A healthy, vegetarian salad that is better-than-take-out! Asian Chopped Salad + Peanut Ginger Dressing, filled with gut-friendly, probiotic foods, is something to feel good about. Chopsticks optional.
Though the probiotic-filled title may not be what everyone is searching for, they should be paying attention to it. So, good for you!
This salad delivers deliciousness and healthy dividends. Not to take away from the scrumptiousness, but let’s take a look at the why and the what.
Do Not Feed the Animals.
A familiar sign at the park or zoo, right?
But personally you do need to feed the animals…the ones in your gut, with probiotic foods.
These helpful bacteria are plentiful
We have ten times more bacterial cells living inside us than we have human cells. They make up about 1 to 3 percent of our body mass (that’s about 2 to 6 pounds of bacteria in a 200-pound adult). They are on our skin, in our nose but most live in the GI tract that is about twenty feet long.
They are helpful microbes
These microbes are essential for health. They produce vitamins, break down food so we can extract the nutrients we need, teach our immune system how to recognize dangerous invaders and produce compounds that help fight off other disease-causing bacteria. The microorganisms, along with sleep and exercise, affect our digestion, regulate our metabolism, impact weight and optimize our brain.
They are unique to our gut microbiota
Each of us has a different mix of bacteria, which in turn influences our health. Food choices, physical activity, lifestyle, environmental factors, and even the way you were born, impact a person’s microbiota. Breastfed babies and those born vaginally seem to have a better bacterial mix.
They are popular
The National Institutes of Health is conducting a Human Microbiome Project looking at gut bacteria impact on health and disease. It’s not yet well understood but emerging research suggests that gut bacteria may play a role in developing diabetes, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, allergies and rheumatoid arthritis.
They are picky for probiotic food
The bacteria that inhabit your gastrointestinal tract are picky. Certain foods help them thrive. Foods rich in fiber and plant compounds such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes (split peas, black beans, pinto beans, and lentils) satisfy the gut bacteria. Fermented foods and those with live, active cultures such as yogurt, kefir, miso, kimchi, and unpasteurized sauerkraut and pickles (found in the refrigerated section at the grocery store) contain beneficial bacteria which helps keep the gut healthy.
What are probiotic foods?
Foods rich in fiber and plant compounds such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fermented foods, nuts, and legumes (split peas, black beans, pinto beans, and lentils) are probiotic foods. Feed all the animals (gut microbes) with probiotic foods that help them flourish, deliciously.
- Bean dip and snap peas
- Hummus and carrots
- Steamed edamame
- Black bean and avocado on whole-grain tortillas
- Yogurt, berry, banana smoothie
- Split pea soup
- Vegetable Quinoa Soup
- Beans and rice
Why I like Chopped Asian Salad
#1 is because it tastes good. I mean, what’s not to like? The flavors, texture, and colors are spot on for a salad I like. The vegetables hold up well (before adding the dressing) so you can chop once and eat throughout the week. If you want to make it more substantial, add cooked chicken, beef, or shrimp.
#2 This Asian Chopped Salad feeds the bacteria in your gut. All the benefits I mentioned above are in this very salad. Every forkful delivers good health.
#3 I’ll admit there is some chopping to the recipe. You can save time and buy prechopped and shredded vegetables. Hold the dressing and this will last most of the week, making it a great option for lunch at work or on the go.
This better-than-take-out fresh chopped salad is something to feel good about. Chopsticks optional.
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Asian Chopped Salad Peanut Ginger Dressing
A healthy, vegetarian salad that is better-than-take-out! Asian Chopped Salad and Peanut Ginger Dressing is filled with gut-friendly foods so is something to feel good about. Chopsticks optional.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: no cook
- Cuisine: Asian, vegetarian
- Peanut Ginger Dressing
- 3 tablespoons ginger, peeled, chopped (or a 2-inch piece ginger root)
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon Siracha sauce
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Asian Chopped Salad
- 3 cups red cabbage, chopped, about ½ head
- 3 green onions, sliced, use most of the onion
- 1 cup cucumber, ¼” dice
- 1 orange, peeled and diced (save some of the peel for zest in dressing)
- 1 cup carrot, shredded
- 1 cup edamame, steamed
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processer and blend until smooth.
- Assemble salad ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat.
- Serving Size: 1/2 the recipe
- Calories: 580
Keywords: main dish salad, gut friendly foods, what are probiotics