Unemployment Week 2: “Asian Fusion Salad” with a Peanut Chia Dressing

My boyfriend and I loved this salad, it’s full of textures, flavors and colors.  Topped with a sweet, tangy delicious peanut-y dressing, it’s impossible to stop eating until it’s all gone. Kind of similar the to dish it was inspired by – pad thai.  I could eat pad thai but the truck load if I wouldn’t blow up….  The good news is – this version is a salad, so go ahead. Eat a truck load.  But you will probably be bloated from all that lettuce – so I take that back, don’t do that.

We’re still coming off of our Holiday “High” – and fighting all those urges to snack and eat out.  Giant delicious salads help us win the battle.  When he tasted the salad he told me I “had to name it an asian fusion salad” .. so for him, I will 🙂

The star of the salad is the dressing – you can really make the salad with anything you have around.

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Look at that fancy fucking presentation – I even threw some nonchalant lettuce in the background.

Ingredients for Dressing

  • 3 T Natural Peanut Butter (Can be subbed for tahini if desired)
  • 1/4 C Rice Vinegar
  • Sweetener of Choice (I used about 1 T Agave)
  • 1/2 T Tamari (or Aminos of choice)
  • Bit of Himalayan Salt & Ground Pepper
  • 1 Inch Grated Ginger (If you lazy-out and do powdered you will regret it!)
  • 1 – 2 t Garlic Powder
  • 1 T Chia Seeds
  • Peanut Oil (or other oil of choice) – use as much as you feel comfortable with

Salad Ingredients

  • Chopped Romaine Lettuce
  • Sliced Green and Purple Cabbage
  • Red Onion
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • Cucumber
  • Peas
  • Grated Carrot
  • Corn
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Chopped Poblano Pepper
  • Sesame Seeds

Directions

  1. For the Dressing, combine all ingredients except water and whisk together.  Taste the dressing and add water slowly as needed to dilute.  The flavors are strong, and you can keep it as is without water, but I prefer more dressing, slightly less intense throughout my salad.  If you allow your dressing to sit with chia seeds in it for about 10 minutes, the chia seeds will natural start to thicken the dressing.  Adjust things as needed – if you want it sweeter, tangier, peanut-ier do your thang.
  2. For the Salad – I sautéed the garlic and red onion together, starting out by heating a bit of oil over medium heat. I added the onions first, and let them start to slightly brown – then added the garlic and cooked for about a minute – ensuring the garlic did not burn.
  3. Then I tossed all ingredients together.  Serve into smaller bowls, dress, sprinkle with a bit of sesame seeds and serve!

The key to a good salad is texture and flavor.  Just a pile of lettuce with a few toppings will always leave you wanting more.  Ever since I started loading my salads full of a variety of fresh ingredients, I’ve noticed my boyfriend has totally forgot about the dreaded “cheese” that he always begs me to add to salad.  He even declared “this is one of my best yet!” and that’s WITHOUT cheese! ::gasp::

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