hello friends! It’s been gorgeous weather here in California, I’m just buzzing on sunshine. All the spring feels over here- almond trees in bloom, fresh verdant green grass, miners lettuce, birds out and about, and lots of wind. As I write this I’m laying on my patio in a pair of shorts and soaking up the afternoon sun. With this warmer weather we’ve been getting outside a lot and hiking, playing, gardening and more, which makes me feel SO GOOD. Seriously, is there anything better than being outside? It makes me feel so grounded, connected and supported and boosts my mood x 100.
Today I wanted to share a very simple and very adaptable recipe with you that we can’t get enough of lately. I follow a beautiful mama on Instagram named Jenna Strubhar and she provides me with the most amazing down to earth inspiration, from everything from gentle parenting to books and easy vegan meals. Recently she posted about a thai salad she makes that is a staple in their household, I made it, and we’ve been eating it nonstop. So I wanted to post it here so you can hopefully make it and love it as much as we did. I’ve made some slight modifications to her recipe, which you can find here.
Use whatever veggies you have or like- the ones I list are simply what we had that day-but other ingredients like cucumber, fresh chili pepper, mango, pineapple, tomato, zucchini noodles, rice noodles, tofu, tempeh, and edamame would go deliciously here too. Basil and mint are great swaps for the cilantro (extra points for thai basil!). In fact, I used this sauce a few times over simple sauteed cabbage/broccoli, warm, and it was amazing. We also used it to dip veggies in for a snack, also amazing. I bet it would be great for rice paper rolls too.
thai-ish crunch salad with peanut dressing (serves 2 large servings or 4 small servings)
for the dressing/sauce:
1/4-1/3 cup nut butter (I’ve used both almond and PB with great results, I bet sunflower seed would work well if you have nut allergies) amount depending on how thick you want the dressing
1 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (rice vinegar would be nice too)
juice and zest of 1 lime (start with half the juice first and add more as needed- will depend on how big your lime is)
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons minced/grated fresh ginger (I use my microplane for this task) OR 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon maple syrup or coconut aminos
optional: 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
water as needed to thin it out
for the salad:
1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
2 carrots, shredded or sliced thinly
1 cup cilantro, chopped or just pick off the leaves and throw in whole
2 cups sliced red cabbage
3 green onions, sliced thinly
1 large navel orange, skin removed and chopped into segments
1 large avocado, sliced or diced
1/4 cup cashew pieces (or peanuts, sliced almonds, coconut flakes, whatever)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (I used a mix of black and unhulled white)
- in the bottom of a large bowl, add all dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. Taste and add more of a certain ingredient if needed to adjust the dressing to your tastebuds.
- add in all raw ingredients to the bowl (I like to reserve a few pieces of cilantro and green onion for garnish if I want to make it look extra pretty)
- toss to combine- I usually just use clean hands
- toast the sesame seeds and cashews in a hot dry pan (no oil) over high heat, tossing the pan or stirring constantly until toasted, about 3 minutes)
- divide salads into bowls and garnish with the toasted nuts/seeds and any reserved cilantro/green onion.
- take a moment to express gratitude for the food and then devour!