Thai Crunch Salad

I realize now that using red cabbage in my salad sounded really awesome, and it tasted just fine!, but it makes for a … strange … food blog picture. But I think I’ve established by this point, after years of taking crappy food pictures, that I am less than a stellar food photographer. I know this comes as a huge shock to all of you who’ve been following my blog to learn that my food photography skills are slightly lacking. (Looking at you, mom.) So, you know, if you’re looking at my weird purple salad and thinking “What in God’s name is this purple mess?” — well, there you have it: I’m a terrible food photographer, I’ve got a purple salad as the picture for this post, and you have to decide whether or not the purple salad scares you off from trying it.

And I DO recommend giving the weird purple salad a chance. You could make yours with, like, green lettuce cabbage instead! Then it would look like a normal salad! The thai peanut dressing is so good on the edamame and cabbage (regardless of cabbage color, *ahem*). I’ve been trying out lots of different recipes from Happy Herbivore: Light & Lean (a book I totally recommend you buy if you’re looking for more WFPB recipes) and I found this lovely light salad! It took me less than 15 minutes to put together.

Ingredients

Servings: 1 large bowl of salad as an entree or 3-4 small bowls as side salads

  • 4 cups cabbage (nappa, red, lettuce, or a combination)
  • 1 carrot, julienned (or be lazy like me and buy shredded carrots)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • ¼ to ½ cup edamame
  • Half a cucumber -ish, sliced or diced (or as much as you want)
  • Optional:
    • crushed peanuts as garnish
    • cilantro
    • lime wedges

Thai Peanut Dressing:

  • 1 tbs. peanut butter (see note)
  • 1 tbs. warm water
  • 1 tbs. sweet red chili sauce
  • juice of 1 lime wedge (about a teaspoon-ish from a lime juice bottle)
  • 2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1¼ tsp. rice vinegar
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • ground ginger, to taste
  • 1-2 drops Sriracha or other Asian hot sauce
  • 1 tbs. plant-based milk (I use unsweetened almond, but anything’s fine)

Note on peanut butter: I highly recommend using peanut butter powders instead of actual peanut butter for sauces and salad dressings. Not only are the powders a lot lower in calories, but they are also lower in sugar, oil, and sodium content.

Directions

1. Toss all the salad veggies together.

2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, add peanut butter with water, chili sauce, lime juice, soy sauce (or tamari), rice vinegar, a few dashes of garlic powder and ground ginger, and hot sauce. Microwave for 10-20 seconds (so peanut butter is melty). Whisk it all together, then add the milk and whisk some more. Taste-test and see how you like it, adding more of whichever flavor ingredient you’d like.

3. Drizzle the thai dressing over the salad and top with any optional toppings. Enjoy!

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