Make it your way salad with an east Asian vibe

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The gardens are just starting to offer up fresh lettuces, radishes and even some peas here. While I’m not generally a huge salad fan, it’s impossible to resist all this garden goodness.

Here’s what I had for lunch today – a big green salad with Gardein chick’n strips and a sesame and soy sauce-based dressing.

Here’s the recipe for this quick and flavourful dressing.

1 ½ Tbsp soya sauce

1 ½ Tbsp sherry

1 ½ Tbsp agave nectar

1 ½ Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp sesame oil

I  ½ Tbsp neutral flavoured oil (I used peanut oil)

2 -3 green onions finely chopped

Mix all the ingredients in a jar or small bowl or mug. This recipe makes lots of dressing – enough to dress a whole head of lettuce plus extra veggies. I like mixing my dressings in a jar with a lid so I can store any leftovers easily in the fridge.

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Tailor up the salad portion anyway you want. Mine has:

Bibb lettuce

Sliced navel orange

Radishes

Mushrooms

Freshly shelled peas

Other salad additions that would work well with this dressing are: broccoli, green beans, snap peas water chestnuts, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, red pepper, bean sprouts, celery, mango

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Add some toppings

I topped my salad with Gardein chick’n strips and toasted almonds. The toppings add oomph and flavour but use them as a garnish, not the bulk of your salad.

Other toppings that would work well with this dressing are: plain baked, crispy tofu,  plain, firm tofu,  seitan, edamame, toasted sesame seeds, sunflower seed, uncooked ramen noodles, cooked rice or mung bean noodles, avocado

This salad is totally customizable. Mix and match ingredients, add as much or as little of whatever as you like. That’s the beauty of cooking from scratch.

 

 

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Fennel, orange and radish salad

FennelSalad

Poor fennel. So delicious yet so misunderstood. And poor you, if you’re not enjoying this gorgeous bulb with the bright green fronds. This vegetable is delicious raw or cooked and has a distinct licorice-y flavour and happy crunch. I think fennel bulbs look like ogre hearts and well… that just makes it all the more fun.

Ingredients

1 bulb fennel

1 naval orange – peeled with a knife so all the white pith is removed and then sliced  into bite sized pieces

4-5 radishes sliced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 Tbsp olive oil

1-2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

fennelTo prepare your fennel, wash it under hot running water. Remove the first layer and the tough core. Cut off a few of the green fronds – they make a nice decorative touch. You can eat the stalks/shoots though they can be woody so unless I have a very fresh fennel, I skip the stalks. Cut your fennel bulb in half and then slice into bite sized slices.

Directions

Mix all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. This salad is a great winter salad when oranges are cheap and other leafy greens are hard to come by or expensive and imported.

This salad has a bright, refreshing taste and great crunch and will last for 3 days in the fridge.