Cabbage Carrot Salad with Sassy Peanut Dressing

Just picked red cabbage, carrots, lettuce and parsley make for a healthy, quick lunch.

Dana made this for us for lunch yesterday, I helped by printing out brochures for the Pittsfield Coop Market Initiative! This is a quick and easy meal- it can be made in advance and keeps well in the fridge.  I think I will be making this for my next pot luck!

For the veggies:

Shred 1/2 a head of purple cabbage, grate a carrot or two plus about 1/3 of  a medium white onion, thinly sliced

Make the dressing by whisking together approximately:

1/2 cup peanut butter

a shy Tablespoon of sesame oil

1 teaspoon tamari plus salt to taste

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or 1 teaspoon each: mirin and brown rice vinegar

4 drops of liquid stevia

pinch of five spice powder

1 teaspoon of powdered or juiced ginger

srirracha and/or ground hot pepper to taste

juice of one lime

Add water to desired consistency at the end, taste and adjust flavors.

Add the dressing to the shredded veggies and toss to coat evenly.

Serve on a bed of lettuce and garnish with chopped parsley and salted, toasted sunflower seeds.

To make this into a more filling meal add cooked chicken, tempeh or tofu!

Comfort Food: Goat Cheese Greens

Greens chopped into fettuccine sized slices.

The idea here is to use a whole bunch of greens, sliced into fat ribbons, and then combine them with some creamy, cheesy goodness for a dish that’s similar to mac n cheese but with way more nutrients, minerals, vitamins, fiber, good fats and all that other stuff your body gets from green food!  I used to love cooking pasta and dressing it up with olive oil, grated cheese, hot pepper flakes and lots of garlic.  In retrospect, the pasta was just a vehicle for the seasonings and cheese so why not replace it with the one food most missing from American diets?  Why not indeed!

Ingredients:

A big bunch of sturdy greens like collards or the leaves from your broccoli, romanesco or brussels sprouts plants.   Strip the leaves from the stems, stack the leaves and slice into fettuccine sized ribbons.

Olive oil, enough to saute all your greens

a clove or three of mashed or minced garlic

and any or all of these flavorful, medicinal seasonings: hot peppers, fennel, garlic salt, sea salt, black pepper, paprika smokey or hot, all to taste

Fresh goat cheese, get it local at Berkshire Organics or the Berkshire Co-op Market

So happy to have time to cook more and relax more after a very busy three weeks.

Procedure: 

Heat the olive oil in your cast iron skillet on medium heat, add your garlic and any whole spices you are using like the hot pepper flakes and the fennel seeds.

Before the garlic starts to brown, add in all your pretty green ribbons and saute til wilted and cooked through.

Add salt to taste and any powdered spices you are using, like paprika.

When the greens are cooked to your liking and you’ve adjusted the seasonings, serve the greens and top with as much goat cheese as you like.  Mix it well, it will melt instantly on the hot greens and make a creamy sauce, kinda like mac n cheese but with out the gluey macaroni and unsettling powdered ‘cheese’.  Top with some hot sauce or sriracha if you need extra heat.  Isn’t it comforting to know that your comfort food is really nourishing?

Comfort food can be green and good for you too!

Cilantro Sesame Salad

Cilantro salad from Xian Famous Foods on Bayard St, NYC

On my last visit to NYC my roommate and I decided to try the new place across the street, Xian Famous Foods, on the recommendation of the No Reservations host Anthony Bourdain that their lamb burgers were amazing.  I’m not into burgers so much anymore so I chose the only thing on the menu that was all veggie, a cilantro salad.  It was refreshing, light and had a little kick to it.  My roommate attests that it was a perfect complement to the lamb burger which was pretty damn good if you ask him.

If you are like me you grow or buy herbs to use as an accent in a particular dish and then find yourself, a week later guiltily tossing what remains of that big bunch of herbs into the compost.  Well, guilty compost no more, try a this herb based salad instead, it’s simple and nutritious and a great way to use up a lot of cilantro at once.  Aside from being a good source of fiber, iron, magnesium and phytonutrients, cilantro has been effectively used to help remove heavy metals and other toxic agents from the body.  This recipe can easily be doubled and makes 2 side servings.

Ingredients for the dressing:

2 Tablespoons Sesame oil

1 Tablespoon Brown rice vinegar

Salt to taste

Splash of Mirin

Optional: chili garlic sauce or hot pepper flakes.

For the salad:

Small bunch of cilantro, sorted, long stems removed

4 scallions, white ends and light green parts julienned

1 celery heart, leaves roughly chopped and the rest julienned

1 medium hot pepper, thinly sliced into rings (I didn’t have one so I used a bit of chili garlic sauce in the dressing.)

Cilantro salad with dressing ingredients: chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and mirin.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and adjust the proportions to your liking.

Prep all the veggies and add them to your bowl with the dressing.

Toss together and enjoy!