Sunday, August 2, 2009

Thai Crunchy Veggie and Soba Noodle Salad

In Anne of Green Gables, the main character, Anne, considers those who she believes will be her lifelong friends to be "kindred spirits". To elaborate for my own personal definition of this term, those who I consider to be my kindred spirits are friends whom I feel a deeper connection with. By this, I mean friends who: I can talk to very easily about a myriad of things; be goofy and laugh a lot with; grow to understand my flaws, and I understand theirs; and, inspire me to be a better person. Often their very presence gives me a little lift, and I may even feel slightly elated after having spent time with them. They are the friendship equivalent of "soul mates" . While I have many longtime friends who I hope will be in my life for the long haul, there are only a few I would consider kindred spirits.

When I meet potential new friends, it's not uncommon to feel a special connection right away. I may walk away from the initial few meetings wanting more - wanting to find out more about this person, and start unpeeling the layers to find out more about who they are and what they are all about. Sometimes these acquaintances turn into long lasting friendships, and sometimes they do not.

As a sort of fun analogy, relationships with food can follow a similar pattern. I may discover a new grain or vegetable, get really excited about it and figure out new ways to use it, and spend a lot of time trying to "get to know it". Some of these things may end up in my permanent repertoire, while others slip by the wayside and I while I like it, it slips from the forefront of my mind.

Right now, I am in the beginning stages of a food relationship with kohlrabi. In the farm share that was donated to me for a couple of weeks, I got some of these odd looking turnip-type bulbs. I found they actually taste like broccoli stalks, and since this is my favorite part of broccoli, I was delighted. So far I've only eaten them raw in salads, but I am told they taste good sauteed. I've eaten them a bunch in the last week, and because I don't think they're that easy to find in the grocery store, I am guessing they will end up as a more of a "seasonal friend" and not one that I spend consistent time with year-round, but we shall see.

Kohlrabi is great just chopped up with some greens for a simple salad, and it worked really well in this noodle dish. I used a bottled Thai peanut sauce, but I do need to get around to making my own one of these days. I usually use the Whole Foods brand, but for this I used the House of Tsang brand. It has a spicier kick to it. Also, I've tried this with both soba noodles and udon noodles and liked the soba noodles best. Other veggies that would work well would be jicama, scallions, and maybe some cucumber.

Thai Crunchy Veggie and Noodle Salad
1 package of soba noodles
2 cups of a mix of red pepper, carrot and kohlrabi, cut into matchstick size pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas, rinsed in hot water
1/4-1/2 cup of Thai Peanut sauce

1. Cook noodles, and when finished rinse under cold water
2. Mix chopped up veggies, noodles, peas and peanut sauce. It can be served right away, but is best when chilled for at least a couple of hours.

No comments: