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July 9, 2007 / allyo

Summer supper

Jamie can’t stay up later in the summertime – a definite disadvantage to being a daycare kid – and so the warm weather and extended daylight find us cramming as much summer fun as possible into our all-to-brief weeknights. One small problem – the thing that is most time-consuming is the preparation and eating of dinner. It appears that we’ve just gotten through our most recent growth-spurt and instead of eating three times as much food as me at every meal Jamie would rather exist on grapes and water. That is until he’s about to fall asleep and then I hear those dreaded words, “Mommy, I have to EAT!” Bad enough to hear them at 6:30 as was the case mid-spurt, even worse after a day or evening packed with summer fun, due to which bedtime is already coming far too late.

I don’t think there’s any cure for this other than getting dinner on the table fast – within minute of arriving home. Since things have finally calmed down at work enought that I’ve actually been cooking again – and at the same time wondering what on earth we’ve been eating these past few months – I’m loathe to depend (again) on frozen produce and protein sources. While crockpot cooking is the ideal winter time-saver, slow cooker recipes just don’t appeal to me when it’s in the mid-9os. So right now in the fridge we have two kinds of pasta salad with fresh veggies, tuna salad, and later today* I’m going to cook about half a dozen chicken breasts in various Trader Joe’s simmer sauces and freeze them. One of the salads is this yummy Asian noodle salad that has graced two potlucks in the past two weekends.

Cold Asian Noodle Salad

The first was our turn at our semi-monthly rotating supper club and yesterday’s was for church potluck. It was a hit at supper club and there was barely a serving left. Sadly it was so hot yesterday the outdoor potluck was sparsely attended, plus we were late, so we brought about half of what you see here home. Oh well, more for us.

The recipe is super simple and adaptable. Cook one box of whole wheat spaghetti or linguini – MD prefers linguini, I don’t care – and run under cold water to chill. Blanch veggies in boiling for one minute, drain and cool, and toss with noodles and teryaki sauce. Add soy sauce and pepper to taste, and top with a bunch of sliced scallions, 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped cilantro, and the juice of one lime. The original recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of snow peas, 3 carrots, and one red bell pepper (which I forgot to buy) but broccoli, bok choy, napa cabbage, sprouts, and I’m sure many others, would be terrific as well. I like it because the veggies have a definite prescence, they’re not just there as garnish for the noodles. And it’s a great way to prepare whole wheat noodles so that even pasta purists can’t quibble. Enjoy! And if you want to share more salad recipes, register at dishandspoon.com and join the discussion.

*Today is the last day of my 11 day vacation. I’ve spent a great deal of that time deliciously alone, doing what I want to do. Which is also why there’s been no posting lately.

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