I got my baking mojo back this week. Not that I’d really lost it, but I feel like I’ve been busy and just doing the things that I need to get done and not just noodling around in the kitchen. This week I noodled. (I had a very funny discussion recently about business-speak catch phrases that drive people nuts. I’ve never had a business world-type job, so these aren’t things that come up for me much. But one friend HATES ‘I’m just gonna noodle on that for a bit….’ It’s probably why it’s on my mind. Noodle, Noodle, Noodle.)
Anyway, I enjoyed my noodling. I baked a cookie recipe I hadn’t used before. I tried out a recipe (from Bake From Scratch magazine) for Japanese Milk Bread (and, oh my, that is delicious!). I made a batch of granola, because why not. I am kitchen multi-tasker. This probably comes from the years at the Inn when multi-tasking was a job requirement, was the only way to survive. As a kid I loved those brain teaser games where you were told a few facts and had to figure out how all the things were connected. There are five people, one is wearing a green hat and the shortest one is wearing purple pants. What height is the man in the white shirt? Those kinds. Loved them. I multi-task in the kitchen (in life?) the same way. If I get the granola in the oven to bake then start the first mix of the bread, while it’s rising I’ll make pizza dough and on it’s second rise I’ll make cookie dough. So when the cookies are done baking it will be just about time to put the bread in the oven….I could do this all day. It’s like waiters are taught, never leave the table empty-handed. There is always some way to make everything you do as efficient as possible.
Whew. Anyway. I had fun. I made bread for no reason. Cookies for no reason. Planned a cake for a birthday. Made dough for Friday night pizza. Thought about how many carbs this all added up to and decided to make a mixed-up salad bowl for lunch.
I had a recipe for Cashew Crunch Salad that I loved the sound of, so I made it. When the hubby was complimenting me and asking what was in it and I started describing the recipe, I realized that hardly any ingredient was as stated. Really, practically nothing, except those roasted cashews. The proportions and variety were right and it was great. So, I give you my inspiration and my actuality and you can see where noodling can lead.
Cashew Crunch Salad
Original recipe from Pinch of Yum: https://pinchofyum.com/cashew-crunch-salad-with-sesame-dressing
- 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded I had fresh kale from the garden
- 1/2 head purple cabbage, shredded Brussels sprouts
- 2 cups carrots, matchsticks or shredded There were tomatoes in the house, I love tomatoes, I tossed them in
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped Again, the garden had produced great parsley
- 1/2 cup green onion Chives, from the garden
- 2 cups cooked edamame Hubby had bought bean sprouts, so in they went!
- 1-2 cups roasted cashews Yes! I did this!
- 2 cups crunchy chow mein noodles Nope, I used radishes for crunch though
- chicken, shrimp, any protein New favorite trick - roasted chickpeas - season however you'd like and roast for about 20-30 minutes. I tossed mine with sriracha and lime
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp sesame oil Nope, really thought we had some, used fish sauce instead and then a couple of teaspoons of tahini
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or mayo (Optional) Genius Moment! I had two avocados heading towards the wrong side of ripe, blended them up and used them to thicken the dressing. I wanted to take a bath in this dressing.
Mix up all the dressing ingredients
Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl
Toss everything together!