The “I Could Eat the Whole Bowl of This and I Don’t Even Like Salad” Salad

by Sarah on August 3, 2014 · 2 comments

Aside from the fact that I served my friend Emily a pile of Jason’s Deli bean salad mixed with tofu and tomatoes, topped with cold, leftover, White Bean & Sun Dried Tomato Pasta, when she came over for dinner the other night….IMG_2854 (1024x683)

I actually think I’m getting pretty good at this hostessing thing.IMG_20140802_200619

Although every time people are coming over, I stress and worry that the ratio of side dishes to meat won’t be adequate and that there won’t be enough food or too many desserts* I’m slowly learning that sticking to a few ‘tried and trues’ and letting everything else fall as it may might actually work out most of the time.

*I know, impossible, right?IMG_2908 (1024x683)

So, when The Professor and I decided to have the new members of his department over for a cookout, I first freaked out about the wording of the invitation, the potential of having only four bags of chips and twelve-packs of beer as contributions, and how much work I was going to have to do to prepare.IMG_20140803_124224 (675x675)

But then I pushed pause, took a breath, and looked to the binder of tried-and-true recipes I’ve collected from family and friends over the years.

And of course, that was the biggest hit of the dinner.*

*Except for the pork loin and local sausage The Professor smoked on the grill. With this crowd, I couldn’t compete.IMG_2943 (1024x683)

Everyone has some version of “the Asian salad“–so called, I’m sure, simply for the use of ramen noodles as a topping. My Aunt Elizabeth’s version–which I’ve recreated before–has nothing really “Asian” about it at all except for those little crunchers (which will get soft if you prep the salad too early, but I like it anyway).*

*I did add a smidge of soy sauce and sesame oil, but not enough to truly make a difference.IMG_2926 (1024x683)

So I don’t know what to call it, except for the “I Don’t Even Like Salad!” Salad, because that’s a paraphrase of most of the comments I’ve received every time I’ve ever made it.

And, just like I’ll probably STILL stress before the next cookout, I’ll also be making this again.IMG_2936 (1024x684)

The “I Don’t Even Like Salad!” Salad

(Serves 8)

  • 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded (about 6 cups or so)
  • 10 oz. baby spinach, torn
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced (whites and light green parts)
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 package ramen noodles, seasoning packet discarded
  • 3 Tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)


  • 1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp. water
  • 6-8 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. light soy sauce
  • just a drop (!) of toasted sesame oil
  1. Layer spinach, cabbage, onions, almonds,and  noodles in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk–or shake–together all dressing ingredients.
  3. Just before serving, toss salad with dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  4. Let the compliments come in.IMG_2940 (1024x683)
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets August 4, 2014 at 8:02 am

I actually love to host food gatherings, although they don’t come without a side of stress because of course, I want everything to be perfect. I still want to do a full sit down dinner party though. It’s on my bucket list.

This salad sounds delicious. I love all the crunchy parts in there. Makes you feel you’re sinking your teeth into something other than lettuce, which of course you are, but you know what I mean.


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