Happy New Year! For my first official post of 2015, I decided to make something a little healthier than all those sugar cookies from last month. Of course I had to put something “fried” in it, but hey, it’s got some healthy veggies in there too. The puffed rice noodles give it a great crunch and make the whole dish look super fancy. This recipe comes with two options for dressings, because they were both so good that I couldn’t decide which one to use!

Salad Ingredients:

Rice stick noodles (I used Maifun brand)

Grape seed oil

1 package of your preferred lettuce mix

Shredded carrots

1 clementine or mandarin orange, peeled and separated

Slivered almonds

Sea salt

Directions:

Toss the lettuce, shredded carrots, orange slices, and slivered almonds in a large bowl.

Heat grapeseed or olive oil in a frying pan on the stove. Take one rice stick and place the end in the oil to test if it is hot enough. If it puffs up after a few seconds, the oil is ready.

Take a handful of rice sticks and place them in the oil. They should puff up and “grow” in a few seconds. Using tongs, flip them onto the other side so they can cook completely.

Take them out of the oil and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain the oil. Season with a bit of sea salt to taste, and place on top of the salad.

Thai Peanut-Style Dressing:

1.5 tbsp almond or peanut butter

4 tsp lime juice

4 tsp gluten free tamari

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp dried cilantro

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp honey

Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. If the dressing is too “peanutty”, try adding some more tamari or ginger.

Cashew Cilantro Dressing (soy free):

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup cashews

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp dried cilantro

1 clove garlic

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp sea salt

Blend all ingredients for 10 seconds in a blender, then pour into a bowl and serve.

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