Cold Veg Mango Noodles with Spicy Sesame Citrus Dressing

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 6 votes

Cold veg mango noodles mingle with creamy avocado, fresh herbs, and spicy sesame citrus dressing. So refreshing and great for summer!

Image shows a green, veggie noodle salad with chunks of ripe avocado, edamame, mango noodles, and sesame seeds.
Image shows a green, veggie noodle salad with chunks of ripe avocado, mango noodles, and sesame seeds.
An overhead shot of ingredients for a cold veg mango noodle salad.

I haven’t been inspired to make food in a creative way at all lately, hence the long gap between posts. I keep leaning on the same combinations and techniques with our day-to-day meals, all while this blog sits here without new content. I have to be honest and tell you that it’s been putting me in a bit of a weird shame spiral. I come up with something to post and then talk myself out of posting it because a) it probably won’t get too much engagement, b) the recipe is too simple, c) something like it already exists on the internet, d) I am literally the only person that wants to eat this, or e) there are thousands of other things more important than this recipe blog going on in the world right now. I feel awful about it!

So all of this runs through my mind and before I know it, the negative self talk hits a a point of no return. I start wondering what the point is, spend an hour on NBA Reddit, sink deeper into the shame spiral by reminding myself that a lot of people would love to have my job, go out to do something else, start angrily pulling weeds in my garden because I’m in a MOOD, and then I basically forget about the whole thing. I am not looking for compliments and reassurances right now! Just sharing my experience.

There are a lot of content streams on the internet/social media that people with websites or any level of influence feel pressure to be a part of. When Instagram launched IGTV this week (in addition to stories, curated story highlights, and live events), something snapped! Some of these platforms are incredible for certain people and certain brands. I understand their function. Sometimes it just feels like these entities want to keep us glued to our phones though.

As a content creator, it feels like these platforms are constantly asking for more from me so that I can grow my business on THEIR terms. With everything I post, my true hope is that someone will be inspired to get off of their phone and cook something (or just live their life, whatever!). I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that I also truly hope that whatever I post gets a ton of clicks so that this entity can continue to be financially viable. That is a very real factor. I know in my heart that trying to keep up with these tools is counterintuitive to my goals in this life. Making stuff just to be on a consistent posting schedule will inevitably lead to useless crap that nobody needs, me feeling gross about it, lower engagement etc.

It becomes this delicate science of playing the game to be seen. You post photos/videos with a certain type of styling and colour scheme. You make a clickbait-y title. Maybe you’ll add a dash of TMI to your captions, who knows! I sort of reject the game entirely, then subsequently feel like I’m not doing it right or possibly screwing myself over, and then eventually I arrive at this place of “why even bother?” It’s such a bad place to be! You kill the dream before it even starts. In my case the “dream” is actually getting a post up to share with you all. It’s a small thing, but also a big thing given the mental blocks that can fall into place.

When I’m in the zone of inspiration and ideas, I love sharing photos, recipes, the creative process, and my human experience here and on Instagram. I truly do! I’m a firm believer in the idea that if something doesn’t add to your life, it subtracts. Period. If my posts can add to someone’s life and if I’m actually contributing something of value, we’re all set. I get into these (frankly quite curmudgeonly) ruts once a year or so, and the thing that always brings me back is this: say no like it’s your superpower and do the next right thing until you hit your goal, however big or small that goal is.

I will be over here nurturing my known strengths, working on my goal of adding to your lives through delicious plant-based recipes, shutting out those things that just aren’t meant for me, possibly dreaming of a silent retreat in Arizona (kind of lol but kind of serious), and just steadily amplifying that tiny voice that says “I can do all things.” This is a giant load of STUFF for a post that only mentions cold veg mango noodles and hot/sweet sesame dressing in the title, oops. Thanks for making it to the end and for being here :)

An up close overhead shot of zucchini, mango and cucumber julienned into “noodles”
Two images show Thai basil growing in a galvanized metal container outside.
Image shows a hand pouting a light orange dressing over a green vegetable noodle salad with edamame.
Image shows a green, veggie noodle salad with chunks of ripe avocado, mango noodles, and sesame seeds.
Image shows a green, veggie noodle salad with chunks of ripe avocado, mango noodles, and sesame seeds.

