Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Banh Mi Salad (sorry no photos this time)

Okay, so it wasn't precisely low cal or healthy, and yet, still a salad. The green parts were healthy :)

1 package seitan
1.5-2 heads red leaf lettuce (depending on size)
1/2 cup chopped mint loosely packed
1 cup cilantro, chopped, loosely packed
1/2 medium red onion, sliced thinly, then chopped roughly
5 limes
1 daikon or similar volume of red radishes
2 carrots
6 TBS Sugar
1/2 cup cashews
Sriracha chili sauce
some water
Soy Sauce (couple of tablespoons)
Rice Vinegar (couple of tablespoons)

First, get someone nice like Jon to peel and thinly slice your carrots and daikon (set aside separately in a bowl), and chop your onion, cilantro, mint and lettuce. Juice your 5 limes and place the juice into a bowl with the daikon and carrots, along with up to 3 TBS of sugar (stir well), a few tablespoons of soy sauce (to taste), and a few tablespoons of rice vinegar (to taste, or in our case, till we ran out). Let them soak for 15 minutes in this, stirring occasionally.

Drain the seitan, then throw into a frying pan. Strain the fluid from the carrots & daikon into the seitan pan, leaving the carrots and daikon still in the bowl - set them aside. Turn the seitan up to medium high, and let 1/2 the fluid evaporate while stirring very occasionally (I practically ignored the seitan, we were watching Star Trek, after all). Then taste the fluid, and add about 3 TBS sugar, or until it tastes sweet enough to you. I don't like things too sweet myself, I like the tang. Stir to incorporate the sugar, and cook until the pan is almost dry, then take off the heat to let cool.

Take the 1/2 cup cashews, and place into the coffee grinder (make sure you don't have leftover coffee grounds in there, b/c you don't want coffee salad dressing). Grind until its a powder, and pick out the big pieces that didn't get ground. Put into a bowl, and add enough water so its kind of thick, then add sriracha to taste, then add more water till it gets to be the consistancy of a ranch dressing.

Mix the lettuce, mint, cilantro, and onion, then top with the pickled daikon/carrots, and then with the seitan. Put about 3-5 tablespoons of cashew/sriracha dressing on top. Yum! I wasn't planning to post this (obviously - no pictures), but Jon was so in love with this salad I decided I'd better record it in case we get in a banh mi mood, we'll know how we made it.