Helloooo! Long time, no writing for me, but here I am! Enough chit chat, let’s get down to business.
Our lunch swap group took a bit of a hiatus, but we’re back! We’re all very busy at work, but it’s our goal to get together once a month or really whenever we can, even if it might only be once a quarter. If you missed my first post on our lunch swap group and how to start your own, you can find it here.
My designated day to bring lunch was Friday and I made my Thai Zoodle Salad accompanied with a coconut lime basil “soda” and coconut mango chia pudding. I’ll write out the recipes for those and share them soon! I like to make this salad at home as a weeknight dinner because it’s healthy, filling, packed with flavor and the only thing you have to cook is your protein of choice.
I didn’t get a chance to take pictures while I was making this, but it all comes together with very minimal cooking. It may feel like a lot of ingredients/prep, but it really is easy. I promise!
Some “tips” for you while you are making the salad:
- I like to slice the romaine lettuce and spinach thinly so you’re not shoving forkfuls of big-ass leaves into your mouth. 😛
- Slice the red bell pepper as thinly as you can, if you have a mandolin this would be great to use for it!
- You can easily shred cabbage and carrots yourself, but sometimes convenience wins. I like to buy the bags of shredded cabbage and carrots from Trader Joe’s. Heck, you could even buy the coleslaw mix – two birds, one stone.
- Don’t want to cook meat? Grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shred it.
- Don’t feel obligated to make the dressing. I prefer to make my own so I can control what’s in it, but if you have a favorite Thai peanut dressing that you buy, use it! You can even start with a store bought dressing and doctor it up to your liking. You can add some sambal or sriracha for more spice. Lime juice will help brighten it up. Sesame oil and soy sauce will help deepen the flavor.
- Don’t have a spiralizer? What’re you waiting for?! Go get one! I got mine for $10 and I use it all the time. Just kidding. if you have no intention of purchasing one, you can still make this salad, one of two ways.
- If you have a mandolin, slice the zucchini into thin ribbons and then with your knife, slice those into noodle-like strips.
- One of the girls is going to try using her grater. While the zucchini won’t be long noodles, they will be in nice small pieces. If you do use your grater, I would use the larger holes and try to do longer strokes.
- Keep the zucchini noodles raw! They add a nice crunch along with the other raw components.
- I like to buy the “nut topping” from the baking aisle, like what you would put on top of a sundae. It’s chopped, just open the bag and sprinkle on top of your salad. Easy peasy.
- Easily adjustable to your dietary needs. Make this Paleo-friendly by using coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Take out the meat and add tofu or chickpeas to make this vegetarian/vegan friendly.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, healthy food doesn’t have to be boring and this salad is a great example of that. If you give it a try, let me know what you think! If you happen to share your finished product on Instagram, tag me (@swanninthekitchen), I’d love to see! 🙂
Thai Zoodle Salad
Yields 2 entrée size salads
- Cooked protein of choice chopped, shredded or sliced – chicken, steak, tofu, shrimp, pork.
- 1 cup Shredded cabbage
- 2 cups Romaine lettuce – sliced thinly
- 1 big handful of baby spinach – roughly sliced into bite size pieces
- 2 zucchinis – spiralized
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- ½ of a red bell pepper – sliced thinly
- 2-3 scallions – sliced
- Handful of cilantro – chopped
- Chopped peanuts
- Sambal – to taste
- Almond Butter dressing (recipe below)
Prep all vegetables accordingly and keep separate, except for the romaine and baby spinach. You can combine those two in a bowl.
If your protein is not cooked yet, cook to your preference.
To assemble, lay out your bowls and layer the salad ingredients in the following order:
- Romaine & baby spinach
- Shredded cabbage
- Red bell peppers
- Shredded carrots
- Garnish with cilantro, green onions and peanuts.
- Top with dressing and extra sambal if needed.
Almond Butter Dressing
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 tablespoon Sambal (+/- depending on your spice preference)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce
- Splash of fish sauce
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
If it’s a little thick, you can thin out with a little bit of warm water. Do about 1 teaspoon at a time.
Drizzle over salad with a spoon.