Crunchy Thai cabbage salad with smoked tofu and peanut dressing

Crunchy Thai Salad with Smoked Tofu & Peanut Dressing Prep
Making of the crunchy Thai salad with smoked tofu, with a creamy peanut dressing. This was a good, filling and DASH diet-compatible lunch the day after a heavy dinner.

How’s your new year’s healthy eating resolution going–if you made one? Mid-January might be when a lot of people start feeling the January doldrums, whether they have a resolution or not. (I’m in the latter camp, but totally feeling the doldrums!) This salad might be just the booster you need if you are in a DASH diet rut.

I made this salad for lunch the day after we had a pretty indulgent dinner of Korean fried chicken and kimchi fried rice, which followed a fun weekend of lots of good (but not-so-DASH-compliant) food with my SIL. My DASH diet radar graph pretty clearly showed that I needed a meal that’s high on veggies and low on meats, fat and sugar to balance out the feasts, but I also wanted something that’d satisfy me and keep me going till I got back home to cook dinner. Otherwise I’d end up being either hangry or snacky–or both, lol.

This crunchy salad of cabbage, cucumber and other flavor-packed vegetables was just the thing I needed. The salad gets a “Thai” boost from a creamy peanut dressing spiked with ginger, garlic and lime juice. Smoked tofu adds a layer of savoriness and the much-needed protein without adding to the meat servings. Crushed peanuts are fun, and the fiber and fat in the peanuts helped me stay full.

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Crunchy Thai cabbage salad with smoked tofu and peanut dressing
DASH considerations: Crunchy vegetables and savory smoked tofu make this salad quite satisfying, despite the lack of meat, chicken or egg. The peanut dressing, similar to the peanut sauce served with Thai-style chicken satay, is creamy and aromatic, tying all the salad ingredients together. Go easy on the dressing, and this salad is a good “reset” lunch after meat- and/or fat-heavy dinner.

DASH servings:
4 vegetables & fruits
1 fat & oil
2 beans & nuts
¼ sweets
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
serving
Ingredients
For the salad
For tne peanut dressing (this will make about 3 servings)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
serving
Ingredients
For the salad
For tne peanut dressing (this will make about 3 servings)
Instructions
  1. Mix all the dressing ingredients except for the water in a small bowl.
  2. Add and mix in water thoroughly, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dressing is at a desired consistency. (You want the dressing to be pourable enough to coat the salad easily.)
  3. Mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl large enough to toss the salad.
  4. Spoon about 1/3 of the peanut dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Add more dressing gradually if needed.

I brought the salad to work for lunch. To prevent the vegetables from getting soggy if you aren’t eating it right away, it’s a good idea to keep the dressing in a separate container and toss the salad just before eating.


Salmon Burger with Asian Coleslaw & Ginger Butter Green Beans

Salmon Burger with Asian Coleslaw & Ginger Green Beans

I picked up a bag of frozen salmon burgers form Costco a while ago. They are a decent alternative to a freshly made salmon burgers, though a little weirdly spongy-chewy. The nice thing about them for DASH diet followers is that the sodium content is relatively under control at about 10% of the daily limit. I used those frozen salmon burgers to put together this quick DASH dinner.

In this recipe, frozen salmon burgers are topped with crunchy, vibrant Asian coleslaw and served on a whole wheat roll. The slaw is scented with just a bit of sesame oil and works like a sauce on the burger. This means you don’t need mayo and other fat- and sodium-heavy sauces to make the salmon burger interesting. On the side, I added “green French fries,” a.k.a. green beans. Freshly grated ginger to the green beans goes well with the vaguely Asian theme, and spices things up without a lot of salt–another DASH diet win.

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Salmon Burger with Asian Coleslaw & Ginger Butter Green Beans
DASH considerations: This salmon burger meal is the straight A student of DASH diet. The salmon burger on a whole wheat bun provides lean protein and whole grains, while the abundant Asian slaw, lightly dressed with sesame oil and sushi vinegar, adds a crunchy, vibrant supply of vegetables. Ginger-spiked green beans with just a little bit of butter seals the deal with one solid serving of vegetables without adding a ton of sodium or butter. Skip buttering the rolls to reduce the amount of fat in the meal. (It doesn’t really need the butter or mayo.)

DASH servings:
3 grains
4 vegetables & fruits
2-3 meats & fish (depending on the size of the patties)
2 fat & oil
Salmon Burger with Asian Coleslaw & Ginger Green Beans
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Salmon Burger with Asian Coleslaw & Ginger Green Beans
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and cook the salmon burger patties, according to the package instructions. Mine took 3-4 minutes per side, cooking from frozen.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add a small pinch of salt once boiling.
  3. While the salmon burgers cook, sprinkle the shredded cabbage with a pinch of salt and toss to mix in a bowl. Knead the cabbage with your hand to help the salt penetrate the cells. Let sit for a few minutes.
  4. Add the green beans to the boiling water and blanch briefly. Drain thoroughly once the green beans turn bright green.
  5. In the same saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat and add the green beans back in. Add the grated ginger. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Turn the heat off so the green beans don’t overcook.
  6. Squeeze as much water as you can from the shredded cabbage. Drizzle the sesame oil and sushi vinegar. Add the scallions and toss to combine.
  7. Cut the kaiser rolls in half horizontally and toast the pieces lightly.
  8. On the bottom pieces of the rolls, arrange the sliced cucumber.
  9. Once the salmon patties are cooked through, top the rolls with the salmon patties.
  10. Pile as much of the cabbage slaw on top of the salmon patties. You’ll be surprised how much you can put on!
  11. Place the top pieces of the rolls on top of the slaw. Serve with the green beans on the side.

DASH Menu: Jerk Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potato & Arugula Salad with Creamy Jerk Dressing

Jerk Chicken Sweet Potato Salad IngredientsWhen I made jerk chicken in the oven the other day, I lined the baking pan with rounds of sweet potato and carrots before placing the jerk-marinated chicken on top. I added some extra jerk marinade dollops on the vegetables, then roasted the whole assembly for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. This gave me a good amount of ready-to-go veggies for the next few days.

This salad uses some of that sweet potato. A quick, creamy and tangy dressing made with remaining jerk marinade and some coconut flakes on top complete the picture. If you don’t have jerk chicken or jerk-roasted sweet potato, I think plain grilled chicken and roasted sweet potato would work just fine in this salad.  Sprinkling a bit of jerk spice mix might be a good idea if you are using plain ingredients. The jerk dressing and coconut flakes really livens up the otherwise workaday autumn/winter salad (not that there’s anything wrong with that, either)!

Print Recipe
Jerk Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potato & Arugula Salad with Creamy Jerk Dressing
DASH benefits: It’s a salad. Well. Okay. It’s full of lean protein from the leftover jerk chicken breast and the egg, and loaded with vegetables. (And it used up what I needed to use up!)

DASH servings:
3.25 vegetables & fruits
2 meats & fish
1 fat & oil
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
For the creamy jerk dressing
For the salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
For the creamy jerk dressing
For the salad
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl that can accommodate the entire salad, place the jerk marinade, sour cream and lime juice. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  2. Add the jerk chicken, egg, arugula, sweet potato and cucumber in the bowl. Toss to mix.
  3. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Top with the coconut flakes.

Since I was bringing the salad to work for lunch, I didn’t dress it. I just made the dressing, packed the salad, and brought them separately so that the arugula wouldn’t get soggy. For the dressing, I used one of those tiny jam jars you see at hotel breakfasts–it works great. 😀