|I loved this salad with Napa Cabbage, Red Bell Pepper, Cilantro, Peanuts, and a Ginger-Dijon dressing.|
I'm a huge fan of every type of cabbage, but lately I've been loving napa cabbage, used widely in Asian cuisines and also called Chinese Cabbage. Napa cabbage has a more delicate flavor than regular green cabbage, although I'm guessing this salad would still taste pretty good with green cabbage if you're a cabbage fan. This is another idea I found in Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast, but this time I experimented with the dressing several different times and ended up with one that's changed quite a bit from the original recipe. I loved the flavor blend in my version of the dressing, with rice vinegar, Dijon mustard, ginger puree, sesame oil, and agave nectar blended together with vegetable oil, but if you had sweet-hot Chinese mustard, I think that would also be a great choice for this. I ate this huge bowl of this salad for lunch, and made it several times after that to test dressing variations, and this version is a keeper for me.
To make the dressing stir together rice vinegar, Dijon mustard, ginger puree, sesame oil, and agave nectar, then whisk in the vegetable oil. (I made this with both freshly grated ginger and ginger puree from a jar, and I actually preferred the slightly-milder flavor from the ginger puree.)
Chop up 1/2 head of the napa cabbage, then toss it in a salad bowl with the red bell pepper strips, cilantro, and green onions. (Forgot to take a photo of the chopped cabbage, blogger error!)
(Makes 4 side-salad servings or 2 main-dish salads; recipe adapted from Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast.)
1/2 of large head napa cabbage, chopped (about 5-6 cups chopped cabbage)
1 red bell pepper, very thinly sliced into same-length slices
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or more; if you're a cilantro hater I'd use more green onion)
1/3 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
2 T rice vinegar (use unseasoned vinegar without added sugar)
2 tsp. grated ginger puree (can also use freshly grated ginger root, but I liked the ginger puree from a jar for this)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard (I think sweet-hot Chinese mustard would also be good)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 T agave nectar (could also use a slightly smaller amount of white sugar or Splenda)
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste (I used a very small amount of each)
3 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
Stir together the rice vinegar, grated ginger puree, Dijon mustard, sesame oil, agave nectar, salt, and pepper, then whisk in the oil one tablespoon at a time. Let the dressing sit to develop flavor while you chop the salad ingredients.
Chop 1/2 head napa cabbage to make 5-6 cups chopped cabbage. Cut off stem and remove seeds from red bell pepper, then cut into thin slices, trying to make them about the same length. Thinly slice green onions, chop cilantro, and chop peanuts.
Toss together the chopped napa cabbage, red bell pepper strips, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro in a medium-sized salad bowl. Add desired amount dressing and toss to coat the salad. (You may not need all the dressing if you like your salads on the dry side.) Put salad in individual serving dishes and top each serving with chopped peanuts.
This did not keep particularly well in the fridge, so if you're not going to eat it all I would add dressing only to the amount you're eating. Then refrigerate the leftover mixture of napa cabbage, red bell peppers, green onions, and chopped cilantro and add the dressing and peanuts when you eat the leftovers.
You could add chopped leftover rotisserie chicken to this salad to make it a more substantial main-dish salad.
South Beach Suggestions:
This salad is loaded with low-glycemic ingredients like cabbage, red bell peppers, and peanuts, making it great for every phase of the South Beach Diet. Be sure to use unseasoned rice vinegar (without sugar) if you're making it for South Beach . If you're eating this for phase one, it's probably best to use Splenda or another no-calorie sweetener in the dressing, although the amount of agave nectar in a serving of salad is going to be quite small.
More Tasty Salads with Napa Cabbage:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Napa Cabbage and Red Cabbage Salad with Fresh Herbs and Peanuts from Kalyn's Kitchen
Napa Cabbage Slaw with Carrots and Fennel-Dijon Dressing from Kalyn's Kitchen
Gingered Napa Cabbage Salad from The Perfect Pantry
Napa Cabbage and Watercress Salad from Dani Spies
Best Vietnamese Chicken Salad from White on Rice Couple
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)