a dash of sesame oil and scallions or cover and chill in the fridge.