Asian Cole Slaw
Cole slaw is always a tasty side dish but every once in a while, you need to shake things up. Consider making Asian Cole Slaw – a variation on the old standby that doesn’t compromise the flavor of the freshly chopped vegetables or the delicious dressing that pulls the salad together. Start with fresh raw vegetables – Chinese cabbage (Napa), zucchini, carrots, cucumber, scallions, and golden beets – add a light peanut dressing, chopped peanuts, and lots of fresh green cilantro – and the result is Asian Cole Slaw – a refreshing tasty salad with lots of crunch and flavor.
Several weeks ago, I found a recipe for Twisted Thai Salad by Lisa Harris who owns Portofino in Northpoint, New York (along with being the creator and force behind the Morning Sunshine Breakfast Cookies). The recipe called for a variety of raw vegetables that would be changed into spirals with a spiralizer (a machine that magically cuts vegetables into a variety of spiral shapes).
I adapted Lisa’s recipe to my liking and my daughter aptly named the salad: Asian Cole Slaw. Crunchy and delicious, this salad is a super alternative to typical cole slaw and goes perfectly with a vegie burger topped with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and red onion. My daughter and I both believe the fresh green cilantro is the most important ingredient in this salad as a cup of this herb takes the salad from good to great.
To make this salad a spiralizer (or Turning Slicer) is needed (I use a Paderno which I purchased on Amazon for $35). This machine takes fresh vegetables and spirals them creating volume in a salad.
The recipe below for Asian Cole Slaw makes about 12 large servings.
10 Napa Cabbage leaves, chopped into 2 inch by 1/8 inch pieces
4 large carrots, peeled , ends cut off, and cut in half*
1 medium-sized zucchini or 2 small zucchini washed with ends chopped off and cut in half*
3 golden beets, peeled, ends chopped off (don’t substitute red beets)*
1 large seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into 3 pieces*
1 scallion, green part only – chopped fine
1 cup of loosely packed cilantro leaves, cut with herb scissors or chopped with a knife (don’t mince in a food processor)
1/4 cup of unsalted peanuts, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh peanut butter
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Saki (plum is delicious)
3 tablespoons almond milk
2 tablespoons Smart Balance oil
* The Spiralizer machine works best when the long vegetables (i.e. carrots, cucumbers) are cut in halves or thirds. The machine also works best with thick vegetables so try to find big carrots and seedless cucumbers. The first time you use the spiralizer is a learning experience; the second time will be easier and by the third time, you’ll be a pro.
- Place the chopped or shredded cabbage in a large bowl.
- Using the Spiralizer, spiral the carrots, zucchini, golden beets, and cucumber and add to the shredded cabbage. Mix the vegetables with salad forks or a set of tongs.
- Add the finely chopped scallion and mix with the other vegetables.
- In a small food processor, chop the peanuts and set aside in a small bowl.
- Place the peanut butter, brown rice vinegar, Saki, and almond milk in the food processor and blend for about 30 seconds. Add the oil and blend for about 1 minute until smooth and creamy.
- Toss the vegetables with the dressing. Add the chopped peanuts and cilantro. Toss and serve. Prepare to hear requests for seconds!