This Asian Orange Sesame Zoodle Salad is bursting with fresh flavors, crunch, and color. It’s so fun to eat, and is more like eating an Asian noodle dish than a salad. If you’re bored with lettuce, up your salad game with spiralized veggies.
A Healthy Spiralized Zucchini Salad
Freezer meals are great for convenience, but on days I have time to prepare my meals, I am all about fresh produce.
Last summer, while I was home visiting my mom, she and I were on a cucumber-noodle binge. We used them as the base of salads and both totally fell in love with how delicious and fun to eat they were. If you’d like a cucumber noodle dish, try my Spiralized Cucumber Waldorf Chicken Salad, or my Refreshingly Light Raw Pasta Primavera. These are such refreshing options for when the temperatures rise!
I’ve had a spiralizer for years. I’ve used it mostly for butternut squash noodles! I actually didn’t use my spiralizer often until I bought an OXO last year. My previous one just wouldn’t suction to the counter well, and it was a hassle and hurt my hands to use. The OXO is amazing! It holds so firmly to my counter tops, even hard veggies like beets and butternut are a snap. If you’re wanting lighter, lower carb meals, you won’t mind having to find space for this little kitchen tool. Having one that is easy to use and easy to clean will make you want to use it more!
A Creamy Vegan Tahini Dressing
I have been using tahini a lot lately as a salad dressing. I made this beautiful salad for Instagram a few weeks ago, and I decided I needed to do a slightly-more-complex version of it for my blog. Something a little more show worthy.
Speaking of Instagram and Facebook, if you don’t already follow me on those platforms, I have started adding animations of everyday fresh meals that take less than 10 minutes to put together (if you have a few things meal prepped). If you’re interested in getting inspired to make simple, healthy, fresh lunches, check those pages out!
Tips for Asian Orange Sesame Zoodle Salad
- Invest in a good quality spiralizer, and I guarantee the ease of use will inspire you to use it more often! Spiralized veggies are so much fun to eat — and these raw zucchini noodles soak in the flavor of the dressing and it really feels like you’re eating a cold noodle dish. I use an OXO Spiralizer now because it’s so much easier to use than the Paderno I used to have.
- Save time: If you need to make this salad quicker, use pre-shredded carrots and a can of mandarin oranges in JUICE, not in syrup. The fresh oranges are the most time consuming part of this recipe, although I really love the fresh ones the best.
- Make it Ahead: If you’d like to make this ahead of time, no problem, but don’t dress the salad until you’re ready to serve, and keep the nuts/seeds separate for a crunchy topping. We ate the leftover of this salad in the evening after having it for lunch one day, and I was pleasantly surprised how crisp the veggies were after being dressed all day. The baby swiss chard even stayed crisp– arugula and spinach would not, if you use one of those as a sub.
- Increase the Protein: This salad would be great topped with chicken or salmon, but most often I just eat it as a light lunch. The nuts and tahini add a bit of protein and the healthy fats make it satiating.
Asian Orange Sesame Zoodle Salad
- 1 large zucchini (or 2 smaller ones)
- 1 large carrot
- 2 bell peppers (I used 1 yellow, 1 red)
- 3 cups baby swiss chard (sub arugula or spinach)
- 2 large oranges, peeled and sectioned*
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- Spiralize zuccchini. I recommend using 1 large zucchini to get the best "noodles."
- Peel carrot, and use a veggie peeler to create long strands.
- Slice bell peppers in thin strips.
- Cut the peel off the orange, and then use a knife to remove sections, leaving the pith behind.
- In a large salad bowl, add zucchini noodles, carrot strands, peppers, and orange segments. Add baby swiss chard (or arugula or spinach), and chopped cilantro.
- In a small jar, add all dressing ingredients, and shake well. Taste, and adjust salt to your tastes. I recommend starting with about 1/8, and adding more to taste. The sweet/salty/tangy flavor profiles are what make this dressing so addictive, so I don't recommend leaving it out entirely!
- When ready to serve, add dressing to salad ingredients, and toss. Top with almonds and sesame seeds.
- This salad is great right after it's dressed. Baby swiss chard stays crunchy for hours after it's dressed, so it's fine to eat leftovers the next day. If you think there will be leftovers, do not add spinach or arugula to the mix (you can just add to your plate to serve), because those both get very soggy after being dressed.
- Serve for a light lunch or summer dinner on it's own, or add chicken or salmon for a delicious summery meal.
Other Similar Recipes:
- Spiralized Apple Cranberry Salad, by The Creative Bite
- Zesty Mango Spiralized Cucumber Salad, by Cotter Crunch
- Spiralized Cucumber Chicken Waldorf Salad, by Vitamin Sunshine
- Refreshingly Light Raw Pasta Primavera, by Vitamin Sunshine
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