Healthy Salad Ideas

Here are two healthy┬ásalads I made recently. This first one is mostly cold/raw – the only cooked ingredient is an egg.

Ingredients – healthy salad #1

  • base: chopped romaine lettuce
  • fatty topping: avocado
  • veggie topping: tomato, cucumber
  • fun topping: takuan (yellow pickled daikon – Japanese)
  • protein topping: scrambled egg (with oil)
  • dressing: chipotle ranch (I think)

I cooked the egg in peanut oil, which is probably my newest cooking obsession. It’s fabulous.

This next salad is another hot-cold salad and it did not disappoint. (This was actually one of the best salads I’ve ever made, believe it or not!)

Ingredients – healthy salad #2

  • base: romaine lettuce
  • cooked veggie toppings: cabbage, brussels sprouts, green beans
  • protein toppings (with cooked veggies): imitation crab meat
  • dressing: peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, splash of water

Again, I used peanut oil for the veggies. About 1 tablespoon of it. If you use enough oil your veggies get nice and crispy. I also added a splash of soy sauce to the veggies at the end when they were just about done. I added the imitation crab meat (sealegs! why are they called that?) while I was cooking the veggies too. I think the dressing was what made it so tasty though!

What’s your favorite cooking oil?

Papaya Salad Rocks My Socks

Free yoga mat giveaway! (And hot sauce discount.) Now: Papaya Salad. Papaya salad is in both Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. My favoritefavorite is the Vietnamese version of papaya salad, but I suppose this is kind of a mix of both.

I love papaya salad. So much so that I had it for dinner 2 nights in a row.

Ingredients and Method

  • green papaya
  • tomatoes
  • shrimp, sauteed in peanut oil with soy sauce and chili powder
  • dressing: fish sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, hot sauce
  • topping: PB2
  • MIX

To slice the papaya into such tiny strips (which is the only way to enjoy green papaya), I first used my mandoline to slice the papaya in thin strips. Then I just cut up the strips. It didn’t take long at all.

Papaya salad is a good reward and a great way to celebrate…

Celebrate finishing my wedding invitations that is! Almost all of them were mailed out today.

I know I owe you that explanation for why I suddenly have more time. The truth is, I don’t really have that much more time. I cut back to part time at my job and I am taking a class in the evenings, but the class ends up taking up 4-5 hours of my night… so I have about the same amount of free time as I did before. But I love the class. It’s a linguistics class.

Have you ever taken a class after you graduated college? Do you like papaya salad?

Recipe: Hot-Cold Asian Salad

Don’t forget about the hot sauce discount and the free yoga mat giveaway. Now…

One of my favorite meals is what I call a “hot-cold salad“. It consists of a raw lettuce base and it’s topped with some stir-fry variation. This is the one I made a few nights ago.

Hot-Cold Asian Salad

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • handful of alfalfa sprouts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 3 cups sprouts (I think they are soy bean sprouts; I get them in the Asian market)
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 cup frozen shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce or ponzu sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter OR PB2
  • dressing – hot sauce and hoisin (wish I had Korean red sauce), chipotle ranch dressing
  • base – 1 head of romaine for me; white rice for Bobby


  1. Chop the cucs, tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts. Set aside.
  2. Heat the peanut oil (other oil is okay, but peanut has a wonderful flavor) over high heat in a wok. Cook the chopped onions for about a minute. Add the soybean sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, red peppers, and cooked shrimp (I use frozen). Saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the OJ (optional), soy sauce, and peanut butter. Cook until the OJ evaporates.
  4. Remove from heat and toss in the cucs, tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts.
  5. Top with any dressing you want (hoisin, Korean red sauce, Chipotle ranch, etc…).
  6. Serve over rice (Bobby) or lettuce (Maggie).

I loved it. So yummy! I ate more of it than Bobby did, and my mom was actually up in the city taking care of us (last week when we were sick) and she tried it too (and liked it a lot).

This hot-cold salad is very good for you – peanut oil is a healthy fat, shrimp are lean protein, tons of veggies provide fiber, and it’s colorful. A trick my old ballet teacher taught me is that in order to eat a balanced diet, eat a variety of colors.

Do you ever make hot-cold salads?

P.S. I’ll give you that update I owe you tomorrow… ­čÖé

A Giveaway and Hot Sauce Discount

A while ago Nature Made recognized me as an inspirational health blogger and I got to be a part of their Healing Hearts Club. They sent me a great goodie bag: a yoga mat, a water bottle, and 6-month supplies of fish oil, Cholestoff, and CoQ10.

I have been loving the package – especially the yoga mat, which came with a handy carrying case.

Now Nature Made wants to give away the same package to one of you! You can win all of this:

  • yoga mat and carrying bag
  • aluminum water bottle
  • 6-month supply of fish oil
  • 6-month supply of Cholestoff
  • 6-month supply of CoQ10

This giveaway is now closed.

And now I have something else – Jason from Hot Sauce Planet noticed that I like hot sauce (who doesn’t?) and he wants to give all of my readers a discount. It looks like┬áHot Sauce Planet has just about every hot sauce you could ever want… (Biz, I’m thinking of you!). They have other sauces too, like BBQ (yum).

You all have 15% off until┬áOctober 6th, 2010 at Hot Sauce Planet. So if you need some yummy spice, check it out. Use code “maggie” at the checkout.

Flexitarian Foodie Fun

Happy Birthday Dad! I’ll call you soon… Here are some of my dad’s recipes:

He also sent me these 2 recipes recently to try (haven’t gotten around to them yet):

He and my siblings picked the watercress at my [great] aunt’s house. I get my watercress in Chinatown. Small differences between living in rural New Jersey and Manhattan.

Onto today’s post… I’m not a vegetarian, but I enjoy experimenting with vegetarian food. There are many potential benefits to limiting meat in your diet, and the ones I care about are…

  • not killing animals cruelly (if you don’t eat them at all, you don’t have to worry about finding “organic” or “free-range” meat)
  • avoiding weird additives that are in non-organic meat (antibiotics, etc…)
  • smaller carbon footprint
  • it’s cheaper!
  • decreased risk of food poisoning
  • improved “regularity”

My brother and sister are both vegetarians and this weekend my brother came up for a night, so we were more veggieful than usual. Last night we went back to Sacred Chow down by NYU for dinner. I got the Tapa Salad again (with curry dressing), but this time with curried broccoli (source). I had some camera difficulties so the broccoli picture is not mine.

Rob and Bobby both got heroes – Rob got the Orange Barbecued Seitan Hero and Bobby got the Grilled Western Tofu Hero. Both came with coleslaw made of carrots… which was really boring. The sandwiches were both great though; I had a bite of each.

After dinner Rob and I got The Lite Choice (like Tasti D-lite, but better). Missy is the one who first introduced me to TLC! I won one of her giveaways and now I’m hooked. I got this, but Bobby stole some (“this is my last bite, I swear” – such a lie!). It was a dulche de leche and brownies swirl.

Do you like froyo?