This Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing contains hemp seeds which, among other things, are great for combatting hot flashes!
Many moons ago, I used to work down by Chinatown. There were so many great Chinese restaurants for lunch but my favorite place to frequent was an awesome (although kind of dirty…) Thai restaurant that was a stone’s throw away from the courthouses. All of us Legal Aid Lawyers used to go there. It was cheap and delicious and close. I remember loving the Thai Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing. I’ve tried to re-create it a few times and have had okay results but nothing that was as good as I remember being served at that restaurant.
I wish I could take the credit for figuring out the awesome flavors in this dressing, but the credit goes to Jessica at jessicagavin.com. I made a few tweaks to the recipe to suit my needs (like adding hemp seeds to combat my hot flashes), but the original recipe is all Jessica’s.
I used kale, cabbage, carrots, herbs, and hemp seeds in the salad. You can use whatever you like. But don’t forget the nuts. I know traditionally this salad is made with chopped peanuts in the dressing, but I used cashews in the salad too… this really is an awesome salad!
Any salad that has a spicy and creamy dressing is pretty good in my book. But this Thai salad with spicy peanut dressing really takes it to another level. Maybe it’s because peanut butter is a real treat for me because I almost never allow myself to eat it. Maybe it’s because sriracha is awesome. I guess it really doesn’t matter why it’s so good… just try it, okay?
Here are some of the healing ingredients in this salad:
Peanuts, contrary to what some believe, are actually good for many things in your body. I don’t often let myself eat them because they sometimes contain mold and it’s really hard to find reasonably priced organic healthy peanuts. But, these popular nuts are great for lessening edema; they act like a diuretic. They can also help you if you have insomnia or if you are breast feeding. An old-time remedy is to made peanut tea and drink it for bed to promote sleep. And, peanut shells used to be used to help with high blood pressure.
Ginger is actually a Chinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is also a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….
Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.
Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.
Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. My cheat for this recipe was that I bought this kale already shredded and washed at the market. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (me… I don’t really don’t like the if the kale is raw). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.
Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.
Cabbage helps control a cough and lessens the symptoms of the common cold — in olden times, cabbage tea was given to people who had contracted the whooping cough. It’s also good to combat constipation and can lesses hot flashes. I like to use a mix of green and purple cabbage whenever I have both on hand, so you get the benefits of the green cabbage that I just mentioned, plus you get the benefits of purple cabbage — my favorite of which is that it’s a good stress reliever.
- For dressing:
- ⅔ cup peanut butter (preferably organic)
- juice of 1 large lime
- 6 Tbs pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbs white vinegar
- 3 Tbs liquid aminos
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp sriracha
- 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 Tbs water
- For salad:
- about 3 cups thinly sliced kale leaves
- red and green cabbage, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- ¼ cup organic peanuts, chopped
- ¼ cup raw cashews, chopped
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 3 scallions, sliced
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and whiz until really smooth.
- Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss or drizzle with dressing.