Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Vegan Birthday Party: Cold Peanut Noodles

My sister Summer recently celebrated her 14th birthday! Summer has been kind enough to share her vegan experience with me and my readers, and was happy to extend that privilege to this year’s birthday party.

It’s a bit of a challenge to feed 10 14 year old girls vegan food that is friendly and satisfying. Events like this give my family and me an opportunity to show how delicious and approachable the vegan lifestyle is. It doesn’t have to be scary and unfamiliar. People are often amazed by how much of the food they already love just happens to be vegan, like hummus and pita chips. When creating the menu for Summer’s party, we tried to consider what would be most appealing to teenage girls, what would be easy to prepare in a large quantity, and what would best represent the joyful vegan lifestyle.

We decided on Cold Peanut Noodles, one of Summer’s favorite dishes, for the main dish. Pita and hummus, fresh vegetables and fruit rounded out the dinner menu. And the girls loved it! Several asked for seconds and thirds, and all the vegetables and fruit disappeared. So, I’m counting this one as a win for Team Vegan!

Cold Peanut Noodles
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame chile oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar
Juice of 1 lime
1 pound whole wheat noodles (spaghetti or linguine)
4 green onions, sliced in 1/4” pieces
1 red bell pepper, sliced in 1/4” strips
1 carrot, julienned
1 cucumber, seeded and julienned
1/2 cup snow peas, sliced in strips
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

In a blender, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, warm water, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, agave nectar, and lime juice. Blend until smooth.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the package direction. Combine the noodles, chopped vegetables, and peanut sauce, and toss until all ingredients are coated. Top with sesame seeds. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

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