Do you love your greens, but the same flavors have started to bore you? It’s time you mixed things up a little! Here are some Asian-inspired salads that will give you that extra kick from the heat of the pepper, and the more potent vinaigrette. These will help you spice up your regular salads and convert them to something exotic:
1. Asian Zucchini Noodle Salad:
You must know of zucchini, cucumber’s cousin. It has a high water content. Zucchinis are a rich source of vitamin A that helps strengthen your immunity. They also contain folates that are crucially important for pregnant women. A folate-rich diet can prevent chances of birth defects like spina bifida. For this recipe, you will require:
- 1 ½ pounds of zucchini, peeled and slivered into thin spirals
- 1 ½ cups of thinly sliced and roughly chopped red cabbage
- ½ of a large bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions thinly sliced along the diagonal
- ½ a bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 1/3 cup of rice vinegar seasoned with salt, pepper, and sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons of dark roasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
Start by making zucchini noodles with the help of a spiral vegetable slicing tool. Place the zucchini noodles in a colander and season it with salt. Then, set it aside and prepare the other vegetables. In another bowl, take the carrot, bell peppers, cabbage, onions, and the cilantro. Add the zucchini noodles to this mixture. In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the olive oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, and the pepper flakes. Once you have whisked it properly, drizzle the dressing over the salad, and gently toss it before serving.
2. Blueberry Peach Fruit Salad With Thyme:
You must have heard time and time again about the health benefits of blueberries. They are one of the richest sources of antioxidants that fight inflammation like arthritis and gout. Peaches are also not far behind. They are also antioxidant-rich sources that help fight cancerous cells. For this fruit salad, you will need:
- 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
- ¼ cup of sugar (your sugar quantity will depend on how sweet the fruits already are)
- Or, 1 tablespoon of agave syrup, instead of water and sugar
If you are using water and sugar, combine the two in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Continue boiling it till the quantity has reduced to half and has thickened into a syrup. Then, turn the heat off and allow it to cool. Next, chop up the peaches and the nectarines and take them in a bowl along with the blueberries. Pour the cooled sugar syrup over the fruits, or use agave syrup. Next, add the thyme, ginger, lemon juice, and zest to the mixture. Stir the mixture properly, cover it with a plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator. Let it sit for an hour before serving.
3. Asian Salad:
This Asian salad is a mix of carrots that are the richest source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is the pigment that gets converted into vitamin A and fights inflammation as well as boosts your immunity. You will also require lettuce, which is a great source of potassium, dietary fiber, and water. So, for this salad, you will need:
- Obviously, lettuce-romaine or iceberg
- 1 carrot, peeled and slivered
- Red and green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup of toasted and chopped almonds, cashews, or peanuts
- ¼ cup of toasted sesame seeds
For The Dressing You Will Need:
- 7 ounces of vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
Put all the ingredients of the dressing into a jar and shake well. Then, tear up the lettuce and take it in a bowl. Add the carrots, celery, peppers, and bean sprouts, and toss. Then, drizzle the dressing over the vegetables and toss properly until the veggies have been covered in the dressing. Top off the salad with the toasted sesame seeds and chopped almonds.
4. Thai Cucumber Salad:
Food is most appetizing when it looks appealing. If it is easy to put together, it is an added advantage! Colorful fruits and vegetables do just that. They are abundant sources of dietary fiber that help soothe digestive problems as well as reduce risks of colon cancer. For this simple Thai salad recipe, you will require:
- 1 seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 small bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 medium sized carrot, peeled and trimmed
- ½ small red onion, diced
- 1-2 tablespoon of cilantro, chopped
- ½-1 jalapeño, deseeded and minced
- ½ of dry, roasted and chopped peanuts
- 1 ½ tablespoon of fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of canola oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
Take a medium sized bowl and whisk the canola oil, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, minced garlic, lime juice and zest, and jalapeño. Then season it with salt and pepper. Your dressing is prepared. Then mix all the vegetables in another bowl and add the dressing. Toss well. Set it aside for at least an hour, while stirring it occasionally. Lastly, garnish with roasted peanuts and chopped cilantro.
5. Cardamom Citrus Fruit Salad:
You must be aware that citrus fruits are the best sources of vitamin C and are your best bet at strengthening your immunity. Vitamin C is also found to facilitate weight loss by promoting the burning of stored fats. For this fresh fruit salad, you will need:
- 3 naval oranges. Or, a combination of naval oranges, mandarin oranges, tangerines, and blood oranges.
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lime of lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom
Peel all the fruits and cut away the membrane of the individual segments. Collect all the peeled segments in a bowl and drain any excess juice into a small saucepan. Add lime juice, honey, and cardamom to the saucepan. Then, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Then, take the saucepan off the flame and set it aside to cool. Pour the mix over the fruits and fold gently. Let the salad sit for around 15 minutes or chill until it is ready to serve.
Salads are a great way to ensure that you are eating clean. It will help you manage your weight since the fiber present in vegetable helps to keep you full for longer. Thus, hunger pangs will be at bay, and you can prevent chances of binge eating. However, make sure that your wash the vegetables and fruits properly before adding them to the salad.
Being a regular practitioner and adviser of everything related to health, fitness and yoga, I also have begun to write and contribute to this knowledge ecosystem. I strongly believe that the organic food you find in your pantry provide the best benefits for good health. Follow me for my best ideas and solutions: