You may have notices a slight shift in some of my posts lately, both here and on Instagram. Gone are the back-to-back gluttonous, indulgent dishes I gravitate towards and here and there you’ll find a smattering of health-conscious meals. Don’t panic! I still have my wits about me. I’m not moving away from all things rich and sinful and fattening. I’m not planning on swearing off meat, or dairy, or sugar. But I am going to start including healthy recipes for you as much as for me.
I’m not on a crusade of any sort; I simply want to feel better and healthier and I can’t accomplish that rolling around at the bottom of a pasta bowl, as I’m prone to do. Plus, I imagine that some of you may appreciate the occasionally healthy recipe option. So there you have it. Healthy recipes and unhealthy ones coming your way. In fact, as I write this post I’m planning out my next mac and cheese recipe—everything in moderation…including moderation.
As fun as the occasional food coma can be I’m just not as quick to bounce back from them as I was in the sunny days of my youth. I feel sluggish and tired too often. Plus, since I prefer my exercise to be… shall we say occasional, I need to replace some of the fries with foliage. But I’m totally making cookies later so we’ll see what happens!
Today I’m making an Asian-inspired kale salad with some great toppings to keep things interesting. This is a very simple recipe and only a few ingredients may be tricky to track down. Once you have you salad base settled on its really up to your dressing and toppings to elevate it from bland to bold and beautiful. Kale, carrots, cucumber, and cabbage (anyone else love that beautiful alliteration?) make up the base of this salad. I bought everything fresh an organic because #healthyliving.
I added in some Thai basil, green onions and fried shallots, and my absolute favorite component of this dish, PICKLED GINGER! I found an Asian store nearby that carries it and I’m considering buying them out. I adore pickled ginger; I always ask for extra when eating sushi and I can sit and snack on it any time of day. Besides having so many great health benefits its amazing and really added some excitement to this salad!
The dressing was made up in the moment and I couldn’t be happier with the results all things considered. It’s a blend of sweet soy sauce, Sriracha, peanut butter, and lemon and is spicy, sweet, and citrusy all at once. I also added in rice vinegar, garlic, and grated ginger along with some black sesame seeds. This would also serve as a great dipping sauce for spring rolls filled with this salad and some shrimp! Must make soon!
Make a large batch of this salad today and replace your next few lunches with greens! Add some grilled chicken or soft-boiled eggs for more protein and to really make a hearty, healthy meal. Leave a comment below about some of your go-to salad recipes!
- For the Dressing
- Makes about 1 cup
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp. Sweet soy Sauce*
- 4 tsp. Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Sriracha
- 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
- 1 ½ tsp. black (or toasted white) sesame seeds
- For the Salad
- Makes 4 small or two very large salads
- 8 cups torn kale leaves
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup scallion greens
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- ½ cup Thai (or regular) basil leaves
- Topping Ideas
- Black Sesame Seeds
- Grilled chicken
- Pickled ginger**
- Fried Shallots***
- Soft-boiled eggs
- Make the Dressing
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Make the Salad
- To make curled green scallions trim off the green tops and slice as thinly as possible. Soak in ice water for about 30 minutes or until they have curled up nicely. Drain and set aside.
- In a large bowl hand toss kale, carrots, cabbage, onions, until mixed well.
- Serve topped with crispy fried shallots and whatever other toppings you desire.
- *Note that sweet soy sauce is lower in sodium, sweeter and thicker that traditional soy sauce. If you don’t have an Asian market in your neighborhood I’ve heard you can combine honey and soy sauce for similar results but go easy on the regular soy as it is higher in sodium.
- **You may have trouble tracking down the pickled ginger and sweet soy sauce. While most of the ingredients can be found in the Asian section of your market these items may not be.
- ***You can find fried shallots pre-made in some Asian markets or make your own by slicing shallots thin and frying evenly in a little vegetable or olive oil.