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Veggie Pasta Salad with Peanut Soy Sauce August 19, 2011

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dairy free, quick meal, vegan, vegetarian.
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What’s this??!!? A new post!  If you didn’t know, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy a little over a month ago.  You can follow his adventures on Hey Emitt! if you so choose.  Between caring for a newborn and following a new diet (I had to cut out dairy because it was giving Emitt all sorts of tummy trouble; you can read about it here), I have been really, really bad about cooking anything new.  It’s been a little tough figuring out dinners that Ryan and I will both want to eat.  For my part, I’ve been living mostly on cereal and almond milk, toast with peanut butter and jelly, hummus, granola bars (thanks to my friend Grace who made me a big batch of amazing granola bars!), vegan cookies (thanks to my sister-in-law and mother-in-law), pasta, quinoa, rice and beans, avocados, spinach salads, and fruit. I’m also a little addicted to this vegan ice cream and will probably buy out the stock at our local natural foods store.

Still, I feel like I’ve been mostly just getting by rather than really enjoying food lately.  If I had more time, I would love to cook some delicious vegan meals and try new things out but until we get into more of a routine over here (or until Emitt can chill in his baby carrier for more than a few minutes), it’s mostly eat-what-you-can-grab, although we have slowly been making some better meals (pizza, polenta lasagna, and kale chickpea casserole all translate well to vegan form if you use a little Daiya cheese in place of the mozzarella in the original recipes) in both vegan and with-cheese options. I unearthed two small glass Pyrex mini casserole dishes in our cabinet this week that are perfect for making two small separate servings.

Until yesterday.  My next-door neighbor brought by a container of freshly picked veggies from their family garden.  A nice-sized cucumber, a few carrots, two green peppers (which went into fajitas!), and a bunch of super sweet cherry tomatoes. Every time I have a cucumber in the house, my first thought is to make sesame noodles. Every time.  I love cold pasta with sesame sauce, and I wanted to make a variation on that using the rest of the veggies and some odds and ends I had in the house.

It turned out really well and gave me three nice meals to look forward to. I ate it when I first made it warm, and then ate it cold for lunch the next two days, and both ways were tasty. If I wasn’t watching what I was eating for Emitt, I would’ve dressed it up with some sriracha, but for the spice-intolerant, this was a good meal!

Veggie Pasta Salad with Peanut Soy Sauce

Ingredients:

8 oz dried pasta
1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, whatever you like)
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup hot water
1 tsp fresh ginger (optional)
A little sriracha (optional)
Vegetables: I used one cucumber, a few small carrots, some cherry tomatoes, and green onions.  Improvise with what you have!

Method:

Bring a pot of water to a boil. While you are boiling the noodles, prepare the sauce and chop the veggies.  To make the sauce, mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hot water, ginger, and sriracha until smooth. Chop up the veggies, and mix well with the sauce and cooked pasta.

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