Explosive Asian Noodle Salad


Explosive as in exploding with color and flavor! More explanation below.

I had a great weekend, jam-packed with time with friends, parents, my boyfriend and even my from-California sister. This post is not really about them, but they did all partake in this salad.

My team traveled to Fayetteville, Ark. this weekend for an indoor track meet, but I didn’t get to go because I’m still injured. And I’m ok with that, because this weekend wouldn’t have happened if I had been at the meet. I’m injured, I’d much rather be training and racing, but this is where I’m at right now and I’m thanking God I got to make the most of this time off. (Ask me if I’m still ok with being off when my team travels to New York City next weekend, wahhhh!)

NO TRACK MEET FOR YOU! (click to see how my team did)

Friday: I had three other girls over for dinner. As wonderful as this salad is that I’m about to describe, I’d like to give a shout out to these girls – I had an awesome time with them just eating, baking and talking. They’re freshmen so we hadn’t hung out a lot in the past, even though I’d wanted to. Just hadn’t made a lot of effort, you know?  What brought us together, though, is that they’re also track athletes recovering from injuries. It was super to be able to take a negative thing in our lives (not running) and turn it into something so fun.

As for food, I didn’t feel like experimenting, so I made Pioneer Woman’s Asian Noodle Salad. I made this last summer with my sister, and it was honestly a shocking experience. Shocking like more than surprised. It’s explosive, like the colors you get from so many bright vegetables, and the flavors you get from the sweet/savory homemade dressing. It’s not an everyday salad because it takes so much time to make, and it makes such huge portions, but it’s perfect for a group.

Girl Talk's "Feed the Animals" cover

Of course eating this was a rewarding experience, but even making it was fun. With a ton of chopping, it can get really tedious. But I was riding high because I’d had a good run that afternoon (20min pain-free, the secret is go slow), it was Friday and I had no school for two days, and Texas was having one of its freaky 75-degrees-and-sunny-in-January days. I threw open my patio door and listened to the mash up/sampling musical wonder that is Girl Talk.

A little more description of the salad: it has linguine (we used whole wheat, so virtuous), spinach, red cabbage, napa cabbage, red, yellow and green bell peppers, and cucumbers. The dressing has soy sauce, fresh ginger and garlic, brown sugar, olive oil and lime juice. Toss together, top it all off with green onions, cilantro and cashews! It’s pretty flexible, as you can imagine, so no worries about not having a certain ingredient or wanting to add something. I think PW said to add bean sprouts but we don’t have them in my ghetto-HEB by campus.

In summary: Asian Noodle Salad is so so so good! And unlike my red lentil and bean curry, it actually looks as good as it tastes. Just make sure you have at least six people to feed this to, or be prepared for some copious (but yummy) leftovers.

Soooo colorful, soooo tasty

(Check out Pioneer Woman’s site for some beautiful pictures of the ingredients, and, of course, step-by-step instructions).

I’ll have to write more later because:

1. I hear the internet makes our attention spans shorter and you’re not going to want to read anything long ;)

2. Homework can’t be ignored forever. Haven’t done a scrap this weekend, woo way to be responsible, Cate!

But tell me, what did you cook this weekend?


6 thoughts on “Explosive Asian Noodle Salad

  1. Alexa

    Cate, we need to cook sometime! The difference between your cooking and mine is that I am too afraid to experiment. Come teach me how to branch out of my cooking rut1

  2. catewestenhover Post author

    anytime! Send me some links to those scary recipes and we’ll tackle them together. Somtimes I think I’m too experimental. I end up making semi-gross things. Love the learning process though!

  3. runharrietrun

    That looks AMAZING. I love salad and will try this just as soon as we’re out of the cabbage-and-potato season (hello, Eastern Europe!) I’m experimental too and yes, you do end up with some foul-looking substances, but when it works, it’s so satisfying. At the moment I am very into “throwing a lot of stuff into a pot and seeing what happens” so I made a pasta sauce on Sunday night with lots of veggies from the organic farm box, and tonight I did a lentil soup with leeks, carrots, canned tomatoes, spinach, sausage, parsley and other herbs…


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