Kelp Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce

Happy Thursday friends! I am freaking out a little that it's September already. The sun is setting earlier, and I'm not too happy about the fade of summer... but the good thing is, here in San Diego the beaches have emptied, and the weather stays delightfully warm for another month or two, so let's enjoy it!

OK, on to the food: have you guys tried Kelp Noodles?! I don't know why I'm late to the kelp noodle party. I guess I had always passed them up in the store thinking "noodles = processed" and just recently picked up the package (during one of my lengthy therapeutic Whole Foods browsing sessions) to notice that they are really just kelp, water, and sodium alginate (a form of salt). While not super flavorful on their own, I do really love their interesting texture and low-carb profile. Plus I've been trying to work more sea vegetables into my mix - mineral rich and a good source of iodine, sea vegetables are a great thing to include if you don't use regular iodized table salt. Also, #mermaidfood.

Kelp noodles are a clear & thin, and look like rice noodles. But instead of chewy, they have an interesting crunchy texture. Like regular noodles, they are good for a textural rather than flavor addition - which means they work well with sauces like pesto, alfredo, marinara, peanut sauce, and in salads or soups for texture. They can be a little stiff straight out of the package, so I blanched them for a few minutes in simmering water before use in the salad recipe.  They will stand up to heat well in saucy and soupy recipes, too.

You can find them in most health food and natural stores; I bought them at Whole Foods and am considering ordering a 3-pack from Amazon next time! So look forward to more recipes on the way using these bad boys! 

Try them and let me know what you think! 

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Kelp Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce

- 2 cups spinach

- slices of: red pepper, carrots, broccoli, cucumber, red cabbage

- optional: almond slices, green onion, cilantro, sesame seeds

Dressing:

- 1 tablespoon chunky organic peanut butter

- 2 tablespoons coconut vinegar

- 1 teaspoon each of olive oil and sesame oil

- 1 teaspoon of ginger juice

- 1 teaspoon of coconut aminos or soy sauce

- optional 1/2 teaspoon of sambal or sriracha chili sauce

Directions:

Heat a small pot of water while you slice up the veggies. When the water is simmering, blanch the carrots, broccoli, and noodles by dunking them into the hot water for about 2-3 minutes. I did this with a little metal strainer (like this one) that can dunk into the pot of water, and pull them right out to drain over the sink.

On a bed of spinach, arrange the slices of raw and blanched veggies, and the almonds, cilantro, and sesame seeds to top.

Mix up the dressing by shaking all ingredients in a mason jar, and top the salad! If you're like me, look at your pretty creation for a minute and then toss it all in a huge bowl and eat it messy!!

kelp noodle salad with peanut sauce