Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Crunchy Asian Salad

Blog post updated December 2014

If you have any uncooked cabbage leftover from St. Patrick's Day, here is my version of this popular salad.

second preparation

 cup olive oil
 cup balsamic or rice vinegar - I had some white balsamic raspberry blush vinegar that I needed to use, so I used that in the first photo below. I used rice vinegar in the second photo above when I prepared this with the wheat noodles.
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute - I used 2 T. of sugar substitute. I was happy with the flavor, although it was a bit more tart than usual.
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 oz. (about 1 cup) whole-wheat ramen noodles, broken into 1" pieces - the original recipe called for 1 pkg. of Maruchan ramen noodles (noodle soup package), which is what I used when I prepared this in March (first photo below).  Since those are very unhealthy, I replaced that ingredient with wheat noodles.
2 to 2½ cups shredded cabbage
½ cup shredded carrots, if desired - I used carrots in my second photo.
½ cup sliced green onions - I used thinly sliced red onions, which were also good.
½ cup sliced or chopped unroasted almonds
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 x ” strips - I did not have any red pepper, so I made this batch without it.
15 oz. can no sugar added mandarin oranges, drained
2 cups baby spinach leaves - I did not have baby spinach, so I used the regular size leaves that I had, and I tore a few of the larger ones in half.

first preparation
salad ready to eat, and the balsamic vinegar I used 

In a large bowl, beat dressing ingredients with wire whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is well blended.

Break ramen noodles into 1" pieces. Add noodles and all remaining salad ingredients except oranges and spinach to dressing; toss to mix well. Stir in oranges and spinach. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 8 hours. When I prepared the second batch, I added the first ingredients to the dressing and then let it sit for an hour or so. I added the spinach and oranges right before serving.

A few days after I posted this recipe in March, I found organic wheat ramen noodles in the store. The ingredients do not say, "whole" grain, and the fiber content is not very high, although the ingredients are healthier than the ramen noodle soup packages. 

I updated this post December 2014 with the information about how I substituted the organic noodles instead.