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orange cashew rice noodle salad


 Sometimes, in the dead of Winter, I crave a fresh crunchy hearty Asian inspired cabbage and rice noodle salad for dinner.  A fresh salad 🥗 with rice noodles, cashew nuts, cucumbers 🥒  red bell peppers, cilantro 🌿 grated carrots 🥕 mandarin oranges 🍊 limes, shredded Napa cabbage, and sliced scallions tossed in a spicy chili garlic asian style dressing.  Then- there's times when I just want a chocolate chip cookie 🍪 That's another blog post for another day.  Actually I've been thinking about baking some chocolatey chocolate World Peace cookies, again for another day.
Today I wanted to get my hands on fresh citrus 🍊  from a few potted trees in my garden.  I love my potted dwarf citrus trees, they fit nicely in my smaller backyard area.  I had all my salad ingredients on hand as I originally planned to use chicken in this salad but then I used it last night for chicken curry on jasmine rice, yum that was good.  We took a drive out to Point Reyes over the weekend and my husband bought a bag of cashew nuts at Toby's Feed Barn, so the leftover nuts in the bag went into my salad.  A Sunday drive was a nice break from our normal lockdown routine.  Tomorrow morning we're going for a hike, we haven't had much rain so hopefully it won't be too muddy.  The news is depressing so here is a nice fresh recipe for a small distraction in your day.

Ingredients and Recipe for Orange Cashew Rice Noodle Salad
Serves 4

6 ounces rice noodles
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Juice and zest of a medium size lime
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Red bell pepper, sliced
English cucumber, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
6 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced
2 mandarin oranges, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup minced cilantro, plus extra sprigs or leaves for garnish 
6 cups shredded Napa cabbage
1 cup cashews, roasted, no salt

Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, drain.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large salad bowl, canola oil, rice wine vinegar, lime zest and juice, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, salt and pepper.
Stir the warm rice noodles into the dressing.
Stir the red bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, scallions, orange slices, cilantro and cashews into the noodles with the dressing mixture in the large salad bowl.
Place the shredded Napa cabbage in the bottoms of the individual serving bowls and pile the noodle salad mixture on top, garnish with the cilantro sprigs or leaves.




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