2 things that are underappreciated. First, the EASE of this MEAL PREP recipe; seriously can’t go wrong with a crunchy spicy (yet cold) Rice Noodle Salad. It’s been 3 years since I have shared this thai salad recipe. That long, really? Gah, this is a fav SO we updated the photos and recipe for ya!
Secondly, leftovers. Yes the deliciousness of these leftovers for weekday lunch plans makes me happy. There’s something about cold noodles that just makes me happy. Maybe it’s because I used to eat them before 6am volleyball practice during my high school years. Shh… don’t tell my mom, but that was me who always snagged the last bit of leftovers before the rest of my family did. Hey, can you blame me? I grew up with three older brothers, if you didn’t grab food when you could, you wouldn’t get any, especially NOODLES!
But I digress…
You see, nowadays, things have changed. 10 years of eating gluten free! That means rice noodles, veggie noodles, and chickpea pasta are usually our go to for pasta dishes. Be that it is also end of summer, a cold rice noodle chopped salad with extra thai flavors and spices has become a staple!
Yes, this salad is a must for those hot days! Especially when you’re training, extra active, or just always on the go! You (we) need those good nutrients and carbohydrates to refuel!
But let me explain something else here. Another reason why we love COLD rice noodle salad:
Can you guess it? Yep –> it’s a resistant starch.
Wait, hold up. I think I should probably go over this RS (resistant starch) thing again. What is it, why do we like eating it?
LET THE NERDY NUTRITION TALK BEGIN!
To sum it up:
Resistant starch is “the sum of starch and products of starch degradation not absorbed in the small intestine of healthy individuals.” Instead of being cleaved in twain by our enzymes and absorbed as glucose, resistant starch (RS) travels untouched through the small intestine into the colon, where colonic gut flora metabolize it into short chain fatty acids. Thus, it’s resistant to digestion by the host. Definition Source via Mark’s Daily Apple
Sounds like a bad thing, right? Actually it’s not. It’s VERY GOOD thing!
Resistant starch can actually HELP improve digestion! How? This type of starch provides more bacteria in the gut because it is resistant to breaking down into sugar/glucose. And new research has discovered that if you cook your rice or rice pasta in 1 tsp of coconut oil first, it actually increases the RS (resistant starch). So we did just that, a little experimenting with the cooling times too.
We let the pasta sit overnight, which really helped with the soaking up the spices and flavor. Plus cooling it for 12 hours is the so called “peak time” for resistant starch.
“ Cooling for 12 hours will lead to formation of hydrogen bonds between the amylose molecules outside the rice grains which also turns it into a resistant starch.“
Once the rice noodle salad was cooled, we mixed it up two ways. One with crunchy chopped salad and cabbage, sliced thai peppers, thai chili sauce, and crushed nuts to keep it meatless and vegan.
The other way I made this salad was by slightly sauteeing the chopped cabbage with sesame oil and a little bit of sweet asian chili sauce. Then I topped each noodle bowl with beef (for that extra protein and iron). It was a little less crunchy but also a little more fragrant!
Both nutritious and delicious! The vegetarian option is perfect for that pre workout fuel! Haha carb load. Or wait till after your workout and eat the BEEFY salad for a healthy recovery meal!
See, solving all your “what to eat when” problems here.Print
Spicy Thai Rice Noodle Salad – 2 Ways! This gluten free rice noodle salad is a healthy addition to any meal or you can make it a main meal by adding protein. Vegan option!
- 4 cups chopped cabbage or asian salad mix (salad only, no crisps)
- 8 oz rice noodles
- 3- 4 tbsp tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion or chives
- 3 tbsp chopped roasted nuts
- 2 tbsp sweet chili pepper sauce (Ex: Thai Kitchen brand)
- 3 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 c Cilantro to garnish
- Splash of lime juice and sliced lime to garnish
- Optional topping – sliced grilled cooked protein of choice (see notes)
- First cook your rice noodles according to instructions. Usually takes around 8 minutes or less. Rinse in cold water.
- After the rice noodles are cooked, place them in a large bowl and add in 2 to 3 tsp sesame oil, pepper, salt, and asian chili sauce. Mix and place in fridge to cool. For best flavor and resistant starch, let it sit for at least an hour.
- After it’s cooled, toss your noodles with the rest of your ingredients. You can lightly saute or steam your cabbage salad first or leave it raw. Mix with you nuts, tamari sauce, onion, vinegar, and garlic. Add more pepper and sesame seed and/sesame oil if desired.
- Toss in bowl and squeeze fresh lime juice on top. Add red pepper flakes for extra spice! Chopped Cilantro to garnish.
- Serve or keep in fridge for when ready.
- If you want to make this dish a main meal, add 8 ounces of a cooked protein. Example; steak strips, chicken, shrimp, tofu, etc.
Nutrition below is for the Thai Rice Noodle Salad one, no meat added.
Protein options – cooked chicken, shrimp, beef, or even tempeh or tofu!
Keywords: salad, rice noodles, asian, thai, healthy, vegetarian
Let’s recap, eat cold noodles all the livelong day and your gut will be happy! Just kidding. But now you know the GUT HEALTH reasons on why you should keep a big batch of cold rice noodles (or any other resistant starch recipe) in your fridge this summer. Oh and why cold leftovers are a blessing. Just sayin..
Dear rice noodle salad, you just so darn tasty.
Who’s ready to start slurping?
What’s your favorite cold pasta salad dish or noodle salad recipe?