Dinner Lunch Salad Vegan Vegetables

Crunchy Asian-style salad with Creamy Cashew, Sesame and Ginger Dressing

April 11, 2017

I find myself in a bit of an inactive period at the moment when it comes to cooking. Maybe for the first time in my life I can relate to people’s frustration when they tell me that they just can’t be bothered to cook when coming home (late) in the evening, while simultaneously not wanting to compromise on their healthy food choices. I do get that now.

I’ve been living on hummus and carrots, spinach omelets and pasta (hm… at least it was spelt pasta) with zucchini and capers lately and this might explain my two-months-long silence over here, as you’re surely not interested to know how I prepare my eggs. It’s time, however, to pull myself out of that cooking rut: too much hummus, too many eggs and too much pasta! And well, there isn’t such a thing as ‘too much spinach’, is there?

After all that short-cut cooking of mine, it’s only funny to notice then that once back behind the stove, I have so much fun and am quickly so absorbed in the cooking process, that I loose complete track of time. When I am in that place I am wondering where I have been.

To come back to the point, this salad, I assure you, ticks both boxes: it takes minor time and effort and is still a healthy choice. It’s suitable for lunch or dinner, or as a side dish, and can be easily turned into something more filling by adding two sliced up ripe avocados on top, or served with a bit of Thai (Pandan) rice. A fried egg would also go well with it.

You could use different vegetables, of course, like cucumber, courgettes, broccoli, Chinese coleslaw, fennel, cauliflower, red or yellow peppers, and, and, and, all finely sliced up or grated… just pick your favourite ones!

Notes: Make sure to use organic vegetables here as they go into the salad unpeeled and raw. Try to eat it as soon as possible after preparation; it keeps well in the fridge for 1-2 days, though.

All ingredients are available in health food shops or the Asian supermarket.

Crunchy Asian-style salad with creamy cashew, sesame and ginger dressing

Serves 4 for a light lunch or dinner, or as a side dish

For the salad:
4 medium big carrots, unpeeled
10 small red radishes
2 uncooked beetroots, peeled
a handful (about 125g) of bean sprouts (Asian supermarket or organic food store), washed and drained
4-5 spring onions, ends discarded
10-12 mint leaves, roughly torn
a generous handful of coriander, leaves picked
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds or nigella seeds
2 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
optional: a small handful of chopped almonds or roasted buckwheat groats for some extra crunch

Grate the carrots, radishes and beets coarsely on a box grater. Cut the spring onions into fine diagonal rings. Place all ingredients in a big salad bowl and, using your hands, mix everything well.

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons cashew butter (or almond butter)
1 small garlic clove (or more if you fancy)
1cm fresh organic ginger, unpeeled
1 ½ tablespoons tamari (or low salt soy sauce)
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup or honey
½ teaspoon pure sesame oil
1 teaspoon (brown) rice vinegar (or plain white vinegar as a substitute)
½ teaspoon lime or lemon juice (plus more for finishing)
¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt (or more to taste)
pinch of cayenne
5 tablespoons water

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz until you have a creamy, homogenous dressing. Adjust with more lime or lemon juice, salt and/or tamari.

To assemble:

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix until everything is well combined. Finish off with some more mint and coriander leaves, sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. Sprinkle some nuts or buckwheat on top, if using.

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