Wednesday, March 06, 2013

in the kitchen with sillymortalmama: PAD THAI SALAD!

this is so good and so healthy PLUS it's got ALL the flavors of pad thai so you can totally indulge! this is one of the duke's (not a vegan by the way) favorite dishes and i make it A LOT. always good. never fails.

i generally make this as a complete meal (there's a lot on the plate) when everyone's in the mood for a lighter, healthier dinner (@280 calories and 13 grams protein per serving). but i've also been known to throw oven roasted shrimp or tofu on top if we need/want something more substantial. the book has a few tofu recipes that are DELICIOUS and would accompany this dish quite nicely. if you are at all interested in interesting vegan recipes you should check it out.

the book in question is a great vegan cookbook called Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. some of you may know her from The Post Punk Kitchen online, or the books Vegan with a Vengeance, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar, and Veganomicon. coming or going she has your vegan needs COVERED.

before we start i want to say that the dressing is THIN (she mentions it in the recipe but it bears repeating). like you're making it and thinking damn! this dressing is *thin.* shh shhh just go with it. it does seems too thin but it's not. trust me. it's like that for the tossing and the overall lightness of the dish. so while it SEEMS LIKE IT WILL NEVER WORK OH MY GOD TURN BACK! TURN BACK! it will. work. trust. me.

Pad Thai Salad
from Appetite for Reduction
serves 4

8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
4 cups bean sprouts
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1 medium-size carrot, peeled and grated
1 recipe Peanut-Lime Dragon Dressing (recipe follows)
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro (stem and leaves)
lime wedges for serving
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the lettuce, sprouts, red onion, and carrot.  Add the dressing and toss to coat.  Distribute the salad among four bowls.  There will be dressing left over because it is fairly thin; distribute the dressing among the bowls.  Garnish with roasted peanuts and cilantro, and serve with the lime wedges.

Peanut-Lime Dragon Dressing

1/4 cup roasted peanuts
2 TBS chopped shallot
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup water
2 TBS agave nectar
2 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp Sriracha, or more if you like it hot

Pulse 2 tablespoons of the peanuts and all of the shallot in the food processor, just to chop everything up.  Add the lime juice, water, agave, soy sauce, and Sriracha, and blend until very smooth.  Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides a few times.  Now add the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanuts and pulse for a bit.  These shouldn’t be blended smooth, just chopped up small.  The dressing will be fairly thin.  Adjust the seasonings to your liking.  Keep refrigerated in a tightly sealed container until ready to use, up to 5 days.


*you don't need a food processor for the dressing, i use the blender and it works just fine. just scrape the sides and stir up the bottom to make sure everything gets blended well.

*you can use salted, low salt, no salt, dry roasted, raw WHATEVER peanuts you want, but they have to be roasted. either by the roasting fairies before you get them or by you. someone has to roast the doggone peanuts or they just don't blend or taste the same.

*this can make more than 4 servings if it's more of a side dish. (if you're using all the salad USE ALL THE CILANTRO AND PEANUTS TOO). you can also store leftovers (if you have them) if you don't dress ALL the salad at once. dress and toss each serving individually so if there are leftovers you can store them separately and make a fresh, non-soggy salad the next time. whether or not i know i'll have leftovers i dress and toss each salad individually anyway as it helps distribute the dressing more evenly.

*do not chop the cilantro!!! use it whole to add on top. and i know she uses the word garnish, but it is NOT a garnish in the it's just there to look pretty kinda way. it is very integral to the overall flavor of the salad so don't be shy! and don't forget the lime wedges. do not. really.



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