Do you ever have those days when you wake up and you just want to create something? Last Wednesday I woke up wanting to make salad. Not just one salad, but three different kinds and all in large quantities. It was an incredibly therapeutic activity for me, so much so that I didn’t bother to document the process and almost didn’t snap any photos of my creations or tell anyone about what I made. But thank goodness for a good friend who encouraged me to share these creations with others! So many people are eager to eat healthier and if these recipes can help them do so, I’d be glad to share!
Cabbage Salad Wrap with a Ginger Garlic dressing adapted from Hello Paper Moon
Whole wheat wraps
3 cups shredded green cabbage
1 1/2 cups julienned carrots
3/4 cup sliced cucumbers
1/2 cup sliced sugar snap peas
1/3 block extra firm tofu
little bits of cooked shrimp (optional)
Ginger Garlic Dressing:
4 cloves minced garlic
1 to 2 inch block of minced ginger
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp water
a squeeze of Sriracha
Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar or sealed container and shake vigorously until mixture is homogenous. Toss the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Slowly pour the ginger garlic dressing until it covers all ingredients. I only used a little more than half of the dressing recipe. Serve salad in a whole wheat wrap or eat by itself. Feel free to change any of the quantities for the salad and dressing. Measure to your tastebuds as I do with mine! (Just a note that I do prefer my foods spicier and more sour than “normal”)
Quinoa Salad with Miso Orange Dressing inspired by Sprouted Kitchen
2/3 block extra firm tofu
1 tsp soy sauce
Fresh ground pepper
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
½ cup sliced sugar snap peas (edamame would probably taste better)
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Chopped cilantro (I’m always very generous with adding cilantro!)
2 tbsp white miso
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 shallot minced
Juice of half an orange
Heat the oil in a pan. Slice the tofu into ½ inch cubes and add to the pan when the oil is hot. Add the soy sauce and a little bit of pepper and sauté for a few minutes. Let it cool.
Combine the quinoa, thinly sliced carrots, snap peas, sesame seeds and tofu in a large bowl. Mix the dressing together and pour in the bowl of quinoa. Roughly chop the cilantro and mix into the quinoa. I prefer to eat it cold rather than room temperature but either way should be fine.
Kale Israeli Couscous Salad
I first discovered Israeli couscous at Mendocino Farms where they make a deliciously tangy Israeli couscous salad. I knew that I wanted to recreate it someday. While this salad is not quite like the one from Mendocino Farms and was birthed from the random leftover ingredients in my fridge, I was rather pleased with the result so I decided to make it again! Kale is such a healthy and complex green that it just feels so good to consume it and I love the chewiness of Israeli couscous!
2 cups cooked Israeli couscous (Trader Joe’s sells a box)
4 cups kale
1 medium to large sized sweet potato
½ cup chickpeas
Grape tomatoes sliced in half (only include if they are sweet!)
Crumbled feta cheese
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the Israeli couscous according to the instructions on the box and then set aside to cool. Chop the kale into small pieces, making sure that the stems are sliced small. Have a bowl of iced water ready. Boil a large pot of water. Blanch the kale in batches for about 30 seconds to a minute and then immediately place in the ice water bath. Drain well. (Alternatively, you can chop the kale into smaller pieces after blanching).
Prick the sweet potato with a fork in a few places. Bake it in the oven at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Take it out when it is just soft enough for the fork to go through but not mushy. Let it cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, peel it and cut it into small cubes.
Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Create a balsamic vinegar dressing using 2 parts balsamic vinegar to one part olive oil. Add some salt and pepper and dress the salad. Sprinkle some red pepper flakes. Keep in the fridge for a few hours before serving to allow the dressing to penetrate the salad. Serve it cold with crumbled feta on top.
I hope you enjoy your creations! Happy salad eating!