This simple, nutritious, all-season salad is full of flavor and bright colors. Substitute other vegetables if desired.
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1 8-ounce package pasta shells
4 cups broccoli flowers and stems, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium carrot, julienne
1 medium red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
1 cup sesame seeds, light roasted in a dry pan
1 1/2 cups seitan, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 cup warm water
1-2 tablespoons tamari (to taste)
2 tb sesame oil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger powder
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
Cook noodles according to the directions on the package, drain, rinse in cool water and set aside. Separately blanche broccoli and carrots by dropping them into boiling, lightly salted water until they turn bright in color (3-5 minutes). Immediately immerse them in water to set the color, then drain and set aside. Toss the pasta, vegetables, sesame seeds and seitan together in a large bowl.
Combine all sauce ingredients in a suribachi (Japanese grinding bowl), mortar, or blender and mix well. Pour over salad, toss gently, and serve.