One of my favorite things about living in the same town as my parents is that my father invites us over for dinner. A lot. His first love is my mother, but a close second is food. Telephone calls always begin with, "What have you eaten?" Gifts are nearly always food related. When he travels, sightseeing is based on where and what he wants to eat. He loves to discuss recipes he is testing and perfecting, and he will often tell me the compliments he receives from others while simultaneously confessing he's not as good as they think (even thought he is every bit as talented as they say). His only vice is that he is not a salad lover. The vegetables he does eat are often boiled to death or fried, and a salad is almost always an afterthought, graciously included for company. This salad is a love child of my father's tastes, and his need for fresh food.
Udon Noodle Salad
8 ounces dry udon noodles
Greens; swiss chard, spinach, baby kale, mesclun, etc
cilantro, stems discarded
1/2 red cabbage, the center cut out and thinly sliced
4-8 ounces tempeh, broken into bite size pieces
peanut sauce (recipe below)
Bring a pan of water to boil. Add dry noodles, stirring around and cooking until al dente. Remove and run under cool water. Remove excess water and place in a large bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of peanut sauce to the noodles, mixing around to coat.
Combine the greens, cilantro leaves, sliced cabbage, and tempeh into the noodles. Mix to coat, then plate and serve with a garnish of cilantro and a slice of lime.
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 Tablespoons honey or agave
2 Tablespoons nama shoyu or dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon japanese sesame oil
juice of half a lime
2 - 4 Tablespoons almond milk or water
handful of cilantro
Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Process until well mixed and cilantro is chopped fine.