There are times where I find cooking an incredibly creative endeavor. Less because I’m a brilliant and bubbling with culinary innovation or anything, and more because I’m a terrible grocery shopper. I ALWAYS forget something. To be more specific, I usually forget enough to cook dinners for a full week. What’s more, I frequently find that I’ve picked up stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with the usual weekly routine of making a fast, filling, and approximately nutritious dinners. To that end, when the only salad-like vegetables you have to hand are a head of cabbage, a few orange peppers that will not last until stir-fry on Thursday, and a pack of mushrooms, salad is a pretty remote option. In any case this is pretty much the state of things in this household and creativity – or just trying random shit – becomes a full on necessity. Last week was one of those times. I had pretty much nothing to work with and a strong urge to make a dinner that wasn’t 50% Rice-o-Roni. Most of the ingredients here are things I just happen to have lying around at any give time because they’re on my mental long-term grocery list, which means I usually buy a LOT MORE than I actually need. Ever. Another bonus on this one is that it takes like 5 minutes to prepare and tastes as good as anything you’ll get in a restaurant. I also expect you can make it with half a bag of coleslaw mix a few not-so prime sugar snap peas and that zucchini you’ve been struggling to work out how to use before it goes bad.
What you need for the dressing:
- 6 Tbsp Red wine vinegar,
- 1/2 Tbsp GOOD balsamic vinegar – don’t skimp on this,
- 3 Tbsp red wine,
- 1 Tbsp Teriyaki sauce – In my opinion, this is one of the key ingredients, even though there’s not much,
- A few drops of soy sauce (to taste, really),
- 1 Tbsp Sesame oil,
- 1/2 Tbsp Chili pepper sesame oil (or just regular sesame oil and mix in a few pepper flakes),
- 1 Tsp toasted sesame seeds,
- 1/2 Tsp ground ginger,
- a few dashes of garlic powder (about 1/8th of a tsp), and
- 1 Shallot, finely diced,
The salad itself:
- 16oz small fresh button mushrooms,
- 1-2 Cups chopped cabbage, and
- 2 sliced large orange peppers.
Put the cabbage and mushrooms into a container with a lid. Mix up the dressing and pour over the mushrooms and cabbage. Put the lid on the container and shake well. Put this in the fridge for a few hours, if you can spare the time, skip it otherwise. Just about the time you start cooking dinner, slice up the orange peppers and toss with the salad mix in a bowl.
That’s it. It’s easy, and absolutely delicious.