Healthy Chinese "Chicken" Salad

Healthy Chinese Chicken Salad | Recipe Makeover | Vegan

Oh boy, I think I just created a new weekly staple. This Healthy Chinese "Chicken" Salad will not only leave you satisfied but it will have your taste buds jumping for joy! There are so many different flavors and textures; it's like a party in your mouth. Ok, yeah, that sounds a little weird, but I'm totally serious. There is a little peppery flavor, some hot spice, a little sweet, tons of different herbs, toasted oils and nuts and a touch of salt all combined with the fresh crunchy flavorful cabbage, carrots and greens. 

Chinese Chicken Salad | Vegan Recipe Makeover
Chinese "Chicken" Salad | Vegan Recipe Makeover | Detox Friendly!  #puremamas #purekitchen

This recipe not only tastes delicious but is easy to make - takes only 15-20 minutes max - and requires not cooking. I love Tofurkey's vegan oven roasted "chicken" that my local health food stores sells. The texture is like chicken but the flavor is better (of course), the ingredients are pretty clean and there's tons of protein. This healthy vegan Chinese "Chicken" Salad is filling and would be a great pot luck dish. 

Fresh & Tangy, this Chinese Chicken Salad will knock your socks off and have you coming back for seconds! It's a perfect New Year's Resolution Detox meal! enjoy this delicious Recipe.
Recipe Makeover: Chinese "Chicken" Salad Recipe now vegan! Enjoy! #puremamas #purekitchen

I have so many friends on a detox right now after the indulgent holiday! If that's the case for you as well, you need to make my healthy Chinese "Chicken" Salad recipe! It is guilt-free, high in fiber, high in protein and healthy fats but also abundant in antioxidant rich veggies. The dressing combines fresh ginger, lemon and garlic (great for cold prevention) with almond butter and toasted sesame oil. What are you waiting for - grab these ingredients while you're at the store and make this salad - you'll be so happy you listened to me! (wink)

print recipe
Healthy Chinese "Chicken" Salad
The Chinese Chicken Salad has a fresh new look and feel: no real chicken meat in this recipe; just tons of veggies and mock chicken protein. You'll love the tangy yet toasted flavor with the crunchy raw vegetables.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup, finely sliced or grated purple cabbage
  • 1 cup, finely sliced or grated green cabbage
  • 3, julienned carrots
  • 2 cups other greens of choice (i.e. romaine or arugula)
  • 2 thinly sliced and chopped radishes
  • 1/4 cup, chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup, chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup, shredded or chopped (I use Tofurkey Brand) "chicken"
  • 2, finely chopped green onion (scallions)
  • 3 Tbsp toasted almonds or peanuts
Instructions
Prep veggies by chopping, slicing and shredding. Add to a large salad bowl. Toss well. Add chicken and nuts, then toss again. Dress the salad when ready to serve. Toss well. Serve immediately.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3 dinner salads
print recipe
Chinese "Chicken" Salad Dressing
This dressing is so tangy, not too sweet, and a touch spicy! Makes a perfect dressing for any Asian style salad.
Ingredients
  • 3 cloves, minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp, grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 3 Tbsp tamari
  • 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp (or to taste) honey or agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes or tabasco
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
Instructions
Place everything in a high speed blender or large measuring cup. Whisk until completely well combined or blend on medium until well combined. Dress the salad when ready to serve. Toss well. Serve immediately.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: dressing for 1 large salad

Arame Cabbage Salad with Tahini Dressing

Seaweed is a wonderful ingredient in a plant-based diet. In fact, it has been a staple in Asian diets since ancient times for good reason. Most types of seaweed are high in essential amino acids (aka protein) and packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like iodine, iron, beta carotene, calcium, magnesium and much more. But let's be real, it doesn't always appeal to the taste buds. 

Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Dressing (vegan)

To be honest, I loooove the taste of seaweed. But I know many that aren't fans at all. This salad is a great option for those that don't love the flavor or texture of arame or other seaweeds (like nori, dulse or wakame). The addition of toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds and tahini reduces the ocean type of aroma and flavor but doesn't take away from the savory earthy flavors. 

The bulk of the salad is red cabbage and crunchy veggies like red bell pepper, carrots and green onion. These vegetables (and fruits to be more scientific) add a crunchy texture, more healthy minerals, and of course nutritious fiber.  

Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Dressing (vegan)
Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Ume Plumb Dressing (vegan)

The dressing is so savory and tangy. There is a secret ingredient that really gives the salad pizazz: it's called ume plum vinegar. Have you ever heard of umeboshi plums? They are very common in Japan and usually taste uniquely salty and sour. Some even think they are liver cleansers and cancer fighters. Tahini adds a thickness and sesame oil adds an earthy toasty element to balance the salty sour taste of the ume plum vinegar. 

Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Dressing (vegan)

Funny fact: My mom makes this salad every Sunday or Monday and keeps it in the fridge for the entire week. She has it for lunch almost every day with warm tortillas and avocado. Stay tuned for a Taco Tuesday recipe that includes this wonderful arame cabbage slaw! 

Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Dressing (vegan) (7 of 11).jpg
Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Dressing (vegan)

print recipe
ARAME CABBAGE SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESSING RECIPE
Ingredients
  • 1/2 red cabbage head, julienned
  • 1/2 bell pepper, thinly chopped
  • 1 carrots, shaved
  • 2 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry arame, soaked in hot water
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 c ume plum vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp tahini
  • pinch sea salt
Instructions
Combine the lemon juice, toasted sesame oil, ume plum vinegar, tahini and sea salt in a small bowl wish a whisk. Soak dry arame seaweed in warm water for about 30 seconds, until soft, then strain out the water and set aside. Prep (slice/chop) cabbage, bell pepper, carrots and green onion (scallions). You can use a mandolin or food processor if you wish to chop faster. I use a knife. Toss the salad all together with the sesame seeds and add the softened arame. Add the dressing and toss again until everything is well coated. Serve immediately. Or store the salad (with dressing on it) in an airtight container in the fridge. Salad will stay fresh for about 4 days.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 side salads

Arame Cabbage Salad with Tahini Dressing Recipe

SALAD INGREDIENTS

Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Dressing (vegan)
  • 1/2 red cabbage head, julienned 
  • 1/2 bell pepper, thinly chopped 
  • 1 carrots, shaved
  • 2 green onion, thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 c dry arame, soaked in hot water
  • 1/4 c sesame seeds, toasted

DRESSING INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil 
  • 1/4 cup 
  • 1/4 c ume plum vinegar {left this out last time}
  • 2-3 Tbsp tahini 
  • pinch sea salt to taste (optional)

DRESSING DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine everything in a measuring cup or small bowl. Whisk together with a fork or a whisk. 

SALAD DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak dry arame seaweed in warm water for about 30 seconds, until soft, then strain out the water and set aside. 

  2. Prep (slice/chop) cabbage, bell pepper, carrots and green onion (scallions). You can use a mandolin or food processor if you wish to chop faster. I use a knife. 

  3. Toss the salad all together with the sesame seeds and add the softened arame. 

  4. Add the dressing and toss again until everything is well coated. 

  5. Serve immediately. Or store the salad (with dressing on it) in an airtight container in the fridge. Salad will stay fresh for about 4 days. 

My Vegan Pantry & Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

It's been quite some time since I put together a pantry basics blog post. Grocery store shelves have changed over the years - for the better - so I thought I would post an updated list of some items that I keep on hand at all times. 

plant-based pantry basics & must-haves

Having these items on hand will bring you a ton of healthy meal combinations. These are just basics to add flavor and boosts to your other fruits and veggies. Obviously you need more than what is here - like tons more produce - for a balanced diet. But I have done pantry basic posts in the past that include things like avocados, lemons, sea salt, frozen bananas, and protein powders. 

As most of you know I follow a plant-based diet. I'm also vegan. I do think of those two things as not completely synonymous. Vegans care about animal rights/cruelty and the planet/environment. Vegans live a lifestyle that supports their cause and the changes they would like to see in the world. But you can have unhealthy vegans just like you can have healthy meat eaters. Veganism for me isn't as much of a diet as say eating plant-based. A plant-based diet to me is super clean, low in bad fats, high in fiber and fresh foods; it focuses more on the plants not as much on the foods that "contain no animal products" (i.e. oreos for example are vegan believe it or not but they aren't part of a whole foods plant based diet) if that makes sense.

Of course cheat foods are fine. I eat vegan donuts from time to time. But animal products like high fat meat and dairy contribute to disease - point blank - they also contribute to the destruction of our environment (enter veganism).

