Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday Dinner: Cabbage & Ham Salad

Although I'm having a hard time fishing transitional clothes out of my closet, this is a perfect dinner for we-have-spring-fever-but-it's-still-chilly-and-nothing-is-growing-yet.

Saturday: I put the cabbage salad together (recipe follows) but did not put the dressing on it. Chopped peanuts and set aside. I also made Fluffy Vanilla Pudding from More with Less.

Sunday morning: Put brown rice in casserole and set on timed bake. Layered pudding with sliced bananas and crushed graham crackers.

Sunday noon: Set table. Dress salad. Eat!

Cabbage and Ham Salad (More with Less; it's actually called "pork", but for semantic and gustatory reasons, I substitute "ham")

Mix together in large bowl:
1/2 head cabbage, sliced thinly or coarsely shredded
2 grated carrots
1-2 chopped scallions
1 c. or less cooked ham or boiled pork, chopped fine
handful fresh dill, mint, cilantro OR Thai basil, chopped

Make dressing and dress salad less than an hour before serving:
1 1/2 Tbs. soy sauce
2-3 Tbs. sugar
3-4 Tbs. vinegar (I use rice vinegar)
juice and zest of one lime or one small lemon

Garnish with 1 c. chopped roasted peanuts (we do this on individual servings or else the peanuts go limp in leftovers).
Eat with hot rice as a main dish, or serve alone as a salad. For a main dish, it's recommended to garnish with hard boiled eggs and tomato wedges (I don't usually bother).

The pudding would be much prettier in individual sherbet glasses; my mom used to do that and as a child, I thought that was the height of elegance.

Now see, there is still winter cabbage and carrots around at my market, and I was lucky to find spring onions. The salad is fresh and crunchy (we feel summery!), but not too too cold with the rice (good - the air is still brisk).

Do you also see how balanced this meal is? When I plan meals, I contrast textures and flavors and try to include carbs, protein, and vegetables/fruits. This meal feels successful on all levels, but it's rare to get it so balanced!

textures: crunchy salad, soft rice, creamy pudding
flavors: vinegary, salty, herby salad on bland rice, sweet milky pudding
carbs: rice, pudding
protein: ham, peanuts, eggs in pudding
veg/fruit: cabbage, carrots, scallion, cilantro, lemon, banana


A said...

For fun sometime you could roll that salad right up in rice paper ( or whatever it is they wrap spring rolls in) and dip it in Peanut Sauce. New meal! Voila!

Adele said...

I just found your blog through Christian's blog... that looks wonderful! We *love* More With Less, but I've never tried that recipe before. Sounds great.

Natasha said...

I am FINALLY making this for a knitting group tomorrow! Will let you know how it turns out...