Vietnamese-Style Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded if desired, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped green onion
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or mint (used mint)
  • 8 oz. dried rice vermicelli noodles, broken in half
  • 1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil (used canola oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 cups vegetables, such as sliced sweet pepper, snow pea pods, and/or julienned carrots (used 1 cup each of snow pea pods, julienned carrots, thinly sliced yellow onion, thinly sliced cremini mushrooms, and sliced water chestnuts)
  • 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil and/or mint leaves (used mint leaves)
  • Salted peanuts and lime wedges

Directions

  1. Take a small mixing bowl out and add the following ingredients to it, stirring to combine: fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, finely chopped ginger, jalapeño, green onion and chopped mint.
  2. Get a pot of water boiling and immediately take it off the heat. Stir the noodles in, letting the stand for 5 minutes or however long the package they came in recommends until the noodles feel softened. Drain the noodles, rinsing them under cold water until they’ve cooled down and drain them one more time.
  3. Take a wok or large heavy skillet and pour the oil into it (I used a large cast-iron skillet), setting the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil’s hot, toss the chopped ginger in, stirring constantly for 10 seconds. Mix the vegetables in now, continuing to stir for another 2 minutes or until the vegetables become crisp-tender.
  4. Divide the noodles, vegetables and romaine between 6 bowls, spreading the dressing over them. Top with the basil and/or mint leaves and serve with the peanuts and lime wedges.

There are a lot of things that go into this dish but they all work together to create a tasty dish ! That sauce really brings the major flavors, the vegetables help bulk up the dish and bring a variety of textures, the mint leaves bring a freshness, the peanuts add a crunchy texture and squeezing that lime wedge over the entire dish just helps brighten the whole thing, making it even tastier !

This recipe came from Better Homes & Gardens.

I wasn’t paid in any form to promote Better Homes & Gardens.

Take care everybody !

Larb Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 package extra-firm tofu, pressed to remove excess water and crumbled afterwards
  • Juice of 2 limes, divided
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 5 cilantro sprigs, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 or 2 mint sprigs, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground dried Thai chiles (or red pepper flakes) (we used red pepper flakes)
  • 8 lettuce leaves (iceberg or romaine), for serving (we used romaine)

Directions

  1. Take a medium-sized sauté pan (we used a large skillet) and pour the oil, setting the pan over medium heat. Once the oil’s hot, add in the tofu along with juice from 1/2 of a lime. Occasionally stir the tofu for 4 to 5 minutes or until the tofu has a light brown color to it.
  2. Take the tofu out of the skillet and add it to a mixing bowl. Add everything else but the lettuce leaves to the bowl, stirring to mix thoroughly.
  3. Spoon the tofu mixture into the lettuce leaves and eat right away.

DSC_0929 copy 2

This was so freaking delicious ! It was supposed to be enough to fill 8 lettuce leaves but their leaves must’ve been on the smaller side ’cause we ran out of filling before we got to the 8th leaf. You can also kick up the heat in this by mixing in a minced jalapeño or serrano (seeds left in). We will definitely enjoy eating this again in the future !

This recipe came from “The Super Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Cookbook”.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote “The Super Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Cookbook”.

Take care everybody !

Crunchy Chicken-Peanut Chopped Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. deli-fried chicken tenders (about 6 large tenders), chopped (we went with the weight rather than the number of chicken tenders)
  • 3 cups shredded coleslaw mix (you can get that from a 10-oz. package of shredded coleslaw mix)
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage (from 1 head cabbage)
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions (from 4 scallions) (we went with the ½ cup measurement)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¾ cup dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 5 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar (we used unseasoned rice vinegar)
  • 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste (we used 1 Tbsp.)

