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At first, this summer noodle bowl might seem out of place. Because the first day of fall is coming soon. BUT IT IS NOT HERE YET.
And growing up in an inland valley, there’s there late summer/early fall heat that lingers. While we’ve had cooler temperatures lately, I’m sure there’s some high 90s heat coming soon. And this summer noodle bowl celebrates the last best part of summer. Plus, it’s cold, crunchy, and refreshing during the last impending heat wave.
I really enjoyed playing with this thai basil pesto dip a few weeks ago and wanted to provide another recipe to use it with. Basil pesto always makes me think of summer, so I wanted to incorporate some seasonal vegetables in an easy preparation.
Noodle bowls are one of two default dishes I make when I don’t know what to have for lunch or dinner. (The other is chili mac. More on that another time.) I like that I can prep vegetables and make a dressing or sauce while the noodles are cooking. It saves on time and decreases the hangry factor.
This summer noodle bowl highlights the Thai basil pesto and incorporates other vegetables often found in Asian cuisine like edamame, bean sprouts, and napa cabbage.
It is satisfactorily crunchy, squishy, juicy, carby, springy, warm, and refreshing. I dig it. Do you?
Summer Noodle Bowl
A refreshing vegan summer noodle bowl with thai basil pesto and crunchy seasonal vegetables. An easy lunch or dinner that’s easily gluten free.
dried udon style noodles
frozen edamame, thawed
thai basil pesto
halved cherry tomatoes
shredded napa cabbage, about 4 cups
Prepare noodles according to package directions.
When noodles are almost cooked, blanch bean sprouts and edamame with noodles before draining.
In a large bowl, mix thai basil pesto with noodles.
Toss and combine noodles with cherry tomatoes and napa cabbage. Top with crushed peanuts and serve immediately.
The key with this recipe is to prep while you cook. Start boiling the water for the noodles and cook them while you chop the other ingredients. The vegetable to noodle ratio is pretty high in this recipe, just how I like it! But you can increase to 12 ounces of dried noodles if you like.
I like to blanch the bean sprouts and warm the edamame but you can definitely skip that step to increase the crunch factor of this summer noodle bowl.
Alternatively, you can cook all the vegetables and serve this summer noodle bowl warm.
Swap the noodles for your favorite gluten free long noodle pasta or use rice noodles instead.
Grilled chicken or pork would make a nice complement to this summer noodle bowl. Try a marinade with rice vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, and a splash of soy sauce or tamari.
CHECK THE FRIDGE
If you have any bell peppers, carrots or cucumbers, these would be excellent additions to this summer noodle bowl. I recommend grating or julienning the carrots and cucumbers. Thinly sliced bell peppers would mimic the shape and preparation of the bell peppers and napa cabbage to help incorporate the vegetables.