Healthy gluten-free eating has been on my radar screen the last few weeks, so it was no surprise that the buckwheat noodles caught my attention on this recipe from jodyhorton.com. As a rule - contrary to what my "runner" mind previously thought was key for athletic performance - I presently don't eat a lot of pasta (go ahead and ask why but that's for another post). However, last Tuesday my prep time was limited, I needed a make-ahead dish for a late supper - and though my fridge harboured few of the salad ingredients, I could pull off the dressing.
Sauces, dressings - that part of my menu sometimes breaks down. Not because there aren't healthy options but some of them are as complicated and time-consuming as the main event. It's for good reason that professional chefs work so hard at developing their secret sauces - that's what defines their signature dishes.
And for the rest of us - I think a good sauce can make the difference between a ho-hum dish and one that makes it a regular "go-to."
Buckwheat Noodles, Broccoli and Mushrooms with Toasted Sesame-Lime Dressing (my version)
1 package (about 8 oz) buckwheat soba noodles, cooked to al dente, drained and rinsed well in cold water
broccoli florets (about 3 cups) lightly blanched and rinsed
1 red pepper sliced and 1- 2 cups sliced mushrooms - lightly sauteed in wee bit of coconut oil
3 green onions, sliced on diagonal
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
handful of fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup roasted peanuts (mine were raw peanuts that I toasted in cast iron pan)
As soon as noodles are cooked, drained and rinsed, place into bottom of salad bowl and spread around a bit so they don't stick together - as buckwheat noodles tend to do. Cut noodles up slightly using fork and knife - not into pieces too small, just to make it manageable.
As other ingredients are prepared, add them to the bowl with the noodles, saving some of the peanuts and parsley for garnish.
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (lemon juice would be an acceptable substitute)
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
2 Tbsp. "rooster" chile sauce or your choice of hot sauce
2 tsp. maple syrup (optional)
2 Tbsp. (gluten-free) tamari sauce
3 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
Put all ingredients into small jar with tight-fitting lid and shake until well blended. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Add to salad, mix well without mushing, and refrigerate until ready to serve - don't forget to add the garnish later (like me:)
To complete the meal we grilled a salmon fillet in coconut oil with salt and pepper - the same could be done with a chicken breast. This dish would also go well with marinated, then quick-fry tofu chunks.
This one is a "keeper". We loved this recipe - the dressing was well-balanced with a zing we both appreciate. I might even make the "original" recipe one day but I can see many variations of it in my future.
What's your "keeper" sauce?