There are so many stories of disease reversal (and people going off their meds completely) by switching to this type of plant-heavy eating. I know countless people that made the switch for heart reasons, cancer purposes and diabetes. So for me, it's an ethical lifestyle and also a heart healthy healing way to eat and live. 

When first making the transition it can be challenging to continually make delicious meals that fill you up and taste amazing. I have tried almost every vegan food and condiment and here is a list of what I currently love to have on hand. Hope this helps. 

1. The Lotus ramen noodles, for example, are so versatile and kids love them as well as adults. You can make ramen soup (great for cold winter days) or you can cook them in a pan for a hearty, garlicy chewy noodle dish. Add veggies to them or even tofu for a complete meal. Eat with a salad for an boost of minerals, antioxidants and fiber. 

2. The red leaf lettuce and kale you see create my favorite salad combo. I like to combine these two greens (one is dense and one is leafy and airy) and eat them at almost every meal. Add it to pasta, on toast, with your ramen noodles, eat it alone as a salad with added garbanzo beans, etc. They are both always in my fridge. 

3. Garbanzo beans are my go-to for added boosts of protein in salads or in pasta or eaten alone. Keep them on hand. I like to buy the cold ones - store them in the fridge - ready to grab and go. No can openers needed. Speaking of garbanzo beans, have you seen all the cereals now made from beans? And of course the pastas too! We love love the Love Grown brand. There are lots of different flavors

4. Almonds are on here because they should always be in the pantry. They last a long time. So stock up and keep them on hand. You can make your own almond milk on demand. My kids ran out of their favorite store-bought almond milk the other day and so I just whipped up some of my homemade stuff so they could eat their favorite cereal. No need to rush to the store when you're out of milk. You can also make almond flour or almond butter at home in a pinch. Trader Joes sells raw nuts for at great price. 

5. Spike seasoning is another favorite. It's so old school but still so current - the herbs combination makes any vegetable taste delicious. You don't even have to add salt because the flavors are so great. 

6. Keep vanilla extra or vanilla bean paste on hand. You don't have to sweeten your almond milk, your chia pudding or even muffins and cookies as much if you add vanilla bean. It's a calorie-free, sugar-free, fat-free flavor enhancer. 

7. I try to cook without oil as much as possible. Ideally I would like a low-fat diet, but when I bake my vegetables or cook my noodles and tofu, I just love a good healthy fat to do that. Miyokos plant-based butter has seriously changed my life. It's basically cultured coconut oil (so it's obviously not low in saturated) and tastes amazing. Trader Joes sells it. 

8. Speaking of fat, Ripple has also changed the half & half game. Their half & half is unbelievably good. I use it in all kids of recipes. Check out my roasted red pepper pasta sauce that I featured on Instagram, it's creamy because of the Miyokos butter and this half & half. You don't get a weird after taste from it nor is it sweet like many plant-based creamers/creams tend to be. Try it in your coffee as well; you'll thank me. Target sells it!!!

9. Gluten-free oats are really crucial to a plant-based diet. They make a perfect breakfast (heat them up with some plant-based milk, add some of that vegan butter, vanilla bean and a touch of sweeter and berries). Or have you ever made overnight oats? Or you can add some dates and coconut to make a raw granola/muesli  - eat it with bananas and almond milk or with the Kite Hill yogurt. My Raw Vegan ebook contains breakfast recipes using gluten-free oats. Kite Hill and Forager make great yogurt alternatives. Try the plain flavors, you'll be shocked at how great they are and you can use them in any recipe that calls for plain yogurt! I'm definitely obsessed because yogurt isn't one of the things I love to make everyday. 

10. Turmeric is a spice that I love to keep around so I can whip up golden lattes. It's also an immunity booster and anti-inflammatory. Use it on vegetables when baking or in slow cooker dishes like curries or Indian style dishes. 

11. Nutritional yeast is something I use almost everyday (maybe 4-5 times a week). It's a great source of b12 (fortified) and adds a cheesy and nutty flavor to my sauces. You can even add toasted cashews and nutritional yeast to a blender and make a parmesan cheese type of seasoning. Have you tried my simple raw vegan tomato sauce? It uses nutritional yeast. So does my Queso Cheese dip. 

