Here's an assortment of fresh, crunchy vegetables teaming up with super greens and whole grain noodles to make a delightfully flavorful lunch or light supper that's packed with important nutrients, too.
Japanese soba (buckwheat) noodles are a healthy way to enjoy pasta, but any pasta you prefer (or even rice) can stand in for the soba — whole wheat penne or linguine are delicious (and nutritious) substitutes.
It's easy to customize this salad to please your kids' tastes. We've suggested a selection of vegetables based on color and texture, but don't hesitate to use your favorites — celery, cucumber, broccoli, zucchini and edamame make terrific additions! (Leftovers work great, too.)
You'll find Sriracha sauce in the Asian section of most well-stocked supermarkets, in a friendly squeeze bottle with a rooster on the label. While it's pretty spicy on its own, in recipes like this it adds a zesty (but not overwhelming) note that brightens up all the flavors in the salad. Delicious!
Place the orange juice, peanut butter, ginger, lime juice, tamari, chili sauce, grated citrus zests and garlic in a blender and process until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the canola oil and 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. Season to taste with salt. Set aside or refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 week.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Break the noodles in half and add them to the boiling water. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 8 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain completely and transfer the noodles to a large bowl. Toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to keep the noodles from getting sticky.
Add the Zen Blend, snow peas, peppers, green onions, bok choy, edamame, carrot and mint to the noodles and toss to combine. Add 1-1/4 cups of the dressing and toss to coat; taste and add more dressing as desired. Garnish with the sesame seeds and peanuts, and serve.
If you’re making this salad in advance, add the peanuts just before serving so they keep their crunch. In a lunchbox, you can pack them separately.
Per serving: Calories 260, Fat 16 grams, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 280 mg, Carbohydrates 22 grams, Fiber 4 grams, Sugars 4 grams, Protein 9 grams.
Percentage Daily Values per serving (based on a 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A 110%, Vitamin C 60%, Calcium 15%, Iron 15%.