I don’t know about you, but when the holidays are over I have this deep desire to go on a month-long juice cleanse. Honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that I have three kids to feed (one of which is an impressionable young girl who I refuse to let watch her mother not eat), I probably would do a radical juice cleanse of some sort (or at least a 3-day fast). But, I can’t/won’t do that during this phase of my life, and so I look for other, less extreme, ways to get our whole family back on track with our eating post-holidays.
For the past few years this salad has done the trick. It is the first meal I make for our holiday wind-down, and it is so very, very good as a family-friendly post-holiday cleanse! It has enough protein that I feel fine about serving it to my family, but is the perfect refreshing change-of-pace for that first week of January. It lasts several days, is perfect for lunch or dinner (or both!), and the flavors are so good that it is almost addicting! I’ve posted about this salad once before on the blog (link to that post here). And I’m posting about it again (it is that good!). It has become an annual tradition for us J-Ms to have this to book-end our winter holiday season.
The recipe is the Pioneer Woman’s Asian Noodle Salad. (LINK TO PW’s RECIPE POST BY CLICKING HERE.)
My Tried-and-True Tips-and-Tricks:
- I alter the veggies to our liking and to whatever is available and fresh at the grocery store in those last couple days of December/first couple days of January.
- I use Barilla “Plus” protein-fortefied pasta for the noodles. This ensures that we get a decent amount of protein and hold back on some of the carbs of regular pasta. It also holds up well as leftovers (just toss it with some sesame or veggie oil so it doesn’t stick to itself).
- I put everything in separate tupperware containers as I’m chopping and prepping it. This way, it can all easily be popped in the fridge for easy storage as leftovers. This recipe makes a lot (and I often double it), so it is perfect for keeping in the fridge for several days of use.
- I lay everything out on the counter, and we each make our own plate of this salad. This makes it more fun for the bambinos (which means they’ll eat more of it), and allows everyone to put as much or as little of each item into their salad. Everyone can make it as they like it (Kyle and Owen can drown theirs in dressing; Meera can go dressing-free and have each of her items separated)… i.e., everyone is happy!
- This salad is great for packing for work. I put everything in a tupperware, with the dressing separated out. Then at the office it can easily be mixed by pouring the dressing in, putting the tupperware top back on, then shaking it until everything is well-tossed.
- When everyone is sick of it and doesn’t want to eat it anymore as a salad, I toss all of it together (including the dressing) and dump it in the wok to make stir-fry. It is delicious!!!