the taste space

Herby, Peanutty Noodly Salad

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Salads by janet @ the taste space on December 20, 2012

What better way to sneak back into sweetened life than by eating through Doug McNish’s cooking class. I’ve done a few cooking classes before, but this one was definitely one of my favourites. While I am still no master of the knives, I felt that this class was awesome despite not being hands on. Instead, we chatted and watched as Doug created this fabulous menu in under 3 hours.

- Painted Fruit

- Raw Berry Jam

- Fermented Lemon Vanilla Cashew Yogurt

- Avocado Fries with Sundried Tomato Ketchup

- Carrot and Kelp Noodle Pad Thai, Sweet and Spicy Almond Crumble

- Kelp Noodle “Stir Fry” Pear Ginger Miso Sauce, Wilted Spinach and Hemp

- Sweet Potato and Carrot Mac N Cheese

- Mushroom Walnut Stroganoff, Moroccan Spiced Dandelion Greens

- Thick Cut Zucchini Bread, Avocado, Eggplant Bacon, Hemp Mayo

- Chocolate Avocado Torte, Almond Flax Crust

- Banana Crepes, Chocolate Sauce, Walnut Crumble, Raspberry Coulis, Caramelized Peach

Yes, that is over 20 recipes. We munched on a few of the dishes as they were made, but for the most part, the eight of us split the food to take home and eat as leftovers. Batch cooking for the win! :)

This is where the class shined: The recipes were great. Doug has worked in and with many restaurants and knows his stuff. His recipes are restaurant quality. He highlighted the importance of plating and presentation. He didn’t hide his secrets.Those banana crepes we made? Sound familiar? He made them this summer when he had a special brunch menu at Raw Aura. Some of the recipes are from his current book, some from his upcoming book and others were modifications of published recipes. He does not measure as he cooks. He tastes as he goes and modifies based on the freshness of the ingredients (something I really should learn how to do more naturally).

Doug has previously shared many of his recipes, especially in his cookbook, including his infamous sour cream and onion kale chips. However, I have yet to try any of his recipes. I have been daunted by his zealous use of oils, nut butters and agave. I know his food tastes good, although a bit heavy for me. After making Peacefood Cafe’s Raw Key Lime Pie earlier this summer, I know that restaurant quality really translates to fat and sugar, namely oil and agave!

Trust me, though, I licked my takeaway containers with the delicious food, though. I hope to reintroduce these foods into my kitchen a little bit more Janet-friendly… but most importantly, my spark has been rekindled for raw foods. It also helps that we still have not hit real winter weather yet. Until then, light salads such as this seems to fit the bill.

Herby, peanutty noodly salad. I couldn’t even make up a name as fun as this (Rob probably could but he didn’t). Pick your favourite herbs and toss them in this lime-spiked dressing. Coat noodles of your choice and add in some green vegetables like snow peas, snap peas or even broccoli. Toss with some (toasted) peanuts for some crunch and fats. Not as decadent as the meals this weekend, but I am ok with that.

PS. For those in the GTA, my newest health food store find is Foods For Life which had kelp noodles (16 oz) for $2.49 earlier this week. A quick sale since they expire in January. However, a great price to try these noodles! They also have kamut!

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this month’s River Cottage Rocks, and to this week’s Raw Food Thursdays.

Herby, Peanutty Noodly Salad
Adapted from River Cottage Everyday Veg (original recipe here)

12 oz kelp noodles, rinsed (or pasta of choice, cooked)
1/4 cup peanuts, toasted (use almonds or cashews if you want to keep this raw)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp lime juice (zest and juice from 1 lime)
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp agave, or to taste
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
200g snow peas, trimmed and chopped (2 cups)
250g cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced (2 cups)
3 green onions, sliced
2 tbsp mint, sliced (I may omit next time)
2 tbsp cilantro, sliced
1/2 tbsp basil, sliced

1. Prepare your noodles. If using kelp noodles, just rinse in hot water. Allow to drain in a colander.

2. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast your nuts until fragrant. Allow to cool, then crush with the back of a frypan.

3. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice and zest, garlic and chile flakes.

4. In a large bowl, combine the drained noodles, snow peas, cucumber, green onion, mint, cilantro and basil. Prior to serving, toss with dressing and sprinkle with crushed peanuts.

Serves 2.

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20 Responses

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  1. sprint2thetable said, on December 20, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    I think I would have died and gone to heaven eating Doug’s menu… zucchini bread with avocado and eggplant bacon?! Holy yum.

    love kelp noodles – especially with Asian flavors. Great addition with the mint!

  2. lani said, on December 20, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    i am so glad you use minimal oils..as I adapt your recipes by eliminating the oils together. love your stuff so keep it coming

    • janet @ the taste space said, on December 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      That’s awesome! Thanks for letting me know. I am trying to work my way down to no oils and salts, instead relying on nuts and seeds. :) Please let me know how your adaptations go because it will likely give me more confidence in trying it out. :)

      • lani said, on December 20, 2012 at 10:26 AM

        Janet,
        many do not need the extra oil at all but since I don’t add it I don’t know what I am missing. I don’t find it an issue..

