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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Garlicky Buttered Beans

Garlicky Buttered Beans

Garlicky Buttered Beans

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Garlicky Buttered Beans served in a shallow, oval dish with a wedge of lemon.

Some will say it’s all about the turkey or roast, but how many of us scour through recipes looking for the perfect side dishes to serve with the turkey? We search for recipes because we dream of the perfect meal, and the meal generally includes side dishes. I definitely fall into this group of recipe searchers, partly because it’s nice to try something new and because I believe accompanying dishes are equally as important to any meal as the main item. Even though everyone will not agree with this sentiment, it’s hard to resist buttery green beans. Add in a good dose of garlic, Dijon and lemon juice and you’ve got a bright and zesty veggie that is perfect served with roast turkey, beef or ham. These Garlicky Buttered Beans just might steal the show.

Sauteed garlic, butter and Dijon mustard in a stainless steel pan with blanched green beans in the background prepared for Garlicky Buttered Beans.

Garlicky Buttered Beans start with simple ingredients and the whole dish comes together quickly with little fuss. To help with a busy day in the kitchen, the beans can be cooked and cooled in advance, leaving only a quick sauté in garlicky butter. The Dijon, lemon juice and chili flakes help to liven up plain old green beans. If it’s weeknight cooking for just a few people, go ahead and use only half the amount of the green beans, they’re just saucier. What’s not to love about that. Enjoy!

Garlicky Buttered Beans served in a shallow, oval dish with a wedge of lemon.

Garlicky Buttered Beans served in a shallow, oval dish with a wedge of lemon.
Garlicky Buttered Beans
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    10 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    10 minutes
    Garlicky Buttered Beans served in a shallow, oval dish with a wedge of lemon.
    Garlicky Buttered Beans
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 10 minutes
      Cook Time
      10 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 10 minutes
      Cook Time
      10 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Heat a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook at a gentle simmer until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain well.
      2. Meanwhile, gather remaining ingredients and melt butter in a medium skillet. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute on low heat until fragrant and slightly softened, about 1 minute, being careful not to brown. Whisk in lemon juice, Dijon, salt and pepper.
      3. Add cooked beans and toss until evenly coated with butter sauce. Serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      -Green beans can be cooked and cooled in an ice bath up to one day in advance.  They will need more time to warm in the butter sauce if adding from a chilled state.

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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
      Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower

      Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower

      Cauliflower is boring!

      But it doesn’t have to be with a good roasting and the addition of a vibrant Gremolata.  Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower is anything but boring with its caramelized edges, fresh garlic, parsley and a good dose of lemon zest.  The Gremolata is a game changer for plain, boring cauliflower, transforming it into a flavourful and zesty side dish.

      What is Gremolata?

      Gremolata is an Italian condiment/accompaniment that is made with Italian flat leaf parsley, lemon zest, fresh garlic, olive oil and salt. It’s vibrant and fresh with a slight bitter note from the parsley and flavour punch from the garlic. If you have parsley, lemon and garlic, you’ve got a simple sauce that will spruce up so many things. It’s a classic accompaniment for the Italian dish Ossobuco but also great with fish, lamb and of course vegetables. 

      Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        5-6 people 20 minutes
        Cook Time
        30 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        5-6 people 20 minutes
        Cook Time
        30 minutes
        Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          5-6 people 20 minutes
          Cook Time
          30 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          5-6 people 20 minutes
          Cook Time
          30 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Preheat oven to 400℉
          2. In a large bowl stir together parsley, lemon zest, garlic, salt and 3 tbsp of olive oil. Set aside.
          3. Remove outer leaves from cauliflower and cut the head into quarters. Easily core the cauliflower by cutting it out of each quarter, allowing any remaining leaves and stem to come away with it.
          4. Break or cut the cauliflower into large bite-size pieces. Toss cauliflower with remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and a few grinds of a pepper mill. Spread out evenly on a large baking tray.
          5. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning once, allowing the bottom edges to become golden and caramelized.
          6. Remove from oven and add to the bowl of Gremolata along with the parmesan cheese. Toss to coat evenly and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
          Recipe Notes

          -make as a vegan option by omitting the parmesan cheese or using your favourite alternative cheese.

          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
          Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli

          Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli

          With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to sift through old recipes, ponder new ones and somehow come up with a foolproof menu.  Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli is the perfect side dish for all your entertaining needs.  Not only because it has the perfect balance of savoury, crunchy and sweet, but because it roasts up in the same amount of time that it takes to rest a roast or turkey.  Meaning, you don’t need to worry about oven space or soggy vegetables.  

          Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli cooks up al dente with golden roasted edges.  Crunchy almonds and chewy, sweet cranberries add a wonderful dimension of texture and flavour that signifies the holidays. Quick and easy with little fuss and holds up well.   Enjoy!

