Looking to start off the New Year on a healthier note? I’m guessing many of you are. I know I am! I try to have salads all cut up and ready to go so it’s easier to grab something healthy instead of snacking on something not so healthy. One of my go-to salads is an Asian Cabbage Salad. It holds up well in the fridge even with the dressing on it and is so satisfying to me.
If I’m feeling lazy I usually just dress my Asian Cabbage Salads with Newman’s Low Fat Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette like I did with my brussels sprouts salad. I love that stuff! But I’ve been on a quest to come up with a tasty homemade dressing and the one I came up with today I think might be my favorite so far.
This dressing happened by accident. I was trying to make a Thai flavored dressing with some coconut sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. It was tasty, but not perfect. I also experimented with a dressing with rice vinegar, sesame oil and ginger. It was good too…but not exactly what I was looking for either. After about four bowls of different dressing combinations, I was getting a little frustrated. Each one had elements I liked but seemed to lack something I couldn’t figure out what. So instead of tossing them out, I decided to combine my two favorites together and see how it tasted. Verdict: Outstanding!
I made this dressing with a granulated coconut palm sugar that I had in my pantry. You could try it with honey instead of coconut sugar if you’d like, or if you don’t care about using a natural sugar, just use regular old sugar. I wouldn’t recommend leaving it out though, you’d find the dressing was missing something. I think it needs a little sweetness to balance out the salty, sour elements. If you’re looking for a truly lower carb version, perhaps substitute the sugar with something like Stevia or Splenda. While I haven’t tried it with either of those, I’m sure it would be fine if your goal is to limit sugar intake. The other unexpected ingredient in this dressing is powdered peanut butter. I used PB2. I’ve had a couple jars of it in my pantry for quite some time and promised myself to start using it more often so I thought now was a good time to use some. It gave the dressing a bit more body. Powdered peanut butter is really good so don’t be afraid of it (and it only has 1.5 grams of fat vs. 16 for regular peanut butter). I’m sure regular peanut butter would be delicious in the dressing if you’d prefer that.
I seriously could live off of cabbage salads. I love them so much, and this Asian Cabbage Salad is a winner! Oh and guess what else? The entire recipe has under 1,000 calories. Now I didn’t measure how many servings my big bowl made, but I’m guessing around 6 – only 167/serving.
- 3 Tbls. rice vinegar
- 2 Tbls. fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 Tbls. granulated coconut palm sugar
- 1 Tbls. fish sauce
- 1 Tbls. PB2 (powdered peanut butter, could probably use regular peanut butter but I didn't try it with that)
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- ½ tsp. chili paste (or try Siracha)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ tsp. ginger paste (from a tube - It's all I had on hand but you could use fresh minced ginger)
- ½ head savoy cabbage
- ¼ head green cabbage
- ¼ head purple cabbage
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 C. sugar snap peas, sliced
- 3 large radishes, sliced in half moons
- handful cilantro, chopped
- handful mint, chopped
- ½ C. dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- Combine dressing ingredients in bowl and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
- Combine all salad ingredients except peanuts in large bowl and toss to combine.
- Add desired amount of dressing to salad. You may not need all of the dressing, just depends on how much cabbage you use and how wet you like your salad.
- Top salad with peanuts prior to serving.
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