Tag Archive | salad

Stringy Salad with Spicy Asian Vinaigrette


Asian Vinaigrette

You have heard me rant about eating salads in the wintertime. This is a salad that I actually look forward to at this time of year. It’s loaded with crunchy-type vegetables whose freshness doesn’t get compromised in the winter and it’s an easy way to overload on raw vegetables at a time when you’re craving slow cooked comfort foods.

Any hard vegetables would work, but the combination that I love is: green cabbage, zucchini, radishes, shallots, and carrots. Even more exciting than the combination of veggies is the fun stringiness! There’s something thrilling about being able to twirl a salad. The stringiness also let’s me enjoy radishes, a root vegetable I consider extremely boring.

It is all tied together with a spicy Asian vinaigrette with a hint of sweetness and hit of ginger that takes this salad over the top. Finished with chopped roasted peanuts, fresh coriander, and black sesame seeds, it’s a crunchy, medley of veggie heaven. Served with a side of tofu, it’s as low carb as I get and a quick weeknight meal.

Here’s hoping to spice things up in 2015. Happy new year everyone!

Serves 4


 Cabbage, green, shredded  4 cups
 Zucchini, large, julienned  2
 Carrots, large, spiralled  2
 Radish, large, spiralled  1 (or 3 small)
 Shallot, sliced thinly  1/4
 Coriander, fresh, chopped
 Peanuts, chopped, roasted  1/2 cup
 Sesame seeds, black
 Sesame oil, pure  1 tbsp
 Canola oil  1 tbsp
 Lime juice  2.5 tbsp
 Hot sauce  1 tbsp
 Tamari  2 tsp
 Garlic, clove, minced  1
 Ginger, fresh, grated  2 tsp
 Maple syrup  2 tbsp
 Tofu, soft  2 lbs
 Canola oil
 Tamari  2 tbsp

1. Prepare vegetables. Thinly slice the cabbage and shallot. Use spiral cutter to cut carrots and radish into long, stringy spirals. Use a julienne-type kitchen contraption to cut zucchini (not inner seedy flesh) into long, thin strips.

2. To toast the peanuts, over medium heat in a small sautee pan, heat nuts stirring often. It only takes 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and roughly chop once cooled.

3. For the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, combine vinaigrette ingredients.

4. For the tofu, slice the tofu into bite-sized cubes. Cover a large frying pan with a thin layer of canola oil. Heat pan over medium heat and add tofu cubes. Cook until golden on all sides. Remove from heat and toss in a couple tablespoons of tamari and prepared vinaigrette.

5. To assemble, place all shredded and sliced vegetables in a large bowl, mixing to ensure they are well-combined. Toss with vinaigrette (there will be vinaigrette left over so taste as you add vinaigrette). Sprinkle with chopped coriander, toasted peanuts, and black sesame seeds. Divide the salad between 4 plates and serve with 10-12 cubes of dressed tofu on the side.



Roasted Beet & Radicchio Salad with Basil Sour Cream Vinaigrette

Roasted Beet Salad

I like beets as much as the next person, but my bi-weekly veggie box forces me to come up with creative ways to incorporate them into my meal plans. Hence, this salad.

A roasted beet salad has been on my list of things to make for some time and it definitely did not disappoint. Beets become candy in the oven and paired with the bitter, fiery radicchio, they are just beautiful together. The silkiness of the sour cream makes it sublime and the hint of basil takes it over the top.

I thoroughly enjoyed eating this salad and so did my mom, for whom I created it.

Serves 4


 Beets, red, small  2 lbs
 Oil, canola
 Black pepper
 Radicchio, head, large, roughly torn  1
 Lettuce, bib, heads, roughly torn  2
 Cucumber, English, sliced on a diagonal and then cut in half  1
 Basil, bunch, fresh, roughly torn  1
 Chives, sprigs, finely chopped  4
 Pumpkin seeds, toasted  1/4 cup
 Sour cream  1/2 cup
 Vinegar, apple cider  2 tbsp
 Olive oil  2 tbsp
 Black pepper
 Honey  2 tsp
 Garlic, clove, crushed  1/2
 Basil, leaves, fresh  4 (from your bunch above)
 Chives, sprigs  4

1. For the beets, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat beets with olive oil, salt and black pepper. Roast beets for 45-60 minutes until tender.

