I’ve always been a huge salad lover, but it’s rare that my husband asks for a salad for dinner. Yet, the other day as I was planning the week’s dinners, he requested a healthy salad. When I met him, he was a real steak and potatoes guy — the typical dude meal: simple, filling, and good. Since we started dating, he has slowly transitioned to the point where he now knows which type of sweet potatoes he prefers and has mastered the art of protein smoothies for breakfast. Seriously, this progression was even mentioned in his best man, his dad’s, speech at our wedding. He’s more concerned with sugar content in things that I am! (I’ll admit, I have a sweet tooth…) Yet, he really hasn’t been able to give up his desire to have meat as a part of every lunch and dinner. Now, to be clear, the above salads were served with a side of fresh fish, but we’re moving in the right direction. I’m excited for the day when meatless Mondays are an acceptable thing in our household, but I’m not holding my breath!
Since an entrée salad for dinner is relatively infrequent, I thought I’d put a little more effort than I typically do for the usual side salad I sometimes throw together with what we’ve got in the fridge. This salad definitely isn’t one for which you happen to have the ingredients lying around, (or at least I don’t!) but, let me tell you, this salad tasted like it was made in a restaurant. If you can have a ‘fancy’ salad, this was it. Honestly, it was probably the mix of the exotic lettuces and the fact that the dressing was amazing, but this really blew my standard salad game out of the park. Definitely make this for company!
Yield 4 servings
For the Salad:
- 4 large bok choy leaves, stems chopped and leaves shredded
- 4 large Napa cabbage leaves, shredded (if you can't find bok choy, you can definitely make this solely with cabbage)
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 1/2 small cucumber, chopped
- 8 basil leaves, chopped
- 8 mint leaves, chopped
- 1 red Thai chili, sliced (add more or less, depending on your preference)
- 1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts, chopped
- 1 mango, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
For the Dressing (makes about 3/4 cup, plenty for the salad):
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons liquid aminos
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 small clove minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoons diced shallot
- Mix together the salad ingredients with half of the nuts.
- Mix together the dressing ingredients and toss the salad in the dressing.
- Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the top and serve.
Slightly modified from It's All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow.
Courses Lunch or Dinner