12. Has anybody heard of Brami bean snacks? Lupine beans (which is what Brami is) are high in plant-based protein, low in fat and fiber. For every 100 calories you get 13.4 grams of protein. Can you believe it? That's more than lentils and soy beans. At first they seem slimy and maybe unappetizing, but trust me, they are actually extremely addicting. Great emergency snack to keep in the car (you don't have to refrigerate them until you open them). 

13. Chia seeds don't go bad either. Keep them on hand for your overnight oats recipe and or make a good chia pudding (my go-to recipe below). Chia pudding, when made right, is to-die-for! Not only that but it's really satisfying and healthy for you. Chia seed jam is a game changer as well, have you tried that recipe yet?

14. Last but not least I use veganaise, tamari and sriracha type chili seasonings all the time. I pan fry mushrooms, tofu and tempeh in tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) and I make great dipping sauces with it. Vegan mayo isn't just for sandwiches, you can add it to cold potato, garbanzo and tofu salads or make creamy ranch or caesar dressings. Put it in your grilled cheese or savory wraps. Just a squirt or small spoonful of sriracha chili sauce adds a wonderful heat and spice to any sauce. Too much also makes dishes super spicy - which some people love. If you don't love overly spicy food just add a small amount for flavor. 

15. Manna Bread - this is a game changer! You'll love this sprouted low temperature cooked bread. It is so healthy, tastes nothing like processed bread. It almost feels like its healing the body as you eat it. Try it for lunch or breakfast. I have a bunch of recipes in my raw vegan ebook using manna bread. Grains should be apart of everybody's healthy diet if you ask me and this bread offers the perfect most easily digestible form of grains. 

16. Beyond Meat Chicken Strips. I'm sure you've all heard about Beyond Meat. They are making major waves in the food industry. I'm super impressed and always keep a bag of the frozen grilled chicken (vegan of course) strips on hand. They heat up really quickly in a pan and go well with any dish that needs some extra protein. I put it on salads, with rice or even in pasta. You can find it at almost any market - including Vons - these days. Amazon has them as well and the price is right! 

Chia Seed Pudding | Delicious, simple & vegan | #puremamas #purekitchenblog
Chia Seed Pudding Recipe | Delicious & Simple | Vegan & Gluten-free | #puremamas #purekitchenblog

Delicious Vegan Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

INGREDIENTS

Chia seed pudding | delicious and vegan! #purekitchenblog #puremamas
  • 2 cups fresh almond milk 
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean or extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or coconut sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine everything in a tupperware or airtight jar with a lid. 
  2. Store in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving. Preferably overnight. 
  3. Serve cold with fruit or other healthy toppings. 

Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup

I've been eating so clean lately in addition to working out hard. It feels so good. I eat less when I workout hard and I make better food choices as well. It's funny how that works. When I was pregnant I was the same way; I ate better than on a normal not-pregnant day. Often times I hear pregnant women say that they can eat whatever they want because they are pregnant and going to gain weight either way so what the heck! But I just couldn't get on board with that. I was growing a baby inside me and I wanted to give my body what it needed in order to work hard and do it right. 

Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup

Soups like this Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup nourish and feed the body and soul.

Fennel has a celery like texture but looks more like a bulb. It's known for its licorice-like flavor. This often under utilized plant food has wonderful health benefits. In fact, it has been used in natural remedies since ancient times. It grows wild and can be grown anywhere Fennel has a pale bulb and long green stalks. It can be grown almost anywhere. All parts of the fennel plant, including the bulb, stalk, leaves, and seeds, are edible.

Personally I feel like fennel isn't often used in recipes because people don't really know what to do with it. I love fennel added to my pressed juices. It goes well with celery as well. Because it contains ample amounts of phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, choline, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, vitamin E, and vitamin K, it's been said to help with everything from hearth health to inflammation to blood pressure and bone health.

In addition to all these nutrients, it provides high levels of dietary nitrates. 

Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup / Gazpacho
Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup

My cleansing raw fennel asparagus soup combines the health benefits of asparagus, avocado and fennel together to create a very flavorful healing dish. 

And although it's technically a raw soup (meaning, no cooked) I did like the idea of blanching the asparagus to soften it. You can also add warm veggie broth (instead of cold) to make this more of a warm soup. Personally I prefer gazpacho style fennel soup. 

Garnish it with pretty plants or crunchy raw nuts. I added some salty popcorn to mine one time. It was a fun addition. 

Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Gazpacho Soup

Cleansing Fennel Asparagus Soup Recipe

Yields 1 large bowl or 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 avocado, skin and seeds removed
  • 1 medium sized fennel bulb, chopped in large chunks (approx 2 cups)
  • 5 large asparagus stalks or 9 skinny ones, steamed or blanched
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup broth (warm or cold)

Garnish ideas: shallots, cilantro, asparagus, avocado, olive oil, lemon juice or even a vegan sour cream. 

Directions

  1. Prep all your ingredients by chopping, removing tough stems, seeds and skins. 
  2. In a large skillet, fill the bottom with about 1/4 in water. Add asparagus and heat them until they are soft and bright green. Remove from water and put into a high speed blender. 
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the blender. 
  4. Blend up the ingredients until smooth. 
  5. Add garnish. Serve immediately at room temp or warmer. 
Cleansing Asparagus Fennel Soup

Mint & Ginger Pesto Over Kelp Noodles

Oh my goodness, today is my second day back from Cabo, Mexico. It's raining here in San Diego and kind of cold. I am happy to be home safe and sound with kiddos. I did miss them. But I have to be honest I am kind of missing the sunshine, pool time, warm air, ocean views and the no kid vibe. I had four nights away. That's four more than I have had in almost 3 years. Whoa!

Mint & Ginger Pesto Over Kelp Noodles | #glutenfree #vegan #rawvegan @julinovotny

But as promised to you all on instagram, I spent my first work day back perfecting my pesto for the kelp noodle dish. It's a little sweet, kind of tangy, definitely garlicy, toasty from the almonds but also super duper fresh thanks to the mint.

Usually pesto is super savory and oily but this recipe is more asian in style. I prefer this style sauce when working with kelp noodles. 

Mint Ginger Pesto over Kelp Noodles | @julinovotny #purektichen
Mint Ginger Pesto over Kelp Noodles | raw vegan gluten free
Kelp Noodles with Mint Pesto | Pure Kitchen Blog | @julinovotny

I have been making kelp noodle recipes for years now. But just the other day, the brilliant Meredith Baird shared a really handy dandy trick: soak the kelp noodles first in baking soda. WHAAAA? Why didn't I know this? It helps the noodles to soften. Kind of the same way marinating kale in lemon and a dash of olive oil helps them soften and become more palatable. I love all these vegan (raw) cooking tricks. Thanks Meredith!

Kelp Noodle Recipe with Mint Pesto. Delicious. Super healthy. Detox Food. Raw Vegan. Gluten-free.
mint pesto with ginger and toasted almonds.

Mint Pesto is so good. Like completely different than basil or kale pesto. But so freakin' good. It's unique in it's flavor. You really have to try it at least once to see what I'm talking about. 

I made my pesto with garlic and ginger and a bit of raw honey too. I like it a touch sweet. 

7J5A1727.jpg

MINT GINGER PESTO OVER KELP NOODLES

serves 2-3

cook time 10-15 minutes max

INGREDIENTS

For the pesto:

  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil (I used lime flavored but you don't have to)
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced or chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped & toasted
  • 3-4 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp fresh jalapeño, chopped (or less if you don't like spice, but use a little for flavor)
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

For the Noodle Salad (or other crunchy veggies):

  • 1/2 cup raw carrots, chopped or shaved or julienned
  • 1/2 cup raw corn kernels, cut straight from the cob
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1, 12 oz package, kelp noodles
  • 1 tsp baking soda 

DIRECTIONS

For the pesto:

  1. In a food processor add all of the ingredients. Note: You can use raw almonds or toasted. I like the toasty flavor so I toast my almonds first in the oven or toaster oven for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  2. Process the ingredients by pulsing for about 1 minute. 
  3. Scrape sides of the bowl. Set aside pesto. 

For the noodles + veggies:

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix the kelp noodles with juice of just half a lemon and the baking soda. This will soften the noodles. Using your hands you'll want to mix the noodles well until coated in lemon and baking soda. Set them aside while you prep the rest of the dish. Keep checking on them and mixing by hand so they continue to soften. When ready, you'll want to rinse them first. 
  2. After you are finished prepping the carrots and corn, add the avocado oil, sea salt, and juice of half a lemon. Toss until well coated. 
  3. Add this mixture to the noodles (don't forget to rinse them first and dry them). Top with the mint pesto. 
  4. Serve. Garnish with more mint and toasted almonds.