Sunday, December 11, 2016

Make and Take


Starting from before Thanksgiving and continuing until the end of December, I hear things like this in my house:
"I have a pot luck at work, can you make something?"
"What can you bring for Thanksgiving that will be "safe" for your kids?"
"We're having a holiday party, I don't know if there will be anything I can eat, can you make something?"
" much to do!" (o.k. the last one is me, and it's only in my head).

When you need to bring something to a festive meal, potluck, or even put something on your own table that is "safe" for those who have allergens/Celiac/food sensitivities, it can seem like a daunting task.  You have so much else to plan, shop and do this time of year, that a specialized dish seems onerous.  But I've come up with a super easy rice noodle salad that you only need one serving bowl or 9x13 inch pan to prep, cook and serve all in one!

My main caveat is to make sure the ingredients you are using are gluten free. With food items produced overseas, like most Asian rice noodles, you need to make sure there are no glutenny ingredients, and they are using pure rice flour. I found a great brand with US labeling standards called Gefen, and it's available at my regular supermarket.

There is a lot of leeway in this dish. If you don't want to use the dressing in the recipe, you can substitute one of the great gluten free Asian style sauces from San-J, or even do with a splash of GF soy sauce.  As well, you can mix and match whatever veggies or proteins you like in the dish. Throw in some protein if you want: leftover tofu, a handful of  chick peas, or some diced chicken.

So try to relax and enjoy your company and visiting and rest assured that your special guests will have something "safe" and delicious to eat.

Asian Rice Noodle Salad (vegan)

1 Pkg. gluten free thin, Asian style rice noodles (11 ounce pkg.)
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped scallions
 boiling water

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 crushed garlic clove
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil (optional)
1 Tablespoon black sesame seeds (optional)

In a large mixing bowl or 9x13 ceramic or Pyrex baking pan, place rice noodles. Note: The noodles usually come in several blocks to a package, so lay them down in single layer, if possible.  Cover noodles with a generous amount of boiling water. Cover tightly with foil. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.  Drain into colander and set noodles aside.

In the same mixing bowl, whisk together dressing.  Add noodles and remaining ingredients.  Toss well to coat noodles and vegetables well.

This may be served warm, but I suggest chilling for 2 hours before serving.

Serves: 12

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