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Lighten Up Your Meal Plan With Vegetable Noodle Salads

vegetable noodle

I’m all for a big bowl of pasta every now and again, but my jeans might protest if I indulged every day. Enter the vegetable noodle, the new method for sneaking more vegetables into your daily diet! Zoodles, or zucchini “cut” into thick, curly ribbons were my introduction. They look a lot like pasta and are just as fun to twirl around a fork. By the time September rolls around though, I’m usually a little zucchini’d out. Lucky for me it seems plenty of other vegetables make great “noodles.”

These salad recipes are the perfect option for when your diet needs a break from heavy foods. I’ve served them cold, but you could easily sauté the vegetable noodles in a little oil to warm them up before serving if you prefer. Have some vegetable noodle skeptics on your hands? Mix in some cooked rice noodles. Want more protein? Both of these recipes would be great with some grilled chicken on top.

vegetable noodles

Sweet Potato Pad Thai Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

  • Sweet potato noodles
  • Cucumber ribbons
  • Roughly chopped cashews
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges

*To make the cucumber ribbons – cut a long cucumber in half. Peel the skin, then using your vegetable peeler, peel long ribbon like pieces off lengthwise.

Crispy Chickpeas
  • can of chickpeas 
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp of the following: garlic powder, chili powder, ginger
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • dash of cayenne
  • sprinkle of sea salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Line your baking sheet with a few paper towels. Pour the chickpeas onto the paper towels and gently roll around until the chickpeas are pretty dry. Discard any of the skins that come unattached. Move the chickpeas into a small mixing bowl and toss with a small amount of olive oil until well coated. Mix all the dry spices together and pour over the chickpeas, gently tossing again to coat. Add the chickpeas back to the empty baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, give the chickpeas a good toss and put the baking sheet back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the chickpeas are good and crispy, maybe even a little charred in places. Allow to cool for a few minutes before adding to your salad.

Thai Cashew Dressing
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil

Make the Thai cashew dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl. Add the sweet potato noodles, cucumber noodles and crispy chickpeas to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over everything and toss to coat. Top with cilantro, chopped cashews and a good squeeze of lime just before serving. 

Beet Carbonara Salad

  • beet noodles
  • 1/2 cup mayo of your choice
  • 1 tbsp milk/non-dairy milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • approx. 6 slices cooked and chopped bacon
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

In a large bowl whisk together the mayo, milk, parmesan, garlic powder and pepper. Add the beet noodles, bacon and hard boiled eggs and toss everything to coat with the dressing. Top with the fresh parsley just before serving.

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