Chewy, wide rice noodles and refreshing, crunchy cucumber ribbons are dressed simply with sesame oil and chile oil. Throw on a few sesame seeds and green onions and you have a side dish that just might become your favorite thing. Ever.
Spring wants to sproing so hard…we can feel it here, peeking out in early-blooming freesias, warm days and longer daylight hours. I’m delighted, and it puts me in a mind for all things bright and springy. My latest discovery is a light, refreshing cucumber noodle salad that could be a side dish, could make a wonderful lunch salad, or just a snack as you’re standing in front of the open refrigerator door with a fork in hand. Not that I would ever do that.
It’s vegan, which means it is plant-based and contains no animal products. You won’t miss them, I promise. It’s from a brand new cookbook called “Hot for Food Vegan Comfort Classics ,” by Lauren Toyota, who writes the vegan food blog Hot for Food. If you’re toying with going vegan, or simply want to add more plant-based meals into your diet, you’ll want to pick up this book. She puts the lie to the idea that vegan food is boring and bland. In fact, she has a rep for making food that’s saucy, sweet, sassy and most definitely craveworthy. One of her fans calls her “above the law.” I like that in a vegan! 😉
Listen up to what she says about this recipe:
“I tend to add megaflavor to everything I cook, but in this dish I embrace the minimalist trend and really like the simplicity of green onions with spice, sesame, salt and refreshing crunchy cucumber. It was inspired by something I ate a couple of years ago at Xi’an Famous Foods in Brooklyn. A friend claimed this menu item, known as A-1, was her favorite thing ever, which I mistook for hyperbole. But I was curious. Well, after ordering it and taking one bite, I was in love and certainly wasn’t prepared for a long-distance relationship with this noodle dish so I made my own version!”
Let’s get to it, shall we?
(You can ribbon-up the cucumber with a vegetable peeler or mandolin, whatever you have. Shaving it this way makes great cucumber noodles!)
Wasn’t that easy? And #shockinglydelicious?
What else is in the book?
I have bookmarked a bunch of other recipes in the book, including…
…Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo…
…Big Brekky Skillet…
…and Loaded Fries Supreme. She has vegan recipes for Parmesan cheese, cheese sauce and other usually-dairy delectables that I will be trying, for sure. I want to try her recipe for vegan Parm on this classic Pasta Aglio e Olio from the movie “Chef .” The photography is beautiful (with a picture for every recipe, which I appreciate), the recipes have style and personality, and the dishes are hearty and satisfying. Lemony Parm Green Beans, watch out, I’m coming for ya!
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Disclosure: The publisher sent a copy of the cookbook for review.