Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sesame-Orange Asian Salad

I hijacked this recipe from Little House of Veggies, but of course, I made it my own way, as we all tend to do with recipes.  The dressing is the 'sesame-orange' part and the joie de vivre of an otherwise boring cabbage salad.  It is light and refreshing, without that feeling of too much sodium and sugar.  I could munch on this all day.  Now, here's the thing:  I added 6 oz. of cubed, fried, extra-firm tofu for a healthy protein.  You could leave that out all together and just eat this as a lovely side-dish.  But for me, it's a main dish.
Bon Appétit!

1 cup of good quality OJ
1 inch of fresh ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon of dried
2-3 garlic cloves
3 T pure maple syrup
2 T brown rice vinegar, or regular vinegar
2 T toasted sesame seeds
1 T sesame oil (found in the Asian section of most supermarkets)
2 T low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
White pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth (ya, seriously, that's it)
This dressing recipe made about 1/2 cup extra than I used.  I just put the rest in fridge for later use.

1 med. head of green cabbage, washed and shredded
1 cup sugar snap peas, ends trimmed, cut in half
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced (this adds some nice spice to the salad)
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 can of mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup cilantro, diced
1/4 cup slivered or toasted almonds (but put these on later!)

In a large bowl, mix salad ingredients, except almonds.  Add dressing a little at a time depending on how much you like.  Toss to coat.  Allow the salad to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving to soften the cabbage.  Sprinkle almonds over the top just before serving.  Serves 6-8.

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