So far, so good. It’s day three, and I’ve managed to steer clear of cookies, candy, and potato chips. My willpower probably won’t be tested until I hit day 10 or so. This process reminds me that I prefer to eat healthy, whole foods prepared myself, but I get caught up in convenience and years of bad habits. We are programmed to crave sugary, greasy fattening foods. It does take more time and a little bit of planning but eating healthy and cooking most of your meals should be enjoyable, not a chore.
I could eat a salad every day and never get tired of them. The one thing I could to without is all the cleaning, chopping, and cutting that has to happen. I find that if I prep a few days worth of greens and veggies and have them ready to go I am much more likely to throw a salad together rather than grab take-out on the way home. This recipe is one that I’ve been making on and off for a few years, and I love it. Crunchy Asian cabbage, sweet carrots, creamy avocados and nutty cashews topped with a spicy peanut dressing makes this one of my favorites.
I don’t like to press my readers into buying a lot of products, but I highly recommend investing in a mandolin if you don’t have one. My favorite is by Benriner and will run you less than $25.00. It takes up almost no room, is easy to clean and with three separate blades, incredibly versatile. Having a mandoline slicer will save you the hassle of lugging out your food processor and will give you the most lovely looking salad in the neighborhood. Being able to quickly and finely shred vegetables will make you much more likely to include them in your cooking.
They Feel free to adjust or add your favorite veggies or protein to the mix. Sliced red pepper, shelled edamame or some shrimp or chicken all make great additions. The one thing you don’t want to omit are the fresh herbs; they add a lot of flavors that compliment all the vegetables. Lightly dress the salad and taste it before adding more dressing, a little goes a long way, and leftovers are great to use a dip for spring rolls.
- for the salad:
- 1 head napa cabbage, thinly shredded
- ¼ small head red cabbage, thinly shredded
- 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 cup snow peas, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- 1 avocado, diced
- ¼ cup chopped roasted cashews
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- for the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon sriracha
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons water
- Equipment required:
- Combine the cabbages, carrots, snow peas, avocado and half the herbs in a large bowl.
- Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing in a separate bowl, adding more water to thin if necessary.
- Toss the cabbage mixture with the peanut sauce and top with the reserved herbs, cashews and sesame seeds.