      • janet @ the taste space said, on December 20, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        Wonderful! I usually add a bit when sauteing my onions but I should definitely try experimenting with less. :)

  3. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on December 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Wow Doug’s menu sounds seriously amazing. You are so lucky to have gone to that! I need to keep my eyes peeled for another one of his events. I’m so curious!

    Restaurant food is definitely so heavy- but I love the challenge of recreating them. I can’t wait to see all of your other recreations. This one looks awesome :)

  4. Rob said, on December 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    I’ll name this salad “Herbisaurus Rex”.

  5. Colette @ JFF! said, on December 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Speechless.

  6. Hannah said, on December 20, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    I love the crunch of kelp noodles but do find them prohibitively expensive usually! I hadn’t heard of Doug before I arrived in Toronto, but now I’m keeping an eye out for upcoming classes :)

  7. Joanne said, on December 20, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Whoa! What a cooking class! I’m always wary of signing up for them because I wonder if they’ll be worth the money but this really sounds excellent. And the noodles! Love how much green is stuffed into them!

  8. Ellen Lederman said, on December 21, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    As if I’m not envious enough of your writing skills, photography ability, cooking expertise, and palate…..now I’m jealous that you had a cooking class with Doug! I have his uncookbook; I consider it the best raw food cookbook.

    A question about minimizing oils: aren’t EVOO and coconut oil healthy?

    • janet @ the taste space said, on December 29, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      Hi Ellen, His “uncookbook” is definitely comprehensive. What recipes do you recommend I start with? It was nice to be able to have sampled some of them in the cooking class. The stroganoff (it is called a stew in the cookbook) was wicked awesome and I plan to make that one pronto. Some oils are definitely better than others (EVOO and coconut oil, for sure) but too much of a good thing isn’t always good. I just don’t like to use too much. I prefer to get my fats through whole foods, if that makes any sense? I feel it is kind of analogous to refined sugars and refined oils. Sucanat may be less refined but still a sugar so I try not to use too much either. ;)

      • Ellen Lederman said, on December 29, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        Recipes I’ve tried from Doug’s book and enjoyed all:

        Sun Dried Tomato and Carrot Burgers
        Walnut Portabello Burgers
        Sweet and Sour Thai Almond Butter Dressing
        Sunflower Almond Nuggets—these are great. We use them instead of falafel. Made them with the Southwest flavor profile (cilantro, cumin, chili)

        I made the Moroccan chickpea stew and loved it, although I am too wimpy to try it with raw chickpeas. Yup, I understand you soak them, but do they really get soft enough to be edible? I’ve never cooked dried chickpeas, but I hear they can be hard (literally) to cook. So instead I just used soaked cashews and peanuts. What’s your opinion on soaked chickpeas?

        I would say that there are no bad recipes in the book, but I didn’t do well with the Creamy Sunflower Seed dressing. It calls for 1 cup raw sunflower seeds and 2 cups water—thought this was way too thin and watery. I e-mailed Doug about this but his reply was very noncommittal. He said he hadn’t made it for a while and wasn’t sure. So—putting you on the spot, Janet—don’t you think that proportion of seeds to water is off?

        For raw chili recipes, Matthew Kenny’s recipe is the still the best ever! Do you have the recipe? If not, I’d be happy to send. Also would like to send you some raw dessert recipes I’ve gotten from some obscure uncookbooks (but not sure where to post or e-mail them to you. Some do use coco oil, so maybe you wouldn’t be interested).

      • janet @ the taste space said, on December 29, 2012 at 5:52 PM

        Hey Ellen,

        Thanks for the recommendations! You can bet I am also always up for recommended recipes, too, especially the raw chili. I am also a fan of the raw cheesecakes with coconut oil, so feel free to share desserts, too. In fact, I have a pantry filled with coconut oil at the moment. ;)
        Feel free to email me at saveur11@yahoo.ca.

        I will definitely have to try out the nuggets. We made the Almond dressing in the class, so I know that one is wicked awesome, too. The sunflower dressing seems a bit off, though. Even my cashew alfredo sauce had MUCH less water in it: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/raw-zucchini-alfredo/

        For sprouted beans, those are one thing that I don’t really like. I’ve bought them while travelling before and they are ok in a pinch, but not my favourite way to eat beans. They will soften but I find them chalky tasting. Are you fully raw? I have recently seen people with recipes to sprout and then cook the beans which makes more sense to me… I have also seen some beans that sprouted, then dehydrated and are meant to be cooked (faster than normal cooking times) but have yet to try them out. I’ve tried the presprouted and dehydrated brown rice though. My problem with it is that it is in a blend with quinoa and wild rice so everything turns out a bit too mushy for my liking. The scourge of a blend when different times are needed for each component. Anyways, if you do try it, let me know what you think. :)

  9. Victoria of Flavors of the Sun said, on December 23, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    This looks so light and refreshing. Am fairly sure I can’t find kelp noodles, but will definitely substitute soba or something else. Wishing you happy holidays!

  10. Deb in Hawaii said, on December 23, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    So green and gorgeous! I love all of the ingredients in here–those toasted peanuts look especially good adorning the salad. Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays this week. ;-) Happy Holidays Janet!

  11. gena said, on December 29, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    So jealous! I love Doug’s recipes.


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