Friday, March 21, 2014

Jerusalem Inspired Quinoa Salad

Jerusalem inspired salad

I first made this salad in the depths of the cold misery that was February, and it was a godsend, like it had been lightning-beamed into my brain from a better place, a place with warmth and sunshine and people with glowing skin. (Like California, basically, is what I guess I'm saying.)

But listen, this salad, it will do wonders for you. Back in February I was in that kind of winter slump where you start to feel like your body is turning into a snowsuit, as if you and the million layers you've been wearing for the past four months have started to become one, to the point that you're not even sure what your body really looks like anymore but aren't prepared to find that out because you are only prepared to strip off all your layers in the event that you are presented with a hot tub, and that's not going to become a reality, so SADNESS and resignation to being your sweater-suit self ensue.

Enter this salad. It has quinoa (everyone's favourite "super food" that used to fuel the Inca civilization, but hey - did you know that after the Spanish conquest, they banned the cultivation of quinoa because it was "peasant food" and enforced the cultivation of wheat (which was oh so de rigueur)? Oh how the tables has turned. Quinoa's made a Leonardo DiCaprio comeback and wheat has been fucked sideways by over-cultivation and the media. I'm totally picturing a dialogue between quinoa and wheat in which quinoa's all, "LOOK AT ME NOW, BITCH." So yeah, this parenthetical note has gone on way to long and yes, sometimes I anthropomorphize plants.), chickpeas, fresh herbs (the herbs are essential, because with them, every bite is like WOWFLAVOUROHMYGODMYTASTEBUDSFEELSOALIVE), veggies and all other good things that you could want in a salad that not only give it nutrition but kapow-esque punches of flavour.

This salad was like a glimpse of summer during a time that I was wearing snow pants full-time, and even now that winter is almost over (spring is official, DAMN IT), its bold, fresh flavours are as welcome as ever.

quinoa, herbs, and other good things

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Savoy Cabbage Salad with Thai Basil Peanut Dressing

savoy cabbage slaw with peanut dressing

This post isn't really about the salad. It's about the dressing, because you could pour it over shoe leather and it would still taste so god damn delicious you would eat the entire thing and ask for more without even realizing you'd just eaten a shoe (hypothetically speaking). Because holy shit, this peanut dressing puts all other peanut dressings to shame. If you eat this peanut dressing and then try eating a different kind of peanut dressing or sauce, you'll feel like you're committing peanut sauce adultery, because once you eat this peanut dressing you will realize that it's THE ONLY PEANUT DRESSING you will ever need, want, or desire.

Let me explain.

This dressing, which has all the usual elements of a good peanut sauce (peanut butter, acid, heat, a touch of sweetness), has a generous addition of fresh herbs that turns it into something altogether more moving and awe-inspiring. So don't be surprised if you find yourself eating it out of the jar or suddenly realize you just ate two entire heads of broccoli because you couldn't stop dipping broccoli in this dressing in order to eat more of it.

I don't know what else to tell you, except that one roommate of mine, who has relatively neutral feelings about peanut butter (we try not to speak of it because it hurts me), declared this dressing so good that she would "eat it on anything." ANYTHING, people. I once ate a bowl of cold noodles drenched in this sauce (partly because there was nothing else in the fridge) but it was STILL AMAZING. It's so peanut buttery but also fragrant and tangy and just a bit spicy and would this taste good on tofu, soba noodles, or raw spinach, or drizzled over steamed broccoli and cauliflower? YES. TO ALL AND ANY OF THE THINGS, YES.

So, if you respect yourself you will make this dressing and enjoy it on many things, perhaps this salad included.

textures of green it packs a good crunch