Tag Archives: Salad

Asian Salad with Watermelon and Vermicelli

Asian Salad with Cocktail

Happy 2013! I hope everyone had an amazing New Years. I wanted to start 2013 off with something bold and fresh and full of different flavors. So I came up with this very satisfying rustic Asian inspired salad. Using fresh watermelon, herbs, and  crunchy romaine lettuce, this salad is the perfect dish to make for a quick meal or a dinner party. It’s like a rainbow on a platter. One of my New Years resolutions is to cook with as much color as I can and this salad is the perfect start to that goal!

2013 is about new beginnings, letting the past go and finding what makes you happy. For me that means getting healthy and making sure I eat the best foods I can and cook with the most delicious of ingredients. Be adventurous this year and combine flavors to see what you can come up with, I really did this when making the dressing for this salad, I added different spices I don’t usually cook with.  LIVE YOUR LIFE THE BEST WAY YOU CAN THIS YEAR!

Here we go, first recipe of this year!

Ingredients For Salad:


2 Romaine Lettuce Hearts – Chopped

1/2 Cup Vermicelli Noodles – Cooked

1/2 of One Small Watermelon – Cut in Cubes

1 Carrot – Grated

8 Radishes – Chopped in Quarters

1/4 Cup Cilantro

1/4 Cup Mint – Bruised

5 Green Onions – Diced

2 Shallots


Ingredients for Dressing:

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Lime – Juiced

1/2 Tablespoon Ground Ginger

2 Pinches of Ground Horseradish

5 Cloves of Garlic – Minced

1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint Leaves

Salt and Pepper to Taste


Start by getting your water kettle boiling and place your Vermicelli noodles in a large Pyrex bowl, add boiling water and let stand for 4 minutes and drain. Wash your Romaine lettuce and chop length wise so you have lettuce strips, then shred your carrot using a cheese grater. Wash and cut your Radishes into quarters. Chop your Green Onions and Shallots. On a large platter (you can use a bowl, but I think a platter is much nicer) place all of your ingredients and then garnish with your Mint and Cilantro. Top with cubed Watermelon.

To make the dressing combine Olive Oil, the juice of one Lime, Garlic, Mint, Horseradish, and Ginger in a blender or smoothie maker. Drizzle over top of salad and mix together and serve. Serves 4-6 people. 

Asian Salad

This Salad would also be amazing with a protein like chicken or shrimp.

Like I said before, I really want to strive this year to cook with a lot of color and make innovative dishes that are new and exciting. I know that making a salad isn’t really the most innovate of dishes to make but I love making and eating salads that are new and put a mixed greens to shame. It is so easy to get creative and eat well. By starting to add a fruit to a salad, it makes it more refreshing and exciting.

Asian Salad

I wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year and I am so grateful to all of my readers and can’t wait to share all that The Desperate Cook has to offer in 2013.


-Matthew {Season to Taste}

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Healthy Broccoli Salad


photo 1Sometimes I find that if you put Salad at the end of a name people automatically think that its healthy, which is totallynot the case. I must admit that as gross as it is one of my favorite guilty pleasures is Marconi Salad, the most unhealthy thing to eat, but that is for another post. Another one is Broccoli Salad, it really isn’t super healthy when you go pick up a box of it from the deli at the local supermarket, its packed with cheese and ham and mayonnaise not the most nutritious salad. This is salad is a great alternative to this traditional salad and is packed with nutrients and is super colorful for the holidays. Its has a lot of the same ingredients you find in most broccoli salads but this version has more kick and grains to it.


4 Cups Broccoli

3 Green Onions

1 Granny Smith Apple

1/4 Cup of Dried Cranberries

1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds

1/4 Cup Walnuts

1/4 Sunflower Seeds

1/2 Cup Pea Shoots

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Honey

2 Tablespoons Plain Yogurt

Salt and Pepper to Taste

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Start off by cleaning your Broccoli by soaking it in a bowl with warm salt water. Then using a cheese grader, grade your apple (with the skin on) and set into a large bowl (you will find that it will begin to brown fairly quickly… thats fine) then thinly slice your green onions. Now in the same bowl measure out your almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and cranberries. Your Broccoli should be clean by this point, give it one last good rinse then in a second bowl begin to cut into small pieces. We are now going to blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 2 minutes then rinse under cold water. Once drained add to the bowl with the rest of your ingredients and mix well.

In a second bowl add the lemon juice, honey, yogurt, and salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and mix very well and make sure that all the ingredients are covered then add the pea shoots and mix again. (I decided to cut off about 1/2 an inch of the pea shoots stem just to a bit more consistent with the size of my broccoli pieced). Then serve! This dish serves 4-6 people as a side dish.

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I am very excited about this recipe, I needed to bring a side dish to a holiday potluck and was asked to bring a salad. I didn’t really feel like bringing a simple mixed green salad with other vegetable. Too basic in my mind. I also wanted to bring something that was festive in color and ingredients. By adding the pea shoots it gives a slight peppery bite to it which I find adds a great flavor.

I think that by removing the traditional ham, cheese, and mayo you will find that there is still a great amount of flavor and crunch with the added seeds and nuts. Also, using honey gives it a sweet flavor that pairs very nicely with the broccoli and the cranberries.

TRY IT!!!!

-Matthew {Season to Taste}


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