Summer Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

How many peanuts could an elephant the size of a peanut eat in one sitti-... er, standing?

The riddle in this question is that elephants don’t actually eat peanuts; in fact, they may be too proteinous for the plant eaters according to the Smithsonian Institution. Sorry to spoil that one for you, however, in support of the beautiful endangered species, HBA is making a donation to the @world_wildlife fund today - and it isn’t peanuts!

Peanuts (or groundnuts, as they are called in India) are a fantastic source of protein for the rest of us without nut allergies, and they are one of the base ingredients in this week’s Happy Belly Summer Salad with Spicy Peanut dressing.

This one packs all of the flavors of a Vietnamese summer roll, peanut dipping sauce included, but deconstructed into a chilled sharable salad suited for hot summer days. The raw vegetables and herbs can be adjusted to your preferences depending on what’s available and in season.

Summer Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

Make the spicy peanut dressing – Place the dressing ingredients in a lidded jar, close tightly and shake well until smooth.

Make the rice noodle bowl – Soak the noodles in hot tap water for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain well , rinse with color water and toss with canola oil to keep from sticking.

Gather the toppings – Choose you toppings. Use all or select your own. This rice noodle bowl is designed for your tastes. Don’t like cilantro? Just use Thai basil and mint instead. Like it spicier? Finely chop some additional Thai Chiles or top with a spoonful of chili oil. 

serves 4 generously


  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 5 tbsp peanut powder
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp canola oil, optional
  • 3 tbsp rice wine venegar
  • 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 fresh Thai chilis, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • a pinch of salt


  • 8-10 oz thin rice spaghetti noodles
  • 1 tbsp canola oil


  • ⅔ cup shredded carrots
  • 2 small Persion cucumbers, julienned
  • 3 geen onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup watermelon radish, julienned
  • 1 small mango, julienned
  • a handful of Thai basil, mint, chives and cilantro
  • ½ cup baked tofu, cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ cup roasted cashews, chopped
  • ¼ cup fried scallions
  • baby romaine lettuce leaves, to line the bowl
  • lime wedges, for garnish