Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Peanut Lime Cilantro Dressed Salad

Whenever we have guests, I will spend the days leading up to their arrival dreaming up menus, planning to pull out all the stops, wanting to woo them with vegan goodness they'll be craving for meals to come after their departure. If they're lucky, I'll actually have a sauce or dressing in the 'fridge already and at least one perfect plate will make it to them amid all of the fun, non-eating things that tend to get packed into a visit instead of cooking and the cleaning up of my tiny kitchen. 

When one of those plates is like this one on a hot summer day and the diner is my ever appreciative mom I'm more than happy!

This recipe certainly isn't anything you haven't seen before, but what it is is a perfect way to balance sweet and salty tangy and savory and dress a ton of raw, crunchy veggies in the most delicious way!

Above you see whatever we happened to have on hand during mom and dad's visit; butter lettuce, green cabbage, some spiralized raw zucchini, cucumbers, red bell pepper, and carrots. I served this to mom with a side of Korean(ish) Soy Curls and Broccoli, but I've also done this similarly with a handful of chickpeas and some dry pan fried tofu or edamame for some added protein and topped with 1/3 cup of cold soba noodles and called it dinner. 

Also, as a side, I started enjoying this tossed with a cup of shredded green cabbage, small hand fulls of shredded bell pepper, carrot, and cucumber and topping with more fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. It's become a pretty stellar staple!

Whatever you're gracing with this light but flavorful dressing, you'll just call it tasty!

Peanut Lime Cilantro Salad Dressing
(I usually make mine and store in an old 32oz Veganaise jar. It doesn't fill the jar completely, but is enough to dress quite a few salads and/or veggies!) Can easily be halved if you're just making for a lesser number of servings. 

1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
1/4 c. seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 c. lime juice
2 T shoyu (or soy sauce or tamari)
2 - 3 T agave (to taste. I start with 2 and taste and adjust from there)
1/4 c. peanut oil (or other light tasting oil of your choosing)
3 garlic cloves
1 - 2 T chopped ginger or ginger paste
1 - 2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c. fresh cilantro

Put all ingredients but cilantro into food processor, high speed blender, or container to use with immersion blender. Blend until smooth and taste to adjust seasonings/sweeteners to your liking. Add cilantro and pulse to just blend in but not turn green. 

Drizzle in 2 or 3 tablespoon serving sizes over salads or veggies and store remaining dressing in air tight container in refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

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