Whoosh, this summer has just flown by. Part of the flurry is the the fact that we’ve been traveling nearly non-stop since the first of July. From Ireland to Montenegro and Croatia, Norway to Leipzig and the Saxon Elbe wine region, we cruised along as the summer passed by. I’ll have loads of photos and travel tips to share soon, but this week, as we prepare for our last big trip of the season (to California for two weeks of sunshine!), all I’m thinking about is eating healthy. After all the rich foods we enjoyed during our summer of traveling, I needed a little refresh. So I cut back on the sugar this week and focused on vegetable-packed, nutritious meals. It’s so wonderful to explore new cities and eat out at restaurants, but it also feels great to be back in the kitchen, cooking wholesome foods and enjoying our home.
Of course, wholesome doesn’t have to mean boring. I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious this Thai-inspired salad turned out, with a spicy, tangy dressing I’m sure to use again and again. Simple to make, it’s a combination of peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and hot sauce, all things I already had in the pantry. Easy peasy and great to toss with whatever vegetables you have on hand for a nice lunch. The chard greens add a nice spicy kick, the cabbage a good crunch, but any greens and vegetables will do.
Cabbage and Chard Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing, adapted from Self.com
Yield: 1 serving
1½ tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Juice from ½ lime
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
½ teaspoon hot sauce
½ teaspoon grated ginger
½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic
3 tablespoons water
½ cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
1 cup chopped Swiss chard greens
⅔ cup canned chickpeas
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup shredded carrots
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
In a bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, tamari, hot sauce, ginger, garlic, and water. Add the cabbage, kale, chickpeas, bell pepper, and carrots. Toss to combine, then sprinkle sesame seeds on top.