One of my goals with my Summer Slim Down Series is trying out fresh and healthy recipes that will keep well for lunches throughout the busy work week. This recipe for Cold Soba Sesame Salad from Gina Homolka's Skinnytaste Meal Prep Cookbook definitely falls into that category. This is a light and exciting meal that can be enjoyed at home, packed up for a picnic, or prepped into containers for lunches throughout the week.
This recipe wins an award for versatility. You can trade out any of the vegetables and make this your own. For example, I didn't have broccoli so I used fresh sliced cucumber instead. You can keep this all veggie and serve it with crushed peanuts and/or a soft boiled egg. You can also add some flaked salmon or shredded chicken or thinly sliced steak. I think you could easily make a new version of this salad each and every time!
This is a stunning salad, so vibrant and inviting with all the colors of the rainbow. I also love that it is served cold, which is very light and refreshing on a hot summer day. This is one of those meals that is the perfectly balanced, managing to be both light yet filling. I will definitely be making this again!
Cold Soba Sesame Salad
Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste Meal Prep
by Gina Homolka
8 ounces dry soba noodles (I used buckwheat)
1 cup bite-sized broccoli florets*
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, cut into thirds*
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup grated or shredded carrots
3 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
crushed roasted peanuts, for serving
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger*
1 garlic clove, minced*
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce, plus more for serving
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, plus1 teaspoon garnish
Notes: This is an extremely versatile recipe. Use whatever veggies you have on hand. I didn't have broccoli so I subbed in sliced cucumber which worked nicely. I also think the dressing is somewhat mild and next time I would use more fresh ginger and garlic to pump up the flavors.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil (do not add salt). Add the noodles and cook according to the package directions. Add the broccoli and peas about 1 minute before the noodles are ready, then drain together in a large colander and rinse with cold water for about 30 seconds, agitating with your hands.
Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, miring, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, Sriracha, and sesame seeds.
To serve: Divide the noodles, broccoli, and peas among 4 shallow bowls, about 1-1/2 cups each, and top with bell pepper, carrots, scallions, and cilantro. Top each with about 2-1/2 tablespoons of the dressing, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and peanuts, and serve right away.