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Vegetarian and vegan cuisine includes some of the finest and healthiest food in the world. Vegetable soups, salads, fruits, nuts, whole-grain bread are all vegetarian. We hear time and again to include several servings of cooked and raw vegetables in our diet. However, our diets hardly have enough of these.
Salads are an excellent way to make up for the lack of vegetables and fruits in our diet, and the best part is that they are very easy to prepare. Salads are full of fresh juicy vegetables, seeds, nuts and you can add in fruits and low-fat cheeses too. Because of their high water content and other essential nutrients for our body, they not only satisfy our hunger and thirst in a considerable way but also keep our skin well-nourished and hydrated.
Talking about Asian cuisine, it is a fusion of flavors, a corsage of herbs, and a stream of soups and sauces. There’s no end to the various surprises thrown by Asian food. Here, we talk about top vegetarian Asian salad recipes.
Chinese cabbage salad
Chinese cabbage also called napa cabbage, is widely used in Asian cuisine. There are many ways to make this Chinese salad, and the following is just one of the many variations of napa cabbage recipes. This Chinese salad recipe is very easy and quick to prepare! Mix a delicious vinaigrette with chopped nappa cabbage, carrots, and cucumber in juliennes, seasoned with coriander and Thai basil. You will be charmed!
- 5-6 cups nappa cabbage, minced
- 1 cucumber, cut into juliennes
- 1 carrot, cut into juliennes
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup Thai basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup cashews, chopped
- 2 red peppers, cut into juliennes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup mirin (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, cucumber, carrot, cilantro, basil, and cashews.
- Mix and whisk the ingredients for the dressing: rice vinegar, olive oil, and mirin.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad. Salt and pepper. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Mix well and serve.
Crunchy Thai salad – with peanuts and quinoa
Normally, when you hear the word “salad,” you automatically assume that your belly will rumble from hunger within an hour or two. But not with quinoa salads. Quinoa is a superfood loaded with fiber and protein and is not only ultra-healthy for you, but also has the magical ability to keep you full for HOURS. Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad is filled with carrots, cabbage, broccoli and peppers of vibrant colors and mixed with a peanut Thai dressing. Throw in a few crunchy peanuts or cashews and serve it hot or cold for a meal or barbecue. The best part? It is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ½ cup broccoli, cut into small florets
- ½ cup carrot chopped or cut into juliennes
- ½ cup red pepper cut into juliennes
- ½ cup red cabbage, shredded or chopped
- Few spoons chopped cilantro & basil – No salad is complete without some green!
- Thai Peanut Dressing
- Cook quinoa
- Steam broccoli and carrot
- Let the quinoa cool slightly and then mix with the Thai peanut dressing.
- Mix in the remaining vegetables.
- Refrigerate quinoa for 2 hours for a cold quinoa salad or serve immediately for a hot quinoa salad.
- Cover with roasted peanuts or cashews for that crunch
Chinese cabbage salad with ramen noodles
This is another very famous oriental-style salad recipe with crispy Ramen noodles, cabbage, and fresh lettuce.
For this delicious Chinese salad with ramen noodles, you will need:
- A packet of Ramen noodles
- Green asparagus
- 2 red peppers
- ¼-½ cup shredded cabbage
- 2 young onions
- 100 g peanuts
- ½ inch fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or black pepper
- Fresh coriander chopped
- 4 teaspoon of soy sauce
- 4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Boil the noodles as per the instructions given on the package.
- Cut the vegetables and coriander. Wash and keep aside.
- Chop the peanuts with a knife.
- In a hot pan, add the sesame oil and toast the peanuts. When ready, add half of the coriander leaves, cayenne, ginger, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Remove from heat and let it cool down.
- Take a mixing bowl, add the boiled noodles, add the onion, pepper, asparagus, remaining fresh coriander leaves, and finally the sauteed peanuts.
- Mix and serve.
Tne importance of salad dressings
Salad dressings can be as varied as salad themselves. There are hundreds of ways to make dressings for salad. There are Chinese salad dressing, Thai salad dressing, salad with ginger dressing, salad with sesame dressing, cashew salad dressing, toasted sesame dressing, so on and so forth. Dressing serves to moisten the layer of greens and vegetables in the salad so that it is easier to eat. However, it is even more than that, since dressing is also responsible for flavoring the dish and making it delicious. It is best to avoid ready-made, store-bought salad dressing, as it usually contains much sugar, chemicals, and preservatives, etc
A wrong dressing will defeat the purpose of eating healthy. Dieticians always advise to be careful with dressings. The good news is that you can prepare salad dressings easily at home without having to add unhealthy saturated fats, calories or processed chemicals.
Here are quick recipes to some healthy salad dressings
Ginger salad dressing
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger root, very finely chopped
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup of rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup of water
Place the garlic, ginger, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, honey and water in a jar with a lid. Cover well and shake vigorously. Remove the lid and heat for 1 minute, only to dissolve the honey. Let cool and stir well before serving. Keep this dressing refrigerated.
Cashew Salad Dressing
- ½ cup of raw cashews
- ¾ cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove of peeled garlic
- 2 teaspoons white miso
- 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Soak the cashews in the hot water and then, put the mixture in a blender. Blend until you get a creamy texture. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and beat again. Transfer to a jar with a lid and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before dressing your salad. You can save it for two days. If you’re not going to eat it, freeze it.