I spy a Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing that wants to loooove you. ♡
Annnnnd we are back on track!
Er, okay, getting there, at least. With the help of this friendly little Thai Noodle Salad and its packed-in veggies, protein, healthy fats, and major flavor, I am doing some post-girls’-trip resetting to get back to the norm of solid healthy eating. And by “norm”, I mean the first time in a few months thanks to all that first trimester craziness. Just let me pretend.
Our girls’ trip to San Diego this weekend was just… well, it was a lot of different things. Mostly it was really nice to get away from Facebook and CNN and NPR radio news for a few days, and to have 4-hour extended happy hour sessions and watch seals flopping in and out of the ocean and pop in for a little ice cream at 11am because it’s California and WHY NOT. We soaked up the sun and the ocean, we had pizza delivered to our room for a midnight snack, and we reconnected over slow meals in sweet, hard, and meaningful ways.
I’ll tell you more about it later this week – I have just a few pictures to share. 😬 And I want to talk more in depth about everything that’s going on right now, because is it just me? Or does it feel like things are kinda heavy? I am still mentally working out how to even talk about it.
But for today, I’m just giving my food life to you in real-time. I got home from the trip on Sunday night, did a reset on Monday including a speedy fast trip to the grocery store, and found myself yesterday chopping like a ninja and then devouring this salad as a “detox” back into normal person eating (a tad generous with the term detox, maybe, yes, leave me alone I’M PREG).
I felt the need for both veggies and protein, and even though I’m usually 100% picky and weird about chicken, this chicken was okay for me. I marinated it and then baked it so it was perfectly cooked and flavorful. Alright! Not bad, Linds. Not bad. I picked out a few of my favorite colorful vegetables for a Thai Noodle Salad salad situation (peppers, spinach, carrots) and then tossed it all with stir fried brown rice noodles and a quick and easy punchy Thai-inspired peanut lime dressing. The written recipe looks like a lot of work, and it does take a little time to prep each part, but it’s in that therapeutic way where you feel like you have really given your food the time and intention it deserves. Without it taking more than 45 minutes.
All in all, this salad is kind of the love child of a few other salads I have on the blog (think Thai Chicken Salad, Vietnamese Chicken Salad w Noodles, Chopped Thai Salad: vegetarian version), but tailored to what I exactly wanted at the particular moment yesterday, which was a way to reset to healthy, veggie-and-protein packed eating that didn’t taste lonely and depressing.
Let me check – NOPE. No depressed feelings here.
Just a happy, back-on-track Thai Noodle Salad with that peanut lime dressing, for the love of all things wonderful.
Thai Noodle Salad with Peanut Lime Dressing – veggies, chicken, brown rice noodles, and an easy homemade dressing. My favorite salad ever!
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon lemongrass or ginger paste
- a couple BIG squeezes of lime juice (to taste)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
For the salad:
- 4 ounces brown rice noodles (regular rice noodles are fine, too)
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 5-6 cups baby kale or spinach
- 3 large carrots, cut into small, thin pieces*
- 3 bell peppers, cut into small, thin pieces*
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped
- 4 green onions, green parts only, chopped
- 1/2 cup cashews or peanuts
- PREP: Start soaking the rice noodles in a bowl of cold water. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- DRESSING: Pulse all the dressing ingredients in a food processor EXCEPT peanut butter. Place the chicken in a plastic bag and use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the dressing (without peanut butter) to marinate the chicken in the fridge for about 15-30 minutes. Add the peanut butter to the dressing in the food processor; pulse, then taste and adjust. Set aside.
- VEGGIES: Prep all your veggies and toss together in a bowl.
- CHICKEN: Bake the marinated chicken for 15-20 minutes. Rest for 5-10 minutes, then cut and add to the veggies.
- NOODLES: Drain the noodles (they should be softened at this point). Finish cooking them in a skillet over medium high heat. Add a little oil and a little dressing and toss them around until they are soft and pliable (if you need to add a little water to soften them, that works, too).
- ASSEMBLY: Toss stir-fried noodles with the chicken and veggie mixture. Serve hot or cold. Top with extra peanuts and cilantro (and dressing, and lime juice, and sesame seeds, and…)
*You can cut the carrots and peppers however you like, really. But I like to cut them so they sort of match the shape and texture of the noodles. A spiralizer, peeler, or mandoline are my favorite tools for this.
The bowls used in this post are from Target! Check them out here.