Mercy Me Asian Salad

Here’s a recipe that will nourish rather than deplete your body and feed your soul & taste buds some tasty, crunchy slaw!

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As you may or may not know, I’m a pretty steadfast from-scratch kind of cook/baker.  However we all have our favorite quick go-tos to help us whip up something delicious and nutritious in a pinch. Here I used two of them.  Usually when I make a Costco run (which is about weekly), I pick up a bag or two of the Taylor Farms Asian Cashew Chopped Salad.  It’s super yummy and easy to dress up a little, if you so desire.  So this salad mix makes up the base of the salad.  The other pre-made item was the tofu.  I often marinate and bake my own, but seriously sometimes there just isn’t time.  So I usually have a package or two of baked, seasoned tofu in the fridge.  In this case, I happen to have a sesame ginger flavored one on hand.  Can we say “Perfect for Asian Salad!”?

Here are the two packaged foods used in this recipe:

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Some of the other ingredients are very seasonal for spring.  In fact, the scallions and red cabbage grew in my backyard garden and the Cara Cara oranges and asparagus were both locally grown and arrived in my CSA box.  If you haven’t heard of, or participated in, Community Supported Agriculture, I encourage you to look into it.  You get a regularly scheduled box of fresh, local produce each week and an opportunity to help support your local farmers.  Because let’s face it, sometimes we just can’t get to a Farmer’s Market (or we forget to stop at an ATM for cash ahead of time).  Now, for what you’ve been waiting for.  Here’s the recipe!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Package Taylor Farms Asian Cashew Chopped Salad (Costco 19 oz size)
  • 1 package Nasoya “tofubaked”, Sesame Ginger, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2-3 scallions (aka green onions) thinly sliced, green parts only
  • 1/4 medium red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 Cara Cara orange, diced
  • seasoning and dressing of choice

DIRECTIONS

  1. Grab a large mixing bowl.  Cut open the salad bag and dump in the veggies (wait to add the packaged toppings).
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Wipe with a very thin coat of olive oil.  When the pan is hot, add the asparagus.  Season with salt and pepper.  Toss occasionally for even cooking.  You may want to cover with a lid for a couple of minutes to allow the asparagus to cook through, if needed.  When done, transfer to a cutting board and chop into 2 inch pieces.  Add the asparagus to the salad bowl.
  3. OPTIONAL STEP: If you skip searing the tofu, then just toss the tofu cubes into the salad and move on to step 4.  Otherwise, wipe your pan clean.  Add 2 teaspoons oil and when hot, toss in the tofu cubes.  Let sear until golden (1-2 minutes).  Then toss for even browning.
  4. While searing the tofu, slice the scallions and cabbage and throw ’em into the bowl.  Once the tofu is browned it can join the party too!
  5. Now chop up your orange and toss it in, along with the salad toppings that came with the packaged salad.
  6. Dressing Time!  If you prefer to use the dressing that came with the salad, go right ahead.  Personally, I like something fresh, less oily and minimally processed.  Shake on some vinegar (seasoned rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or my favorite pineapple balsamic vinegar) and a tiny drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, if desired.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Toss it all up and enjoy!  This makes a BIG salad!  Fortunately, it also makes great leftovers to wrap up in a tortilla or stuff a pita.

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