Vegetable Noodle Salad with Lime & Ginger Peanut Dressing
Some type of salad is a daily must for me, and I love to change things up with different combinations and types of dressings. Variety, I find, is the key to healthy eating! Eating a highly raw diet, or even just having some raw foods with your cooked choices, aids in digestion and provides your body with nutrients in their purest form.
Vegetable "noodles" are a fun way to add crunch and replace traditional pasta. Making these noodles out of zucchini allows for eating it in it's raw form. Cucumbers are hydrating and delicious paired with the creamy dressing. Carrots maintain some of their crunch and hold up well if this salad needs to be stored.
I make variations of this salad regularly. Sometimes, I'll keep it completely raw by using raw almond butter in the dressing instead of the roasted natural peanut butter. Use what you have available, and customize to your own taste. I love to add pea shoots when I have them!
Vegetable Noodle Salad with Lime & Ginger Peanut Dressing (gluten free, vegan, high raw)
Serves 2 as a meal, or 4 as a side salad. If you will be storing this salad, leave the dressing off until you are ready to eat as the noodles will release water when mixed with the dressing and left to sit. The salad will keep for about a day, refrigerated. Any leftover dressing will keep for about 4 days, covered and refrigerated. The dressing makes a delicious dipping sauce for rice paper wraps!
Lime & Ginger Peanut Dressing (gluten free, vegan, high raw)
2" ginger, peeled
1/3 c natural peanut butter
1 tsp raw honey (or, use maple syrup to keep strictly vegan)
2 tsp wheat-free tamari (or, use Bragg's amino spray or Coconut Aminos)
3 tbsp lime juice
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp warm water
This dressing can be made by hand or using a mini food processor. If making by hand, grate or finely mince the ginger and place in a medium bowl. Add the peanut butter, raw honey, tamari, lime juice, and cayenne pepper and whisk to combine. While whisking, slowly add the warm water - the dressing will become "looser" in consistency and will lighten in colour. Set aside as you make the salad.
If using a mini food processor, begin by placing the ginger in the bowl of the processor. Pulse or grind until ginger is minced. Add the remaining ingredients, except the water, and process until combined. You may need to use a spatula to scrape the sides. Add the water, and process again. Pour into a small bowl or container and set aside as you continue with preparing the salad.
Vegetable Noodle Salad (gluten free, vegan, raw)
1-2 medium carrots
1/2 a cucumber, lengthwise
1 yellow summer squash (zucchini)
1/2 c loosely-packed cilantro
1 tbsp hemp hearts
2 tbsp pepitas
1 scallion (green onion)
lime wedges, for serving
Using a julienne peeler, slice the carrots into noodles and set aside. Peel along the outside of the cucumber and summer squash, avoiding the inner parts of the vegetables where the seeds are. If you do not have a julienne peeler, you could use a mandolin (very carefully!) to slice the carrots, cucumber, and zucchini into long ribbons and then using a sharp knife, cut each strip into thinner "noodles". If neither a julienne peeler or a mandolin are kitchen tools that you own, this salad could also be made using a regular potato peeler. Simply make ribbons by peeling the carrots into long pieces. For the cucumber and summer squash, peel long strips and then slice into thinner pieces with a sharp knife. Place all noodles in a large bowl or serving dish and set aside.
Roughly chop the cilantro into smaller pieces, and add to the vegetable noodles. Thinly slice the radish and then cut again into small matchsticks, and add to the vegetable noodles. Slice the scallions diagonally, and add to the salad. Toss to combine. Sprinkle the hemp hearts and pepitas over the salad, and garnish with sliced avocado. Serve with Lime & Ginger Peanut Dressing and extra lime wedges.
As always, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, or tag me @mynaturalkitchen on Instagram to show me what you've made.