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Taking the wait — and salt — out of take-out

| 28 Apr 2017 | 12:39

These sesame noodles have everything we love about Chinese take-out less the excessive amounts of unhealthy fat, sugar and salt. And there’s no waiting. Whisk together the sauce ingredients, chop the vegetables while the noodles are cooking and this dish will be on the table in less than 15 minutes.

The basic recipe was shared with me years ago, and like many others, I’ve modified it to incorporate local seasonal vegetables. These noodles have been twirled around forks, sporks, hashi and chopsticks, packed into lunchboxes, plated at dinner, and road-tripped to summer concerts and family outings. They can be served cold, but I find the flavors intensify at room temperature.

The type of noodle is negligible. Use whatever you have on hand – rice, whole wheat, udon, soba, spaghetti or linguini. Coated with this flavorful sauce, even the blandest gluten-free noodles become palatable. My sauce is peanut-based, but tahini, almond or sunflower butter are good choices, too.

This greened-up version of sesame noodles showcases a medley of raw spring vegetables – the crunchy stems and peppery leaves of baby bok choy, slivers of green onions, crispy snow peas and sweet green peas. I also add grated carrots, homage to the original recipe.

Top your noodles with toasted sesame seeds, choose your utensil and dig in. Sweet, salty, sour, crunchy and easy. The only thing missing is the fortune cookie.

Sesame noodles with spring vegetables

Vegan, serves 4 - 6

8 ounces linguine

3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

2 tablespoons low sodium tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon agave

1 teaspoon grated ginger

½ teaspoon chili oil (optional)

3 small heads baby bok choy

2 green onions

3 ounces snow peas

1/3 cup shelled green peas

1 small carrot, scrubbed and shredded

¼ cup toasted sesame seeds

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

In a large bowl whisk together peanut butter, tamari, vinegar, sesame oil, agave, ginger and chili oil, if using. Set aside.

Cook linguine according to package directions. While the noodles are cooking, cut the baby bok choy, green onions and snow peas into bite size pieces.

When the noodles are done cooking, rinse in cold water and drain. Place them in the bowl with the sauce, add sesame seeds and toss to coat. Add the green peas, shredded carrot and chopped vegetables. Toss until combined.