Asian {veggie} noodle salad

An Asian-inspired vegetable noodle salad with tofu. Vegan, gluten-free, and super quick and easy, this makes a great light lunch.
Asian veggie noodle salad {vegan and gluten free} //

During the week my husband and I eat in a very routine way. If you’re a regular reader, you already know that, and you might even know that because today is Monday I’m going to be eating zucchini noodles with tofu for lunch, and a big salad for dinner.

It has occurred to me that although I post my projected meal plan each week, that’s not often what I share with you here. Although the recipes I make and photograph for the blog each weekend often become at least part of my packed lunches, those aren’t always representative of my day-to-day meals.

Kathryn wrote recently about choosing to post what we want to post rather than what we feel like we *should* be posting because it’s a particular season or food holiday, and I know that post resonated with a lot of us. I’ve complained lately about being in a lunch rut, but it’s only just occurred to me that perhaps it’s less of a lunch rut and more of a blog rut.

Asian veggie noodle salad {vegan and gluten free} //

It’s a bit paralyzing, though, as were I to post the food I really eat for dinner each night this blog would be mostly the same salad eaten every Monday and Wednesday, a Thursday night omelet, and whatever leftovers we eat for dinner on Tuesdays, and that would be a pretty boring blog.

It is, however, not such a boring way to eat. Although I found it a bit monotonous in the early months of living with Paul (for this was his routine even before I came into the picture) it’s now so deeply engrained in me I don’t know what to do without it. I love that, other than Fridays, there’s no night we come home from work and don’t already know what we’re eating. I love that, since it’s a routine, whoever gets home from work first (which is usually, but not always, Paul) just gets down to business making dinner. And I love that, since our meals are the same week after week, so is our grocery list, and that chore also becomes simplified accordingly.

Although I will continue to challenge myself to come up with new and interesting, quick and easy, packable and freezable healthy meals for y’all, and although those things will inevitably end up in my lunch boxes at least 3 days a week, I thought that maybe, just maybe, there’s someone out there who would enjoy the routine as much as I do. And so, from time to time I thought I’d share those meals with you. Because, the big salad does change seasonally, the omelet (which is actually a frittata) is a fine dinner, and these zucchini noodles are pretty much the bee’s knees.

Asian veggie noodle salad {vegan and gluten free} //

If you’re looking for a nice light lunch that takes under 5 minutes to throw together, this is it. Zucchini and carrots are spiralized into noodles. Tofu is cubed up. Herbs and sesame seeds are sprinkled. And a dressing is drizzled. That’s it.

There is, of course, the pesky issue of needing a sprializer, something which I have invested in because, really, what blogger hasn’t? But there are other ways. A mandoline with a julienne blade, a julienne peeler, or a sharp knife and a steady hand all work equally well. The ‘noodles’ might not be quite as beautiful, but who cares about that?

I make this vegetable noodle salad on a Sunday afternoon and eat it for lunch on Monday and Wednesday. Pack it undressed, and when I’m ready to eat I drizzle it with a little soy sauce and a whisper of toasted sesame oil. My office has a good selection of condiments on offer so I don’t bother packing those, but a tiny jar of dressing tucked alongside the noodles will do the job just fine.

MM_Know_Icon_FINALZucchini is a starchy summer squash that not only provides a good amount of dietary fiber (2.5 grams per cup), but it also provides polysaccharide fibers like pectin that have special benefits for blood sugar regulation. Zucchini is a very strong source of key antioxidant nutrients, including the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Since the skin of this food is particularly antioxidant-rich, it’s worth leaving the skin intact. The fat in zucchini’s edible seeds includes omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid), making it a heart healthy choice. Zucchini is a very good source of vitamin C, magnesium, dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin K. Additionally, it has a notable amount of vitamin B1, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, and protein.

Asian veggie noodle salad {vegan and gluten free} // themuffinmyth.comThree years ago: Lemony Roasted Broccoli with Tempeh and Quinoa
Four years ago: Carrot Ginger Muffins

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Asian {veggie} noodle salad
Prep time
Total time
An Asian-flavoured vegetable noodle salad with tofu. Vegan, gluten-free, and super quick and easy, this makes a great light lunch.
Recipe type: salad, vegan, light
Serves: 2
  • 1 large zucchini, rinsed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1 x 250g block of firm tofu
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp black and white sesame seeds
  • light soy sauce (I prefer Bragg's liquid aminos)
  • toasted sesame oil
  1. Using a spiralizer or julienne peeler, turn the zucchini and carrot into thin vegetable noodles. Toss the noodles to mix them up, then distribute evenly amongst two bowls or lunch boxes.
  2. Slice the tofu into small cubes, and scatter across the noodles in each bowl.
  3. Top with slices of green onions, cilantro, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
  4. If serving immediately, drizzle with a bit of soy sauce and very small amount of toasted sesame oil.
  5. If packing for lunch, reserve the dressing until it's time to eat.


