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Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

There is a lot to be excited about this week.  First, my kids come home from spending a few days in North Dakota with my Mom and Dad.  This is the second summer that they have spent time away without Radd and me.  It’s hard for me to be away from them, but to be honest, I think it’s important for kids to get to know their grandparents without parents (i.e. me)  interfering all the time.  They get to be properly spoiled and make their own memories and that’s wonderful.  There is nothing quite like the love of a grandparent.  I’m excited to see my little ones– I’ve missed them.  But, my gosh!  It’s amazing what I can accomplish with an entire day without distractions!  There’s just so much…time to get things done.

Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

Healthy Brow Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

The other super exciting event this week is that our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) starts delivery this week.  And I am thrilled!  It’s been a crazy June here in Minnesota– we’ve had record rainfalls and lots of flooding.  In fact, the farm that our CSA, Bossy Acres, resides on received almost 7-inches already this month.  Joining a CSA this year has had me feeling like a farm-girl all over again– stressing about the weather.  It’s exhilarating and terrifying.  At any rate– we’ll get our box of goodies on Thursday and I’m more that a little excited to create some meals with it.

Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

Speaking of meals, today I’m sharing a quick one that you can put on your (hopefully outdoor) table in no time flat.  I know, two noodle salads in two weeks?!  I can’t help it– I’m addicted.  This one is cold, refreshing, and basically tastes like a giant spring roll, without the fuss of that rice paper.  I loaded it with cucumbers and radishes.  I would have added grated carrots, but we were out.  The cilantro and mint make the dish in my opinion, as do the peanuts–so load it up!  Mint is one of my favorite summertime additions to cold salads.  I’ve been fortunate enough to find delicious fresh bean sprouts at our farmers market and they are brilliant in this dish.  What a refreshing crunch!  The meal can be served without a meat, of course.  If you want to make it a bit more filling– chicken, shrimp, and especially grilled pork work extremely well.  The dressing is simple and subtle.  It’s not at all “saucy”, in that it pretty much disappears into the noodles leaving you with its subtle influence.  Feel free to make a tad more if you like a bolder flavor.  I hope you are enjoying many outdoor meals this summer and that this dish finds it’s way onto your table.  Enjoy!

Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

The Recipe: Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad

(serves 4)

For the Sauce:

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 cucumber, thinly sliced (preferably with a mandolin)

5-6 radishes, thinly sliced (using a mandolin, as well)

2 red scallions, thinly sliced

large handful of fresh bean sprouts

about 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

about 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

about 2/3 cup chopped salted peanuts

8 ounces brown rice noodles

serrano peppers, thinly sliced, optional

lime wedges, for serving

grilled chicken, shrimp, or pork– optional

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce.  Stir and set aside.

Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions (they will only take about 3-4 minutes).  Rinse immediately with cold water.  Reserve a bit of the cooking liquid to loosen pasta, if necessary.  Separate the rice noodles with your fingers, so they are loose and airy– this is a fun process.  Get your kids involved to help!

On a large platter or bowl, add the rice noodles, vegetables, herbs, and bean sprouts.  Pour the sauce over and toss with tongs.  Top with grilled meat, if using, peanuts, and a bit more cilantro, mint, and a squeeze of lime.  I used simple grilled chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Sliced serrano peppers would be lovely here, alas my son doesn’t love the heat from them.  This dish is best eaten on the day it is made.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

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That’s right.  Those are brussel sprouts.  Every child’s worst enemy.  And this dish is a way to enjoy them the way they were meant to be– fresh, healthy, and delicious.  Brussel sprouts are one of my Dad’s favorite foods.  I never understood that as a kid.  It’s not that I despised the flavor, but I was always a little annoyed by their shape.  Think about it:  while they’re beautiful to look at, they’re not fun to chew.

Several years ago, my ambivilence changed.  I discovered that when shredded, brussel sprouts become so much more palatable.  They still taste fresh and amazing, but it doesn’t feel like you’re chomping on a whole head of cabbage.  Since they’re not so densely packed, they take on the lightness and versatility of a good salad.  And that means you no longer have to eat solitary sprouts, but can add amazing ingredients to make them even better.

Which brings me to this Thai-Style Brussel Sprouts dish.  Honestly, I’ve eaten this at least five times in the last couple weeks.  It’s really not much of a recipe, but more a ‘suggestion of flavors.’  It hadn’t crossed my mind to mix Thai flavors with brussel sprouts, but the minute I read about it, it made sense.  And what a heavenly match it is!  The phrase ‘explosion of flavors’ is over-used, but that’s really what you get here.  There’s the salty tang from the fish sauce, the citrus from the lime, the creamy crunch from the peanuts, and that slow burning heat from the Sriracha.  And they all coat those beautiful, fresh, brussel sprouts.

The Recipe: Thai-Style Brussel Sprouts

(Makes about 4 servings)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound of brussel sprouts, shredded

2-3 teaspoons fish sauce, add more to taste

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Lime wedges

Sriracha chili sauce, to taste

In a large skillet heat the olive oil on medium-high heat.  Add the shredded brussel sprouts.  Sauté until they begin to soften and brown just a bit, about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the fish sauce.  Mix in the cilantro.  Squeeze some lime juice over everything.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Top with chopped peanuts and a few drops of the Sriracha chili sauce.  Enjoy!  And remember to share.

Source: Adapted from The Kitchn

Thanks for stopping by to visit today!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Laurie

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