Crunchy veggies, chicken, peanuts and crispy noodles tossed with a lip smackingly delicious Asian Peanut Salad Dressing. This Chinese Chicken Salad is going to knock your socks off. It’s my summer-salad-anthem!
This is a story about five amazing women. Wives of Aussie farmers. Mothers with university degrees and professional backgrounds who also happen to be the “go-to” person for anything and everything that needs to be done on a farm.
Something that many city folk like myself may never think about is all the millions of tons of fruit and veg that are deemed “not good enough” to be sold in stores. The ugly, wonky ones. Blemished skin. Slightly misshaped. Too big, too small. Too round, not round enough.
And yet, 100% perfect inside.
There has been an increasing number of imperfect fruit and veg sold in Australian stores at discounted prices. But they are still a very small percentage of the Ugly Yet Perfect fruit and veg that ultimately goes to waste.
And when a group of Aussie Queensland carrot growers bandied together to do something about it, who did they turn to for a solution?
Their wives. 🙂 Meet the five amazing Australian women who are the driving force behind Just Veg, the line of “grab and go” vegetable and meal options. Reducing waste and helping people eat healthier.
Here’s the thing. Some people will declare pre-prepared veggies to be the lazy way out. My view is this: if grabbing a bag of pre chopped vegetables means that you’ll make a stir fry at home rather than ordering take out, or be able to throw together a quick 2 minute salad than not have veggies at all, then it’s a good thing.
So by my simple minded logic, I’m Pro-prepared-vegetables. ??
And when it comes to pre chopped carrots, you cannot beat Just Veg. Why? Very simple. These carrots are shredded and packed by the very farmers who grow the carrots. These carrots are being chopped within hours of being harvested. How good is that??!
I wanted to make something that really emphasised the convenience of the Just Veg carrots and showcased how crunchy and fresh they are. And this is what I’ve come up with: Chinese Chicken Salad with an Asian Peanut Salad Dressing that’s so good, it should be illegal. 🙂
Yes, you have to chop the cabbage yourself – Just Veg don’t do shredded cabbage (yet 😉 ). But really, shredded cabbage is WAY easier than julienning carrots.
I had this for lunch four days in a row. Testing, retesting, photographing and filming. You’d think I’d get sick of it. Nope. I had it for lunch again today. It’s just too easy to make!
Regular readers know that I am very aware that the food I share often leans towards “brown foods”. You know – ugly but yummy foods like Bangers and Mash with Gravy (swoon) and Salisbury Steak (double swoon…)
So what a delight it is to be sharing this kaleidoscope of colour with you today!!! Gosh, seriously, if all my foods were this pretty, it would make my photographing life a whole lot easier….
PS Notice how little chopping is required?? Just the cabbage really. The shallots / scallions / green onions (yawn – so tired of using all three “languages”!) are optional. As in – you wouldn’t miss it terribly if you didn’t have it in the salad. 🙂
PPS I love inserting photos like this in posts because it irritates my mother no end. She thinks it looks “messy”. It makes her twitch – ba ha ha!
The Asian Peanut Dressing can be served on the side for people to help themselves (I do this when I make this for guests) or toss it through prior to serving. Up to you. If doing the former, I suggest making extra dressing. Just in case you have friends who can’t control themselves (like mine).
Just Veg shredded carrots is now part of my standard weekly shop. I know shredding carrots isn’t hard, but having a bag of Just Veg shredded carrots is just way easier. Which means I’m eating more of it. I’m adding it into sandwiches and wraps. I made carrot fritters last night (really delish Middle Eastern ones), I threw carrots into frittata. It’s going into virtually every salad and I even stirred it into bolognese for a lasagna.
What really sealed the deal for me was chatting to Alice, one of the amazing women who are the driving force behind Just Veg. Her passion for what she does, it really struck a cord. And when I asked her what the most rewarding thing about Just Veg was, she said it was connecting with the consumers. Hearing what they used their carrots for, what they thought. It really resonated with me because Just Veg is her baby in the same way that RecipeTin Eats is mine, and one of the most rewarding things for me is when I hear from readers when they have tried (or even before they have tried!) a recipe.
Plus, it just makes me feel warm and fuzzy that when I grab a bag of Just Veg from Woolworths each week, I know it’s supporting Aussie growers and their families. <3 – Nagi x
PS When you try Just Veg, send them a message here! They LOVE hearing from people, tell them what you think of their carrots!
- 2 1/2 tbsp peanut butter
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp canola oil (or vegetable, grapeseed or peanut oil)
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp+ Sriracha
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp + 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp water (or lime juice)
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 1/2 tsp ginger , freshly grated
- 1 1/2 cups Chinese cabbage / Napa cabbage , shredded
- 1 cup red cabbage , shredded
- 1 1/2 cups carrots , julienned (I used Just Veg pre shredded carrots) (Note 1)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
- 1 shallot / green onion / scallion , finely sliced on the diagonal
- 1/4 cup peanuts , roughly chopped
- 1/4+ cups crunchy fried noodles (I use Changs)
Mix Dressing in a jug or small bowl. Use water to adjust consistency (it should be pretty thick and gloopy), Sriracha for spiciness and saltiness with salt (not more soy sauce).
Place all Salad ingredients in a bowl, reserving some noodles, peanuts and shallots for topping. Drizzled with Dressing and toss. Garnish with remaining noodles, peanuts and shallots and serve immediately.
1. Fresh, crunchy and juicy, pre shredded carrots by Just Veg are available at Woolworths stores on the east coast of Australia. These pre shredded carrots are not only super handy to have on hand for quick salads, pop into sandwiches and wraps or to add into meals, they are made using carrots that are deemed "not good enough" for the stores that would otherwise go to waste.
Grown, shredded and packed by Aussie farmers in Queensland, this initiative to reduce waste and encourage Aussies to eat more fresh veg is underpinned by the drive of 5 farmers' wives. Read more about their story in the post - you'll love it as much as I do!
2. The Dressing can be served on the side if preferred.
3. To make this Gluten Free, use GF peanut butter and soy sauce (tamari) and leave out the noodles. Use crunchy fried shallots instead! (Sold in the Asian section of supermarkets)
4. Nutrition per serving. This makes two BIG servings! (Or 4 as a side).
All. That. COLOUR.
LIFE OF DOZER
Dozer is a fan of Just Veg too….
SALADS TO TRY USING JUST VEG SHREDDED CARROTS
This post is sponsored by Just Veg. It’s an honour to work for a business and people who I find so inspiring. I love the story behind Just Veg, I believe in supporting Aussie farmers and their families, and I’m proud to have been selected to participate in this campaign. Thank you for reading!