A vegan Vietnamese rice noodle bowl is packed with bright flavors from crunchy vegetables, fresh herbs, spicy sesame tempeh and a tangy vinaigrette.
By Rachael Hartley
Travel can make you healthier. Looking back at my life, I truly believe traveling as a child was the single greatest factor in me becoming a dietitian and making my wellness a priority.
When you travel around the world, you see a wide range of traditional diets. You also see how the people eating these different diets are generally pretty healthy. For example, in Peru, potatoes are a major part of every meal. At the farmers market, there was an entire potato section which consisted of two 30-foot long tables overflowing with dozens of different types of potatoes. I also saw native Peruvians absolutely whooping fit Americans on the Incan trail. Our guide said Peruvian guides hiked to Machu Picchu and back in one day. It takes other travelers three days, one way.
Travel expands your taste buds. Travel exposes you to new foods and flavors. When you’re a more adventurous eater, eating healthy food is less about dieting and more about trying new and delicious foods.
You don’t even have to travel to exotic places to get these benefits. Exploring new places in your own backyard can be just as beneficial, and fun! Some of my favorite trips have been less than a couple hours drive – camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains, hiking with friends in the upstate, and exploring historic sites in South Carolina. You can even learn a lot from exploring your own town with fresh eyes!
Take an edible trip to Vietnam with this rice noodles bowl that is not only nutritious and a great source of protein, but also a beautiful and delicious interpretation of the country’s cuisine.
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Juice of half a lime
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 8 ounce package thin brown rice noodles
- 1 head of butter lettuce, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
- 1 large cucumber, julienned
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup sliced green onion
- ½ cup cashews, toasted
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Find the recipe for the dressing in the link above.
- First, make the tempeh. Cut the tempeh into 16 slices width-wise. In a medium bowl, whisk together the rest of the tempeh ingredients. Pour over the tempeh in a shallot bowl, flip to coat evenly with marinade. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
- When ready to cook, warm 1-2 teaspoons in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add tempeh slices and cook 3-4 minutes, flip, then cook 3-4 minutes on the other side. Remove and set aside while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- To make the salad, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook according to package directions. When they are done, drain, rinse under cold water until cool, then set aside.
- While the noodles are cooking, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Divide the salad greens between four plates or large bowls. Top with a scoop of rice noodles in the center. Place the carrot, cucumber, herbs and green onion in piles around the noodles. Drizzle with dressing, top with cashews and serve.