Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Indo-Chine Kitchen food blog recently posted a recipe titled "Vietnamese Vegetable Salad with Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce." The recipe was a far cry from the traditional Spring Mix salad. But (as I've blogged about before) I don't really eat salads regularly because of my sensitive nose, so I'm always searching for creative vegetarian dishes. This recipe's use of raw veggies definitely caught my attention.
Looking at the ingredients, though, I thought I could make something healthier. Fried peanuts? Why not just toast them? Palm sugar? No thanks. So I brought out my mandolin and got busy.
My vegetable base consisted of a farmers market haul:
carrots, in matchstick pieces (not the same as julienne)
daikon, in matchstick pieces
red bell pepper, in matchstick pieces
red cabbage, in matchstick pieces
sugar snap peas, in matchstick pieces
green beans, french cut
The sauce contained:
thai bird chiles
a few drops of liquid sucralose (optional)
For the peanuts, I lightly toasted them and then pulsed them a few times in a spice grinder.
Toss the sauce with the veggies/peanuts and voila--you have a very delicious raw salad. The mandolin does require some work, but the reward is well worth the effort. My husband and I both love the way the sauce zests up the veggies without outshining their crisp, fresh flavors. We made a big batch and will be enjoying this one for a few days.
Note: we served this dish with grilled chicken breast topped with a thin layer of lowfat cottage cheese and a homemade roasted okra-verde sauce. Yum! And I finally got a chance to use those okra leaves :)