So much for my goal to post two new recipes a week. Sigh. Things have been crazy lately, and we’ve been eating easy rice- and potato-based meals pretty much every night. (Someday I will write a blog about how to make a week’s worth of quick meals based off simple starches, but that’s a project for a week when I actually have time to write down some recipes!).
Since I cooked my weekly batch of rice yesterday, I have LOTS in the fridge. But I wanted something bright and healthy … and cool. Y’all, this heat is really starting to get to me!
Salad to the rescue! I chopped up a head of lettuce and topped it with cold brown rice, toasted cashews, green onions, radishes, red peppers, and purple cabbage. Carrots, cucumbers, avocado, mango, and sesame seeds would’ve been awesome here as well. You know what else would be delicious in this salad? Hakurei turnips!
Then I made some easy-peasy sweet Thai-chili-ginger-nutty-delicious dressing. This dressing is the bomb. I should really name it something better than “easy-peasy sweet Thai-chili-ginger-nutty-delicious dressing.” But, despite having a crappy, too-long name, you’ll want to make extra of this dressing and put it on EVERYTHING. It’s particularly good on steamed veggies or mixed with noodles. I love it over baked tofu, and Craig puts it on pork and chicken. (Disclaimer: this dressing was inspired by this “cheater pad thai” recipe).
You probably have most of the ingredients for the dressing in your fridge or pantry. And if you don’t, you can pick them up at pretty much any store. Basic stuff here, guys: nut butter (I used roasted cashew), vinegar (I used rice vin), soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos), garlic powder (not garlic salt!!), ginger (fresh is best but you can use the dried powder), sweet chili sauce (any brand should work, find it in the Asian or international section of your grocery), hot water. Easy. And, seriously, even if you like salt, do NOT add extra salt! Between the soy sauce and the sweet chili sauce, this dressing kinda high on sodium.
To make the dressing, put all of your ingredients in a bowl and whisk really well with a fork. You want the water to be pretty hot so that the nut butter will melt and blend easily. You’ll see this isn’t an exact recipe, but that means you can customize it! Personally, I LOVE ginger, so I always end up adding more ginger. But if you want nuttiness to shine through, well, toss in some more nut butter. Same if you like spice or garlic or vinegar … taste and adjust to your preferences.
This recipe makes enough for several large salads. So divide it up over your lettuce and toppings and enjoy. If you have leftovers, they store well in the fridge. Use your leftover dressing on more salad, with stir-fried veggies, or mixed into pasta.
- 1-2 heads lettuce
- 1/3 c cooked grains (cold)
- 2-3 tbsp roasted nuts/seeds
- 1 c chopped veggies
- 1 tbsp nut butter (heaping)
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- dash garlic powder
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 1/4 c sweet chili sauce
- 1/4 c hot water
- Assemble your salad with lettuce, grains, veggies, and nuts or seeds.
- Put all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until the nut butter is smooth and blended with the other ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
- Store any leftover dressing in the fridge. It should keep about a week.
- Any lettuce should work in this salad. Kale would probably work well, too.
- I used cold brown rice for my grain, but quinoa, farro, white rice, or millet would work great, too.
- I toasted cashews for this salad. Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, or almonds would also be yummy.
- Use your favorite veggies for the chopped veggies - radishes, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, green onions, cabbage, avocado, etc. You can also throw in a bit of fruit, too - mango is really yummy with this salad, and oranges would probably be good, too.
- I use roasted cashew butter but peanut butter would work well, too. Use salt-free and oil-free nut butters. (Basically, you want roasted nuts to be the only ingredient).
- I usually use Bragg's liquid aminos in place of the soy sauce. You can also use tamari. The taste of soy sauce/tamari/liquid aminos is really similar, so just use what you've got.
- I like the subtle tang of un-seasoned rice vinegar in this dressing. You could also use apple cider or white vinegar. I think balsamic might be too much.
- If you don't have fresh ginger, you can use 1/4 teaspoon dry, powdered ginger in place of 1 tablespoon of fresh grated.
- If you want some extra "heat," you can add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.