Summer is already coming to an end for us here, and I'm reluctantly squeezing in every kind of summer meal I can before the frenzy of back-to-school kicks in. The funny thing about summer is that I have more time...but sometimes less motivation...to get my act together to prepare a meal.
Thankfully, my favorite go-to for summer nights happens to be recipe that can be adapted to anything you have on hand. Substitute spaghetti noodles for soba noodles. Sub almond butter for peanut butter. Sub leftover rotisserie chicken for grilled salmon. Use coleslaw mix instead of English cucumbers. It all works. And on those nights when a last minute dinner party comes together...you can be sure to feed a crowd. Make your own, or prepared ahead...you can't go wrong with Asian-inspired cold noodles with peanut sauce.
- Noodles: soba noodles (or spaghetti noodles), cook as directed
- Protein: grilled fish, shredded leftover rotisserie chicken, grilled shrimp
- Veggies: shredded carrots, julienned cucumbers, thinly sliced celery, green onions, cilantro, bean sprouts, broccoli or cole slaw, grilled veggies like sweet potatoes (my favorite lately is poke holes in sweet potato, and microwave for a few minutes until tender, then slice into wedges, toss in olive oil, coarse salt and pepper, lime juice, and cayenne pepper...then grill. It's perfect for vegetarian alternative to meat or to make this meal a bit more substantial.)
- Condiments: peanut/almond sauce, extra soy or rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds, sriracha or other hot sauce, fish sauce, fresh limes
Ingredients for Peanut Sauce:
(makes enough for approx. 6-8 servings...and honestly, I usually wing it and taste as I go, but I really needed to have something concrete for you all!)
- 1/2 cup almond butter or peanut butter (I've even used powdered peanut butter too!)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/8 cup sugar
- Drizzle of sesame oil
- A squirt of sriracha hot sauce if you like it spicy
...add all to a pint size mason jar with lid and shake vigorously. Stir until smooth if needed, and adjust ingredients for taste and consistency.
Set up your meal as a build-your-own buffet or pre-toss your noodles and ingredients!
Enjoy, friends! Let me know if you try it!