Thai Chopped Salad

Outlets.  I’m not talking about shopping ladies (although I do enjoy a lovely outlet adventure).  I am talking about your stress-relieving and creative outlets.  What do you do to let your inner artist escape or to take the edge off?!?!?

Thai Chopped Salad

Exercise.  My stress-relieving outlet.  Probably not that surprising since I’ve posted about hikes and marathon-training.  I learned early in my pharmacy residency that my relationship would not survive if I did not work out.  I am apparently a much friendlier version of myself when I sweat out the frustrations.  Let me be honest, I don’t get much out of running on a treadmill.  I either want a group training class where a trainer is pushing me to limits I didn’t know existed OR I want to be immersed in the outdoors, running/hiking/swimming/paddle-boarding.  My next activity to tackle is road biking, but let’s just say that one might take a bit of practice ahem train wheels ahem.  Andrew filmed me in the parking lot testing out a road bike and could not stop laughing because of how nervous I looked :/  I may have almost crashed into a trash…oops!  FYI marathon training = insatiable appetite.  I apologize to anyone that has suffered the wrath of hangry me.  My life is a Snickers bar commercial.

Thai Chopped Salad

Food.  My creative outlet.  Probably even less surprising.  I really love getting crafty in the kitchen.  I must bore everyone I hang out with.  If I’m not talking about food, I’m talking about groceries, restaurants, food blogs, or Teek (my adorable weimy).  Teek has nothing to do with food, but I am equally as obsessed with food and Teek.  I apologize to all the friends out there that get bombarded with pictures of food (or my dog) I am either creating or eating (I’m not eating the dog…).  My creative foodie is inspired by the farmer’s market, that amazing meal we ate out, Food Network in general (when we had cable, yes canceling cable was a travesty in our household), any my personal favorite…when I challenge myself to make a meal with what I have in my kitchen.  No extra grocery trips allowed!

Thai Chopped Salad

This thai chopped salad came to be from one of those kitchen challenges.  We hosted a fiesta a couple weeks ago and I might have made enough jasmine rice to feed a small country.  I got a little carried away with the fiesta and we had left over rice for days.   I needed a break from Mexican cuisine and decided, why not make a veggie-filled salad with the rice as an added bonus?  I mean, I usually eat veggies with my rice anyway…so why not throw it all together?  Seriously, there are certain combinations that are meant to be in the world: peanut butter and chocolate, milk and cookies, ranch and hot sauce, wine and cheese, hot cocoa and whipped cream…add to the list this salad and the coconut, peanut, sesame, ginger dressing.  Anyone can throw veggies together and even add rice or farro to the mix.  I’m not claiming that this was an ingenious idea of mine.  What ties it all together and brings it to ANOTHER LEVEL???  Well, that would be the dressing.

Creamy. Sweet. Citrusy. Spicy. Nutty. Salty. Savory. Easy.

One bowl. One whisk. Magic.

Thai Chopped Salad

This salad was so delicious.  I decided to make it again.  It’s really not an addiction, until you catch yourself licking the dressing bowl…guilty.  I used farro the second time because I needed a break from rice and wanted to see if the grain in the salad could easily be swapped out.  You can also adjust the veggies to what you have on hand.  The first time I made the salad I left out the carrots, subbed shredded brussels sprouts for the cabbage, and used toasted cashews instead of roasted peanuts.  I love recipes that lend themselves well to adaptation :)

Thai Chopped Salad

I’m curious, what are your outlets: stress-relieving or creative?

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes

The Players:

For the salad
8 oz uncooked farro (alternatively 1 C uncooked jasmine rice)
1 C julienned carrots
1 C cooked edamame
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
3 scallions
2 C broccoli florets
1 C purple cabbage, thinly sliced
1 C cilantro, chopped
1 C roasted peanuts

For the dressing
1/4 C coconut milk or cream
1/4 C peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1/4 C light brown sugar
2 T toasted sesame oil
2 T fish sauce (alternatively reduced sodium soy sauce)
1 T chili paste (alternatively Sriracha or hot sauce)
1 lime, juiced
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced

The Rules:

  1. Cook the farro according to package instructions. (Note:  I place equal parts water to farro in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid for 10 minutes.)
  2. While the farro is cooking, prepare your vegetables:  dice the peppers, thinly slice the scallions, chop the broccoli, etc.  Place all the vegetables and the peanuts in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Drain any excess water from the farro and transfer the farro to your mixing bowl.
  4. Place all the dressing ingredients in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds.  Whisk to combine.  Pour over the salad and toss until veggies and farro are coated in dressing.  Serve immediately or store refrigerated.

Shrimp & Farro Salad

I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend.  Sunday is typically my rest and recover day.  I love having the day to workout, run errands, blog, get creative in the kitchen, catch up on Netflix tv shows.

Shrimp & Farro Salad

Today we had our last softball game of the season, before the playoffs.  Let’s just say we refer to ourselves as “The Little Rascals.”  I mean I should have known the teams we would compete against would be pretty impressive since this was the pre-season to Summer league.  Oops.  Don’t get me wrong, I am super competitive and love being active, but I am no Babe Ruth.  Our record was 1-4 prior to today’s game.  Not only was it difficult to piece together enough players today, but it was pouring rain.  We have had such a mild winter, I really should not complain about one day of rain.  Standing outside for an hour, getting soaked, chasing around a neon ball…not quite R&R if you know what I mean.

Shrimp & Farro Salad

Oh well, it was totally worth it!  We won :o)  It has been awesome to see how our team has come together through the season and it was a close game, which kept things interesting despite the weather.   There is no better feeling than winning after bearing the elements.  Okay, well in my honest opinion…there is no better feeling than a hot shower and cozy meal after a rainy day, but winning was the cherry on top of the sundae (Sunday, get it?).

Shrimp & Farro Salad

What does this have to do with my shrimp & farro salad?  Absolutely, nothing.  But this salad is a winner in my books.  It’s light and refreshing.  Packed with flavors, textures, and vitamins.  Farro is an awesome grain to throw in soups and salads, because it will maintain its texture/bite and is larger than quinoa or cous cous.  However, if you don’t have farro, you can easily substitute pasta or quinoa.  You will feel great eating this salad and I bet you won’t be able to put the fork down.

Shrimp & Farro Salad

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

The Players: 

1 C uncooked farro
20 large raw shrimp
1 T coconut oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 persian cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 C diced roma tomatoes (~1 1/2 tomatoes)
1 avocado, pitted and cubed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large lime, juiced
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/3 C fresh chopped cilantro (use less if you prefer)
salt and pepper

The Rules: 

  1. For the farro:
    1. Place farro in a medium sauce pan with 1 1/2 cups water and salt and bring to a boil.
    2. Then reduce to a simmer and replace lid, cooking for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
    3. Allow farro to cool (~ 1 hour).
  2. While the farro is cooking, prepare the shrimp:
    1. Remove tail and shell of shrimp.  Rinse and dry with paper towel.
    2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 tbsp coconut oil and add shrimp.  Season with salt.  Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until pink and cooked through.
    3. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked shrimp, farro, and remaining salad ingredients.  Toss with a spatula to maintain some shape to the avocado.  Taste and re-adjust seasonings as desired.  Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.