Japanese Cabbage Salad

Japanese Cabbage Salad

Japanese Cabbage Salad

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Japanese Cabbage Salad served in a square wooden bowl and garnished with sliced green onions.
Shredded cabbage, green onions, ramen noodles and almonds on a wooden cutting board being prepaired for Japanese Cabbage Salad.

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to start thinking about grilling, fresh berries and salads. Japanese Cabbage Salad is fresh, light and a little bit crunchy for the perfect picnic, side or lunch salad. The change of season brings about fresh and light recipe ideas for blogging but also a welcome change for everyday living. It’s the opportunity to jog outdoors, enjoy long walks and drive to and from work in daylight. These are important things in my world. What’s got you excited for spring?

Japanese Cabbage Salad served in a square wooden bowl and garnished with sliced green onions.

What I enjoy most about this salad is the almonds, they give a great crunchy texture to every bite. Using the chicken seasoning package from the noodles in the dressing is also genius. It provides a wonderful savoury and salty addition to the mound of cabbage. Japanese Cabbage Salad is great for picnics or potlucks because it holds up very well and there is no mayonnaise to cause concern if left to sit for a while. Have it as a meal by adding grilled or rotisserie chicken, it’s a great lunch.

The recipe suggests letting the salad rest for 30-60 minutes to meld the flavours, but truthfully, I enjoy it just as much the next day after the cabbage has absorbed more of the dressing. It’s rather embarrassing how much of this salad I can eat in one sitting, stopping only because my gut aches from eating so much raw cabbage. I’m not sure that salads are usually what people can’t stop eating but this one hits all the right notes for me. Enjoy

Japanese Cabbage Salad served in a square wooden bowl and garnished with sliced green onions.
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Japanese Cabbage Salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pkg chicken ramen noodle seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 5 cups finely shredded cabbage, lightly packed about 1 pound
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 3 each green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pkg instant chicken ramen noodles

Instructions

  • Whisk together the first six ingredients and set aside.
  • In a large bowl toss together shredded cabbage, almonds and green onion. Add dressing and toss to coat evenly. Break apart ramen noodles into small pieces with your hands and toss with salad. Cover salad and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to meld flavours and soften the noodles slightly. The salad can be made up to 2 hours in advance, tossing lightly just before serving.

Notes

-Slivered almonds are preferred as they offer the best crunch and size.  To toast the almonds preheat the oven to 350°F.  Arrange almonds in a single layer in a pie plate or other shallow baking tray.  Toast for 8-10 minutes until just starting to turn golden. 
-Easily make this salad into lunch by topping with cooked chicken.

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Tarragon Chicken Salad

Tarragon Chicken Salad

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Tarragon Chicken Salad is piled high and topped with lettuce on a golden bun. The bun sits on a stack of plates garnished with cucumber slices.

Here’s to having plenty of summer days that are too hot to want to cook.  Tarragon Chicken Salad is perfect for just such days.  No need to cook when tender chicken pairs up with mustard and creamy mayo for a wonderful salad that’s amazing on a crusty roll, croissant, lettuce wrap or cracker.

 

Cooked diced chicken rests on a wooden cutting board and is surrounded by dried tarragon and whole grain mustard in preparation for Tarragon Chicken Salad.

Start with cooked chicken, preferably leftovers or even a pre-cooked roaster chicken for convenience.  While I’m all for making as much homemade as possible, it’s hard to deny the lure of a plump, juicy roast chicken that’s ready when you need it.  Whatever chicken you use, chop it chunky and avoid over mixing it after adding the other ingredients. Overmixing tends to break down the fibres of the chicken a little too much for my liking, so be gentle.

Along with the crisp chopped celery, I also like to add a few of the celery leaves for a bit of freshness.  I have left out adding any onions to this chicken salad, however, thinly sliced scallions would be a nice additional touch if desired.

 

Ingredients for Tarragon Chicken Salad are measured into a glass bowl and ready to be stirred. A basket of buns sits in the background.

The tarragon is a wonderful flavour to go with chicken and mustard. You’ll find that the longer it sits in the salad the stronger the flavour will be.  It does take a little time for it to meld with everything.  By all means use fresh tarragon if you can, using about 3 times the amount of the dry, so in this case, I’d use a tablespoon of fresh.  The fresh won’t require the same amount of melding time, simply mix and enjoy!!

