One side effect of food blogging is having a bunch of random leftovers in the fridge at all times. Depending on what I made last, there’s usually some sort of garnish (chopped herbs, crumbled nuts, lime wedges), trimmed vegetables, a sauce or dressing and of course remnants of the actual dish that was made.
There are never a lot of leftovers because I make small portions for the photos (though I’ve always dreamed of shooting a huge picnic spread or turkey dinner with all the fixings!). But the little bits and pieces still need to be used up in some form or another. Some of it is used as part of Sunday meal prep, but not all.
Last week, for instance, I found myself up to my eyeballs in cooked whole wheat pasta. I had cooked a whole box to make this spaghetti primavera, only used half for the recipe, and then stashed the remaining noodles in a container for later. What to do with all that cooked spaghetti?
Rather than dress it with tomato sauce or pesto as per usual, I threw together a chilled noodle salad with fresh vegetables, herbs and an Asian soy-lime dressing. Much more interesting, not to mention nutritious because of all those extra veggies!
This recipe can of course be made with any type of noodle–rice, soba, ramen, glass–but whole grain pasta works just as well. It’s not the most authentic thing in the world, but if it’s all you have on hand then I say go for it! I didn’t include a protein in this recipe, but cooked tofu or grilled chicken would also be great in this salad.
To build the salad, divide the pasta among two big bowls (for two servings) and then top each with the fresh vegetables and cilantro. When it’s time to serve, pour the dressing on top, mix it all together and dig in. I’m still not great with chopsticks but make a point of using them every now and then so I can get better. Practice makes perfect!
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 Thai green chili or 1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 3 cups cooked whole grain spaghetti (or Asian noodles such as soba or rice noodles)
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup snow peas, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 large sprigs fresh cilantro
- In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, green onion and chili/chili flakes (if using). Stir to combine and set aside.
- Divide the noodles evenly among two large individual serving bowls. Top each with equal amounts of the vegetables and cilantro. Pour dressing on top and serve immediately.