When I was pregnant I would have a taste of something or think of something that sounded good, and I would become completely obsessed with that food and not think of anything else until I had it. And trust me, using the word ‘obsessed’ here is putting it lightly.
At a friend’s wedding reception (early in my first pregnancy) I had roasted baby red potatoes with butter and chives as part of my dinner. It was the only thing that sounded good that night (I was pretty nauseous the entire first trimester), and they tasted so good. I only got two helpings before they ran out that night, and I seriously wanted to cry. The rest of that night and next day I could. not. stop. thinking about them. I wanted nothing else but more of those potatoes, cooked exactly the same way.
The next day, I bought ten pounds of baby red potatoes. I was so excited to have more of those roasted chunks of heaven. I scrubbed the potatoes, cut them up and roasted those babies until they were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and then I drizzled them with melted butter and sprinkled on some salt and chives. I could barely contain my joy as I sat down with a plate of nothing else but those potatoes.
With the first bite I was severely disappointed.
They tasted very similar to the first ones I had, but for some reason, it just wasn’t the same. I thought I wanted those potatoes. But once I had them, I didn’t want them anymore.
I was a crazy pregnant lady.
The Crazy-Pregnant-Lady-Food-Obsession-Syndrome happened to me again countless number of times through both of my pregnancies. My poor husband.
But, it happened to me again last week.
Don’t get any ideas, I am most definitely not pregnant.
I mentioned before that I went out to lunch with some friends and had the most amazing salad and salad dressings and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I planned to recreate them as soon as I had the chance, although part of me figured the “obsession” would pass and I would forget all about it in a day or two.
But no. Here it is, ten days later and I still want that salad. And I still want to bathe in those dressings.
So I recreated them. Well, sort of. Let’s say I Candy-Landed them. I made a close version of the original, yet health-consciously improved.
And they were ridiculously delicious.
See? Totally not pregnant.
What follows just may possibly change your life. Might I even go out on a limb and suggest that my version was better than the restaurant’s?
Why, yes, I think I just did. Sorry I’m not sorry, CPK!
First we make the dressings. I thought it was sort of strange to be served two different dressings for a salad, but once I tasted them it totally made sense. I am sure I could have just Googled a recipe for them and would have gotten them exactly right, but what is the fun in that? I wanted to see if I could recreate them from taste-memory, while making them as healthy as possible. I think I did a pretty darn good job if I do say so myself.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: –
Ingredients (Makes 1/2 cup dressing)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 3 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 T raw honey
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 T water
- pinch salt
Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth. Drizzle on Thai Meets Salad, or refrigerate in a covered container for up to one week.
And if that isn’t enough to make you want to lick the food processor clean, here is a second, equally delicious dressing. Because, you know, one dressing isn’t enough for this salad. It is so good it needs two.
Thai Peanut Dressing
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: –
Ingredients (Makes 1/2 cup)
- 3 T natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
- 1 T rice vinegar
- 1 tsp Liquid Aminos
- 1 T raw honey
- 3 T water
- 1/2 T olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (+/- to taste)
Add all ingredients except the water to a food processor and process until smooth. Add water one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle on salad or cover and refrigerate up to five days. Bring to room temperature and whisk before using.
While preparing the salad you’ll want to refrain from dipping the veggies as you chop them (or your finger!) into the bowls of dressings. It will be tough though.
Thai Chopped Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: –
Keywords: appetizer entree salad gluten-free vegan vegetarian cilantro Napa cabbage Thai
Ingredients (Makes 6 servings)
- 1 small head Napa cabbage, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
- 3 carrots, julienned
- 2 cups edamame, shelled
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- salted, roasted peanuts for garnish
- avocado, diced for garnish (optional)
- Cilantro-Lime Dressing and/or
- Thai Peanut Dressing
Gently toss all ingredients in a large salad bowl. Serve immediately, garnished with peanuts, avocado (if using) and drizzle Cilantro-Lime and/or Thai Peanut dressing on top.
I didn’t make the salad exactly like the restaurant’s. The original includes red cabbage, fried wontons (which I asked to have without to be gluten-free), and crunchy rice sticks. It did not include red bell pepper but I thought it was a nice addition to mine. The Napa cabbage has a very mild flavor but just the right amount of crunch to create the perfect base of this salad (it is very different from green cabbage). But you know what makes the salad? (Besides the dressings, of course?) Cilantro. I might have to add cilantro to every salad I make from here until eternity! The edamame lends a lovely creamy yet nutty texture to balance the rest of the crunchy veggies, in addition to adding a good dose of protein. I’m telling you, this salad is more than just your average salad.
And we haven’t even added the dressings yet!
I tried to choose a favorite between the two, I really did. I thought it would be the peanut one because I loooove all things peanut sauce.
But man, the Cilantro-Lime is simply outstanding. It’s unlike any dressing I’ve ever had before. So. Much. Flavah!
I honestly could not decide which I liked better. I started out by pouring each dressing on half of my salad. I ate it this way for a while, alternating sides with each bite.
Still, I could not decide.
Eventually I just mixed it all together and ate both at the same time, which turned out to be nothing short of pure genius.
Sometimes I even surprise myself.
Try this salad and dressings, and I’m pretty sure you will think you are a genius too. (Or, you will think I am a genius, which, wouldn’t be such a bad thing.)
I’m already looking forward to eating this salad again for lunch.
Question: Have you ever obsessed about a food or a particular meal after having it once? Did it live up to your hopes or were you disappointed? (Were you pregnant at the time?)