For this playful lunchbox, a savory sunflower butter sauce (think peanut sauce, but nut-free) is packed in a small bottle for squeezing as much (or as little) as you like onto the noodles and vegetables packed in a separate container. An empty honey bear or small ketchup bottle works perfectly, or you can purchase a small condiment container — just make sure it has a sealable lid.
Total time: 10 mins
Storage Notes: Refrigerate leftover sauce for up to 3 days.
Yield: (makes about 1 1/2 cups sauce)
- For the sauce
- 3/4 cup (about 7 1/3 ounces) creamy sunflower butter (not unsweetened)
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- 6 to 8 tablespoons water
- Sriracha, as needed
- For the lunchbox
- 1 cup cooked and chilled soba noodles or whole-wheat spaghetti
- 1/2 cup blanched and chilled broccoli spears
- 1/2 cup blanched and chilled snow peas
- 1/4 cup cooked and chilled shelled edamame
Make the sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sunflower butter, vinegar, soy sauce and ginger until combined. Taste, and if desired, whisk in the honey until combined. Whisk in the water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until the sauce is creamy and to the desired thickness. Stir in sriracha, to taste. You should get about 1 1/2 cups of sauce; you will need 4 to 5 tablespoons for the lunchbox. Refrigerate the leftover sauce until needed.
Make the lunchbox: Add about a quarter of the sauce to a food-safe squeeze bottle with a secure lid. In a container with a lid, arrange the noodles, broccoli, snow peas and edamame. Place the sauce and the vegetable-noodle mixture in a cooler-style lunchbox with an ice pack. Right before eating, squeeze the sauce over the noodles and vegetables.
From cookbook author and registered dietitian nutritionist Ellie Krieger.
Tested by Olga Massov.
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