Asian veggie noodle salad {vegan and gluten free} //


  1. Denise Carlin says

    Hi Katie,
    We love salads too! But, this time of the year, living in the mountains of North Carolina and it is cold and wintery and we love a big bowl of soup. Yes, a routine is nice and often when I think of being creative, I am just longing for more soup. It is just so delicious and comforting and the sky is the limit on how many different kinds of soup there are or can be created. I usually go overboard with veggies, but, I think that soup should be a work of art and beautiful. I can resist adding a few things on top at the last. Chopped kale and mushrooms are some of my favorites.

    • says

      We do soup on Sundays! We usually make soup for a few weeks in a row and keep the extras in the freezer, then pull out a frozen soup on a busier week. Occasionally if we don’t have leftovers for our Tuesday dinner we’ll have a soup then as well. It’s cold here in Sweden, too, but we’re still mostly ok with salads for most of our meals.

  2. says

    I’m so with you on the whole routine thing! Most of my blog recipes are created on the weekend. During the week my husband and I are all about salads and sandwiches, and we like it that way. Also, there’s nothing worse than trying to develop a new recipe as a weeknight dinner and having it not work out. I love veggie noodle salads – I’ll have to add this to the weekday lunch/dinner rotation. 🙂

  3. says

    Quick to throw together and packed with flavour- perfection! I have actually been trying to simplify my week by getting into more of a food routine. For me its all about the leftovers, we make 2x as much dinner so our lunch for the next day is ready to go. For the days when we eat out I have “emergency soup” in the freezer. It keeps us healthy and on budget most of the time 🙂

    • says

      We do weekend leftovers for our Tuesday dinner, but the husband is a big eater (since he’s a crazy endurance athlete) so we don’t tend to have a lot of meal leftovers, and since we’re both into packing our lunches on the weekend we don’t really need them as much. Emergency soup is the best, I like to always have some in the freezer!

  4. says

    Unlike many things where you and I seem to be alike – I can’t do a routine! We have something different all of the time, and old favourites get quickly lost and then rediscovered (like finding a hidden Christmas present in July sometimes). Perhaps this is more to do with me not being able to organise too much in advance. I usually know the day before, but not much further. I think my OH would probs appreciate knowing what I will put in front of him on any given night! Reading about your ordered approach is very calming to me but I think I would fail at the first hurdle. I can do packed lunches with leftovers just fine, but ask me to plan my week and I tremble! I admire your approach. And love this salad too. Simple but healthy is always good when it comes to wanting to eat well without much faff. Spiralised veggies are the business!

    • says

      Planning my week is the only way I’ll survive it, Kellie! But I’m also envious of your spontaneous and delicious looking meals. One day I’m hoping I’ll have a more flexible life that involves working from home or more on my own schedule so I can cook at lunch. Dare to dream, right?!

  5. says

    I know I, for one, would love to hear about your “easier” weeknight meals! This noodle salad sounds so tasty and I love that it’s light and made with zucchini noodles! A salad that feels like a bowl of pasta sounds good to me!

  6. says

    Beautiful salad, I love zucchini noodles!
    Funny about your routine, I could never do it. I tried, but I just can’t. The main reason that my days are always different, sometimes I go home basically just to sleep, then next week I stay at home for days, so I eat way more at home. Sometimes friends come over without planning it, so I have to cook for 10 people, sometimes nobody is hungry at home 🙂
    I would absolutely love to have a routine, but it is just so hard for me to imagine…I don’t even really know where to start…

    • says

      Well, everyone is different! Sometimes I wish we had a more spontaneous life, but mostly I’m happy with the routine and the ease of use it brings to our lives. I’ll cook for 10 people on the weekend, but not usually during the week. What an adventure that must be!

  7. says

    We definitely have incorporated elements of a routine into our weekly eating – like we almost always have a risotto on a Sunday evening using up whatever’s leftover from the weekend’s cooking – and I do find it makes life so much easier when I’m not constantly looking for inspiration. That said, I think a change up is always a good thing and I’m excited to try incorporating other people’s “go-to” recipes into our diets!


  1. […] An Asian-flavoured vegetable noodle salad with tofu. Vegan, gluten-free, and super quick and easy, this makes a great light lunch. This salad does not use noodles but is instead made with spiralized vegetables like carrots, zucchini, and onions. If you can’t eat tofu, it could easily be ommited. Recipe from Katie at The Muffin Myth […]

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