Thai-Inspired Marinated Broccoli Salad

Original Recipe with Raw and Raw Fusion Variations

Thai food is one my go-to cuisines for lunches as it offers so many options for a primarily plant-based diet.  The peanut-based sauce — they call it “Amazing” sauce here in Tampa — is one of my husband’s favorites.

Thai and other Asian restaurant foods are better than most when it comes to healthy eating, with their lightly cooked vegetables and light oils, but there are some elements that you can’t control when you eat out, such as added sugar, oils that are high in Omega 6 (which can cause inflammation when not balanced by sufficient Omega 3’s) and peanut butter in general, whether organic or conventional is high in the aflatoxin mold, associated with serious allergies and dangerous carcinogens.

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This dish can either be a main course or a side dish; I served mine over Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles — very crunchy sea vegetable noodles popular with raw foodists and loaded with minerals.  The secret to serving kelp noodles is to soak them for at least 2 hours in very warm water; This softens them and makes them much more palatable to the novice consumers.  This salad would stand on its own without noodles or you can serve over rice noodles, soba, or any kind of pasta.  In Raw Fusion we tend to stay away from the gluten grains as many people have sensitivities, even if they are yet to pinpoint them.  This would also be excellent spooned over spiralized zucchini or young coconut meat noodles.

NOTE: Peeling the stem and branches of the broccoli really makes a difference in the taste of the broccoli.  If you prefer a softer broccoli you can place the bowl in a dehydrator at 115 degrees for an hour or in an oven that’s been heated and cooled.

Thai Marinated Broccoli Salad

Serves 2-3 as main course, 4-6 as side salad

Marinade

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of broccoli (florets and stems) peeled up to the tops
  • 4 TB. tamari or soy sauce
  • 3 TB. toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Juice from one lime

Directions:  Place all of the ingredients in a bowl with the broccoli and marinate for 1-3 hours.

Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3-4 TB. raw almond butter
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2-3 TB. agave nectar or honey
  • 1 medium piece of fresh ginger, crushed
  • Crushed red pepper to garnish

Directions:  In a bowl place crushed garlic and ginger.  Spoon in several tablespoons of the marinade and the almond butter and with a fork or wire whisk, blend until smooth, adding more marinade or agave as needed.

Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles (I used the Green Tea flavored one) soaked for 2 hours in warm water
  • 1 cup of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cubed
  • 5 baby carrots, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, julienned
  • Sunflower sprouts and mint leaves for garnish

Assembly:  Snip kelp noodles into shorter, manageable lengths and place in a large bowl.  Toss in spinach, cucumbers, scallions and spoon some of the dressing over them.  Add marinated broccoli and garnish with red pepper, sunflower sprouts and mint leaves.  Drizzle sauce over the top and sprinkle on extra red pepper, if desired.

Storage:  This keeps well in a covered dish for at least one day.

Variations:  I used raw almond butter for the sauce, but roasted can work if you can’t find raw.  If you are fine with peanut butter, that’s another option.  Tamari is a gluten-free form of soy sauce, while Nama Shoyu is the unpasteurized form that contains wheat.  I prefer toasted sesame oil as it imparts a lovely flavor but to adhere to a stricter raw version, use cold pressed sesame oil.

If you like Thai food, check out my Thai Coconut Soup.

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