Thai Spring Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Posted on March 11, 2012 | 0 comments

Asian Spring Salad with Sesame Ginger DressingFor the past several weeks, I’ve been on a weight loss plateau. I know it is partially due to a lack of consistent exercise, but I’m sure it also has to do with what I’ve been eating and not eating. I had been pretty lazy about cooking and preparing meals, particularly veggies, and was relying a bit too much on meat substitutes, beans and a few other quickie foods. So, a few days ago I decided that it was time to do a cleanse to purge myself of these bad practices before they became too ingrained in my psyche. Since I knew I wasn’t mentally ready for an all-out juice feast, a master cleanse or any other liquids-only detox, I chose to do a raw food and fresh juice cleanse so that I could still eat and not feel deprived.

So far, it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made this year. Today is Day 4 of my cleanse and I am feeling so much better. I have more energy, my cravings are under control and I’m eating cleaner than ever. And as of this morning, I have released 4.2 pounds. Not bad for only three days. I’m loving it and it dovetails perfectly with my 2012 goal of eating cleaner and increasing the amount of raw foods in my diet to at least 50 percent.

I’m learning quite a few new things about raw vegan cuisine and what it takes to eat well on a full-raw diet. One of the things I’ve learned is that variety is key. Having as many delicious options as possible makes it easier to eat loads of raw food and it definitely keeps things interesting. Being an adventurous, international eater, trying new ingredients and experimenting with different foods is pretty easy for me, but doing this 100 percent raw food cleanse has taught me to open up even further and even more adventerous. I love expanding my culinary horizons with this raw food experience and I’m having boat loads of fun doing it.

Asian Spring Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Among all of the wonderful things I’ve learned in the kitchen this past week, I’m sad to say that the biggest lesson I learned is not about raw food, per se. It’s about readiness and preparation. You see, I have this common-sense-defying tendency to not write down ingredients and measurements while I’m cooking and preparing food and this bad habit is especially troublesome when I’m creating a new dish. I know, shame on me, right? Well, true to form, I made this mistake again, but in a huge way this time. Now, when I’m in rare form I will outline the ingredients of an idea before I start to cook, make a few notes while I’m cooking and then write out an actual recipe later the same day or evening while all of the ingredients and techniques I used are still fresh in my mind. Unfortunately, last week I got so caught up in mixing stuff up, trying different things and adjusting flavors that I barely made any notes at all. And the fact that I prepared some dishes that included the same or similar ingredients made things even worse.

So, here I am today trying to remember exactly what I did and sort out how much of what goes into what. I’m really having a major problem remembering exactly how everything went and it’s makin’ me crazy. I sure hope I got it all right, but I now realize that I must go back and recreate some of this stuff to be sure. Uggggh!!! I will NEVER do this again. Lesson learned!

Thai Spring Salad Recipe

Source: Own Creation
Serves 2 | Raw Vegan

Mise en place:

2 cups baby arugula
2 cups super greens or other mixed greens
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, grated
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
2 oz. sliced almonds or pine nuts
Marinated mushrooms slices (Shiitake and button – recipe below)

No real instructions on this salad. Just prepare as you would any other salad. As with all of my recipes, this is just a guide. Use whatever ingredients you prefer. The most important thing is that they are organic, if at all possible.

Sesame Ginger Dressing

Sesame Ginger Dressing Recipe*

Source: Own Creation
Servings 8 | Raw Vegan

Mise en place:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar, unseasoned
1 tablespoons raw agave
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced (about a tablespoon)
2 scallions, chopped
1 large clove garlic, smashed and chopped
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (or nama shoyu or Braggs aminos)
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Place ginger, garlic, scallions, cilantro and bell pepper in mini-food processor on high until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. This dressing can be used right away, but tastes even better when the flavors have blended in the fridge for about an hour or so.

*As I said above, I hope all of the ingredients and measurements correct. I believe they are, but I will recreate this recipe soon to be sure and make corrections as necessary.

Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms Recipe

Source: Own Creation
Serves 4 | Raw Vegan

Mise en place:

4 oz. Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
4 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 table spoon rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons liquid aminos or nama shoyu

Whisk the oil, vinegar, garlic and aminos together, pour over mushrooms and mix well, thoroughly coating all pieces. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour before using. The vinegar flavor becomes increasing intense the longer the mushrooms marinate, so be sure to use them up as soon as possible.

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