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    GFCF Recipe: Asian Noodle Salad

    September 9, 2010 by Brandy Vencel

    I‘ve been getting a lot of emails again concerning food allergies. A number of you are planning to get your allergies eliminated, but you want to know what to do in the meantime. You know that allergenic foods ought to be avoided, but you don’t know where to start when it comes to meals. So, I’m going to try and post a few recipes. I’m avoiding gluten again in our home (and only in our home, so if you are my real-life friend, please do not think you have to make me special food!), not because of allergy, but because it was mentioned in The Mood Cure as contributing to thyroid problems, so I assume I should avoid it when I can.

    Besides, old habits die hard. As hard as it was to be on the diet, we never did revisit the buying or making of bread.

    All of that to say: here’s a recipe. I modified it from The Pioneer Woman’s recipe to make it allergy- and thyroid-friendly. Also, I added a bunch of meat because it takes me so long to make this salad, I want it to be huge and filling and serve us for lunch the next day. (Yes. I want it all.)

    Asian Noodle Salad
    Salad Ingredients:
    -1 package 100% buckwheat soba noodles
    or 100% Thai rice noodles
    -1 head bok choy
    -1 red bell pepper
    -1 yellow (or orange) bell pepper
    -1 bunch green onions
    -1 or 2 cucumbers
    -1 cup raw cashews
    -2 or 3 Tb. butter
    -1 chicken thigh per person, minimum 5, cooked and chopped

    Dressing Ingredients:
    -juice of 1 lime
    -1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    -1/2 cup wheat-free tamari
    -1/4 to 1/3 cup sesame oil
    -1/3 cup sucanat
    -3 tsp. ground ginger
    -2 cloves garlic, minced
    -2 jalapenos
    -1 bunch cilantro

    Kitchen Gear You Need:
    -large soup pot
    -giant salad bowl
    -small skillet
    -knives and cutting board
    -extra-large strainer
    -small bowls to hold salad ingredients


    1. If you haven’t already, make sure your chicken is cooked. I boil mine if I don’t have leftovers to use.
    2. Cut that bok choy into bit-sized bits. Fill the large pot in which you intend to boil the noodles with water, and dump in the bok choy. Cruciferous vegetables naturally contain goitrogens, which almost entirely dissipate when boiled or fermented. So, to make this thyroid-friendly, we are going to boil the cabbage. Thankfully, I find this also makes young children more inclined to eat said cabbage.
    3. In a small skillet, melt butter. Brown the cashews in this over low heat and then set to the side.
    4. While your water is still heating up, let’s make the dressing. Dump the dressing ingredients into a blender (I usually dice the jalapenos), and then liquefy. As long as you have a decent blender, everything will be fine.
    5. Now, dice up those bell peppers and green onions. Slice the cucumbers and cilantro. I like to put each of these ingredients into a little bowl. This salad is notoriously difficult to toss, and so I have a method of putting it together to make it a little easier.
    6. Hopefully, your water is finally boiling, and you can let that bok choy simmer for 10 to 20 minutes. Next, throw in the diced chicken. Like I said, the salad is hard to toss, and doing it in water has proven easier than anything else. Then, throw in the noodles. Read the package directions to see how long they need to cook. In my experience both soba and rice noodles cook in less than five minutes, so you will have to be ready. Stir as the noodles soften to mix up the noodles with the bok choy and chicken.
    7. When the noodles are tender, pour the whole pot into an extra-large strainer.
    8. Okay, so here is my method for easing into the toss. I scoop out some–about a quarter–of the noodle/chicken/bok choy mixture (henceforth referred to as NCBM) and put it in my large salad bowl. Then I add a quarter of all the other ingredients–the cashews, bell peppers, cilantro, green onions, and cucumbers. Then I pour about the quarter of the dressing over it. I repeat this process four times–NCBM, veggies and nuts, dressing. This is stacking the ingredients into the salad as we go. At the very end, I do a feeble toss, but I am horrible at tossing salad in general, and unfortunately my salad bowl is not quite giant enough. Hence the stacking method. It makes up for my faults a little.
    9. Dish it up, and say, “Yum.” This usually takes me 2 hours. I am not kidding. Of course, I have usually forgotten to cook the chicken beforehand. Ahem. I listen to lectures, the kids play in the backyard, and I serve nothing else. Just a big plate of salad. Yum.

    If you are really missing your pasta on a GFCF diet, I find that this is very satisfying. Of course, if you are on a low-carb diet, this isn’t a good fit.

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  • Reply Brandy Afterthoughts September 9, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Perhaps we shall have a potluck when you are done moving home! 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca September 9, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    You can make this salad for me anytime. I loved it! I guess I could just make it for myself, but that wouldn’t be as much fun for me.

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