01 February 2013

Vaguely Oriental Cabbage Salad.

 Remember a few months ago, when I posted about this "Live Healthy Challenge" I was participating in through my work?  Well, yesterday was the final day!  Although about 20 of us had signed up originally...only 6 of us made it to the final potluck.  What a bummer.  {On the upside of this though, they had purchased five gift certificates to Dick's Sporting Goods for those of us who'd kept the closest to their starting weight (or lost weight) and the lack of people ended up benefitting those of us left, since by default we got the gift cards!  I can't wait to buy a real sports bra for once...}

But I digress.  Yesterday was our healthy food potluck.  Everyone brought their favorite healthy snack and we all talked about our experiences and ways we're still trying to stay on track, fitness-wise.  There was some absolutely delightful veggie pizza, which I'll post soon...but I made this "coleslaw" thing.  Now...I absolutely hate coleslaw.  It's gross.  But at some point over the summer, my fiance's mom made a version of this stuff that knocked my socks off.  Then for a Christmas Potluck, I made a version that I wasn't so keen on.  Luckily, a few hours of recipe searching and experimenting later, I came up with this gem.  Trust me, it's absolutely delicious.  And I'm sharing it with all of you.

Vaguely Oriental Cabbage Salad
(Or, Napa Valley Coleslaw)

1 – Bag of precut coleslaw mix (has cabbage & carrots & veggies…you could just chop up cabbage if you wanted to)
3 – Green Onions (yeah, you could use whatever onion you want {about ¼ cup? Idk, it’s just all dependent on the flavor you want}…I love the green ones)
1 – package of Beef flavor ramen noodles
1 – 1/4 cup package of slivered almonds (or sliced…or slice yourself, up to you)

1 – ½ cup of vegetable/canola oil
1 – dollop of peanut butter (smooth peanut butter – probably like a teaspoon)
2 – tablespoons of sugar
3 – tablespoons of Rice vinegar
1 – splash of soy sauce (probably somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon…whatever you want)
Some ground black pepper

1: Remove coleslaw mix from bag and place into bowl.  Then destroy the evidence so everyone thinks you went through the hard effort of dicing it yourself.
2: Chop up onions into small pieces and add them to your coleslaw.
3: Take the package of ramen noodles and crunch them up.  Break all the noodles into smaller pieces.  Do not cook it!  Set the packet of flavoring aside.
4: Take some butter (a little bit works) and place into a LARGE skillet on low heat.  (Notice I said large.  If you try to do this in a small frying pan, it will end up all over your kitchen, and half of it will burn.  So, I repeat.  LARGE skillet.)  Melt it for a second, then add your almonds and the broken ramen noodles.  Saute them for a few minutes, until they are a nice golden brown color.  If they’re black, you went too far.  It’s ok, at least you tried.
5: Remove the ramen noodles and almonds from frying pan and let cool.
6: Now you’re ready for the dressing! 
7: Find a glass measuring cup somewhere in your cupboards, and put the dollop of peanut butter in it. Then take your vegetable oil and fill it to the ½ cup mark.  Now, very carefully heat the oil/peanut butter mixture in the microwave, so that you are able to mix it into one liquid form.  (I used a low setting and did it for 20 seconds at a time, it took 40 seconds total to be warm enough to incorporate the peanut butter completely.  So, heat it up for 20 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir. Repeat. Done.)
8: Now, add your two tablespoons of sugar to the oil mixture, stirring well (it won’t totally dissolve, it’s cool).  Now remember that packet of Beef flavoring?  Add that to the oil mixture as well, and stir.
9: Then add the rice vinegar and soy sauce.
10: Top it off with some ground black pepper.  Stir the dressing mix thoroughly and pour over coleslaw mixture.  Mix well, then add the ramen noodle/almond mixture and stir it up again.  Bam!  Some seriously delicious salad right there!
11: If you plan on not eating this immediately, store the dressing, coleslaw, and ramen noodle mixture all separately and combine immediately prior to eating.  You can store the dressing and noodle stuff in the fridge overnight, and then throw it all together at work the next day for a potluck treat.  Or, just eat it on your couch watching cheesy romance movies all day, there’s no judgement here.


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