It was after I made this salad that I knew that the Pioneer Woman and I were destined to be BFFs.
It’s because this is our favorite salad! And that’s just only ONE of the things we have in common. Also, her chocolate cake. And men in cowboy clothes. Me and Ree — that’s what I call her, Ree — we love those things.
She doesn’t know we’re BFFs yet, in case, you know, you mention my name to her, but if I keep following her around with binoculars eventually she’ll wanna hang out with me, I’m sure of it. Hello, Ree… if you’re reading this, answer my texts…
I first made this salad years ago and was in LOVE. It was my first experience with Napa cabbage, but Ree talked me into it, and I love it. And it’s not just the cabbage… there’s cilantro, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and ok, everything good in life in this salad. I tweaked it a little, leaving out the noodles because I don’t like noodles, and the sugar because sugar is from the devil, and as it turns out without noodles and sugar this salad works as an S on the THM plan.
And the BONUS, on top of all this deliciousness, is that this is fantabulously healthy for your mitochondria.
OK, I see I’m gonna have to explain. Nevermind. Go watch this video. And then make this salad.
Start with all this produce straight out of your garden. Or straight from the grocery store, whichever.
Use whatever salad greens you like… I buy Spring Mix because I like it.
Then add some sprouted mung beans, like Creed grows in his desk drawer for all of you Office fans. I LOVE these things. LOVE. It started during a pregnancy, I forget which one, probably because you’re not supposed to eat bean sprouts when you’re pregnant. Thus nothing could make me want them more because I’m a rebel like that. They add so much crunch…
Cilantro. If you’re one of those weirdos who hates cilantro, I don’t understand you at all. You probably vote for the wrong political party too.
Purple cabbage. This is stout stuff, really dense and crunchy, so slice it into the thinnest strips possible.
It’s oh, so pretty.
Green onions. I add a whole bunch. Yum.
Cucumbers. One is probably plenty, but two or three are better. I’ll let you in on a secret… sometimes I whip up a batch of the Asian dressing and pour it over a bowl of cucumbers and FORGET the rest of this dang complicated salad. Cucumbers and Asian dressing are deliciousness.
And now for the Napa cabbage. Apparently I’m the ONLY one in town buying this stuff, because I can hardly find it, and when I do, there’s one sad, ancient head in the whole produce section. Case in point (see pic below). This one didn’t look particularly good, but I LOVE how the wrinkles and folds make pockets that hold lots of dressing. MMMM.
Bell peppers. Honestly I usually leave these things out because I’m not in love with bell peppers, and besides, they’re $1.68 EACH. Each, y’all. No thanks. But for picture purposes, today only, I’m adding them. They ARE pretty after all.
Rip their guts out and slice them thinly. Use a mandoline if you have one. *I have one, thanks to the generous benefactress who set up my kitchen for me. Thank you, generous benefactress.
And yes, that’s a Paula Deen knife. I still love you, Paula.
Toss all that together and pour on the dressing.
Asian Salad, Adapted from Pioneer Woman
1/2 head Sliced Napa Cabbage
1/4 head Sliced Purple Cabbage
1/2 bag Spring Mix salad greens
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced
1 bag Mung Bean Sprouts
1 Bunch chopped cilantro
1 Bunch green onions, sliced
1 whole cucumber Peeled And Sliced
1 can (about 10 Oz.) Whole Cashews, Lightly Toasted In Skillet (not shown)
1 whole Lime, Juiced
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped
2 cloves Garlic, Chopped
2 whole Jalapenos, seeded and Chopped
4-5 tablespoons of xylitol*
Combine and toss salad ingredients in a large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth; SLOWLY add sweetener ONE tablespoon at a time. Taste often, and add more as necessary. Sweetener is necessary to balance out the hot and salty flavors, but you don’t want to overdo it. I ruined my first batch by experimenting with stevia; I would recommend the xylitol instead.