Sun’s up, schools out and temperatures are soaring.

It’s time for days out, lounging on the beach and visits with friends and family. Summer heat calls for lighter food, meals that are easier to prep and serve, food that’s easy to pack up and take to a picnic or BBQ and food that doesn’t require hours of cooking in a hot kitchen.

Noodle Salads can play a staring role in summer menus.

Many of the Asian noodles are naturally gluten free.

Instead of wheat flour they are made with ingredients like rice flour, mung beans starch, or sweet potato.

Vietnamese rice sticks and vermicelli are perfect for colourful and

versatile gluten free salads. Add crisp cucumber, spinach and

pickled veggies. To create a more substantial meal,

top your salad with a protein source, like steak, tofu or prawns.

Or for a lighter lunch combine gluten free Cold Japanese Soba noodles with seasonal British summer vegetables like peas, spinach and radishes. Top with a peanut or tahinni dressing.

It’s a good idea to make a stash of Asian inspired dressings and toppings to keep in the fridge -they last well and it will make meal preparation faster and easier. If you want to turn your Rice noodles a glorious pink colour for a party or special occasion. Soak them in a bowl of beetroot juice after they have been rehydrated.

Vietnamese Noodle Salad.

Ingredients: for Salad:

1 pack of Rice sticks (rice Noodle)

1 cucumber chopped

100g Washed spinach

Coriander to garnish
Salted peanuts to garnish

PICKLED CARROT

4 large carrots grated

220g Sugar

375 ml rice vinegar

2 tsp salt

DRESSING

45 grams of palm sugar (or brown sugar)

Juice or 3 limes
4 tb of gluten free Tamari

3 tb of olive oil

Handful of coriander
1 clove of crushed garlic

Make the carrots the day before

Add the vinegar sugar and salt to a pan. Bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the grated carrot and leave overnight.

Next make the Dressing

In a blender or mixer combine the palm sugar with coriander,

Lime juice, garlic, tamari and the olive oil.

To assemble the salad

Soak noodles in boiling water until tender

(this usually takes about ten minutes)  drain and cool

In a bowl combine the noodles with pickled carrots, chopped cucumber, and spinach. Add salad dressing.

Plate up the salad and garnish with chopped peanuts, and fresh coriander.