Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Duo of Resolutions

While the New Year is upon us and so many of my friends and family are resolving to be healthier and active I am renewing my commitment to my healthy lifestyle.  I am already fairly active, crossfitting (yes its a verb!) pretty much four days a week and running the other three, I found myself slipping back into bad nutritional habits over the week between Christmas and New Years.  While I don't feel guilty cheating occasionally I also know the difference between doing whatever and having a bit of discipline, which I had none of during that week!  In an effort to right myself and get back on track I decided to pull together a few salads that are combinations of my Farmhouse Delivery box goodies and my favorite Asian flavors. 

Beyond my continued resolution of being healthier I wanted to find other self-improvement type resolutions, this year I've decided to get more organized (granted I'm completely inspired by all the fun organization boards and pins on Pintrest) and second, I will get my sweet puppy Sam trained, actually trained not just haphazardly making him sit when need be.  Sam is now 10 months old and while he's really good natured and relatively well-behaved we had a scare last week that has made getting him trained all the more necessary.  Last week Sammy had to have an unscheduled abdominal exploratory surgery to remove pieces of two dog toys he had eaten along with some garbage....he's doing well now but I have since removed all plush and rope toys from the house, switched all the trash cans to the type that require you to step on them to open them and am watching him like a hawk.   Sam now is learning how to live with a nice plastic cone hat, so stylish!  He'll have that off on January 13 but until then he's busy running into things with it.
He's ok just sleeping it all off anyway!

First up, a take on a recipe that was featured on the Farmhouse Delivery blog (such a great place for ways to use the fabulous produce I get from them week after week).

Vietnamese Chopped Cabbage Salad

2 chicken breasts, bones and skin removed
1/2 head cabbage, finely shredded
1 small bunch green onion, sliced thin
1 handful cilantro leaves
1 handful mint leaves
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
1 apple, julienned
2-3 radishes, sliced or julienned
juice of 1 lime
4 Tbs. grapeseed or sesame oil
1 Tbs. soy sauce
3-4 Tbs. fish sauce
1 tsp. siracha chili sauce (substitute chili flakes or tabasco sauce)
2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar

1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and either broil or saute in sesame oil until cooked.
2. Whisk lime juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and siracha into a dressing.
3. Toss cabbage, green onion, cilantro, mint, apple and radishes, dress with vinaigrette and top with sliced chicken and toasted sesame seeds.

The second recipe is inspired by one of my favorite sandwiches, a Vietnamese Bahn Mi.  I don't typically miss bread, etc. much but this sandwich is one of those things I do miss when I see them.  Typically featured on a baguette and stuffed with tasty meats, pickled diakon radish and carrot, lettuce, mayo and spiciness they are heavenly!  So, after seeing a recipe (thanks Serious Eats!) that looked evil and good for a Bacon Bahn Mi I decided I needed to make a Bahn Mi salad to quell my cravings.

Chicken Bahn Mi Salad

Pickled Veggies (courtesy of Bahn Mi Battle)
1/2 lb. carrots -shredded in food processor, sliced in thin rounds or thin match-like strips.
1/2 lb. daikon radish – cut same as carrots.
3 cups warm water
3 Tablespoons distilled or rice vinegar
2-3 tablespoons sugar, depending on how sweet you want your pickles
2 tablespoons salt

Salad Ingredients
1 head romaine lettuce, washed and torn
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
Broiled or Grilled Chicken Tenders
1/2 cup Cilantro, washed and chopped

4 tablespoons almond butter
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon siracha (or more to taste)
1 to 2 tablespoons water
To make veggies:
1. Mix warm water, vinegar, sugar and salt until everything is dissolved. Choose a pitcher or bowl with a lip that can be used for pouring mixture.
2. Peel, wash and cut daikon & carrots to desired size. Combine both together in bowl and blot dry with paper towel.
3. Fill carrot & daikon mixture into a tight lid jar, bowl or similar container.
4. Pour liquid salt mixture into carrot & daikon container till full. Close lid and let it pickle for about 3-5 days, or till desired sourness. For immediate use, let marinade for about 1 hour.

To make salad:
1. Whisk almond butter, rice vinegar, siracha and water together to create dressing.
2. Toss all salad veggies in dressing, top with chicken strips.


Reeni said...

I woke up this morning craving chopped salads! It must be fate! These both look delicious - and far better than what I had in mind. Poor doggie! I hope he's doing OK.

Angie's Recipes said...

Both salads look tasty and healthy.
Get well soon, Sam, you poor thing.

Kerstin said...

I'm so glad your puppy is doing better - how scary. And what tasty unique salads!

grace said...

bahn mi salad!?! great idea! these are good new year's salads.
meanwhile, isn't it hilarious watching critters try to maneuver with cones around their necks? assuming they're not hurt, of course. :)

Chef Fresco said...

I am also obsessed w. pinterest. =) Your salads look delicious! I hope the poor pup gets well soon!

Anonymous said...

Two terrific salads, excellent flavor combinations!

Dee said...

I could probably eat this salad every single day, it was that good. Perfectly fine. Sammy seems to be doing well in-spite of it all.