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Makes 4 servings; about 2 cups per serving.

• 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
• 1/2 medium jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (2 teaspoons)
• 1 tablespoon grated gingerroot
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
• ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
• 4 ounces dried rice noodles or rice sticks
• 4 cups torn fresh spinach
• ¾ cup dried tart cherries
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (or other fresh herbs)
• 2 medium carrots, shredded
• 1 medium cucumber, seeded and cut into 1½-inch slivers
• 1/3 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts

For the dressing, stir together orange juice, vinegar, jalapeño pepper, gingerroot, garlic, orange peel and black pepper. Set aside.

Cook rice noodles or rice sticks in a large pot of boiling water for 2 to 6 minutes or until tender. Drain.
Immediately rinse with cold water. Drain.

Fluff with a fork. Use kitchen scissors to cut up.
Rinse again with cold water.
Drain and fluff with a fork.

Toss together drained noodles, spinach, dried cherries, mint, carrots and cucumber.

Drizzle with dressing.

Toss to coat all ingredients with dressing.

Sprinkle with peanuts. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts per Serving: 286 calories, 6.5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 42 mg sodium, 52 grams carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 7 g protein.

Dietary Exchanges: 2 starch, 1-1/2 fruit, 1 fat.

Recipe courtesy of the Cherry Marketing Institute -

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