Cold Veg Mango Noodles with Spicy Sesame Citrus Dressing

Cold veg mango noodles mingle with creamy avocado, fresh herbs, and spicy sesame citrus dressing. So refreshing and great for summer!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings 2 -4


Spicy Sesame Citrus Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar/maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang chili garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1- inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated with a microplane/rasp
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 5 tablespoons avocado oil

Veg and Mango Noodles

  • ½ cup shelled frozen edamame
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 1 barely ripe mango
  • ½ cup packed and mixed soft herb leaves like: cilantro, Thai basil, mint, or sweet basil
  • big handful of sprouts of your choice (I like sunflower shoots)
  • extra toasted sesame seeds for garish
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted & diced


  • Spiralizer or Julienne Peeler


  • My partner and I polished off this whole recipe ourselves as a base for some grilled veg and a few other things. As a side, I think it could be stretched out to 4-6 servings.
  • You could add some cooked and cooled brown rice noodles to this to make it a bit more hearty.
  • This salad would be amazing with some grilled tofu that had been marinated in something spicy.
  • I prefer the mango to be just on the edge of ripe here. You want a bit of sweetness, but you don’t want it to be mushy.
  • This salad is best when prepared right before serving. You can prep all components and toss with dressing at your destination, but even then I find that the cucumber and zucchini seem a little limp and not as crisp.


  • Make the spicy sesame citrus sesame dressing: in a sealable jar, combine the orange juice, lime juice, agave nectar, gochujang, sesame seeds, grated ginger, salt, pepper, and avocado oil. Seal the lid on tight and give the jar a good shake. Check the dressing for seasoning, adjust if necessary, and set aside.
  • Set the frozen edamame in a small bowl and cover them with boiling water. Set aside.
  • Using a julienne peeler or spiralizer (affiliate links), turn the zucchini and cucumber into long noodle-like strands. The inner parts of each vegetable tend to have a lot of seeds that are hard to cut into strands. Save these parts for another use (like smoothies or a for juicing). Place the zucchini and cucumber “noodles” in a large bowl. Drain the edamame and add them to the bowl.
  • Peel the mango and cut it into matchsticks/thin strips. Add the mango to the large bowl. Lightly chop the soft herbs and add them to the bowl as well, reserving a few for garnish. Add the sprouts to the bowl as well.
  • Give the dressing one more shake and pour it over the veg and mango noodles. Toss everything to combine and lightly coat each vegetable “noodle” with dressing.
  • Garnish the top of the cold veg mango noodles with extra sesame seeds, herbs, and avocado. Serve immediately.
27/06/2018 (Last Updated 25/10/2022)
Posted in: gluten free, grain-free, nut free, quick, raw, salad, side dish, sour, spicy, spring, summer, sweet, vegan


Recipe Rating

  • Hilary

    I’ve entered this world late in the game, and I feel EXACTLY like you do, and I’m totally shooting myself in the foot before I even get started!! I go through waves of deleting IG off my phone completely (for my own mental health because it sucks me in and wastes my time) and then think… shit I haven’t posted in a week, how am I supposed to get followers that way – aka – traffic to my site. But I legit dislike the weird dependency cycle that it creates – I’m sure it’s intentional too. Anyways, I totally feel your pain, and I miss the days where the blogs stood on their own merit, without the distraction of social media. I have been following you forever it feels like, and I love the content you create on your site and in your cookbook, which obviously I own and love – so please don’t fe. And knowing you feel this too is really validating. I think my new goal is to revert back to my old ways, where I have sites saved on my desktop and just pop in to browse new or old content. Thanks for sharing Laura!

  • Haylea

    I am 25 and have always avoided joining social media because although I love the debate and connection- something fishy and inauthentic clouds over and I start to feel weird about the whole thing. Even commenting here is a big move for me in the online realm. I wish there was a better way for me to participate that felt more tailored to my experience and was equally beneficial to business growth and promotion. But at the same time I’m mostly just comfortable doing my own thing.

