Thursday, May 19, 2016

Delicious Cucumber-Bok Choy Salad with Tangy Rice Vinaigrette!



Here we are at the month-and-a-half mark on the Whole Foods/Plant Based Diet! 

I never imagined, when I started this diet, the kind of benefits I would experience. I started this diet for my husband, hoping to provide some beneficial effects for him. I've stayed on the diet for me. In just the first few weeks of cutting meat, dairy, eggs, and most fats from my diet, I found my gastro-intestinal system to be very happy. I feel great!

And I've learned a lot.

 I've learned not to try to copy meat and dairy laden foods with plant based substitutes. No matter how "good" they are, it's not the same. I started out making cashew based "Alfredo Sauce," tofu "meatloaf," and other substitute foods. I've now learned to just cook how I've always cooked, and just leave the meat and dairy out. Granted, this doesn't work for something like Alfredo Sauce. But it works great with my tried and true beef-barley soup (without the beef). 

I've learned that this diet takes a lot of prep work. A lot! But it's worth it. And, eventually, you kind of get in a rhythm of always chopping more veggies than you need, so you have some left-over for the next meal.

I've learned how to eat out in restaurants and not freak out because they have no options that perfectly fit my diet. I just choose the best option.

I've learned to have people over for dinner and provide for all types of appetites, not just mine. Just because I choose to eat this way doesn't mean that I have a need to push my diet on others. I always provide options.

And most of all, I've learned that I can take control of my health by eating a whole foods-plant based diet that's right for me. 

Tonight we had my Delicious Barley with Carrots, Onion, and Celery , along with this delicious salad. I was craving a traditional Sunumono, or Japanese Cucumber Salad, and came up with this option, based on what I had in the fridge. A traditional sunumono has seaweed, in addition to the cucumber. I found the Bok Choy added just the right texture, since I rarely have any extra seaweed lying around.


Ingredients

1 Cucumber, peeled and sliced extra thin

2 heads Bok Choy, chopped

For the Marinade:
2 Tbsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Sesame Oil

1 tsp Sesame Seeds (toasted in a pan)

Mix all marinade ingredients well, until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Steam chopped Bok Choy for 1 to 2 minutes, then shock in an ice bath, or just dump in a colander and rinse with cold water and drain. Once cooked, use paper towels to blot most of the water out.

Toss cucumber, bok choy, and marinade in a bowl and set in the fridge for at least 1 hour, tossing frequently. After 1 hour, drain excess liquid.

Serve with the toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top.





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