I need the best ingredients now days, fresh, colorful, organic hopefully, and most of all tasty in my dishes to enjoy eating them. I’m not sure if my snobbery started the night my husband and I stared from our table at the restaurant hostess nibbling away at the salad bar with her fingers picking away at the fruit, the day I saw a grocery worker take a wedge of watermelon from the salad bar and gobble it down right then and there, or I’ve just grown to be very particular what goes into my body in the last 5 years. Salads and salad dressings are the quintessential ‘fresh’ food in my mind. Either way, doesn’t matter,
I am an admitted fresh vegetable
The first essential ingredient in a fresh salad are or course, the greens. Not so much a snob on what kind, but just how fresh they are. Like these beauties I used in an Orange Fennel Salad massaged with my Thai Peanut Dressing. Tatsoi leaves are little suitcases of vitamin C, A and Calcium. These particular stalks I used were so deep, dark green you could almost taste the Cancer fighting cells in each delicious leaf. Thanks Farmivore.
I’m also a fruit lover when it comes to my salad. I love the mix of tangy flavors with a vinaigrette.
This particular salad has a POW “I got ya” dressing that blends the traditional soy and spice of Thai, peanut butter for creaminess, and a touch of sweet maple syrup to compliment the mild, juicy flavors of orange and pear. Make certain you’re using well-ripened Pears BTW. Another snobbery of mine, but that’s already been discussed at nauseum.
This thick, rich dressing will help break down the tough stalks of most hearty greens and allow you to eat a much larger amount without seeming to be a monstrously large salad. The greens will reduce by half, at least, once the dressing is massaged into them.
I usually just put the dressing onto the greens and then let them marinate in them for an hour or so. I’ve used this technique for salads made up for the next day or to take with in the car for work even. The greens hold up if you have a sturdy vegetable like kale or collards. The flavors just get even better much like a slaw. You’ll never have an iceberg lettuce salad again after trying these babies. Add in whichever toppings make you happy but make sure you use the massage on your base greens first. Then you’ll have a real meal!
The first time I tried this technique I was absolutely amazed at eating 1 large bunch of dinosaur kale, with toppings, in one meal.
It’s a bit of a messy process, but that is part of the fun. You’re definitely connecting with your food on this one.
Clean hands please!
Besides being a delicious salad dressing, this stuff is spectacular with fruit, as a vegetable dip…I’ve used it as a delectable ‘glue’ to hold my wraps together. I love the Asian flavors it adds. One of my favorites is a pumpernickel tortila wrap, plenty of spicy Thai Peanut sauce, Apples, Red Peppers, a sprinkle of Black Sesame seeds and lettuce. Make these up a day in advance. Make sure to cover the finished wrap in plastic or some seal so the flavors just fall in love over night. Next day, you’ve got the most spectacular blend of spicy, sweet, crunch and salty you’ll ever know. Make two. You’ll be glad you did when you’ve finished the first one up!
Another special characteristic of this sauce is it’s ability to transform. One day it’s a dressing. The next day it becomes a creamy vegetable dip. Thin it down some with a touch more vinegar or water and you’ve made a pasta sauce to die for. The ingredients just blend so well. It’s up to you what you’d like to mix with it that day. I make a base that’s somewhat thicker and then go from there.
Did I mention that this Thai Peanut stuff is just as delicious warmed up for veggies, pasta, rice?
Yeah. It’s pretty awesome stuff. You should try it some time soon ♥
- 1/4 cup unsweetened Peanut Butter - or Tahini, Almond or Walnut Butter
- 2 Tbs. Tamari Soy Sauce
- 1 - 2 Tbs. Maple Syrup
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup Rice Vinegar
- 1 tsp Garlic
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Tbs. Chia Seeds (optional but great when using as a spread)
- pinch of Turmeric (optional but....why not?)
- Combine all ingredients in the bottom of a blender or food processor. Blend on high until a smooth consistency is obtained. Adjust to taste with small amounts of vinegar or maple syrup. Add small amounts of water to thin dressing if desired. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 month.
- For a heated sauce, heat smoothed in a small pan on low until smooth and warmed. Serve over pasta, rice or cooked vegetables. You may want to add a little pasta water to thin your sauce before serving.
More from my site
- Lemon Meringue Chia Pudding from ‘The Lusty Vegan’
- Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck #18