Thai Pasta Salad

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Every year our family plus our dogs take a road trip north to my aunt and uncle’s house. They live outside San Francisco so there is tons to do and see. We all love going up to visit, eat, hang out, eat, hunt, and eat.

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My aunt is only 4 years older than me, so it’s more like we are sisters, and her three boys are just a few years older than my kids, so it’s fun. Plus, they always seem to come up with some of the most interesting things to do. It’s our tradition to go pheasant hunting, and we have gone go-carting, wine tasting, sight seeing, played bocce ball at an interesting restaurant, picked up fresh crab right off the crab boat and then went straight home to eat it.

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^^^just so dang squinty 😉 ^^^

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^^^Alcatraz^^^

Looking back at all the fun things we’ve done with them, I’m beginning to see a pattern: we kill animals. And then we eat them.

As horrible as that sounds, it’s completely true. From the pheasant hunting, to the modified axe used to split the fresh crabs before cooking (by the way, the crabs are still alive when we smash them over the axe head :/), and worst of all, the killing of their hand-raised, free-range turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. This horrible event involves “the cone of death”- an orange traffic cone repurposed to aid in the turkey slaughtering (trust me, you don’t even want to know).

See, they are just fun!

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^^^one of their adorable, smiley dogs, Cracker^^^

Anyway, Aunt Sandy is the one who gave me the insane Kalua pork recipe, and this Thai pasta salad is for sure another winner!

When I made this recipe today I used fettuccine noodles, don’t do that! They stuck together while cooking and they are harder to eat. Follow the recipe, not the photos. My recipe does actually tell me to use angel hair pasta and I ignored it and now I’m sorry!

This salad gets better with age so if you can, let it cool and sit for several hours or longer before consuming- it is worth the torture of waiting.

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Cook pasta according to package directions.

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While the noodles are cooking, prepare all the veggies and set aside. Then make the sauce, stir the oils and red pepper flakes in a saucepan and heat for about two minutes. Add honey and soy sauce and heat through.

Drain the cooked noodles and pour into a large bowl.

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Pour the warm sauce over the noodles and mix well.

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There will be quite a bit of sauce in the bottom of the bowl and that is ok. As the noodles cool they will absorb all of that tasty goodness. Add the chopped veggies and mix again.

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Now cover it and put it in the refrigerator and forget you made it for at least 4 hours or better yet, overnight! Stir again before serving to get everything coated. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds and almonds into the whole bowl, or if you have some picky eaters that don’t like nuts in their food (not that I would know anything about that! **wink wink **) then just sprinkle it over the top as you serve and it is almost as good that way. Enjoy!

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^^^I just found a new editing program (picmonkey.com) that I love. And it’s free which means I double love it. Which makes sense if you don’t think about it 🙂 J

Thai Pasta Salad
1 lb. angel hair pasta
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sesame seed oil
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, more if you like
6 T honey
5 T soy sauce
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/3 cup bell pepper, chopped (I prefer red)
Toasted sesame seeds and toasted sliced almonds

Cook pasta according to package directions. While the noodles are cooking, prepare all the veggies and set aside. Then make the sauce, stir the oils and red pepper flakes in a saucepan and heat for about two minutes. Add honey and soy sauce and heat through. Drain the cooked noodles and pour into a large bowl. Pour the warm sauce over the noodles and mix well. There will be quite a bit of sauce in the bottom of the bowl and that is ok. As the noodles cool they will absorb all of that tasty goodness. Add the chopped veggies and mix again. Now cover it and put it in the refrigerator and forget you made it for at least 4 hours or better yet, overnight! Stir again before serving to get everything coated. Just before serving sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and almonds. Enjoy!

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Bean Salad

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Bean Salad – I know, such a boring description. I started to say colorful bean salad, because it is colorful. Then I thought I would say yummy, but of course it is! Why else would I have it on here? What can you really say about a bean salad? The truth is that this is a super easy salad that is so flavorful. I have modified this recipe 100 different ways – but I always do the dressing the same way – why mess with perfection? The dressing is awesome! Try this today!

Drain and rinse the beans.

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While the beans are draining, mix the dressing up in a separate bowl or measuring cup. Mix well, the sugar sort of sits at the bottom.

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Here are the veggies for the bean salad all displayed on a beautiful handmade cutting board. I actually save this cutting  board for special occasions, because it’s so pretty. Travis (my middle son), made it for me at woodshop when he was in Junior High. All three kids took woodshop from Mr. Wood (yes, that is really his name- sort of seems like he was pre-destined for that job, huh?). Mr. Wood is an awesome teacher who worked for many years at the public school and then started teaching homeschool students after he retired. Donald, my husband, actually took woodshop from him when he was in Junior High.

Another reason that I used this cutting board for the picture, besides the fact that I just like it, is that our other cutting boards are so ugly and gross.

So anyway, here are the veggies…

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Dump the beans into a large bowl and add all of the veggies, add the dressing and mix well. Squeeze one lime over the top and mix again.

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That’s it! It is delicious immediately, even better a few hours later! The salad will keep for a couple days in the refrigerator.

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Be creative and add whatever you like. We’ve added fresh corn, zucchini, carrots, etc. We often add a bit of avocado just before serving because we love avocado! Enjoy!

Bean Salad
4 15 ounce cans of beans – whatever kind you like. We used black, small red and white beans.
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Dressing
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
Juice from 1 lime

Drain and rinse the beans. While the beans are draining, mix the dressing up in a separate bowl or measuring cup. Mix well, the sugar sort of sits at the bottom. Dump the beans into a large bowl and add all of the veggies, add the dressing and mix well. Squeeze one lime over the top and mix again. That’s it! It is delicious immediately, even better a few hours later! The salad will keep for a couple days in the refrigerator.

 

tags- bean dish, side dish, salad