Photos like this one may give the impression that our lives are full only of the freshest ingredients, and that we expertly cook and eat beautifully styled meals each day. Let me be the first to admit that my dinner this evening consisted of some brown rice, cottage cheese, and a piece of chocolate, and for Alex a pickle, some refried beans, and a Clif bar. And we’ll most certainly have popcorn later. (Darn popcorn addiction.)
The good thing about eating is that you don’t have to be perfect. Which is hard, for people who feel like they have to have it all figured out in order to start. Or that there should be some sort of consequence or guilt for messing up.
To us, eating healthy is about embracing good things, enjoying splurges in moderation, and starting small, with what you know you can handle — be it one salad at a time. This salad is a pretty tasty one to start with. It does take a while to prepare the fresh ingredients and the dressing, but it’s well worth it for the flavor. And while it doesn’t taste exactly like noodle dish of the same name, the flavors and textures are quite reminiscent. We were huge fans and hope you’ll enjoy too! It makes for a lovely light lunch, or side dish to contribute to a shared meal.
Thanks to Cupcakes and Kale for the inspiration. And we used chard from our friend Anita of Homestead Growers, who will be stepping down next Saturday from many years selling at Indy’s farmer’s markets. Thanks to Anita for your hard work, smiling face and friendship!
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this pad thai salad, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture and mention @acouplecooks on Facebook or Instagram.
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, dairy-freePrint
- 2 large bunches chard
- ½ small red cabbage
- 4 carrots
- 3 green onions
- ½ cup peanuts
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 lime
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- Tear the leaves from the chard and discard the stems; then thinly slice the leaves (chiffonade). Shred the red cabbage and carrots (a food processor makes for quick work). Thinly slice the green onions. Chop the peanuts and cilantro.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 tablespoon water, juice from 1/2 lime, 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
- Place chard, cabbage, carrots, and green onions on a plate, then top with fresh cilantro and bean sprouts. Drizzle with dressing and top with chopped peanuts.
Inspired by Cupcakes and Kale
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.