Cashew Crunch Salad with Sesame Dressing – this is the healthy summer recipe that makes me ACTUALLY WANT TO EAT A SALAD.
For the Salad:
- 1/2 head of green cabbage, finely shredded
- 1/2 head of purple cabbage, finely shredded
- 2 cups carrots, matchstick-cut or shredded
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced green onion
- 2 cups cooked edamame (see notes)
- 1–2 cup roasted cashews (see notes)
- 2 cups crunchy chow mein noodles (optional)
- chicken, shrimp, or any other protein you like
- 1/4 cup olive oil (you can use any other oil as well)
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil – very important for flavor!
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- a few shakes of garlic powder
- optional: 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or mayo (more or less to taste)
- Shake the dressing ingredients up in a jar until smooth. Add the Greek yogurt or mayo (optional – just makes it more creamy) and shake again until smooth. YUM.
- Toss all the salad ingredients together. Drizzle with dressing and serve!
I like this salad just fine without chicken or shrimp… but if you do want to grill some chicken or shrimp to go with it (yummy), I recommend marinating it in soy sauce, honey, and garlic for a bit to give even more flavor. If you are making this ahead, you can definitely chop and prep all the veggies in advance and even mix them together. I would just hold off on mixing in the chow mein, cashews, and dressing until just before serving. I buy edamame frozen, already shelled, and just boil them for a few minutes like you would boil peas. I like this salad with regular roasted cashews – I also lovee it with those super spicy, flavor-loaded Thai cashews from Trader Joe’s! You can easily omit the Greek yogurt or mayo to keep this a vegan / dairy free salad! The dressing will be a little less thick (more like a vinaigrette), but it’s still totally delicious. For a creamy dairy-free alternative, you could try miso! To make this gluten free, leave out the chow mein noodles.