Heidi over at 101 Cookbooks is one of my blog loves. She cooks some of the most delicious and healthy (and mostly vegetarian) fare I've seen in a long time. It's comfort food, but good for you, and with unexpected twists. And while a noodle salad isn't a real salad (in the green sense of the word), I figured it was time to bite the bullet and make a salad.
I tried, I really did. But there's something about warm noodles, sauteed tofu, and veggies in a peanut sauce that takes me back to happy memories of fake Thai food. If only I had a take-out box to serve it to myself in... gotta work on that.
So below is my take on Heidi's Lazy Day Peanut Noodle Salad. I'm sure the original recipe is tasty, but I'm a fan of mine too.
riffed from Heidi
1 8 ounce package soba noodles
1 bunch asparagus spears, ends trimmed then cut into 1/2-inch segments
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into short strips
12 ounces extra-firm (organic) tofu, cut into small cubes
1 small bunch of spring onions or scallions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup (brown) rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
drizzle of toasted sesame oil
big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4-1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup peanuts
Big a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the soba noodles per package instructions.In the last minute or so of cooking toss in the asparagus. Drain noodles and asparagus, run under cold water for about a minute to stop cooking, and set aside.
Saute the cubed tofu in a pan until lightly brown. I like the slight crunch and solidity of the tofu this way, although Heidi prefers it cold and cubed (no cooking involved).
Gently toss the noodles, asparagus, red bell pepper, spring onions, peanuts, and tofu with the sauce. Serve!