Rice Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

Rice Noodle Salad, leftover chicken

Thai Rice Noodle Salad

Anytime I've ever tried to diet, I've failed. The problem is my brain is wired to fixate on anything I tell myself I can't have. Try and go vegetarian and crusted, salty, griddle fried burgers on a soft white buns with pickles and onions haunt my quiet moments. Ban sugar or white flour and I simply must have a donut quickly or be cruel to my family. Even when I eat healthy it needs to have a naughty element so I feel satisfied. That's why this pretty salad contains white rice noodles instead of brown, a creamy dressing and as many chopped peanuts as I want. That way it tastes delicious, doesn't feel like I'm giving anything up and and will have me craving it again and again instead of saying "well that was OK, now when does the bakery close today...?" 

This is so easy, especially if you have some leftover chicken in the fridge. Make the dressing, cook the noodles and cut up your vegetables and chicken. You can assemble it in easy-to-identify-fussy-eater-piles, as I have, or toss it all together. 

Rice Noodle Salad

Rice Noodle Salad 

Serves 2

1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 (heaping) tablespoon creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
juice from 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce

6 ounces stir fry rice noodles
1/2 english cucumber, peeled and cut into thin strips
1/2 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 carrot, peeled and shredded on box grater
1-2 scallions, light green and white part sliced thinly
3 tablespoons salted peanuts, chopped
1 cup shredded or thinly sliced cooked chicken

1. Minced garlic clove and place in blender or bowl along with all other ingredients for dressing. Process or whisk until smooth.

2. Cook noodles by bringing a large pot of water to a boil, turn off heat and add noodles. Let sit for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally until tender. Drain and toss with all but one tablespoon dressing (if not dressing right away, store noodles in a bowl of cold water).

3. Cut vegetables, peanuts and chicken and assemble salad drizzling with reserved dressing and chopped peanuts.


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