Wednesday, January 11, 2012

(my version of) Dinner A Love Story's Redemption Salad

There are so many great blogs out there that inspire me. I have a small collection of them noted here in the "sites that inspire me" section (if you scroll down), but there are even more that I connect with through full plate/meals in a snap's FB page. Sometimes it actually feels like inspiration overload! But that's in a good way, and I love that between this blog and Pinterest, I can share ideas from my own kitchen, and the kitchens of those I admire. So, without further adieu, I have to make sure I create a "permanent" record of my take on my new favorite entree salad, Dinner A Love Story's "Redemption Salad". This was one of the recipes I whipped up on Sunday, when I had a whole blissful day to cook and test recipes from my "recipes I can't wait to try" board. If you go looking for it, you'll see that it has garnered a place in the more permanent "salad" board now....

The original recipe, which inspired this post can be found here. But, as with anything I make, there's some variation based upon what I have on hand...and what I know my entire family will eat. So, here's my take on this winning salad:

Asian-Inspired Chopped Salad (with or without chicken)
(makes 4-6 servings)

For the salad:
10 oz package (or about 3-4 cups) shredded cabbage
5 oz (or 1/2 a 10 oz package or 1-2 cups) shredded carrots
6 oz (or 1/2 a 12 oz pkg) snowpeas, rough chopped
1/2 a bell pepper, chopped (b/c I happened to have one on hand)
4-6 scallions, white parts chopped

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked edamame
handful of roasted, unsalted peanuts
generous shake of sesame seeds
optional: grilled or roasted chicken, chopped*

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix with your hands or a set of tongs.

For the dressing:
olive oil
lime juice, ideally fresh squeezed
rice wine vinegar
fresh ginger
salt & pepper, to taste

When making salad dressing, I always start off with a 1:3 ratio of acid (vinegar + lime juice) to base (oil), because I like our dressings tangy. I combine everything in the blender and pulse until well-blended, then taste and add more of one thing or another until I get to the taste my family would enjoy.

* I would love to say that I cook everything from scratch, but I don't. And, since I am enjoying more meatless meals these days, I had an "emergency" stash of Trader Joe's frozen chicken strips in the freezer. Rather than have to answer "does this chicken salad have chicken in it or is this another one of your vegetarian meals", I put chicken on my husband and kids' salads. I tasted the chicken and it was a little salty, but in a pinch (or when I don't feel like grilling chicken), this does the trick.

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