Nothing breaks us out of our mid-day slump like having a bright, fresh salad for lunch, but if you’ve ever tried to make a salad ahead of time, chances are you too have faced disappointment by way of soggy lettuce, mushy vegetables, and onions that seem to magnify in flavor with every passing second. Well, Giada de Laurentiis has the solution: a veggie-loaded Soba Noodle Salad that actually tastes better when you make it ahead, meaning you can make a big bowl of it, then pack it up for lunch all week long.
Though the salad is loaded with veggies, the base is made up of hearty soba noodles instead of lettuce. Soba are Japanese noodles made of buckwheat. Unlike lettuce, which gets soggy after sitting in dressing for an extended period of time, soba noodles actually get better, soaking up all of the dressing and becoming more and more flavorful. Even better, they’re usually gluten-free – just be sure to check the packaging.
The dressing for the salad is a creamy blend of almond butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey, but it gets some bold flavor thanks to wasabi paste, freshly chopped ginger, and a squeeze of lime juice.
For leafy greens, instead of limp lettuce, crunchy napa cabbage is used. Joining it in the veggie ring is sliced red bell peppers, cucumber, and green onions, with a handful of slivered almonds and some black sesame seeds added for protein and crunch.
The salad only takes 30 minutes to put together, and according to Giada, the longer it sits in the fridge, the better.
Say goodbye to your boring, sad lunch salads and make a bowl of these noodles on Sunday, then feast on flavor for the rest of the week.