    On this wavelength, I thought this post about saying no was really fun and creative.

  • Rachel Appleby

    YUM! your stories on this topic made me chuckle. I wholeheartedly agree. I tend to shy away from social media, I’m not on Facebook, twitter etc…just insta and sometimes I find even that too much. I’m an over thinker too, and I don’t find it helps. But. Inspirational voices like yours are the reason I go back. I know you didn’t want compliments but it’s really just the truth when I say everything I’ve made of yours is totally delicious! And like you said, ultimately gets people off the phone and into the kitchen. Zen time. Oh, and lastly, you have some weird gift for making ridiculously delicious dressings /sauces

  • Kimberly/TheLittlePlantation

    Your photography and recipes have ALWAYS been a cut above the rest. Because they are delicious and achievable. Please don’tchange.
    As for IG I love it but I have decided for now IGTV isn’t for me. Too much life to live and meals like these I wanna make.
    Thank you for this beautiful blog post

  • Kate S.

    Whenever I come to your site or see your IG posts/stories I think “everything she does is so new and beautiful and delicious and makes me so happy.” I might buy a spiralizer just for this recipe. thanks for all the creative recipes. and obviously the dog photos. :)

  • Cindy

    A fantastic recipe and life lesson in one great post! Thank you for the inspiration and honest words!

  • Sam

    I totally feel the same way as you after 8,5 years of blogging. Wrestling with the damn social media algorithms takes so much of the joy out of this wonderful process of sharing recipes and the love of cooking. I think saying No is the right way forward and then sticking to what you do and love. I’m trying to shut so much of the noise out.

    This recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to give it a whirls.

    Sam x

  • saltandserenity

    My initial reaction to IGTV, was “What is this fresh hell?” Another platform for me to learn and create content for? Can’t do it. Won’t do it! I am exercising my superpower to say no! Thanks for permission.
    I just discovered your blog from the lovely Bea Lubas and I’m a new fan. I am a big believer in only speaking (and posting) when you have something worthwhile to say. I look forward to relevant content from you!
    Thanks for writing this post. I have been blogging for 9 years and you made me feel better about my own lulls in creativity, knowing that the struggle is real and pervasive for all of us.

  • Paige

    Couldn’t agree with you more girl

  • Gayatri

    I really, really needed to read this! Thank you so much for sharing, Laura. I’ve been feeling a lot of the exact same things and it’s incredible to see it all being put into words. What you do is amazing and we all just need to do more of what we love for the love of it!

  • Rosanna Jennings

    Your recipes are outstanding and your photos are breathtaking.. Nothing else to add.. You do you!

  • nina

    This resonates with my own feelings about keeping things up and making it feel that its something worth sharing that I’m putting out. Thanks for sharing Laura.

  • Michele D Carneiro

    Made it. LOVED it. What an exciting alternative to my usual lunch salad! I love not cooking the zoodles – especially with how hot it is here in VA.

    This is my first time using a recipe from your blog and I’m sure it will not be my last. <3 Thank you!

  • Caryn Carruthers

    Thanks for the honesty – its refreshing.

  • Meredith

    I see some kind of sprouts in the photos, but they’re not listed in the recipe. Are they sunflower sprouts? Many thanks and blessings.

  • Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    What a gorgeous salad. Not only does it sound delicious but it certainly is pleasing to the eyes. This would be a terrific company salad but since we love our salads I’ll make it for us as a treat.

