Asian Slaw, Summer Rolls, and Cooking with Friends!

One of my favorite things to do is spend time in the kitchen with a friend.  Sometimes they can just be sitting, watching me and keeping me company, other times it’s fun to have someone who gets in the action.  My friend, Michelle is one of the best for either.  Like me, she enjoys well prepared, flavorful, healthy food.  Today was a day that we had set aside to test our culinary skills on some recipes that met those requirements……

First, we tackled the Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing

I found this recipe online on a certain website akin to a virtual corkboard that I’ve heard described as ‘World of Warcraft for Women’.  😉  In true Sassy Stove fashion, we threw in twists to make it our own:

For the Dressing
¼ cup raw honey
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon peanut butter (bonus points for using natural peanut butter)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Sriracha sauce (Thai hot sauce)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced

For the Slaw
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups shredded red cabbage

2 cups shredded carrots
1 red pepper, thinly sliced into bite size pieces
1 cup pre-cooked, shelled edamame (available fresh or frozen)
2 medium scallions, finely chopped
½ cup unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro

Add on:

2 roasted chicken breasts

Directions

Roast the chicken breasts and shred with 2 forks

Make the dressing by combining all ingredients in medium bowl. Stir until peanut butter is dissolved. Set aside. (I used a salad dressing shaker to help merge the ingredients)

Combine all of the slaw ingredients in a large bowl.

If you are serving all of the salad right away, feel free to combine the dressing immediately, however, we decided to lighten this up and add as we served it (significantly cutting the calorie consumption) and preserve the uneaten salad from becoming soggy when stored.  Simply spoon your salad into a separate bowl, add chicken, and pour desired amount of dressing in.  Toss gently and transfer to plates.

SUMMER ROLLS

Now!  Let’s tackle those summer rolls!  Summer rolls are a wonderful, healthy choice because they aren’t friend like their dubious cousins, the spring roll or the egg roll.  Why not have a ‘make your own summer roll’ party?  They’re so easy and fun!  Just have plenty of freshly cut veggies, some cooked meats, and you’re ready to go.  It’s like your very own Asian Subway!

For the rolls:

rice paper (can be tricky to find. Check out your local Asian markets)

1 red bell pepper

2 shredded carrots

1 English cucumber

cellophane noodles

For Traditional Hoisin Peanut Sauce:

4 tablespoons hoisin

2 tablespoons peanut butter

For a Clean Eating Ginger  Sauce:

2 medium sized peeled and chopped carrots

1 clove of garlic

2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup of rice vinegar (unseasoned)

2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons of water

For the rolls:

I began by heating a tea kettle full of water, which was used to soak the rice paper to make the skins pliable.  Luckily Michelle had done a great job at cutting the veggies.  We had grated carrots and thinly sliced bell peppers and so I used my food mandolin to julienne an English cucumber.  We had a bit of fresh mint and an abundance of fresh basil to add some good, fresh flavor. Desiring some bulk, I opted to soak some cellophane noodles, though this isn’t necessary.

Soften the rice paper in the hot water (be careful not to burn your hands).  Remove from water, lay desired fillings and wrap like a burrito.  The sticky rice paper will adhere to itself.  I recommend using freezer paper between layers so the rice paper doesn’t rip.

Prepare the sauces:

Hoisin Peanut:  Combine hoisin and peanut butter and microwave 45 seconds.  Add water until desired consistency is reached.

CE Ginger:  Combine ingredients in blender or food processor (Vitamix is awesome here) and serve!

Thanks Michelle for a special day!  Looking forward to our next endeavor!

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