Are you looking for an easy, fresh, crunchy salad for your July 4th celebration? Something that will be the salad of the day and make you look like a culinary genius? Of course you are. That’s why you need to try this incredible recipe.
We call it Nonna’s salad because my mother-in-law – Alex’s grandmother, or, nonna (she’s not Italian, she’s Scandinavian, go figure) – always makes it for family get togethers. And we love it!
It’s just a big bowl of fresh, crunchy, gingery, deliciousness. And it’s so easy to make that it really shouldn’t taste as good as it does. But that’s the magic behind a good recipe, easy, tasty, and even good for you. WINNER!
Start with Napa cabbage. Its crisp, light taste makes this salad sooooo special. And…..did you know that one cup is only 16 calories? Hello! That’s practically calorie free. And since it makes up the bulk of the dish, you don’t need to feel too guilty taking a heaping pile of it. Unless, of course, you don’t leave enough for everyone else. Then you should probably feel a little guilty.
Napa cabbage is also packed full of antioxidants. It contains carotenes, thiocyanates, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, zea-xanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates, all known to help protect against many types of cancers. It is also a fantastic source of folates, vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. So eat up!
Wash all of the leaves well, dry, and then slice into thin slivers. Cut the slivers in half if the leaves are really wide. There’s nothing worse than picking up a big, long piece of food that you have to manipulate to get into your mouth. That’s why chopped salads are high on my list of food favorites.
I thought that the cabbage looked so pretty cut like this. It’s like a flower.
After you slice up the cabbage, it’s time to add the green onions. They give the salad a kick, and Alex and I love a little whoo-ha in our food. Besides, onions are known to have enzymes that are beneficial to your liver and stomach. So far this salad is rockin the health factor!
While you’re chopping up your greens, toast your nuts and ramen noodles so that they get all golden and pretty. Now, here’s the thing about the ramen, the noodles are made of wheat, so if you are trying to stay away from gluten, just leave them out. They aren’t a vital ingredient in this dish, they just add EXTRA crunch to an already crunchy salad.
Note about toasting. Nonna toasts the almonds and ramen in oil on the stove. We don’t do it that way because it adds unnecessary calories. The almonds will release their oil while they toast in a hot oven. All you need to do is keep a close eye on them and shake the pan every forty-five to sixty seconds so they brown evenly. And the ramen toasts up just fine in the oven all by themselves.