We’ve been eating lean most days :) since our annual indulgence blowout also known as the way we do Christmas holidays around here. I’m not sure how it happens but by Boxing Day our home is packed with high-calorie nibblies. Gord and I started the one year diet on New Year’s Day (no calorie counting) and it’s going pretty well. Our one job for now is to cook tasty dinners with an emphasis on lean and healthy. We’re aiming to get back to those old fashioned habits that people used to live by not so long ago when nobody dieted yet hardly anyone was heavy.
Asian red pepper, purple cabbage and kale salad with honey sesame dressing and toasted almonds is perfect. It’s delicious with satisfying umami richness, good for meals and snacks. Don’t be turned off by the “k” word (kale). Kale and shaved purple cabbage pair wonderfully with rich ginger, sesame and honey dressing. Red pepper adds sweet, juicy crunch and a beautiful punch of colour. Flavour first.
Health is just a bonus, and in case you’re wondering, kale gives vitamins C, K and A plus iron, calcium and antioxidants, and fibre. Fibre reduces hunger pangs and there is a relationship between fibre and staying slim. Cabbage provides similar nutrients to kale, plus it’s low cost – especially important in the winter months when fruits and veggies are expensive.
You can modify the recipe to make a super quick version. Instead of kale, purchase already shredded cabbage, and toss the cabbage in the honey, ginger, sesame dressing.
We paired the salad with halibut, pan-fried in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, just until flaky. Near the end of cooking, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and sprinkle with pepper. We’re happy carb eaters but this meal is satisfying all by itself.
FYI – The one year diet’s simple rules – cook your own food and:
- Vegetables and fruit on half the plate. (More veggies than fruit.)
- White meat more than red.
- Whole carbs in small portions.
- Fats and oils – watch the portions. (Essential for health but they’re not a freebie.)
- Sugar – keep it under 6 teaspoons (24 grams) per day. This is the only math in the One Year Diet.
- SALAD INGREDIENTS
- 2 c Curly Kale, finely chopped, thick stems removed
- 1½ c Purple Cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 c Carrots, grated
- ½ Red Bell Pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- ¾ cup Toasted Almonds, chopped
- ¼ c Cilantro, chopped
- SALAD INGREDIENTS, for alternative SUPER-QUICK VERSION
- 5 c Cabbage Coleslaw Mix, packaged and already shredded
- ⅓ c Toasted Almonds, chopped
- DRESSING INGREDIENTS
- 3 tbsp Peanut Butter
- 3 tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
- 3 tbsp Light Oil (I used avocado.)
- 1 tbsp Japanese Soy Sauce
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 1 Large Garlic Clove, minced
- 2 tbsp Ginger, microplaned
- ½ tsp Sriracha or other hot sauce
- ½ tsp Pure Sesame Oil
- Pour all dressing ingredients into medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside half in the fridge. Freeze the rest for speedy weeknight salad.
- Wash kale and dry completely. Remove thick stems and finely chop. (If you have a food processor, it’s a quick job with the pulse setting.)
- Thinly shred red cabbage with food processor or mandolin into very thin, bite-size pieces. Grate carrots.
- Toss veggies in the dressing. Sprinkle almonds over top and serve. This salad keeps well for three days.
- WE PAIRED THE SALAD WITH HALIBUT FILET, sprinkled with pepper and ½ tsp salt. Pan-fry in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, just until flaky. Near the end of cooking, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and sprinkle with pepper. This is a lean, wholesome meal that satisfies without carbs.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Tecumseh was a great native American military commander who helped Canada win the War of 1812.