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Bok Choy Salad with Peanut Ginger Dressing

“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…

Bok Choy Salad with Peanut Ginger Dressing

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

Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.

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.

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5 Responses to Bok Choy Salad with Peanut Ginger Dressing

  1. Jade Asian Greens August 14, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    Love this! How simple, nutritious and perfectly easy! We’re going to feature this on our Facebook page and link here so people can see how you made it, and your lovely photography. If you wish, come LIKE us on Facebook for more recipes and tips on Asian green vegetables like baby bok choy, gai lan, dau miu, yu choy, etc.

    –Your friendly Southern Calif. farmers at Jade Asian Greens

  2. Lovlie August 13, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    That dressing sounds so tasty! I think I could replace the peanuts with chickpeas (being allergic to nuts!). The addition of ginger sounds great! 🙂

  3. Carol Day August 12, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    Hope you feel better quickly!
    Thank you for this recipe. It looks and sounds delicious. I plan on making this tomorrow.

    Note for Liisa – if you have a computer you can hook into local radio stations to play music.

  4. Anonymous August 12, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    This looks great!

  5. Liisa Pulkki Henry August 12, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Rhea, you read my mind! I just discovered an asian supermarket in my town and they had a great price on baby bok choy so I picked up a large bag of them 🙂 I actually have everything to make this dressing and it sounds scrumptious. Dinner!

    I’m glad you’re finding ways to stay happy in the kitchen. Our radio broke a few months back and I really miss the music!

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