CSA Adventures: Asian Bok Choy Salad

My mom is the ultimate improvisational cook - something I truly strive to be. One look in the fridge and cupboard and she can whip up a delicious dinner that will knock your socks off. Me? More often than I would like to admit I sigh, throw my hands in the air and make a run to the grocery store for a few missing things. But, I’m learning her secrets....slowly but surely. She recently came for a visit from Pennsylvania (where I graduated from high school and my parents still live). I love it when she’s here because it means I get to take a break from cooking and can take more notes on her incredible culinary acumen. She’s a combination of the Tazmanian devil and McGyver in the kitchen - when she’s not digging in my garden she’s in the kitchen cooking up a storm with whatever she happens to find lurking in my fridge. It’s pretty amazing!

On one evening I was busy doing some work for a client while my mom cooked a delicious duck we’d picked up at Marin Sun Farms near Pt. Reyes. When we sat down to dinner she put a salad on the table with ingredients I did not at first recognize. Not that they were unrecognizable....I just didn’t know I had salad ingredients in my fridge! “Mom, what did you make this salad with?” Turns out she’d found some bok choy hiding in my crisper drawer, half a head of cabbage and decided to make salad with it. Then, because there was one lonely apple hiding in the fruit bowl she added that as well. Mixed with a delicious tangy dressing this salad was AWESOME!

Fast forward a week, when I got another load of bok choy and a few radishes in my CSA. I happened to have some red cabbage lingering in my fridge so I knew right away what I was going to make. I added flavor by toasting up some pumpkin seeds with a few yummy spices. Just FYI, this is a great salad for work because it doesn't go all wilted and floppy on you! Make this salad with dinner, pack some up in a tupperware and put the dressing on the side.

This salad is perfect for the fall and winter months. The bok chok, cabbage AND radishes are loaded in vitamin C - our number one immune boosting vitamin. Plus, the pumpkin seeds provide a good source of zinc which has also been shown to ward off yucky colds and flus. How great is it that mother nature knows we can get sick this time of year so she delivers us great veggies to help keep us healthy? Get your fill now so you can be tissue free all winter long! And, since all the veggies are part of the cruciferous family you get added cancer protection!

Now, since this is a salad the amounts are just estimates. Be a fearless improvisational salad creator!

Asian Bok Choy and Cabbage Salad

Serves 4

The Salad

3 bunches of baby bok choy, chopped

1/2 medium red cabbage, shredded (I use a mandolin for this, one of my favorite kitchen gadgets)

4-5 radishes, sliced

Handful of dill, chipped

The Pumpkin Seeds

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp cumin

A few dashes of Eden Organic Seaweed Gomasio (I use this versatile flavor mix quite often. If you don’t have this on hand you can use any combination of spices. Cumin, ground cardamom, salt would be delicious)

Salt to taste

Heat oil in sautee pan over medium-low. Add pumpkin seeds, spices and salt and toss frequently until they begin to slightly brown. They will begin to puff up a bit. Let them cook for about 4-5 minutes, keeping an eye on them. You don’t want them to get too brown.

Set aside and let cool a bit before tossing into your salad.

 The Dressing

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

1/2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce

1-2 drops of sesame seed oil

Drop of maple syrup

Squeeze of half a lime

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients in bowl. Taste and add more vinegar or tamari if you need more flavor.

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