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Summer Cold Noodle Salad

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For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals that anyone can make -- whether you're in your first apartment or feeding a hangry family.

Today: A fresh play on leftovers -- with hardly any cooking involved.

World: Welcome to Hangry. My name is Kendra, and in perhaps the most successful move of my brazen youth, I recently conned Food52 into letting me hang out here once a week. I am a 23-year-old city-living lady, perpetually stirring up trouble, and eggs. My plan is to share a bit of that mess with you every Monday, with recipes you can make any night of the week.

Hangry, for the rock dwellers and portmanteau-impaired, is a combination of hungry and angry, most often used to describe the brand of cranky a person gets when it’s been too long between meals. I’ve adopted it as a rallying cry.

My belief is this: Being young (or not) and working (or not) and busy (or not) and broke (or not) does not marry you to the pile of take-out menus on your kitchen counter. I am in no way monogamous with cooking -- trysts with delivery curry keep me sane, and I am an avid seeker of brunch -- but my kitchen and I are going fairly steady, and it's awesome. Making interesting, seasonal meals once in a while is way easier (and much more gratifying) than some of my peers might think.

More: Before you get cooking, stock up on our community's must-have pantry items.

This is a column about everyday cooking, things that you want to be eating, and recipes that won't stress you out. It’s not going to be fancy (except for sometimes); it’s mostly just going to be real. Let's start with lunch.

Vermicelli are those almost-translucent Chinese rice noodles you can find in the Asian section of most grocery stores. I'll boil a whole package when I have a spare moment and keep it in the fridge so that it's ready to become a cold salad, fast. (You can also use other rice noodles, like the ones we used here, or soba or udon.) Add a quickly-whisked dressing and a handful of chopped produce, and you're done. It’s like morning-after Chinese food, but cold on purpose -- and perfectly summery. 

Cold Rice Noodle Salad

Makes 3 servings

For the salad:

1⁄2 pound rice noodles


1⁄4 cup thinly sliced red pepper

1⁄4 cup shredded or thinly sliced carrots

1⁄4 cup shredded cabbage (or chopped spinach, or some other green)
Sesame seeds

For the dressing:

2 teaspoons peanut butter

1 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for tossing
1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1⁄2 teaspoon minced ginger
Salt, to taste

See the whole recipe (and save it and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Summer, Weeknight Cooking, Dinner, Faster