Guhhh. I am getting so boring in my old age. In addition to giving up my Diet Coke habit (30 days y’all!), I am making an active effort to eat healthier. It’ s not that I have been eating unhealthy in recent years, but I have become too reliant on ordering take-out or coming home too tired to cook a decent meal. Frozen pizza and I have spent way too much time together. I need to see other people!
My method right now is to do one big meal on Sunday, then integrate the leftovers into the rest of the week. My goal is to never spend more than 10 minutes at the stove on a weeknight. It’s requiring some, ummm…..experimenting. Some of the results are fine, some are flops, some are pretty tasty. This one is no-fail. I repeat: YOU CAN’T MESS IT UP. It’s that good. I don’t usually talk cooking stuff with y’all but this one is worth sharing. I call it stove salad.
This is all very approximate. I have made this salad with various combinations of 30 different ingredients and it always comes out just fine. This really isn’t so much of a recipe as it is a formula. Go get you some!
- 1 Cup leftover rice or quinoa, cooked
- 1 Cup leftover protein (chicken or tofu or steak or fish), cooked and chopped
- 1 Cup fresh red vegetables, chopped (here I use half red peppers and half red cabbage)
- 1 Cup fresh green vegetables, chopped (here I use half asparagus and half green onion)
- Handful of fresh herbs, chopped. You can skip this but I think fresh herbs are what take this from a leftover salad to something special. I used cilantro here, but dill, parsley, and mint also work great.
In a wide pan, heat a spoonful of oil (I like coconut oil – olive oil is fine) and when it’s just about to start smoking, throw in the protein. Toss around for 3 minutes until golden, then throw in the rice for another 3 minutes. Turn off stove and stir in red vegetables and let it set there for 3 minutes. While it’s doing that, make the dressing…
Ginger Dressing (Note: You can forget about this dressing and use your favorite store bought in a bottle, or just mix some lemon and olive-oil, but wtf? Why not go the distance? Be healthy like that. You go girl!)
- 1 Tablespoon peanut butter (I like extra crunchy/natural)
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or rice wine vinegar (I like fresh lemon juice so I can throw the zest in there as well)
- 2 Teaspoons of fresh ginger, grated
- If you like it spicy, add a bit of red flaked pepper or diced jalapeno
Mix together. If necessary, thin with a dash of water or your favorite juice. Orange juice and pomegranate juice are especially tasty.
…back to the stuff on the stove. With the burner still off, throw in the fresh green vegetables, the herbs, (and anything else you have laying around the house that look salad-worthy; toasted nuts, croutons, Parmesan cheese, avocado…whatever) then throw in the dressing and stir it around. The end result will be a mix of warm, room-temp, and the cold/crispy bits of fresh green vegetables.
Bettcha can’t wait to flop a lip over that.
This recipe makes about four cups of food, which makes for two generous portions, or an excellent side portion for several. It also keeps great in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave, or eaten cold as-is. Technically that makes it leftover-leftovers, but we will look the other way on that one.
I like it. It’s sturdy, nutritious food, but also light and summery. It only takes one pan for the salad, one bowl for the dressing. It doesn’t rely on weird ingredients or require special trip to a pretentious grocery store. And it goes from fridge to table in 10 minutes. BAM.
Stove Salad, it’s what’s for dinner.