Friday, May 20, 2011

Best Day Ever + Bok Choy Salad

Today was basically a perfect day.  I just started a 4-day weekend.  I woke up early with the itch to start gardening before breakfast.  Why not?  I can always take a nap later!  (And I did).

I spent about 6 hours in the yard: digging up weeds, planting new plants, spreading straw mulch and transplanting some stubborn columbine and ferns that keep sprouting up in our stone walkway.  I called and got estimates (all in one day!) from 2 tree services to remove the scrubby mugo pine that is dying in our front yard and a maple being destroyed by chestnut borer.  I took breaks to watch Jeopardy, take a nap and lounge on the deck.

Lunch was a crunchy, fresh bok choy-peanut salad and dinner was scrambled tofu on toast.   Even though it's technically work, I enjoyed reading a couple chapters of Diet for a Hot Planet by Anna Lappe while I ate.   What a fantastic day!  Sure, I did a lot of hard work.  But it was all relaxing and fun. I even got my new issue of Bon Appetit in the mail! The best part?  I have 3 more days like this coming right up.

Here's the recipe for this really easy bok choy salad.  We made this on Tuesday night and the kids loved it! I made it again today with a bit of leftover bok choy.

Bok Choy Peanut Salad
You could do a lot to fancy this dish up or give it more color.  But I love how easy it can be!  This makes enough for 4-6 people.

1 package thin rice noodles (I like the maifun brown rice variety by Annie Chun)
1/2 cup peanut butter
3-4 Tbsp. tamari or Bragg's aminos
1 cup hot water (reserved from cooking noodles)
1 head bok choy, thinly sliced
(if this is a giant head, use about 1/2)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

Cook rice noodles according to package instructions.  Usually this involves simply soaking the noodles in boiling hot water for about 2 minutes.  Reserve 1 cup of the hot water.  Rinse noodles in cold water.

In a pint jar, combine peanut butter, tamari and 1/2 cup of the hot water.  I like to use an itty bitty wire whisk for this task.  At first it'll look like it won't dissolve, but the hot water will melt the peanut butter and this will become a thin, salty, creamy sauce.  Add more hot water if needed. Don't worry if it seems too salty, you're mixing this with a lot of noodles and bok choy.

Combine cooled noodles, sauce, bok choy, onions, carrot and cilantro in a large salad bowl.  Use tongs to toss until everything is coated in the peanut sauce.  If you want to serve this later in the week, just refrigerate the salad and dressing separately and mix it up just before serving.


JL goes Vegan said...

I absolutely love bok choy and this recipe looks fantastic and flavorful. Can't wait to try it!

Catherine said...

Yum! I haven't made bok choy "slaw" before -- what a great idea! Plus, you know, you had me at "peanut sauce." :)

Enjoy the rest of your time off! I hope the rain doesn't ruin all of your gardening fun?

foodfeud said...

What a great vacation - so far! I love to spend my free time in the kitchen.
The salad sounds great. I have yet to try rice noodles at home but I love the combinations.

Janna Renee said...

i've been wanting to experiment with bok choy! thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

That DOES sound like a good day! I am jealous of your 4 day weekend--even the rain couldn't ruin that for me!