Nicole MacPherson: Meatless Mummy Con Carne


Noontime Nirvana Noodle Salad


noodle salad, lunches for grownups

What is it about making lunch? To me, it feels like a chore of epic proportions. I like cooking dinner. I like baking things. I like busting out my waffle-and-tofu-scramble moves for weekend brunches. But making lunch can really get me down.

It's not even the thought of packing lunches for the kids - that, I find easier, maybe because they are perfectly satisfied with a combination of sandwiches, fruit, and baked goods, like some kind of throwback to the 1980s. It's lunch for me that I find difficult. Oftentimes noon rolls around and I find myself making myself a smoothie and grabbing some nuts, because it's quick and easy.

I just realized how inadvertently risque that sounds. Believe me, lunches aren't THAT exciting around here!

This noodle salad, though, can bring lunchtime excitement back into your life! The recipe yields two large servings, is chock-full of vegetables, and is topped with nuts for a nice protein boost. Feel free to use any vegetables you like - it's a great way to clean out your crisper!


1/2 package (250 grams) rice vermicelli noodles
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons hoi sin sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more, if you like it spicy)
2 small carrots, grated
1 red or orange pepper, chopped 
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup cashews or peanuts


  Prepare noodles as per package directions, and rinse well with cold water.

  Whisk together sesame oil, hoi sin sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, and crushed red pepper.

  Toss noodles with dressing and the vegetables. 

  Just before serving, top with cashews or peanuts.

Yield: 2 large or 4 small servings

 Want more healthy and delicious lunchtime ideas? Try my Quinoa Salad-in-a-Jar, my Fiesta Confetti Mexican Salad, or my Bruschetta Quinoa Salad.