Mercy Me Asian Salad

Here’s a recipe that will nourish rather than deplete your body and feed your soul & taste buds some tasty, crunchy slaw!


As you may or may not know, I’m a pretty steadfast from-scratch kind of cook/baker.  However we all have our favorite quick go-tos to help us whip up something delicious and nutritious in a pinch. Here I used two of them.  Usually when I make a Costco run (which is about weekly), I pick up a bag or two of the Taylor Farms Asian Cashew Chopped Salad.  It’s super yummy and easy to dress up a little, if you so desire.  So this salad mix makes up the base of the salad.  The other pre-made item was the tofu.  I often marinate and bake my own, but seriously sometimes there just isn’t time.  So I usually have a package or two of baked, seasoned tofu in the fridge.  In this case, I happen to have a sesame ginger flavored one on hand.  Can we say “Perfect for Asian Salad!”?

Here are the two packaged foods used in this recipe:


Some of the other ingredients are very seasonal for spring.  In fact, the scallions and red cabbage grew in my backyard garden and the Cara Cara oranges and asparagus were both locally grown and arrived in my CSA box.  If you haven’t heard of, or participated in, Community Supported Agriculture, I encourage you to look into it.  You get a regularly scheduled box of fresh, local produce each week and an opportunity to help support your local farmers.  Because let’s face it, sometimes we just can’t get to a Farmer’s Market (or we forget to stop at an ATM for cash ahead of time).  Now, for what you’ve been waiting for.  Here’s the recipe!


  • 1 Package Taylor Farms Asian Cashew Chopped Salad (Costco 19 oz size)
  • 1 package Nasoya “tofubaked”, Sesame Ginger, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2-3 scallions (aka green onions) thinly sliced, green parts only
  • 1/4 medium red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 Cara Cara orange, diced
  • seasoning and dressing of choice


  1. Grab a large mixing bowl.  Cut open the salad bag and dump in the veggies (wait to add the packaged toppings).
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Wipe with a very thin coat of olive oil.  When the pan is hot, add the asparagus.  Season with salt and pepper.  Toss occasionally for even cooking.  You may want to cover with a lid for a couple of minutes to allow the asparagus to cook through, if needed.  When done, transfer to a cutting board and chop into 2 inch pieces.  Add the asparagus to the salad bowl.
  3. OPTIONAL STEP: If you skip searing the tofu, then just toss the tofu cubes into the salad and move on to step 4.  Otherwise, wipe your pan clean.  Add 2 teaspoons oil and when hot, toss in the tofu cubes.  Let sear until golden (1-2 minutes).  Then toss for even browning.
  4. While searing the tofu, slice the scallions and cabbage and throw ’em into the bowl.  Once the tofu is browned it can join the party too!
  5. Now chop up your orange and toss it in, along with the salad toppings that came with the packaged salad.
  6. Dressing Time!  If you prefer to use the dressing that came with the salad, go right ahead.  Personally, I like something fresh, less oily and minimally processed.  Shake on some vinegar (seasoned rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or my favorite pineapple balsamic vinegar) and a tiny drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, if desired.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Toss it all up and enjoy!  This makes a BIG salad!  Fortunately, it also makes great leftovers to wrap up in a tortilla or stuff a pita.

Mediterranean Holiday Salad

Again, here is a quick, easy and beautiful dish for the holidays.  What says Christmas like a red and green salad!  And it’s so simple!



1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters (or 4-5 Roma tomatoes, diced)

2 Persian cucumbers (the little skinny ones, about 4-6 inches long), diced

salt and pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon lemon juice (juice of about 1/2 a lemon) OR 3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, optional


It’s a salad!  Throw everything in a pretty bowl and toss to combine!

Confetti Salad


They say we need to “eat the rainbow” everyday.  Getting the full spectrum of colorful fruits and veggies into your diet daily will help increase and insure your intake of a variety of phytochemicals and nutrients our bodies need to perform optimally. Well, this salad will definitely send you on your way over the rainbow.  Add some red (purple) cabbage and carrots and I think you’ll have the whole spectrum!   I used swiss chard here, but you can use any of a wide variety of greens.  Spinach, kale, and beet greens are all good substitutions too.  Beans and brown rice are not only good sources of plant protein, but they are very high in fiber too.  This salad is great served cold, room temp or warm, and is great for parties.  Sometimes its nice to have a healthy, colorful alternative to the traditional holiday party fare.  Have leftovers?  Wrap it up in a blanched collard leaf or toasted whole wheat pita, and you’ve got a great lunch on the run!



3 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups (or 1 14.5 oz. can) black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed

½ red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 medium tomato, seeded and diced

1 small zucchini, diced

2-3 scallions (green onions) green parts only, thinly sliced

1-2 cups frozen corn (or one can, drained)

1 bunch Swiss Chard, tough stems removed, and chopped into small pieces

½ avocado, diced

2-3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar OR balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste


Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. 

TIP:  If you want, you can put all of the veggies in first, leaving the greens for the top layer.  Then warm up the rice and beans and place them on top of the greens. Then toss to combine.  This will help wilt the greens a little and warm up the salad a bit too.  Can be served warm or cold.  


Kale Waldorf Salad

This is SO good.  Who knew raw kale could taste so good!  Its not bitter at all.  The mint and Dijon really make this salad.   This is the perfect meal salad for those days when it’s just too hot to cook! 

1 bunch raw kale (stems removed), chopped

1-2 handfuls Chopped raw spinach

1 diced apple

2 stalks celery diced.

1-2 handfuls shredded carrots

1-2 Tablespoons fresh peppermint, chopped

1 handful raisins

1 handful walnuts


1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

Pinch of nutmeg

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)


It’s a salad.  Throw everything in a large bowl, except the dressing.

Combing dressing ingredients and adjust to taste, then toss with the salad. 


Lentil Salad

This salad is a nice break from the traditional, and great for potlucks and large gatherings.  You can serve it warm or cold, but I prefer it cold.  It’s also great over a large bed of crunchy, chopped Romaine lettuce, which is another great way to increase your intake of green leafy veggies!

Lentils are quick and easy to prepare and loaded with healthy micronutrients like Iron, Folate, B vitamins and Zinc.  They are low in fat and high in isoflavones and lignans which may block certain cancers and protect against heart disease.

There are several different varieties of lentils (brown, green, red, black).  The brown or green lentils are the ones most commonly found in the market.  If you can get your hands on some French green lentils, pick them up!  They are terrific in this salad; smaller and a bit firmer than the ones typically found in the supermarket.  I get them from Whole Foods.  Enjoy!


1cup lentils

2 ½ cups water

1 medium tomato, seeded and diced

1 carrot, shredded

½ medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

½ small red onion, finely diced (can substitute 2 green onions, aka scallions)


4 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

3 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 Tablespoons finely chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, basil or cilantro)


1. Combine water and lentils in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, covered.  Then drain in a colander.  Rinse with cool water.

2. Combine cooked lentils with tomatoes, carrot, cucumber and onion in a large bowl.

3.  Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar, with a tight fitting lid, and shake.  Or, whisk together in a small bowl. 

4. Garnish top of salad with chopped herbs.