  • Beth

    I only follow 3 blogs. Yours is very special to me so if you don’t post often it does not matter. You will post when you are ready and I will just keep checking. Please write another cookbook if you decide you have had enough of the internet. If we all came to Arizona to meditate it might seem like a job for you instead of a holiday. But it might be good for you to see all the humans who adore you, instead of just comments online. Your recipes and photography are getting me through a 5 month renovation with no kitchen. Thank you Laura
    From a Canadian fan

  • Ariane

    Hey Laura! Just wanted to chyme in. I have two young kids at home and for our family, your blog and book make a real difference in our day to day routine. Knowing that I can always find good, tasty and healthy recipes here is a precious tool for us. Having reliable sources of good recipes that fit our values is indispensable for a working mom like myself. I dont have time to browse endlessly, so knowing I can always find good recipes here is a life saver. You make our lifes easier, but your impact goes deeper than that. You also always help us maintain choices that we made towards our diet. And by this, you help diminish our impact on the environment. See? You help all of us make this a better world :)

    On a different note, I made this recipe tonight and it was a huge hit. To my surprise even, because it took so little time to put together that I didnt have too much expectations. My boyfriend polished it clean and we all fell in love with the dressing. A bit hit once again!! Will be making it again.

  • Jessie Snyder

    I think it’s a really special talent of yours to always (seemingly) be able to put your feelings into words as they stir in you Laura. That is a gift. And one I would venture to say we are all very grateful for here in your space. I can say ‘don’t doubt you, believe in you!’ but we will all always have our doubts and question our path. The world always seems to find ways to make us play by its rules too, no matter where we turn. Its all about listening to your inner voice and shutting out the rest, which you do really well. Keep chugging along friend, cheering for you and whats to come like no other <3.

  • Ashley

    Just yaaaaassss to you! I love your real voice, your gorgeous photos, and your delicious recipes. Your cookbook is always on my counter because I make at least one (if not more!) things from it weekly. You definitely push and inspire me to get in the kitchen and to learn about new veg or techniques or superfoods. I love it!

  • Sarah | Well and Full

    OH MY DANG GOSH thank you for speaking on this. I have reached a similar “why bother” point. You are absolutely right that it either adds or subtracts…. the Instagram Anxiety (as I call it) ruled my life for a spell and now I just don’t care. It’s not because I’ve given up on my account, but because Instagram makes it near-impossible for creators to connect with consumers, and I don’t care to play into their business model. If I post something on Instagram, it’s because I organically, genuinely want to post it… engagement be damned. I’m not dissing people who have made Instagram their life, but I refuse to be glued to my phone in order to make good with the algorithm. Sorry not sorry! Cheers to the IDGAF (about social media) life.

  • Vera Matos

    Loved your text! Don’t feel down with all this additive add-ons these platforms keeo creating. And essentially don’t stop posting these delicious and beautiful recipes. Wish you a great day :)


    Thank you for this! I’m trying hard to build an online presence and wow it is discouraging because there is SO much to keep up with. I cringed seeing so many people I enjoy following jump on IGTV right away. It just feels like too much.
    Also I cannot wait to try this recipe!

  • Cathy

    I can only second everything that everyone else is saying. I personally LOVE all your recipes, but must say, I love that real gut sharing honest vulnerability more. It takes enormous courage to be that REAL… with an audience of possible critics. Know that even though we have never met, you are someone I would love to hang out with!!! ‘You are a child of the Universe…’ How beautiful. Thanks for all you do!!!

  • KayN

    Laura, you are an inspiration and I assure you that other people (lots of us!) want to eat the food you make and eat and post about. Please keep your chin up!

    Question for you: do you find that galvanized tubs work well to grow herbs? I’m in sunny California and grow basically my whole garden in wooden half-barrels because I don’t have in-ground space. It works great but I love the look of galvanized tubs too, yet I have always worried that they would heat the soil too much! Some advice would be hugely appreciated.

  • Denise

    For the record, I’m a huge fan of “b) the recipe is too simple.” As far as I’m concerned, simple plant-based recipes are always welcome!

  • Brittany

    Laura, I love your blog!! I love your honesty and I appreciate the fact that you are not consumed by the media and what you may “think” you should be posting. I respect that you stick to you and you only share what is really meaningful to you. Thank you!! I also love that you spend so much time outdoors and camping, it’s something my husband and I enjoy also. Why not let some of the things you make while camping appear on the blog? I’d love to see how I can take my passion for cooking outdoors more easily, and I’m sure may others would too! We could all use more time outside.

