“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
There’s bad news, there’s worse news and there’s good news. The bad news is that I’m currently suffering from a relapse of my autoimmune disorder. The worse news is that because I need to keep my skin away from heat, my doctor has ordered me not to cook!! AAACCCK!!!
I know some people might see not being allowed to cook as good news. What better excuse to stay out of the kitchen, stay out of the heat – after all, it’s summer and too hot to cook – and what a great excuse to eat take-out food. The problem is I love being in the kitchen and I hate take-out food. It’s rare we ever get any that I don’t end up having to “doctor” it which means I’m cooking anyway. And if I’m cooking anyway, I’d rather be cooking my own food, not fixing someone else’s.
Cooking is relaxing to me (unless it’s baking). I call it my culinary therapy. When it’s time to make dinner, I turn up the music LOUD and I chop and saute while singing and dancing around the kitchen. I’m my own dinner theater 🙂
So what’s the good news? Well, just because I’m not allowed to cook with heat, that doesn’t mean I can’t cook without it. It’s as if the forces that be have conspired to make me eat more salads and that’s a good thing. And that means getting more creative to make different types of salads and different salad dressings.
This may be one of the healthiest salads I’ve ever made. Why? It contains no added salt (GASP!) and no added oil (BIGGER GASP!). The star of the salad is Bok choy, something I usually cook. But added raw to cabbage, bell peppers, carrots and onions, it’s crunchy, leafy and delicious.
The dressing is made from ginger, garlic, brown rice vinegar, tamari and peanut butter. The only peanut butter I ever use contains one ingredient: peanuts. No salt, no sugar. Peanuts. No oil is added because the peanuts have their own. Sesame seeds and hemp hearts add some more healthy fat. The only salt comes from the tamari. It’s a very light yet tasty dressing that enhances rather than overpowers the salad.
Together this makes a refreshing, healthy salad that is filled with flavor. So I can’t stand the heat but I am NOT staying out of the kitchen. Cue the music…
For the Peanut Ginger Dressing:
¼ cup brown rice vinegar
¼ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp. gluten-free, low-sodium tamari
1/3 cup unsweetened peanut butter
¼ inch piece of ginger, grated
1 garlic clove
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
For the Salad:
4 heads of baby bok choy
½ head savoy cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
1 large bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ large red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup golden raisins
2 Tbs. sesame seeds
2 Tbs. hemp hearts
Remove the leaves from the bok choy and trim the ends. Rinse the stems well, then cut into thin slices. Put the Bok choy stems into a large bowl. Add the cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, scallions, red onions and raisins. Mix well.
Add the dressing and toss to coat. Top with sesame seeds and hemp hearts. Enjoy!
The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.