Man, it’s HOT out there! Five days in a row with 100+°F heat indexes has really taken its toll. Everyone is miserable and crabby, and nobody wants anything to do with sweating over a hot stove.
Fortunately, I was browsing Serious Eats and came upon this main-dish-salad from Once Upon a Chef. It’s light, tasty, quick, and the only cooking involved is boiling noodles. Talk about a life saver.
2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken (I used the leftovers from a store-bought rotisserie bird)
12 ounces spaghetti, broken in half (I used Mrs. Leepers gluten-free corn pasta)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse well under cold water.
Make the dressing by putting the garlic in a food processor and pulsing until the garlic is minced. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, peanut oil, sesame oil, peanut butter, ginger, and sugar, and give them a whirl until they are well-combined.
In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, noodles, dressing, bell peppers, peanuts, and cilantro. Cover and stick in the fridge for 15 minutes. Give it a shake to coat everything, and refrigerate for another 15 minutes before serving.
Serve with a topping of sesame seeds and a drizzle of siracha.
I’ve made versions of this recipe as a side dish before, but it really shines as a dinner salad. The chicken makes it a light, but complete meal. The sauce is rich, creamy and tangy, and there’s plenty of crunch coming from the nuts and veggies.
Next time I might try using no-cook rice noodles and precooked frozen shrimp to make this a completely “no stove required” meal.