We have lunch potlucks at my work about once a month, and sometimes it's a challenge to think of something to bring that can be made ahead of time, can be served cold or at room temperature (or can be stored warm in a crock-pot all morning), and that's relatively cheap to make. I really liked the dish I brought this month. I found it on VeganYumYum, an amazing food blog. I made a double batch so we had it for dinner too. It was really tasty and I noticed several people coming back for seconds at the potluck so I took that to be a good sign! I think if you like noodle dishes with peanut sauce you would probably like this too.
It says it serves 4-6 normally, however, I think it must have served about 12-15 at our potluck, but that's because there is always such a huge spread of food that people just take tiny portions of everything.
I used roasted tahini for this recipe, because that's what I had, but raw tahini is what she used in her blog. Tahini is made from sesame seeds, and usually located near the peanut butter in the grocery store or possibly in the natural, health food section. Tahini is not the same thing as sesame paste (she says you can use that instead of tahini, but you need to use less).
Nearly Raw Tahini Noodles
adapted from VeganYumYum
1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti
2 carrots, peeled
1/4 of a large green cabbage head
1 stalk broccoli, florets only
Handful fresh mint, chopped (cilantro or basil would work as well)
Sesame seeds and more mint, for garnish
For the Tahini Sauce:
1/4 cup tahini (raw or roasted)
2 tablespoons low sodium Tamari, or soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon chili sauce or 1 chopped fresh chili
1 teaspoon Dijon or Stone-ground mustard
1 pinch salt, if needed
Fresh ground black pepper
Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain, then rinse with cold water. Lightly coat the noodles with oil to prevent them from sticking while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. They can even be stored in the fridge at this point if you wanted to do this step a day or two in advance.
Lightly steam the broccoli florets in the microwave-safe bowl with a couple tablespoons of water, covered, or use a steamer basket on the stove. (I didn't actually do this for mine, but I thought the broccoli was a little too 'raw' tasting so I am telling you to steam yours. After they are steamed, chop them smaller if necessary, they should be about the size of grape tomatoes.
Remove the core from the cabbage. I do it by laying the wedge of cabbage on it's side, then slice down at an angle to cut the core out. It's hard to explain, but she does it a little differently and took a nice picture of it.
Shred the carrots and cabbage. You can use a box grater for the carrots, or use a food processor, using the the shredder disk as you would for shredding cheese. For the cabbage, use the slicing blade on the food processor (the one with one single wide slit), or just slice it thinly with a knife.
Toss together the vegetables and the pasta into a large bowl (you'll want to have plenty of room in the bowl to toss it all together with the sauce too)
Mix together the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. My tahini was cold from the fridge so it took several minutes of determined whisking for it to become a smooth uniform sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
Pour the sauce over the noodles and veggies and mix thoroughly, using your hands, or, if you are serving this to lots of coworkers, a good pair of salad tongs. Add the chopped mint and sesame seeds just before serving.
This keeps for several days (I know this for a fact because I ate it for several days in a row after I made it!). She suggests making a double batch of the sauce if you are a big fan of it, or if you are going to make it in advance, because the noodles will start absorbing the sauce over time.
I didn't actually double the sauce recipe, because I would have had to quadruple it since I was already doubling the whole thing anyway, but I reserved about 1/2 cup of sauce and mixed it in just before serving it at the potluck, which seemed to freshen it up nicely, then garnished with the mint and sesame seeds.