Fall flavours are great and all, but this week I needed to switch things up — I was craving something light, fresh and colourful! Today I’m sharing the recipe for my Tangled Thai Salad — a simple, healthy salad overflowing with veggies and plant-based protein (including the best Ginger Peanut Sauce, ever). I love to make a big salad for dinner when I feel like I need a some extra nourishment, and the extremely brown landscape in Calgary lately has left me craving come colour! My recipe is a crowd pleaser — I’ve served it for many girl dinners (for those of you who are new, I have dinner with my college girlfriends every week!). I also share my tips for making your salad look pretty when you’re serving it as a main course — because we eat with our eyes first, right?!
TANGLED THAI SALAD WITH GINGER PEANUT SAUCE
I absolutely love thai food — the flavours are so fresh, balanced, and tasty. It’s one of my favourite flavour profiles. This salad is a healthy way to satisfy the craving, and get your daily intake of veggies in. Plus, I really love all the different colours in this salad — that’s how you know you’re eating something amazing for you.
When I’m serving a salad as a main course, I love to plate it up crudité-style and let guests make their own salads, to ensure they get everything they want on their plates, and none of what they don’t! Another thing I like to do is pay attention to how I chop the veggies. For this salad, spiralizing the carrots makes a huge difference in the appearance of this platter, and they kind of act as the ‘noodles’ of the salad while adding an interesting textural element.
I like to garnish the serving platter and bowls with fresh cilantro and lime wedges. Even little details like adding a few peanuts ontop of the dressing give the meal that gourmet flair!
I’ve included both a vegan option, and an option for those of you who eat meat. If you’re going to make the vegan option, prepare the salad with tempeh strips rather than chicken breast. Personally, I much prefer tempeh to chicken in this salad! If you’re never tried tempeh, it’s a like a firmer tofu — and it takes on the flavour of whatever you marinate it with! It’s really delicious, and it’s widely available in Canadian grocery stores.
TANGLED THAI SALAD
• 6 carrots
• 1 cucumber
• 4 celery stalks
• 2 bell peppers (I like one red and one yellow)
• 1/2 cup green onion
• 1/4 cup cilantro
• 4 cups mixed greens
• 3/4 cup peanuts
• 1 lime
• 1.5 cups edamame beans
• 24 tempeh strips
• 2 chicken breasts (assuming 1/2 a breast is served with each salad)
1. Start by marinating your tempeh or chicken. First, make a half batch of the Ginger Peanut Sauce. Then, slice your tempeh or chicken into strips and add them to a plastic bag along with the Ginger Peanut Sauce to marinate. You can marinate overnight, or for a half hour depending on the amount of time that you have.
2. Once the tempeh or chicken is done marinating, begin cooking it in a shallow frying pan over medium heat. If cooking tempeh, follow the cooking instructions on the package. If cooking chicken, cook for a few minutes on each side, until the strips are fully cooked.
3. Prepare your veggies while the tempeh or chicken is cooking. Start by spiralizing your carrots. Then, chop and arrange the rest of the veggies on the serving platter.
4. Then, chop your peanuts, cilantro, and green onion. Chop the lime into wedges. I like to serve them in individual dishes alongside the platter.
5. Add some mixed greens to a large bowl and serve it alongside the veggie platter. Instruct guest to build their salads on a bed of greens.
6. Plate your tempeh or chicken, and serve immediately.
GINGER PEANUT SAUCE
• 1/3 cup peanut butter
• 1 tbsp tamari
• 1 tablespoon fish sauce
• 1 tbsp ponzu sauce
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 tsp siracha
• 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
• Juice from 1 lime
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• 1/2 a shallot
• 1/2 tsp fresh ginger
1. Add all ingredients to your Vitamix (or similar) and blend until smooth.
2. Transfer the sauce to a serving dish and add it to your salad platter — I like to arrange the veggies around it.
What are your favourite main course salads? I also have a Crudite-Style Nicoise Salad recipe, if you’re looking for more main course salad options! If you try my Tangled Thai Salad with Ginger Peanut Sauce, please report back and let me know how you liked the recipe! Have a great Sunday, everyone.
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