Thursday, June 6, 2024

Refreshing Cucumber Salad with Clear Rice Noodles



cucumber noodle salad- GF and vegan
Cucumbers, onions, sesame seeds, mint, parsley, and rice noodles are some of my favorite salad ingredients that I use to make this easy, light, refreshing, and healthy hot weather salad. 

As we delve into the hotter summer months, think cucumber recipes to help combat the heat and stay hydrated and energized. Cucumbers are a delicious low fat and low calorie addition to any meal that help cool you down, nourish your body, and invigorate your taste buds. 

Cucumber slices

I know it's only the beginning of June, but the temperatures in the Philadelphia area are already sunny and in the upper 80's and low 90's right now, and I'm feeling the heat and humidity!

cucumber salad with sesame seeds and onion

Truthfully since I've been traveling for over a month, I have been eating out entirely and have not been doing any cooking at all!. 

It's been a shock to have to go back to shopping for groceries, then having to bring everything home, put things away and then actually having to COOK!! It's work- 

It is so much easier to eat out, but of course not as healthy.  Money wise -actually groceries are pretty expensive, so not sure that it costs that much more to eat out for 2 people)

I'm easing into making soup and salads. Yesterday, I made a simple spinach and yellow split pea soup in my Instant Pot as well as this simple cucumber salad.

palak dal at http://www.realfoodblogger.com

This salad is not only delicious, but it is also gluten-free, and vegan. It's a vibrant fusion of simple flavors that provide an abundance of health benefits.


Noodles in a bowl


You will need:

  • Fresh cucumbers: These hydrating gems are the star of the show, offering a crunchy texture and a subtle, refreshing flavor that serves as the perfect base for the salad.
  • Clear rice noodles: Delicate and light, these translucent noodles add a delightful chewiness to the dish while keeping it gluten-free and satisfying.
  • Optional Colorful vegetables: Think bell peppers, carrots, radishes, red onion, and red cabbage – not only do they lend a beautiful array of colors to the salad, but they also provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Fresh herbs: Fragrant cilantro (or parsley) and mint add a burst of freshness and elevate the overall flavor profile of the salad.
  • Zesty dressing: A tangy combination of lime juice, rice vinegar, and a hint of sweetness from maple syrup ties everything together, creating a vibrant and tangy dressing that coats every bite.

The Health Benefits:

  1. Hydration: With its high water content, cucumbers are incredibly hydrating, helping you stay cool and refreshed on hot summer days.

  2. Nutrient-Rich: Packed with vitamins K, C, and B, as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium, cucumbers provide a nutrient boost without adding excess calories.

  3. Digestive Aid: Clear rice noodles are gentle on the digestive system, making them an ideal choice for many with sensitive stomachs or dietary restrictions.(always check with your own doctor)

  4. Low-Calorie: This salad is light on calories but rich in flavor, making it a guilt-free option for those watching their waistlines or aiming to maintain a healthy weight.

  5. Antioxidant Powerhouse: If you add the optional colorful vegetables to this salad it provides a wide range of antioxidants, which may help combat inflammation and support overall health.

  6. Vegan and Gluten-Free: By omitting animal products and gluten-containing ingredients, this salad caters to a variety of dietary preferences and restrictions, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a and partake.


    cucumber noodle salad, gluten-free and vegan


    a plate of food with cucumbers and radishes on it

Ingredients: Serves 2

1 large English cucumber, washed well and sliced very thin (or cucumber of your choice)
4 ounces of clear asian noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 cup of onion half moon slices
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and or cilantro (your choice)
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped mint
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds (raw or toasted)
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon (or less) hot pepper seeds
1/4 cup of rice vinegar (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice 
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup

**This recipe is the basic salad. If you like you can add thin slices of radishes, add grated carrots, slivers of cabbage, diced sweet red peppers etc. You can eat it as a salad or leave out the noodles and eat it on (GF) bread. 

Directions: 

  1. Start by cooking the clear rice noodles until they are soft, then drain and set aside.
  2. Slice the cucumber into thin slices or use a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler to create thin ribbons of cucumber. Optional: Chop the bell peppers into small pieces , and grated carrots, and red cabbage into very thin strips. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cucumber and cooked rice noodles.
  4. In another bowl combine the vinegar, lime juice, garlic powder, maple syrup, and optional hot pepper. Toss in the fresh cilantro and mint leaves, and drizzle the zesty dressing over the salad.
  5. Gently toss everything together until well combined, making sure the dressing evenly coats all the ingredients.
  6. Chill for at least 1 hour, garnished with extra herbs or a sprinkle of sesame seeds for added crunch.
Variation: Make it without the noodles 

a plate of cucumbers with a spoon on a pink table

My Notes: 
1. Be sure to chill your salad so it will be cool and refreshing!
2. I listened to a Podcast today regarding gut health. The three most important recommended suggestions for better gut health are: a. Hydration with water. b. daily movement c. fiber intake from plants.

Try some of my other cucumber recipes: 

Lemony Israeli cucumbers and tomato salad

Asian grated cucumber and grated radish salad 

Chilled Cucumber Detox Soup 




16 comments:

  1. Simple, quick and very refreshing!

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    1. Yes, so quick and easy to make.

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  2. That sounds delicious! I am going to have to remember this when we start getting cucumbers from all our neighbors' gardens.

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    1. Wow! Lucky you that your neighbors give you summer produce.

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  3. I absolutely adore cucumbers, especially as a salad in the summer when it is so hot outside and the salad is cool and refreshing. Definitely saving this one, especially for the dressing!

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    1. it feels like summer here and I'm enjoying it.

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  4. Judee this looks and sounds fabulous and I have copied your recipe and will definitely be making it soon! I love cucumbers. Thank you! xoxo

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    1. It is a good side dish using crisp cucumbers!

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  5. I am a big fan of cucumbers, and because I’m growing them this year, I’m keenly interested in finding new recipes. I never would have thought to pair them with noodles, but it looks good.

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  6. Actually, years ago I made a cold noodle cucumber salad (very similar to yours, with maybe just a few extra ingredients), and it was quite good. Thanks for reminding - that's a great summer meal!

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  7. Actually, years ago I made a cold noodle cucumber salad (very similar to yours, with maybe just a few extra ingredients), and it was quite good. Thanks for reminding - that's a great summer meal!

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  8. What a perfect summer salad! I like the touch of sweetness in the dressing with maple syrup~
    Jenna

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  9. I grew up eating cucumber salad in the summer. The addition of noodles is just the extra touch it needed.

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  10. i use to love to cook, all of a sudden i have not been enjoying it!! i make 2 different cucumber salads. i don't have recipes...one is with red wine vinegar, red onion, sugar and cucs. the other with mayo, red wine vinegar, dill and cucs. pinterest has a lot of cucumber salads. i use to grow cucumbers but don't anymore. i wonder if you would enjoy home chef? i get 3 meals per week and have always been happy with them. they are still a bit of work, but it cuts out the shopping and all of that. i put my meals on hold this week, you can whenever you want. if you got to my blog, i have a search option. if you put in "home chef" a lot will come up!!!

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  11. Other than the onions, this is something I would make and enjoy for sure :)

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  12. I love cucumber and this salad looks so refreshing Judee. Love that plate in the second last photo too.
    cheers
    sherry

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