2. To toast the pumpkin seeds, over medium heat in a small sautee pan, heat pumpkin seeds stirring often. It only takes 3-4 minutes.

3. For the vinaigrette, combine vinaigrette ingredients with a hand blender.

4. To plate the salad, on each plate, begin with 6 pieces of bib lettuce, 1-2 leaves of radicchio, 1/4 of cucumber, 8 beets, 3 leaves of basil, chives, and 1/4 of the toasted pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with 1/4 of the vinaigrette. Repeat with other 3 plates.


Romaine Salad with Ground Cherry Vinaigrette & Crumbled Chorizo Tofu


Chorizo Tofu

The inspiration for this salad was, of course, the ground cherries. Encased in the most delicate of wrappers, you’ll find the ultimate treat, a sweet and ever slight tart yellow cherry reminiscent of the consistency of a cherry tomato, only with a mellow melon-like flavour.

I was at my friend Christine’s, who was telling me about this awesome salad that she makes consisting of mixed greens and veggies topped with sautéed ground turkey. “What a wonderful idea!”, I thought, so set out to create one my way.

Chorizo tofu has been on my list of things to make for quite a long time, so this was my opportunity. Don’t limit the use of the chorizo tofu to the salad. It works beautifully in a burrito or fajita too.

The spicy caramelized tofu, crisp sweet lettuce, and creamy melon-like vinaigrette are a power house of flavours that excited my tongue as they played in my mouth. Wow! What a treat! My husband and I couldn’t get enough. To boot, it was a fast quick weeknight meal and clean lean cooking at its best. Happy ground cherries!!

Thanks for the inspiration Christine!! This one’s for you.

Serves 3 (with vinaigrette for another day)


 Chorizo Tofu:
 Tofu, crumbled  300 grams
 Olive oil  5 tbsp
 Garlic, cloves, crushed  4
 Black Pepper
 Tamari  3 tbsp
 Hungarian paprika  1 tsp
 Smoked paprika  ½ tsp
 Aleppo powder (or other spicy pepper powder)  ½ tsp
 Coriander, ground  1 tsp
 Cumin, ground  ¼ tsp
 Lime, zest  1
 Lime juice  2 squeezes
 Ground Cherries  1/3 cup (heaping)
 Olive oil  1/4 cup
 Lime juice  2 tbsp
 Garlic, clove, crushed  1
 Dijon mustard  1 tsp
 Lettuce, Romaine, head  1 (approximately 3-4 leaves per person)
 Cabbage, green, shredded  1.5 cups
 Onion, red, thinly sliced  1/4 cup
 Ground Cherries  1 pint (8-10 per person + what’s needed for vinaigrette)
 Chorizo tofu, pre-cooked  300 g
 Basil, fresh  12-15 leaves


1. Drain tofu and using your hands crumble tofu into ground-like consistency. Place crumbled tofu in a small sauté pan on medium heat. At this point, if the tofu chunks are still too big, I apply a potato masher to make the adjustments. Cook tofu for 1-2 minutes on its own. This helps evaporate excess liquid. Add remaining ingredients: olive oil, garlic, spices, seasoning, lime rind and juice and continue to cook until tofu crumble is golden brown, approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Using a hand blender, combine all vinaigrette ingredients and process until you get a smooth, creamy consistency. The texture from the ground cherries plus the air whipped in from the hand blender and the mustard which acts as an emulsifier render a beautiful creamy but not dense consistency.

3. To make the salad, in a large bowl, preferably a display bowl, begin by layering the romaine lettuce, then the shredded cabbage, the onion strips, the basil leaves, the chorizo tofu, and ground cherries.

4. Serve on it’s own or with a chunk of rustic bread and/or side soup.