  • Kat

    How did you know I just got a spiralizer yesterday?!? This recipe could not be more perfectly timed for me to play with my new toy, and for exactly what I am craving these days.


  • Amanda

    I loooove the flavors you have going on in this dish, and especially the cool/hot combo. It’s totally my kind of food. <3 On the content creation and social media front, I feel you on everything you said (and I'd be willing to bet A LOT of other people can relate too). I've cut way back on my phone time recently in favor of reading, um, actual books (lol) because I needed and still need some distance to figure out what's next for me. I don't have any real words of wisdom, just that less screen time replaced with more book time and outdoor adventures have been very good for my soul. Try not to be too hard on yourself. From where I sit, you're doing a kick-ass job. XO

  • Blythe

    THIS is exactly why I follow your blog. Thank you. I have a blog/website (about life & gardening) that I, too, struggle with in feeling like I need to post more frequently to keep up the Google ratings, but not wanting to fall into the mediocre trap. I can totally relate to all the self-doubts and disillusionment with the entire system and what it has done to our society (some good; some bad). Plus, keeping up a blog is so much work! Writing from the heart is a difficult, time-consuming process, in addition to adding links, taking photos, optimizing everything, etc. etc., and then also making time for all the other stuff you have going on in your life. Let me just reiterate the previous comments: this is seriously one of my favorite food blogs. Sometimes it’s just so freakin hard to figure out what to make; you have been such an inspiration to me! And what better time to reflect on life than over good food! Thank you! Please continue … when you feel like it ;-)

  • Heidi | The Simple Green

    IGTV…glad you’re talking about it. My first reaction was *shit-another “thing” I have to think about and feel pressured to use*. And I totally succumbed to the pressure (ugh)! Aren’t there enough platforms out there for us to share with each other??? And as someone who regularly reads your content, I love that you post infrequently because it means you’ve put good thought and care into your recipes…I trust they’ll be good! Totally appreciate everything you post, whenever you post it! Big hugs (from a stranger lol)!!

  • Christina

    You know, it’s often the simplest recipes that DO get me off the web and back into my kitchen, so thank you for a dinner idea that doesn’t feel too difficult, too ‘out there’ or too much effort.

  • whitney

    I could not agree more. I have gone through the same thing with my blog and posting content and have finally come to a place where I’ve realized producing my WORK is more important than producing “CONTENT”. I have to have space and time to be creative and constantly putting everything out there is just a big drain. I can check out for a while and no one misses me, and I also don’t miss anyone else :) A little mystery and absenteeism is good for the soul. By the way, this recipe looks so good and I’m definitely making it this weekend.

  • Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    I’ve been feeling a lot of this lately, too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. I find it helpful to hear when other bloggers are experiencing these thought spirals. I don’t have answers yet, but it’s nice to know I’m not alone in this. xoxo

  • Alejandra Graf

    OMG! Thanks for posting this. It is so hard to be in creativity mode 24/7 and on top of that keeping up with all the new stuff.
    Thanks again for being so honest now I’m not the only one that thinks I should look for a “real” job soon.
    Your work is always amazing and inspires me a lot.
    Best, A.

  • McKenzie

    It’s kind of ironic that you feel a little blah in this season because I feel so genuinely inspired by this post, and by you! I’ve just gone on a big “unfollow” purge after the Instagram TV debut, because I get so tired of fighting this annoying compulsion to see all the content from everyone I follow, lest I “miss out” on something good. Yours is one of the few I would NEVER unfollow because I feel like I learn so many good tidbits, not just about food but about life and being more present. Anyway, making this for sure. [Also, thought it was so funny that you posted that Instagram story of making the creamy poured matcha and then I saw the same thing in the following weeks from most of the plant-based food bloggers I follow! Haha. You’re a trend setter for sure.]

