this post is sponsored by Bolthouse Farms. thank you for supporting the partnerships that allow brewing happiness to grow and exist. xoxo.
I’ve been polling y’all a lot on Instagram recently and LOVING all of the ideas and feedback you’ve been giving me. (If you aren’t following me there – why not???) Last week we talked about salads, what you like on them, what you don’t like, etc. Overwhelmingly it was clear to me that y’all like salads with CRUNCHY things. There were a lot of suggestions for Asian salads, salads with cabbage, and salads with seeds and nuts on them. So, I thought, why not combine all three?
This Crunchy Asian Cabbage Salad with Shrimp is basically just that – a base of green and purple cabbage, radishes, carrots, edamame, mint, cilantro, avocado, shrimp, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, and Bolthouse Farms® Cilantro Avocado Dressing. It’s the crispy, crunchy salad of your dreams with a dressing that doesn’t tack on the extra calories and fat like other refrigerated dressings. The crispness of the salad paired with the creaminess of the yogurt-based dressing is incredibly satisfying. Plus, it’s filling enough to eat for dinner during hot months or take to work with you all week!
Bolthouse Farms® is the official dresser of “ugly” foods this summer and inspired me to use “ugly” produce to make a beautiful salad. So, I headed off to my local farmer’s market and picked out neglected produce – the gnarled and stubby carrots, the small and split radishes, the misshapen cabbage. And you know what? IT STILL TASTES GREAT. We live in an “Instagram perfect” world of food where only the shiniest, brightest, and most perfectly formed produce gets used. But ugly produce is good produce too!
I encourage you to do the same when making this salad (or any salad, really). Go to your farmer’s market or market with local produce and pay attention to the neglected “ugly” produce. It’s just as beautiful when sliced thin, and it tastes just as delicious.
Crunchy Asian Cabbage Salad with Shrimp
This filling Crunchy Asian Cabbage Salad with Shrimp has tons of fresh produce, seeds, and is topped with a creamy Cilantro Avocado dressing!
- 4 cups green cabbage, thinly shredded
- 2 cups purple cabbage, thinly shredded
- 2 large carrots, sliced paper thin
- 6-8 radishes, sliced paper thin
- 1 cup frozen edamame, defrosted
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/2 lb raw shrimp
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup Bolthouse Farms Cilantro Avocado Dressing
- 1/2 large hass avocado, cubed
Use a mandoline slicer or a very sharp knife to finely slice and shred your green cabbage, purple cabbage, carrots, and radishes into a large bowl.
Add edamame, mint, cilantro, sunflower seeds, cashews, and slivered almonds to the large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lime juice over the bowl. Toss to make sure everything is evenly coated.
On a grill pan or in a cast iron skillet, heat toasted sesame oil over medium heat. Add shrimp. Season each side with salt and pepper. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes, or just until opaque and pink. Remove from heat and add to the bowl.
Pour Bolthouse Farms Cilantro Avocado Dressing on top, and toss the salad again.
Divide in 4-6 bowls and top each bowl with avocado cubes and more Bolthouse Farms Cilantro Avocado Dressing, if desired.
What is “ugly produce?”
Tons of produce every year is overlooked and neglected because of its “imperfections.” Nature isn’t one size fits all, and the things that grow out of the earth usually aren’t either. Yet, we have in our minds a sort of caricature of what every piece of produce “should” look like. If you shop while actively attempting to rid yourself of those preconceived notions, you may help prevent that “ugly” produce from becoming food waste!
Why is it important to buy and use “ugly” produce?
Annually 78 billion pounds of perfectly good food is wasted*. We have an opportunity to reduce that number by not neglecting the less than perfect produce in the grocery store or at the farmer’s market. There are also several CSA-type delivery services that will drop off “ugly” produce to your home! It’s a very small solution to a much larger systematic problem, but at least it’s something. Plus, it’s such an easy way to do your part. There’s really no reason not to. Plus, it turns out just a pretty when put in a salad!
For this recipe, I HIGHLY recommend investing in a mandoline slicer. It’s actually a kitchen appliance that I’d suggest any home cook having. It makes slicing things SO MUCH faster and easier. (You just have to be very careful with the blade – it’s extremely sharp and can cut your fingers easily, so always wear the gloves!) You can slice things WAY thinner than you can with a knife, and it takes no effort. This is how to get those uniform paper-thin pieces of carrot and radish.
This is the mandoline slicer I have, and it’s pretty affordable ($40). It’s one of those kitchen appliances that you’ll start using more and more once you have it, because it takes a lot of effort out of cooking/slicing/dicing.
If you wanted to meal prep this salad, here are the adjustments I’d make…
- Pack the Bolthouse Farms® Cilantro Avocado Dressing with you day-of, instead of tossing the whole salad in it. This will keep your cabbage fresh and crunchy.
- Cube and add your avocado day-of. This will help prevent it from browning and turning to mush.
It’s definitely filling enough to serve as a main course in the summer, and all of that fresh produce will make your body feel great!
*Statistics and research on food waste were found on Feeding America and Imperfect Produce.