Thursday, May 28, 2015

Grilled Thai Cabbage Salad with Almond Chile Sauce

I do my best to make good choices about the food I buy. I don’t eat a lot of meat, and I don’t eat any red meat. But, I can always try to do better. The new book Living the Farm Sanctuary Life is full of inspiration for eating better, taking better care of the planet, and paying more attention to how animals are raised. I received a review copy. It’s doesn’t beat you up about how you choose to eat. It just tells the story of Farm Sanctuary and how they’ve rescued animals and inspired a lot of people to stop eating animal products. There are charming anecdotes about the animals that have been saved, nursed back to health, and gone on to delight everyone who gets to know them. There are reminders about the horrible conditions at factory farms and suggestions for making small changes that will add up. I started thinking about how my consumption of espresso drinks with milk has increased over recent years. In the past, I drank tea more often. I decided it’s time to switch back to more tea and less dairy and to make sure I’m visiting coffee bars that use milk from good sources when I do need a cappuccino fix. I’m also thinking that fewer turkey sandwiches and more sandwiches filled with vegetables would be a good change. Following the stories about the animals and the farm and tips for healthy eating, there are recipes for Breakfast, Salad, Handheld Meals, Soups, Appetizers and Sides, Entrees, and Desserts. And, they’re all free of animal products. Some dishes I want to try include: the Tacos with Salted Grilled Plantains, Salsa Verde, and Pepitas on homemade tortillas; the Spring Vegetable Cioppino; and the Savory Wild Mushroom Crepes with Roasted Fingerling Breakfast Potatoes made with chickpea flour in the crepes. I jumped right into the Grilled Thai Cabbage Salad before our local cabbage disappears for the summer. 

The salad itself is an easy mix of a few vegetables and lots of herbs, and the grilled cabbage adds a lot of flavor. But, the real star here is the sauce. I want to keep a bowl of it handy for dipping all kinds of vegetables or grilled tofu. It’s made in a blender by combining almond butter, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, chopped fresh ginger and garlic, a chopped serrano chile, some tamari, and a little water and pureeing until smooth. You can add more water as it purees to get the consistency you’d like. Meanwhile, the cabbage was cut into big wedges and drizzled with oil. I grilled the wedges inside on a grill pan, but the flavor of grill smoke would have been even better for it. The wedges were only grilled for a few minutes per side to get some marks and to allow the cabbage to just begin to take on some tenderness. After removing the cabbage from the grill pan and letting it cool, it was chopped into chunks. The cabbage was tossed with chopped mint, basil, cilantro, and bean sprouts and green onions. It was served with the sauce drizzled over top. 

I always love a peanut sauce, so I suspected I was going to enjoy this almond sauce on the salad. In fact, I might have liked it more than any variation on peanut sauce I’ve made before. The lemon juice was the magic ingredient, and the serrano gave it just enough heat. The salad was fresh and full of flavor from the herbs, and the charred cabbage added an earthy note. With dishes like this, eating all plant-based food is easy. 

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16 comments:

  1. Fabulous flavours and salad! The recipes you share are always very unique.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Healthy and yummy! This salad definitely looks like a winner!

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  3. I must confess that I have never thought of grilling cabbage. The salad looks very tasty!

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  4. The book sounds like a really good read. I do eat meat but I try to buy free-range and organic only as the animals are treated a lot more kindly. The salad is very pretty xx

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  5. I absolutely love the sound of this salad. I'm like you, I try to do my best but there is room for improvement I'm sure like in every aspect of life. I could definitely start with this salad though. I really like the sound of the dressing!

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  6. Gorgeous, simple salad, Lisa. And you're right; that sauce sounds delicious!

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  7. That's the kind of salad that I'd love to eat ! Thank you so much for the recipe!

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  8. i've never seen an almond sauce instead of peanut sauce and i think it sounds amazing! great salad. :)

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  9. Such a gorgeous salad! I'd gobble that plate up in no time---the almond sauce and the grilled cabbage are both so enticing!!

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  10. Sounds like a good book! This salad sure looks terrific -- loaded with flavor. Love the idea of almond sauce -- gotta play with that idea. Thanks!

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  11. Well I love the sound of this cookbook. I'm always thinking about the quality of the food I'm buying and where it comes from! And that dressing does sound all kinds of magical.

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  12. This almond sauce sounds really interesting and tasty...great salad Lisa!
    Have a wonderful day :)

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  13. lovin the charred grilled cabbage all the way!!!
    Dedy@Dentist Chef

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  14. Good recipes and ethical shopping are a great combination! I think this salad sounds delicious.

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  15. I eat mostly chicken or fish, but once in a while, when I dine out, I do love a small filet. I daresay I'd not be popular with Gene Baur! On the other hand, I don't drink milk and only drink tea. :)
    The grilled cabbage absolutely makes this salad a delight, Lisa.

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