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the chopped chicken, coleslaw mix, cabbage, scallions, cilantro and ½ cup of chopped peanut.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the lime juice and peanut butter together until the mixture looks smooth. Slowly whisk (so the dressing doesn’t break) in the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, light brown sugar, and the crushed red pepper, continuing to whisk until creamy.
  3. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad mixture in the large bowl, tossing to ensure that all the components are coated in the dressing. Sprinkle the remaining peanuts over the top and enjoy !
DSC_0267 copyDSC_0271 copy

Oh my god we loved this salad ! The recipe lives up to its name with the amount of crunch you get from the cabbage and coleslaw mix and you get some additional texture from the chopped peanuts. The dressing is really what makes the dish so freaking delicious though. That tangy, spicy peanut butter flavor with just a hint of sweetness in the dressing just keeps you coming back for more ! You could dial down the amount of crushed red pepper if you don’t want it spicy but we loved how the amount we chose to use gave you a tingle on your lips without making your nose runny and the other flavors were still able to come through in the dish. The chicken does make this feel like a filling, complete meal but we don’t see why you couldn’t replace it with some kind of meat substitute and turn this into a vegan meal. Awesome bonus though, no cooking needed ! This is perfect for summer time when it’s 90+ degrees out (and that’s without the d*#n humidity figured in).

We got this recipe from Southern Living. We weren’t paid in any form to promote Southern Living.

Take care everybody !

Peanut-Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 large cucumber
  • ¾ cup lite soy sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup chunky peanut butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil (we used toasted sesame oil)
  • ½ to 1 tsp. dried crushed red pepper (we used 1 tsp.)
  • ½ tsp. salt (we used kosher salt)
  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. soba noodles or angel hair pasta (we used soba noodles)
  • 1 (10 oz.) pkg. shredded carrots (we used julienned carrots*)
  • 6 green onions, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

Directions

  1. Peel the cucumbers, cutting them in half lengthwise and throwing the seeds away afterwards. Cut each half into crescent-shaped slices.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the following ingredients together: soy sauce, coconut milk, rice wine vinegar, peanut butter, garlic, sesame oil, crushed red pepper and salt. Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl, tossing to ensure they’re fully coated in the dressing. Cover the bowl and let it chill in the fridge for 8 hours if you want to.

*The recipe called for shredded carrots but we wanted a little more crunch since we knew the noodles were going to be soft so we used julienned carrots instead.

DSC_0240DSC_0239

While you can eat this after it’s sat in the fridge for 8 hours, we enjoyed eating this right away ! The produce has a nice crunch to it which is a nice contrast to the tender noodles. You’d think you were in for an onion bomb with the size of the pieces but the flavor really gets tamed down by the cucumber and the tanginess of the dressing. We got very little heat from this so we added more crushed red pepper onto our portions. Overall, it’s an easy dish to make and great to enjoy on a hot summer day !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Mexican Corn Salad

Ingredients

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from 6 ears, maybe less depending on the size of your ears of corn)
  • ½ cup chopped scallions (we sliced ours)
  • 1 pint multicolored cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1 ½ oz. crumbled Cotija cheese (1/3 cup)

Directions

  1. Take a small mixing bowl out and whisk together the cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper together in it. Slowly whisk the oil in until combined and your dressing is complete !
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the corn, scallions, tomatoes and radish slices. Take the dressing and gently stir it into the large bowl, making sure that the dressing coats the other salad components. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and you’re ready to eat !
DSC_0227 copy

When it comes to how this tastes, I think mommy’s statement after taking her first bite best describes this: “F**k this is delicious !”. When you try the dressing before it’s mixed in, it seems like you’re going to have some serious pucker power in every bite of the salad but once it’s coating all the other components and especially after the Cotija cheese is sprinkled on, the flavor of the lime juice just becomes a nice pleasant bright note in this. We love Cotija so we crumbled up more than just 1/3 cup just so we could have cheese in every serving. The funky flavor of the Cotija cheese pairs perfectly with the flavor of the lime juice and cilantro that comes through in this dish. Another awesome thing about this recipe?  There’s ZERO cooking involved ! As hot as it can get here in the summer, any dish that doesn’t require heat is an awesome summer recipe!!!

We got this recipe from Cooking Light (we weren’t paid in any form to promote them).

Take care everybody !