          Recipe source for Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli:  Compelled To Cook

          Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            6-8 people 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            20 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            6-8 people 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            20 minutes
            Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              6-8 people 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              20 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              6-8 people 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              20 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Preheat oven to 400℉.
              2. Split broccoli spears into large bite-size pieces. Place broccoli and garlic on a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Spread out in a single layer.
              3. Roast for 7 minutes. Add almonds and turn broccoli. Continue to roast for another 7 minutes. Add dried cranberries and toss to combine. Return to oven for 5-6 minutes until broccoli is tender and almonds are golden. Serve immediately.

              Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips

              Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips

              With food feasting holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I find myself thinking about side dishes and how having plenty of options makes meal planning easier.  Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips is one of my personal favourites, as it’s not only delicious but simple and a good pairing most anything.

              Don’t let the parsnips fool you either, they’re wonderful in combination with the carrots and the honey helps to bring out their natural sweetness and highlights their earthy flavour. Additionally, these amazing Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips hold up well both in texture and colour for serving, giving you time to breathe as you rush to get everything on the table.

              Recipe source for Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips:  Compelled To Cook

              Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                6-8 people 25 minutes
                Cook Time
                8-10 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                6-8 people 25 minutes
                Cook Time
                8-10 minutes
                Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  6-8 people 25 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  8-10 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  6-8 people 25 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  8-10 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. Peel and trim carrots and parsnips. Cut into 2" lengths and then slice a small amount from one side to allow the piece to sit flat. Slice a small amount off remaining 3 sides to square up the piece (see note). Cut into 1/4" slices and then cut each slice into 1/4" batons.
                  2. Heat butter in a medium skillet until foamy, add garlic and sauté for 30-60 seconds, stirring once or twice. Add in carrots and parsnips, stir to coat with butter and garlic. Add water, cover and cook over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
                  3. Remove cover and increase heat to high to evaporate any left over water and allow the vegetables to finish cooking, about 3-4 minutes ( they will start to caramelize slightly).
                  4. Once they are cooked to your liking, remove from heat and stir in honey, parsley, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
                  Recipe Notes

                  -if using salted butter, adjust additional salt to taste.

                  -the 2" sections do not need to be perfectly square as that much trimming creates a lot of waste. What is important, is to make sure they are similar in size for even cooking.

                  Tempura Asparagus with Soy Dipping Sauce

                  Tempura Asparagus with Soy Dipping Sauce

                  Some years ago, one of my favourite appetizers served at The Keg was a tempura battered asparagus.  In the mix was also snow peas or green beans, but it’s been so long that I just can’t seem to remember.  What I do remember, is that the asparagus was the star of the show, hands down!  Crisp green spears, lightly battered and fried golden were amazing with a soy dipping sauce.  Since the dish is no longer on the menu, I decided to make it for myself, and share with you today Tempura Asparagus with Soy Dipping Sauce.  You see, it’s simply the best when you can enjoy your favourites at home.

                  The recipe uses crisp fresh asparagus spears, but truthfully, you could use a multitude of vegetables of your liking.  Think zucchini, green beans, mushrooms, a vegetable Fritto Misto really. For me, it’s asparagus all the way, lightly coated and fried till just tender and plunged into a garlic and ginger studded soy sauce.  They’re addictive to say the least. Enjoy!

                  Recipe source for Tempura Asparagus:  Compelled To Cook

                  Tempura Asparagus with Soy Dipping
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    4-6 people 25 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    20 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    4-6 people 25 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    20 minutes
                    Tempura Asparagus with Soy Dipping
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      4-6 people 25 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      20 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      4-6 people 25 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      20 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Soy Dipping Sauce
                      Asparagus
                      Servings: people
                      Instructions
                      Soy Dipping Sauce
                      1. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except sliced scallions. Set aside.
                      Asparagus
                      1. Add enough oil to a large deep pot or dutch oven to come up the sides at least 3 inches. Attach a high heat thermometer to the side and heat oil to 350℉. Alternatively, you can use a deep fryer set to 350℉.
                      2. In a medium bowl whisk together water, flour, white wine, egg, cornstarch, baking soda and salt until smooth. Set aside while oil is heating and asparagus is prepped.
                      3. Trim woody ends from asparagus (about 2"). If some stalks are quite a bit thicker than others, thin by lightly peeling with a vegetable peeler to create more uniform stalks.
                      4. Once the oil is hot, dip individual asparagus spears into batter to evenly coat and tap off excess batter. Add to hot oil one at a time, cooking 6-8 per batch and cook for about 2 minutes per side depending on size. Remove with a slotted scoop to a paper towel lined tray and repeat with remaining asparagus.
                      5. Divided soy dipping sauce into small serving bowls and serve asparagus along side. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.