Cucumber Baby Spinach Salad with Coconut and Peanuts is a healthy, crunchy, delicious bowl of textures that can be served as a side salad or even as a light lunch, thanks to the nuts and coconut flakes. I received a copy of A Modern Way to Eat from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links have been used in this post to link to items I am discussing.
Guys I loved this salad! It was so unexpected–and honestly, based on the description, I am not sure any of us thought we would love it. But we all really did! The kids ate so much that they skipped the main course (which was crazy, but hey at least they loved the super healthy salad). Even Sammy, my coconut hating kid, loved it, although she passed on the toasted coconut flakes (there is also coconut milk in the dressing).
It has been my experience that vegetarian cookbooks are often a great source of creative and exciting recipes. Not always, but often. Which is why I took a chance on Anna Jones’ A Modern Way to Eat: 200+ Satisfying Vegetarian Recipes (That Will Make You Feel Amazing). I did not know much about her or the book, other than she is Jamie Oliver’s London based food stylist and the book is huge, over 200 recipes (yay!). Honestly the clincher in taking a chance on the book was one Amazon reviewer’s comment that the recipes reminded her of Heidi Swanson–I adore Heidi Swanson’s books, so that sealed it.
So the verdict on the book? I am super excited by it! I have the entire breakfast chapter bookmarked. I love her blueprint for how she comes up with dishes–I imagine it would be super useful for new cooks, but I also think more experienced cooks can be inspired by it. The ideas are not just fresh and original, but also healthy. You know a cookbook is a good purchase when you skip all of the recipes you have bookmarked and instead grab one you have the ingredients for, and it turns out amazing. That is exactly what happened here. Some bookmarked recipes include Dosa-Spiced Potato Cakes with Quick Cucumber Pickles; Turkish Fried Eggs; Overnight Oats with Peaches; Chickpea and Preserved Lemon Stew; Walnut Miso Broth with Udon Noodles; Cardamom and Carrot Cakes with Maple Icing; Pistachio and Elderflower Cordial Cake; Asparagus and Toasted Cashew Stir Fry… this list goes on. I recommend the book for vegetarians, anyone inspired by vegetarian cooking and willing to go meatless occasionally, and people interested in creative cooking that is globally inspired.
- 3 hothouse cucumbers, spiralized on the widest setting
- 2 handfuls roasted and salted peanuts, finely chopped
- 1 bunch bunch cilantro, the bottom 1-2 inches chopped off, and the rest roughly chopped, including tender stems
- 3 large handfuls washed baby spinach (I just bought one package and used that)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
- juice of 1-2 lemons, to taste
- 1 T honey
- 1 t soy sauce, I used a Chinese superior dark
- 2 T thick coconut milk (just scoop out the separated coconut cream from the water in an UNshaken can)
- 1 t avocado oil (you can sub with olive oil)
- 1-2 t grated fresh ginger, to taste
First spread the coconut flakes out on a cookie sheet and begin toasting them in a 300 F oven (they will take 10-20 minutes--they are done when fragrant and darkening).
After prepping your ingredients (spiralizing the cukes, chopping the peanuts, etc), toss the first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl.
While the coconut flakes continue to toast, make the dressing: whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, starting with the juice of only 1 lemon and only 1 teaspoon of ginger. If you wish the dressing had more oomph, add more ginger and lemon juice.
Toss the dressing into the salad and then sprinkle the toasted coconut flakes on top of the salad.
If you like fun Pinterest collages, here is one for you!