Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Thai Peanut Cabbage Salad

I've been very into what I've been calling "super salads" lately. This is not my original super salad, I'm saving that recipe to go with my long-awaited injury prevention post. My definition of a super salad is a salad based on a green other than lettuce, in this case it's red cabbage. I've been fascinated by red cabbage since Sam's guest posts, however, my local Trade Joe's doesn't routinely carry it. However, last week I went out of my way to find some and then I spent a few days brainstorming recipes. Last night, I was thinking about turning it into coleslaw, and even went to far as to figure out how to make home-made plant-based mayo, but in the end... my peanut sauce was calling and I fell for this thai-inspired flavorful salad.

Red cabbage offers a plethora of nutritional benefits. The deep red color comes from polyphenols, which are antioxidants that are protective against inflammation. Like other cruciferous vegetables, cabbage is a source of glucosinolates, a compound which is thought to help prevent cancer. To top that off, red cabbage offers impressive doses of vitamins A, C, and K. To top the salad, I made a gluten free, soy free peanut sauce which results in a very tasty sauce that I want to eat with a spoon. Instead of soy sauce and sugar, I use molasses, which adds a healthy dose of iron, potassium, calcium, and B vitamins. The peanut butter adds cravable flavor, as well as protein. However, for peanut allergies, I imagine that this salad would be good with sunflower butter! I complete the protein in this salad with chickpeas, however, in hindsight edamame may have been a more authentic choice.

For the Salad
one head red cabbage
5 carrots, peeled
2 cans chickpeas, washed and drained

Thai Peanut Sauce

1/2c peanut butter
1/3c rice vinegar
1/4c molasses
1/2c water
thumb-sized piece fresh ginger (plus extra dried ginger to taste)
4 cloves garlic
Siracha chili sauce to taste (~3T)

1. Peel carrots and shred in food processor. Transfer to large salad bowl.
2. Wash cabbage and cut into 8ths, removing the core. Food process to shred. Do this in stages, as it won't all fit in at once! Also, a disclaimer: this is tougher than it sounds. I made a mess. Once diced, transfer to bowl with carrots.
3. Add all sauce ingredients to food processor and blend. This will serve to mix the sauce, as well as pick up the shredded vegetables stuck to the sides.
4. Add peanut sauce to bowl of shredded cabbage and carrots. Stir to mix. Top with chickpeas to make it a filling one-pot dinner and enjoy!

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