Salads are something that I really like to eat... when someone else makes them.
When I am whipping up a salad at home to have with dinner or lunch, it is often a pitiful example of a salad, a mere suggestion of what a salad should be really. It is sometimes made of some mixed greens or romaine, with some tomatoes and if I'm feeling feisty, a few sliced cucumbers or bell pepper. But if I'm being honest, it is usually just mixed greens, no toppings.
I know, they should take my nutritionist card away.
This is all with the exception of a few salads that are more involved that I absolutely LOVE. I usually make these salads on a Sunday or Monday and eat them throughout the week at lunch when I am working.
I am about to bestow on you my most favorite salad recipes of all. It is from the blog Pinch of Yum, I don't even change it as I do most recipes, I am repeating the recipe to you mostly as is. The dressing is scrumptious. The edamame (soy beans) and cashews add protein to the salad and there are a whole lotta different colors of vegetables, so this salad is bringing the vitamins. Pack this with a piece of fruit or some wheat crackers or a wheat roll and you have a well rounded lunch.
I have never tried the Trader Joe's cashews that are recommended because Greensboro does not have a Trader Joe's (a moment of silence please), but they sound fabulous. I use plain 'ol roasted and salted cashews and they taste great. Edamame can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store, you want to buy the kind that has the shell removed (when its shelled it kind of looks like pea pods). For the lemongrass paste, I use this squeeze tube of lemongrass and keep it in the fridge - it's good for months-and it can usually be found in the produce section by the salad stuff. I have also made this dressing without lime because I didn't have limes on hand and it was still good, but if you are going shopping, buy a lime. I also go ahead and dress the salad and leave it in the fridge dressed, in my opinion, it doesn't make the kale too soggy.
My final last words are, make sure you have a stick of gum or a mint on hand after you eat it because the garlic in the dressing can be kicking!
For the Dressing:
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 2 Tablespoons white distilled vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons honey (or agave for a vegan version)
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon lemongrass paste
For the Salad:
- 16 ounces frozen shelled edamame
- 5-6 cups baby kale
- 3 large carrots, peeled and then shaved with a vegetable peeler
- 2 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 3 green onions chopped
- 3/4 cup cashews
Put all of the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender and combine. Put the dressing in another bowl or storage container.
Cook the edamame according to the package directions (I microwave) and put in the food processor and pulse 3 times. Add the cashews and pulse 2 more times.
Combine all of the chopped salad ingredients into a bowl, add the edamame and cashews, and mix well. Toss with the dressing before serving.
As I mentioned before, I combine the salad with the dressing and just store it in the fridge that way for up to 3 days. You may want to dress as you go, it's up to you, I'm all about options. I do also sprinkle some whole cashews on top right before eating.