 

 

Tarragon Chicken Salad is piled high and topped with lettuce on a golden bun. The bun sits on a stack of plates garnished with cucumber slices.
Tarragon Chicken Salad
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
    Passive Time
    15 -120 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
    Passive Time
    15 -120 minutes
    Tarragon Chicken Salad is piled high and topped with lettuce on a golden bun. The bun sits on a stack of plates garnished with cucumber slices.
    Tarragon Chicken Salad
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
      Passive Time
      15 -120 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
      Passive Time
      15 -120 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: cups
      Instructions
      1. Add all ingredients to a medium size bowl starting with 1/3 cup of mayonnaise. Stir gently until combined adjusting creaminess with additional mayonnaise and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
      2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to several hours to allow flavours to meld.
      Recipe Notes

      -The tarragon flavour will become more pronounced the longer the chicken salad sits.

      -A precooked roaster chicken that has been chilled works wonderfully.

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      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Wasabi Slaw

      Wasabi Slaw

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      A small metal tub filled with Wasabi Slaw is resting on a checkered white and green kitchen towel.

       

      What’s your favourite summer slaw? I’m partial to a classic creamy coleslaw, so I immediately fell in love with Wasabi Slaw. It has all the creaminess of a mayonnaise-based dressing and the crunch of cool, crisp cabbage but it is set apart by the addition of wasabi. The earthy heat melds with the creamy dressing and gives just the right amount of punch. My perfect punchy heat may be different than yours, so add a little wasabi or add a lot.

      For a crisp coleslaw, mix the dressing in advance but don’t add it to the cabbage until ready to serve. Keeping all ingredients cold before and after mixing will also help maintain a wonderful crunch. Enjoy!

       

      Fresh cabbage, green onion, wasabi and grated carrots are being prepped for Wasabi Slaw.
      A small metal tub filled with Wasabi Slaw is resting on a checkered white and green kitchen towel.

      A small metal tub filled with Wasabi Slaw is resting on a checkered white and green kitchen towel.
      Wasabi Slaw
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        6 cups 30 minutes
        Passive Time
        10 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        6 cups 30 minutes
        Passive Time
        10 minutes
        A small metal tub filled with Wasabi Slaw is resting on a checkered white and green kitchen towel.
        Wasabi Slaw
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          6 cups 30 minutes
          Passive Time
          10 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          6 cups 30 minutes
          Passive Time
          10 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: cups
          Instructions
          1. In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, wasabi, vinegar, salt and pepper. Allow the dressing to sit refrigerated for at least 10 minutes or until ready to use to allow sugar to completely dissolve.
          2. In a large bowl toss together cabbage, carrots and green onion.
          3. Stir in dressing and serve immediately for a crisp coleslaw. .
          Recipe Notes

          The coleslaw with soften as it sits so it is best served immediately after adding dressing. It can be made a couple of hours ahead and tossed before serving if needed.

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          Affiliate Disclosure

          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Zahtar Potato Salad

          Zahtar Potato Salad

          Zahtar or Za’atar is a middle eastern spice blend that I’ve not had the pleasure to work with a lot with over the years. It’s a real shame because I love it!  Earthy and nutty with hints of citrus makes it wonderful with so many foods.  Hummus and pita are probably the first things people think of when they associate it, but it goes way beyond.  Great with chicken, eggs and potatoes to name a few. I recently came across a Zahtar Egg Salad and figured why not incorporate it into a potato salad, and Zahtar Potato Salad was born. 

          I was not far off the mark thinking it would be delicious. The combination of briny, salty olives and creamy mayonnaise brings baby potatoes to life and makes for a great Mediterranean version.  Even though I prefer the  mayonnaise based potato salad, I did experiment with a warm salad version using olive oil to dress it instead of the mayonnaise.  It too was a tasty version of potato salad but I just couldn’t stop scooping up the creamier version.  Maybe because that was the way my mom used to make it and by far the type I’ve eaten most in my life. 

          The Zahtar I purchased contains salt, so I therefore found it was not necessary to add additional salt in this recipe.  If your Zahtar does not contain salt,  be sure to add salt to taste. You can also make your own if desired, here is a simple recipe from The Genius Kitchen

          Recipe source for Zahtar Potato Salad:  Inspired by Bon Appetit Mediterranean Egg Salad

          Zahtar Potato Salad
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            5 cups 30 minutes
            Cook Time
            12 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            5 cups 30 minutes
            Cook Time
            12 minutes
            Zahtar Potato Salad
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              5 cups 30 minutes
              Cook Time
              12 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              5 cups 30 minutes
              Cook Time
              12 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: cups
              Instructions
              1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and place pine nuts in a single layer on a small baking tray or pie plate. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes, turning at least once until golden. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use.
              2. Heat enough water to just cover the eggs and simmer gently for no more than 12 minutes. Drain and immediately cool under cold running water. Once cooled, peel and coarsely chop.
              3. Steam or boil baby potatoes in simmering lightly salted water until just fork tender, about 8-10 minutes depending on size. Drain and cool under cold water. Allow potatoes to drain thoroughly once cool.
              4. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces, usually a baby potato cut in half or quartered makes for a nice size.
              5. In a medium size bowl stir together red onion, green olives, mayonnaise, greek yogurt, Zahtar and salt and pepper. Add chopped potatoes, eggs, pine nuts and cilantro. Gently stir into mayonnaise until combined. Serve immediately sprinkled with additional cilantro if desired. Can be chilled for several hours prior to serving if needed. Best served the day it is made.
              Recipe Notes

              -For time management, the potatoes, pine nuts and eggs can be cooked at the same time.

