An assortment of fresh, crunchy vegetables teams up with whole grain noodles for a flavorful and nutritious lunch.
Japanese soba noodles are made of buckwheat and are a healthy way to enjoy pasta. Any cooked pasta you prefer (or even rice) can stand in for the soba noodles — whole wheat penne or linguine are delicious (and nutritious) substitutes.
It's easy to customize this salad to please your children's palates. We've suggested a selection of vegetables based on color and texture, but don't hesitate to use your favorites (and leftovers work fine, too) — celery, cucumber, broccoli, zucchini, edamame and even fresh spinach or spring mix make terrific additions.
|1/2 cup||freshly squeezed orange juice|
|1/4 cup||creamy peanut butter|
|2 tablespoons||peeled, chopped fresh ginger|
|2 tablespoons||fresh lime juice or unseasoned rice vinegar|
|1 tablespoon||tamari or soy sauce|
|1 tablespoon||sweet chili sauce|
|grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lime|
|1 teaspoon||minced garlic|
|1/4 cup||canola oil|
|2 tablespoons||Toasted sesame oil (divided)|
|8 ounces||soba (buckwheat) noodles or other dry pasta|
|3 ounces||(about 1 1/4 cups) snow peas (cut diagonally into 3 pieces each)|
|1 small||red bell pepper (seeded and cut into small strips (about 1/2 cup))|
|3||scallions (finely sliced)|
|2 head||baby bok choy (cored and thinly sliced crosswise)|
|1 large||carrot (peeled and grated)|
|1/4 cup||fresh chopped mint or cilantro|
|1/3 cup||salted peanuts|
|2 tablespoons||toasted sesame seeds|
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 snow peas, peppers, scallions, bok choy, carrot and mint to the noodles and toss to combine. Add 3/4 cup 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.