Corn and Black Bean Salad with Garlic Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 ears fresh corn, husked and trimmed, kernels cut off the cob afterwards
  • Salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (we used ½ teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 4 large or 8 small radishes, trimmed and chopped (we sliced ours)
  • 4 cups cooked or canned black beans (two 15-ounce cans) (beans should be drained and rinsed if using canned black beans)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 limes, halved
  • Sour cream for garnish (optional) (we didn’t use it)

Directions

  1. Put a large skillet on the stovetop, setting the heat to medium-high. Preheat your broiler, making sure the rack is 4 inches from the heat.
  2. Once the skillet’s hot, add the corn in, sprinkling salt in afterwards. Stir the corn around now and then for 5 to 10 minutes or until the corn looks like it’s lightly charred. Place the charred corn in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Take a rimmed baking sheet out (we lined ours with aluminum foil) and place the chicken on it. Rub the chicken with the oil, cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper.
  4. Stick the chicken under the broiler and let it cook for 2 to 5 minutes, flipping the chicken over and letting it cook for another 2 to 5 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked (we had to cook ours for longer than 10 minutes total).
  5. Add the radishes, beans and cilantro to the bowl with the corn, squeezing the limes over the mixture afterwards.
  6. When the chicken is done cooking, take it out from the broiler and rub the raw garlic all over the chicken.
  7. Toss the bowl mixture together and take a bite afterwards, adding more seasoning to taste. Divide the corn mixture among 4 plates or bowl.
  8. Slice the chicken, laying it over the corn mixture and top with a dollop of sour cream if you’re using it.
dsc_0097 copy

This is a delicious salad you could enjoy for lunch or dinner ! We didn’t really taste the garlic in the chicken but the meat did have a nice level of heat to it. We enjoyed the soft and crunchy textures in the corn and black bean mixture. While the chicken does make this feel like a complete meal, we think we could enjoy this just as much with tofu or some other meat substitute and it would make it a vegan dish (as long as you’re not using the sour cream) !

We got this recipe from “How to Cook Everything Fast” by Mark Bittman.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote “How to Cook Everything Fast”.

Take care everybody !

Chinese Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil (we used peanut oil)
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil (we used toasted sesame oil)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) (we used ½ teaspoon)
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey (We used 3 packages of Beyond Meat’s grilled chicken strips and after being cooked, cut each chicken strip in half width-wise then cut each half lengthwise into 3 strips. You could probably get away with just using 2 bags but if you like snacking on chicken while you’re cutting it then it’s better to go with 3 bags.)
  • 4 cups packed shredded Napa cabbage or romaine lettuce (we used Napa cabbage)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 package (3 ounces) ramen noodles, any flavor, crumbled* or 1 can (5 ounces) chow mein noodles (we used chow mein noodles)
  • ¼ cup chopped cashews or peanuts (optional) (we used chopped peanuts)

Directions

  1. Add the peanut oil, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, ginger, sesame oil, garlic and red pepper flakes to a small jar with a tight-fitting lid**. Make sure the lid’s on tight and secure before shaking long enough for the ingredients to combine.
  2. Add the chicken to a large mixing bowl, pouring the dressing over the chicken afterwards. Toss the chicken long enough to make sure all of it is coated in the dressing.
  3. Add the cabbage, carrots, green onions and noodles to the bowl, tossing all of the ingredients so everything gets coated in the dressing and all the ingredients are equally distributed. If you’re using them, sprinkle the cashews or peanuts on before serving (we just sprinkled the peanuts onto the individual servings).

*Discard the flavor packet.

**We just whisked this together in a small mixing bowl rather than shake it up in a jar.

DSC_2164

We don’t miss meat at all in this flavorful dish. You can taste some heat in this but it’s not overpowering. We know that the Beyond Meat chicken has some flavor of its own so that probably helped make it as yummy as it was, it worked well with the dish. We were afraid of losing the crunch we get from the chow mein noodles if we mixed them in so for ourselves we just sprinkled them over our individual portions. The crunch from the noodles and peanuts is a nice contrast against the tender “chicken”.

We got this recipe from “Asian Cooking” cookbook.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Beyond Meat or the Asian Cooking cookbook.

Take care everybody !