              -The Zahtar I used contained salt, so little extra salt was needed. However, if your brand does not include salt you will need to adjust seasoning to taste.

              Grilled Steak Salad

              Grilled Steak Salad

              Grilled Steak Salad is just that!  Tender, juicy, spiced rubbed steak thinly sliced and served with crisp mixed greens, goat cheese and zesty Catalina dressing.  It’s low in carbs, high in protein and filling enough for lunch or dinner.   

              For this recipe I used sirloin steaks that were about 1” thick.  They’re relatively lean and price friendly compared to their classy cousin the tenderloin. Either steak works here, choose what suits your mood and budget.  Fattier cuts like ribeyes are not the best option even though all that marbling makes for the ultimate juicy grilled steak, it sorta defeats the purpose of eating a salad for the main course.  Kinda like drinking diet pop while eating a hamburger and fries. I’m sure you get my point. 

              Of great importance is to “rest” the meat.  The resting allows all the juices to be reabsorbed back into the muscle of the meat, helping to retain its moisture and therefore tenderness and juiciness.  Cutting a steak or roast without letting it rest will spill out all the meat juices that have accumulated towards the centre of the meat from the heat of cooking.

              Once your steak is cooked and rested to perfection, those slightly charred and thinly sliced pieces are fantastic drizzled with a vibrant Catalina dressing.  Of course homemade is preferred and you can get the recipe here Catalina Dressing  It’s easier than you think and you probably have everything on hand already.  Enjoy!

              Recipe source for Grilled Steak Salad:  Compelled To Cook

              Grilled Steak Salad
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                2 people 25 minutes
                Cook Time
                10 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                2 people 25 minutes
                Cook Time
                10 minutes
                Grilled Steak Salad
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  2 people 25 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  10 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  2 people 25 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  10 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. In a small bowl stir together first 10 ingredients. Sprinkle steaks generously on both sides with spice rub, pressing gently to slightly adhere. Drizzle with oil and rub paste evenly over steak. Cover and set aside at room temperature while grill preheats.
                  2. Preheat grill to medium high.
                  3. Clean and dry mixed greens ( I like to use a salad spinner). Clean and slice vegetables, subbing in others as you like.
                  4. Grill steak to desired doneness. 4-5 minutes per side for a medium 1" steak. It will depend on thickness of steak. Remove steak and cover with foil and allow to rest at least 5 minutes.
                  5. While steak rests, arrange mixed greens on plate and top with sliced vegetables and crumbled goat cheese.
                  6. Slice steak across the grain and arrange on salad. Drizzle with Catalina dressing and serve immediately.
                  Recipe Notes

                  I recommend using homemade dressing, you just can't beat it.  Here's a link to my Catalina Dressing.

                  Catalina Dressing

                   

                  Catalina Dressing

                  Catalina Dressing

                  It will soon be summer with salads of crisp greens and bitter radicchio.  What better way to dress your salad than with homemade Catalina Dressing.  I’d say it’s a bit of a forgotten dressing, one that’s been in the shadows of more trendy dressings made with avocado and tofu.  Kinda like it doesn’t get to hang out with the cool dressings, but there’s no reason for the snub.  Catalina Dressing is sweet and zingy, and just what your greens are screaming for.

                  It’s not new and maybe even a bit old fashion, but I thinks it’s more that everyone has forgotten how good it really is and all the other great uses it has.  Dressing is dressing you might think, but how about mixing it with mayonnaise for a great burger and sandwich spread. 

                  Next, you’ll want to add a generous splash of sriracha to that spread and serve as a dip for sweet potato fries or potato wedges.  

                  Oh, and did I mention Catalina Dressing makes fantastic chicken wings, yes you read that right, CHICKEN WINGS.  Coming soon to the blog, I promise!  So never, never underestimate this humble salad dressing, it’s anything but boring. 

                  Recipe for Catalina Dressing adapted slightly from: Epicurious

                   

                  Catalina Dressing
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    1 cup 10 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    1 cup 10 minutes
                    Catalina Dressing
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      1 cup 10 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      1 cup 10 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: cup
                      Instructions
                      1. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Allow to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour to meld flavours. Move to fridge if not using shortly after. Will keep for 1 week refrigerated.
                      Recipe Notes

                      Yields:  1 generous cup