  • Jeff Stroud

    Hey, I feel ya!
    I’m fairly new to this “game’ and have yet created an food blog; I do have a blog I haven’t written in months.
    Everything is posted over on Facebook and Instagram. I love the process of creating meals, styling the food, and sharing it with my friends and followers. Of course there are days, I just can’t get up the energy to make content, and post…

    I love this recipe, looks light and fresh. I am going to place it on my to make list.

  • Wilma Brown

    Good morning Laura

    I have printed off today’s recipe and I have subtitled it – Food for Thought – because I believe in plant based eating and the “superpower” of plant based food as well.

    I think you have shared your authentic self and helped me with your statement of “…. and the thing that always brings me back is this :say NO like it’s your superpower and do the next right thing until you hit your goal, however big or small that goal is.”

    It’s as they say on the airplane – Give yourself oxygen first – then help others. Saying NO is my oxygen.

    Thank you for sharing and for this delicious recipe.
    I am trying it tonight. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm !!
    Hugs from

  • JM


  • Erin

    This was so refreshing to read! I had the same reaction when IGTV was released. I struggle with the balance of “staying on top” of all the social media AND also really want to be spending less time on my phone. Thank you for sharing! And this recipes looks so frickin’ tasty, I can’t wait to try it this weekend : )

  • Jean

    Thanks for the integrity of your words. They are as refreshing as the salad here. The dressing hitting that mango, what a flavor bomb. Your Thai basil plants look great-mine always get so leggy even thought I am constantly snipping them. It’s always the season to nurture.

  • Julia

    Oh girl.. this is raw, honest and vulnerable. Thank you. As someone who devours your content, stand firm!! Rest in the knowledge that your corner of the inter webs is alive & kicking, greatly due to the awesome stuff you produce. Big love & gratitude.

  • Jessica

    We all go through it from time to time and that’s ok! Sometimes the yucky moments make us twice as appreciative of the good ones and while you’re doing what you love, sometimes it is still a job. I would venture to say there are few people who love their job every single moment regardless of what it is. We’ll all be here when you come full circle :)

  • C

    “Say no like it’s your superpower” is what I needed to hear this morning. Also this salad looks delicious.

    • Wilma Brown

      “Say NO like it’s your superpower.” Is a keeper statement isn’t it.

      It takes a yearly, monthly, daily, hourly – “Minutely” (I love making up words) commitment to prioritize what is important and what is not and saying NO is refusing to be bullied into doing what others expect.

      Be yourself and be true to yourself.

      A quote from Desiderata

      …”You are a child of the universe , no less than the trees and the stars – you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you the universe is unfolding as it should …. ”

      Thanks for your comment C

      I am W

  • Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek

    I totally get you on the whole ‘let’s get off of our phones’ thing. I try to limit my screen time when it comes to scrolling through Instagram, etc. so I often find it difficult and disingenuous to then attempt to master its algorithm and get as many likes as possible the next time I post. But I have to say, I love your content and find it legitimately wonderful. It adds to my life. And speaking of, this recipe is gorgeous! I seriously can’t wait to try it. xo

  • Debbie

    Stay true to you! I cannot stand it when folks are on social media all day long. Don’t publish just to publish. Although I do have to tell you that today’s post is a gem, warts and all. Looking forward to making this dish this weekend! I figure my mangoes will be ripe enough by then. Creativity takes some “me” time. Take all the time you need. We can wait!

  • Mary

    Please continue to be true to yourself and follow your heart and your gut!

  • Marta

    I completely understand how you feel but, in my perspective, I come here year after year because I love to read and try your fresh take on recipes. Sometimes, all I need is a simple recipe like this, and other times, I delight in your cookbook. I love how you remain authentic and not pushing your “brand” onto your readers constantly…it gets tiring! You are real, honest and interesting…and human! Keep up being the way you are and doing your thing, even if sometimes it means not doing it and focusing on yourself a bit :)

  • christine dugdale

    Great, honest blog :) I’m sure I’m not the only one reading it who has been there, done that, regularly!!! In fact, if you look at my blog, I’ve not posted for years for these very reasons. Life goes on :) Love the sound of the salad, and it’s time I got my spiraliser out x

  • Ellemijn

    Love to you!