Asian noodle salad (vegetarian)

I never make salads. For some reason, the salads that I do make never taste as good as the ones I get in restaurants. I don’t know why. And I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

I recently was at a restaurant and I had an Asian style salad that was so good! It had really healthy and filling ingredients and a peanut dressing that blew my mind. I needed to recreate it. But, like I said – salads that I make aren’t always that good. So I had my reservations.

I normally don’t like to toot my own horn, but this salad is wayyyy better than the restaurant version. It is seriously so good. If you know what’s good for you, you will make this salad.

It is so delicious and is something totally different that your average salad. It is so flavorful and has so many different textures which makes it a really interesting and tasty meal. I know that the ingredient list looks a little overwhelming. Don’t be scared! It is totally worth it in the end. You can also add chicken to this if you feel like it would be a more complete meal, but honestly you won’t even miss it if you leave it out!

Ingredients
Makes enough for about 8 people (or lots of leftovers)

1 package Broccoli slaw
3 hearts of romaine, chopped small
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
2 mangos, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup shelled edamame
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
1 lb Whole wheat spagetti, cooked and cooled to room temperature

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix to thoroughly combine.

Peanut dressing

1 serrano chili, finely minced
2 Tbl freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tsp sesame oil
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 Tbl soy sauce
1 Tbl agave
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbl water

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except olive oil and water. Mix well. Slowly drizzly in olive oil. If the dressing looks too thick, add water one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

Pour over salad and toss to combine. Serve!!

Beef bulgogi lettuce wraps with cilantro lime rice

Since the start of the year, I have completely eradicated red meat from my diet. I still eat chicken, turkey, and fish – but any type of red meat I have stopped consuming. It isn’t for any reason other than the fact that I just don’t want that form of meat as a source of protein in my diet anymore. Until today. It has to take something pretty special to make me break my “no red meat” rule. Temp me with cheeseburgers. I won’t eat them. Wave a filet in my face. No thanks. But beef bulgogi lettuce wraps – you win.

This are by far the most amazing thing I have eaten in quite some time. They are grilled until brown with crispy edges, and then drizzled with a thick Asian flavored sauce. To top it off (no pun intended), they get topped with rice wine vinegar based slaw that ties it all together. Make these. Please. If you do nothing else – make these.

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs skirt or flank steak (I used skirt)
4 scallion, chopped
2 Tbl toasted sesame seeds
1 cup soy sauce
1 Tbl toasted sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbl mirin
2 Tbl white vinegar
2 Tbl granulated sugar
pepper to taste
Boston bibb lettuce

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except lettuce and let steak marinate for at least 1 hour, no more than 3 hours. Once you are ready to grill the beef, pour your marinade into a sauce pan and reduce by half. It should get a syrupy consistency.

Pre-heat your grill and once hot place steak on the grill. Cook until grill marks appear and the edges of the steak begin to char. Remove from the grill and place on a baking sheet in your oven. Cook until desired doneness. I cook mine to medium, but cook to whatever your prefer.

Slice against the grain into thin strips when ready to eat.

Asian Slaw

2 carrots, finely cut
3 cups finely shredded cabbage
2 Tbl parsley, finely chopped
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 tsp hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbl rice wine vinegar
2 tsp mirin
Juice of one small orange
1/2 tsp orange zest
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 tsp lime zest
salt/pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

To assemble your wraps, lay one full piece of Boston lettuce down and top with a few slices of the bulgogi beef. Top with the slaw. Eat alongside cilantro rice.

Cilantro Lime Rice

1 cup brown rice
1 cup water
Juice of one lime
1 small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped

In a small sauce pan, combine all ingredients. Cook until all of the water has been absorbed and your rice has cooked all the way through. Fluff with a fork and top with extra cilantro if desired.

Enjoy!!