After-Church Slaw Delight



There is absolutely nothing like after-church hunger.  I've grown up in church--my dad is a pastor, for Pete's sake, and my sister and I spent many, many hours wandering around, waiting for him to get done with his last conversation  or lock up.  By the time we got home (or to The Bagelry in Bellingham), we were famished and had long ceased to possess anything resembling Sabbath serenity.

Now, my wonderful church (Bethany UCC on Beacon Hill) shares lunch together every Sunday. Sometimes, though, the pickings are slim, and I'm so busy making sure my kids don't load up on cookies or make a fort under the table that I don't have time to go through the line.  Today was one of those days where we got home at 1:00 and I was on the verge of a hunger meltdown. Here's what I found when I opened the fridge:  some shredded cabbage, a bag of baby spinach, some mini cucumbers, half a cake of baked savory tofu, and a bit of leftover miso dressing from this incredible salad that I made earlier in the week.  I also found a bag of Sahale snacks--cashews and dried pineapple with black sesame seeds.  

If you haven't made miso dressing earlier in the week (understandable if you're not always scheming to get into the kitchen like me), you could easily do with a bit of rice vinegar, sugar, salt, vegetable oil, and a splash of sesame oil, or even a bottle of Asian dressing that you might have in the fridge.  The ticket here is TANG.  Whatever supplies tang will turn cabbage into the belle of the ball.  Have I mentioned my recent infatuation with cabbage?  The unsung hero of the vegetable world, for sure.

There are lots of other things you could add to this salad, depending on what's around--chunks of pineapple (fresh or canned), cubes of mango or tangerine sections, slivered carrots or green onions, chopped cilantro, pickled ginger.  Yum.  Now I'm ready to relax into my Sunday.

After-Church Slaw Delight 
1/2 of a small green cabbage, finely shredded
2 big handfuls fresh spinach or romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
1/2 English cucumber or 2 baby cucumbers, diced
1/2 cup chopped (preferably toasted) nuts--cashews, almonds, peanuts
1 c. cubed baked savory tofu or shredded chicken (optional)
Crushed red pepper flakes and black sesame seeds for top (optional)
Miso Dressing (will make more than you need so you can have it next Sunday, too!):
2 Tb. miso
1/2 ts. dijon mustard
2 Tb. brown sugar
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1/3 c. olive oil
1 ts. sesame oil

For dressing, combine everything but the oils and mix well.  Add the oils in stream until emulsified.

Toss the rest of ingredients with the dressing to taste, reserving a few chopped nuts for the top.  Shake some crushed red peppers and sesame seeds (black are my favorite) over the top.  Dig out a pair of chopsticks and finish reading the Sunday paper.  For some reason, I read the Target ad if nothing else.  Maybe toddler sandals will be on sale.