Trader Joe's Peanut Udon Noodle Salad Is Our New Favorite No-Cook Lunch
The grab-and-go vegan lunch is a complete meal, no cook time required!
If you, too, are awaiting the day for your next ramen or sushi fix, Trader Joe's just launched a colorful, just-so-happens-to-be-vegan option to patch you through until your favorite spot reopens (or until you can schedule takeout or delivery). Look for the $4.49 Trader Joe's Peanut Udon Noodle Salad in the refrigerator case for a no-meal-prep-required lunch or dinner that's as easy as: open bowl, grab chopsticks, devour.
The colorful dish centers around an udon noodles, a chewy and thick wheat flour noodle popular in Japanese cuisine. Carrot matchsticks, cabbage and red bell peppers complement the al dente udon noodles with plenty of crunch (and vitamins). Dry-roasted peanuts echo the nutty qualities of the peanut butter, rice vinegar and soy sauce dressing, and a few other flavorful Asian ingredients like ginger, Thai lime leaf and dried red chili peppers join the rainbow-hued party.
TJ's counts each 11 ¾-ounce bowl as two and a half servings, but that seems a little light for a complete meal. Dive into the whole package for 550 calories, 25 grams of fat, 18 grams of protein and 18 grams of fiber—a fairly decent midday meal as part of a 1,800- or 2,000-calorie meal plan. It is a bit high in sodium (975 mg, or about 43% of your recommended daily intake), though, so if you go for the whole bowl, watch your salt intake for the rest of the day.
Our plan? Go halvsies, enjoying part for lunch today and saving the rest for lunch tomorrow. Then we'll customize each 275-calorie serving with a different high-protein topping, such as leftover chicken, shrimp or tofu.