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Friday, May 2, 2014

Mango Salad with Curried Coconut Dressing


So the other day I'm in the kitchen getting ready to make this healthy, delicious salad for dinner when Matthew comes sauntering in.


"What you doing, Mommy?"

As if he doesn't already know.

"I'm getting ready to make dinner."

"Oh yes. What you making for dinner?"

"Salad."

This is where I prepare myself mentally for the complaints that are sure to ensue.

And, sure enough, the whining begins with: "I can't want salad for dinner!"

Sigh.

"What's wrong with salad? Do you have a better idea, Matthew?"

"Yes. I think I want some lobster."

Lobster?!? Alrighty then, your highness. Shall I serve that with a side of caviar and some foie gras?

We still had salad that night. This salad in fact. It was a nice nutritious meal to enjoy after a weekend of indulgence. We had traveled to Columbus for the baptism of our newest niece and godchild and definitely over-sampled some very rich food. The dressing is the best part of the salad - it is quite unique! It is meant to be a savory dressing, but if you'd like a touch of sweetness a bit of honey could be lovely but otherwise it pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the ripe mangoes. The peanut butter does not stand out too harshly but instead, when combined with the coconut and curry, imparts the recognizable Thai-style flavoring to the dressing. I was a little nervous about what Paul would think of the dressing but he actually really liked it.


If vegetarian salads are not your thing, add some roasted chicken or pan-seared shrimp (or lobster if you have fancy-pants tastes like my Matthew). Either way, this salad will leave you feeling great long after dinner is over.

And for the record, Matthew refused to eat the composed salad for dinner. He picked out the red pepper, mangoes, and nuts and then made known his exhaustion from his full day of playing, coloring, singing and being simply obnoxious all day long. As he headed upstairs to bed, he called back to me: "Mommy...we need to have lobster for dinner tomorrow!"

Dream on, kid.


Mango Salad with Curried Coconut Dressing
adapted from The Roasted Root

For the Curried Coconut Dressing:
1 cup coconut milk (full-fat ONLY)
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoons yellow curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Salad:
8 ounces spinach
2 mangos, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup roasted, salted cashews or peanuts

For the dressing, whisk together all ingredients until well blended. Refrigerate the dressing for about two hours or until it thickens.

To make the salad, toss the spinach, mangoes, red bell pepper, and green onions in a large bowl. Add the desired amount of dressing and toss to coat. Top with the nuts and serve!


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