We’ve settled in nicely at the trailer park here in the Lower Mainland. After a few long months of being cooped up inside the trailer in the Okanagan, where it was too cold to spend much time outdoors, Hunter (now a bona fide toddler) is enjoying getting outside on a daily basis and practicing his walking skills in his new gumboots. I’m not a huge fan of the location of the park as we’re right off the highway and have to listen to traffic noise all day and night, but apart from that it’s a decent place to stay until we can ditch the Gypsy Roller (sorry, girl) and move into an honest to goodness house in a few weeks time.
In a sense our impending move into a house makes me feel like we’re defecting from a sort of secret society. While the last 6 or so months have given me some interesting insights into the trailer park subculture, I have felt a touch cut off from the ‘real’ world living in such a tiny space, behind gated entranceways and amongst folks several decades our senior. The house we’ll be moving into isn’t big, but it will surely feel like a mansion by comparison!
Full-timers (those who use their RV as a permanent home) have a name for people who, like us, live in a house and use their RV as temporary accommodations or to travel in a few months of the year: slabbers – as in, the concrete slab houses are built on. I can’t help but feel this term carries with it a tone of condescension or disapproval, as though we don’t have what it takes to make a full-fledged commitment to the so-called ‘RV-lifestyle’. But in a way I can understand why the full-timers might set themselves apart from us slabbers, as it does take a good deal of mettle to make a home out of an RV!
We’ve already marked several occasions in the Gypsy Roller (Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s and each of our birthdays) and as of tomorrow we’ll be able to add Valentine’s Day to the list. Truth be told, I had zero intention of pitching this recipe as a Valentine’s dish – until, that is, I tossed the ingredients together and the juices of the grated cabbage and carrot combined and turned the whole thing a festive pink – Pretty in Pink, in fact, because you know I can’t resist a reference to my favourite decade, the 1980s! At any rate, this rice noodle salad has more going for it than just looks. It’s crunchy, refreshing, sweet and zesty – and more filling that you’d expect of a rice noodle salad (the toasted cashews give it some added bulk). If you don’t serve it on Valentine’s Day then try it another time for lunch or as a light dinner. And oh ya, it’s vegan and gluten free 🙂
Recipe: ‘Pretty in Pink’ Vermicelli Rice Noodle Salad | With Sweet and Spicy Sesame Dressing
Makes 4 servings
Sweet and Tangy Sesame Dressing
- 2 tablespoons pure sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking wine)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Bragg’s All Purpose Seasoning
- 2 teaspoons sambal olek
Vermicelli Rice Noodle Salad
- Approx. 100g vermicelli rice noodles (about 2 cups cooked)
- 1/2 cup purple cabbage, finely shredded
- 1 small carrot, finely shredded
- 1 stalk of celery, finely sliced
- 5 green onions, minced (dark and light green parts only)
- 1/3 cup cashews (plus a few more for garnish)
Prepare toasted cashews: Place cashews in a small skillet over medium heat and toast until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. When cashews are cool enough to handle, chop into small pieces. Set aside until needed.
Prepare vermicelli rice noodles: Cook noodles according to package instructions, or until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside until needed.
Prepare Sweet and Tangy Sesame Dressing: In a medium salad bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Finish salad: Place cooked rice noodles, cabbage and carrots, celery, green onions and cashews in salad bowl and toss gently to combine with dressing.
Serve, topping each portion with more chopped cashews. Eat!
Tip: If you intend to store this salad in the fridge, keep the toasted cashews separate and add them immediately before serving. This way they won’t turn soft.
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