Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

Life in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA

Peanut & Sesame Noodles and Asian Cucumber Salad

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I have been making this tasty vegan meal for years.  It’s the perfect combination of sweet, salty and tangy and easy enough, especially with some prep, for Wednesday after yoga, when I’m tired and starving!  It’s also good cold, nice for hot days and picnics.

The cucumber salad is so delicious but it’s also so easy – time does most of the work.  Cucumbers and scallions are put in a bowl…


…And topped with the dressing components, you don’t even have to mix up the dressing!


It gets a quick stir and then sits for at least an hour.

The noodles start with peanut butter…


The peanut butter gets melted in some boiling water and combined with soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, dark sesame oil…


And then the dressing is poured over noodles, and whatever else you want to use to jazz them up. I prepared the dressing and veggies before leaving for class so all I’d have to do when I got home was cook the pasta and toast some sesame seeds.



YUM! If Lost had only been new and not a recap show, the night would’ve been perfect 😉


Peanut and Sesame Noodles
Recipe courtesy of Mollie Katzen’s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest

  • 1 cup high-quality peanut butter – I use extra-chunky for the added peanut crunch!
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons cider vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (possibly more to taste, depending on whether the peanut butter is salty)
  • 2 minced  cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons honey or sugar – I use honey, sugar is the vegan option
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons Chinese dark sesame oil
  • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
  • 1 pound cooked vermicelli noodles – I use the “Plus” type in the yellow box
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into thin strips
  • 4 scallions, finely minced (whites and greens)
  • Lightly toasted sesame seeds
  • Minced fresh cilantro for the top – this is optional – I adore cilantro so I always use it.

Place the peanut butter in a medium-sized bowl and mash with the back of a soup spoon to soften. Add about half the hot water, and continue to mash, very gently and slowly so as not to splash, until uniform. Add the remaining hot water, and patiently mix until smooth.

Add vinegar, salt, garlic, honey or sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste, if desired. Stir slowly until well combined.

Place the noodles in a large-ish bowl (I just use the noodle-cooking pot, why wash an extra bowl?) , and pour the sauce over the noodles. Mix with a fork until all the noodles are coated.

You can also add other veggies and tofu to these noodles, just add them to the nodles before you pour on the dressing.  I added some carrot and red bell pepper.

Asian Cucumber Salad
Recipe courtesy of Nancy Shay

  • 3 small pickling cucumbers or 1 large cucumber sliced as thinly as possible
  • 3 scallion greens, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey
  • 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Combine and let stand for at least an hour before serving.  When ready to serve, toss in the sesame seeds if using.

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