A pretty, healthy salad

June 2, 2015

NOTE: Due to technicial difficulties (i.e., things are screwed up and I don’t know why), the photos with this post are absent. Which is a pain, because, the salad is really pretty. But my photobucket app is not behaving well. I’ll post if I can get ’em here.

Ummmm….hello? Anyone still here?

Sorry for my extended absence. Blame the Amazing Grandchildren. Also, work, which gets tremendously in the way of cooking, of which I have not done much in the past week.

However, there was the above, which is worthy of note. It is indeed pretty, thus a nice contribution to a pot-luck; mayonnaise-free, thus a good addition to a summer cookout; and in addition to being pretty and healthy, it’s a pretty healthy daily dose of protein.

I don’t know what to call it, so I’ll just call it Vaguely Asian Salad.

Vaguely Asian, because the dressing is mostly ingredients one thinks of in connection with Asian cookery: Rice wine vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, sweet chile garlic sauce. And a healthy dose of canola oil. I may have put some other stuff in it, but that’s what I remember.

And because it has quinoa and edamame in it, not to mention a cup of dry roasted peanuts, it’s got a pretty decent portion of protein to it.

And it tastes good, if a tad salty; must back off on the soy sauce next time.

As best I recall, the salad itself has in it:

  • 1 small head purple cabbage
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 packaged frozen, shelled edamame
  • a half-dozen radishes, sliced
  • 1 pound carrots, grated
  • 1 cup dry-roasted, preferably unsalted, peanuts

Grate cabbage and toss with all the other ingredients. You can add others if you wish; some will want to add peppers and onions, and I won’t object as long as you don’t expect me to eat them. Pour dressing over all, toss again, cover and let sit on cabinet for an hour or so before tossing yet again and refrigerating.

Dressing, as nearly as I can remember it:

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1-2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • dash or two of sriracha, if desired
  • 1/2 cup canola oil

Combine everything but the oil, then whisk as you pour in the oil in a thin stream.  The proportions above reflect a reduced amount of soy sauce; this would be if you use LIGHT soy sauce. If it’s regular, I’d cut it down even more.

This salad grew over the course of a couple of days. It originally was going to be something close to what it wound up, plus sliced cucumbers, but for the fact both my cabbage and my cucumbers had been in the fridge too long and were relegated to the trash. But I had already cooked the quinoa and edamame (you nuke it in the bag), so I put those together and made up my first batch of dressing for that. It’s not half bad on its own, and is surely a major protein source.

A couple of days later, after a Farmers Market and grocery visit replenishing the produce stock, I added the carrots, cabbage, and radishes. The peanuts were an afterthrought, and just sounded like a good idea; they lend another textural note.

This’ll work as a light entree, but it should really shine with a piece of broiled chicken or fish on top of it. That may be dinner tonight. Also, be warned: It makes a metric ass-load of salad, so don’t make it unless you are feeding a crowd or plan on dining on it for several days.

About the only other thing of note I’ve made is this delightful meat loaf sandwich, complete with fromage d’affinois, mentioned previously as a primo partner for meat loaf between two pieces of bread. I have a little cheese left; I may have to try it on a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich, as I am about to be jonesing for one of those as well. It may call for baking biscuits and cooking up a pound of sausage and making several for the freezer.

Today, although I have a ton of work to do, I do plan on taking off enough time to make a batch of sandwich bread, as I am out, and perhaps some pimiento cheese for it to go on. With bacon and tomato.

You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em come on over and we’ll have lunch one day this week.



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