"Why is it 85 degrees at 8:00 am?" I yelled at my car radio this morning.
I am totally one of those people that you see talking or yelling while they're driving by themselves. I don't have road rage by any stretch of the imagination, but I do talk to the radio. I correct the way they pronounce "Insurance" (it's not "Isshurence") and question the traffic lady ("But what about the 405 north???"). I also take out my heat-related frustration on my car radio.
True, the weather has been in the triple-digits in Los Angeles this week, but I really have no reason to complain. My car has sufficient air conditioning (my last car did not so this time last year, you probably could've seen me begging and pleading with the vents to "just please blow some cool air on me!"), the office I'm working in has a little too much air conditioning, and usually my home, since it is on the coast, doesn't get as warm as the rest of the city. But still. Cooking is pretty much the last thing I want to do when it's hot so big-ass dinner salads have pretty much been the dinner of choice these days.
Kelp noodles (they're usually available at health food stores. I get mine at Whole Foods) are basically just that- noodles made from kelp. They have a very neutral taste and are slightly crunchier than normal pasta, but they are a great no-cook, mineral-rich (it is a significant source of iodine), alternative and taste great when doused in the sauce of your choice. Be sure to always rinse them well with warm water before using and I like to roughly chop them so the strands aren't so long.
This kelp noodle salad is the perfect hot weather salad (It's inspired by the Rainbow Bowl on the Real Food Daily current seasonal menu. Ok, maybe inspired isn't the right word. Maybe I completely ripped off the idea. But it's just so good!). You may break a sweat chopping all of the brightly colored, raw veggies but it will be worth it. Once it's tossed with the tangy lemon almond ginger dressing, and you can sit down in front of the fan, preferably in nothing but your undies, you'll be totally refreshed. You'll be full and satisfied when you've finished your bowl, but you won't feel heavy or weighed down. No one is going to judge you, though, if you decide to thank me by talking directly to your computer.
- for the lemon almond ginger dressing
- 1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked for 1 hour, water reserved
- 1/2 cup reserved soaking water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon liquid aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
- 1/2 teaspoon white miso
- for the salad
- 1 package of kelp noodles, rinsed thoroughly
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced very thinly
- 1/4 head of red cabbage, cored and grated or very thinly sliced
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 cups chopped mango
- chopped almonds for sprinkling
- sesame seeds for sprinkling
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend or process until smooth. Set aside.
- Combine the kelp noodles, spinach, carrots, bell pepper, red cabbage, and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss until combined. Serve topped with mango, chopped almonds, and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Be sure to always rinse the kelp noodles well with warm water before using and I like to roughly chop them so the strands aren't so long.
What is your favorite "It's-Too-Hot-To-Cook" Dinner?
Photography by Chris Miller
Katie @ Produce on Parade
So colourful! I love it! 🙂 It's been unusually hot here in Alaska too! 76 in May?!?! Heck, 76 at all...?
Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
i have never really had kelp noodles but will be looking out for them.
I love how this looks! I hope I can make this soon- It looks delicious! I've never been much of a salad person, but this is a real salad, and I'd really like to try it! Thanks for the recipe!
My sentiments precisely. I was driving in my car this morning around 9:30 and it was almost 90 degrees. The sad thing is that I live in the valley with a small AC window unit that doesn't blow anywhere near my kitchen where I spend most of my time. Well, at least I have this "big-ass salad" to cool me down 🙂
Emily @ It Comes Naturally Blog
Mmm...that looks lovely. Love the colour that red cabbage adds. Glad you also consider chopping veg in the heat a 'workout' 🙂
Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ
I love the colors and the combination of ingredients. This is the salad of my dreams! I am happy I discovered your blog... I'm finding here lots of great recipes. Beautiful photography too!
The Vegan Cookie Fairy
I talk to inanimate objects all the time 🙂 Oh and I talk to my cat like he's a real person (which to me, he is, of course). One time I was at a friend's and it got late and I said, 'Guys, I really need to get home now, I told the cat I wouldn't be home late...' Let's just say I got a few quizzical looks.
My favourite 'it's too hot to eat' meal is a smoothie made with lots of frozen fruits. It's like ice cream, but in liquid form.
Gabby @ the veggie nook
I find I like kelp noodles best when mixed in combination with zucchini noodles and a raw pesto. I think that's one of my favourite no-cook meals! That or a huge salad. Bonus points if said salad includes pre-made tempeh bacon. Mmm!
This looks wonderful Kristy! Sorry you are dealing with intense heat...but I mean we were complaining all winter about the cold...oh wait...was that just me? Never satisfied 😉
Yes! I've had a package of kelp noodles in the fridge waiting for some inspiration to strike... This will be in me today, even though it's not hot here!
I've always been a little weirded out by kelp noodles, but this makes me want to try them again! I actually love it when it's this hot out, and also any excuse to eat salad for dinner instead of cooking! I've been considering moving to the Westside, but I kind of love the heat in the Valley… I'm weird, I know…
Lindsay @ VeganYumminess
Kelp noodles. Huh. I've never tried them or heard of them before, so I'm adding them to my to-look-for list. This salad looks refreshing and amazing!!
Spring rolls are my too hot to cook dinner!
Jackie at Vegan Yack Attack
This is one incredible looking salad, Kristy! I love the bright colors and kelp noodles. Mmm..
I made this for a dinner party I was going to, I had leftover kelp noodles and wanted to use them up. This was EXACTLY what I had in mind, it was so bright and delicious (and in 30 degree heat, much appreciated!). I used lime instead of lemon, and swapped the cilantro for parsley. Use 2 atulfo mangoes, they were the perfect edition to the salad!! So so so good, I have pinned it and will make it again (especially since I had never used kelp noodles before yesterday!). Thanks! 😀
My new Favorite salad! I replaced cilantro w mint - cooler than cilantro & partners nicely w mango 🙂 also replace spinach w arugula - spicy & bitter qualities help balance the cold nature of this dish & makes the liver happy 😉 for those using whole almonds I peeled the skin off for both the dressing & chopped almond garnish after the hr soak...
Thanx for the wonderful posting!