For the Food on Fridays carnival, any post remotely related to food is welcome—though we love to try new dishes, your post doesn’t have to be a recipe. We’re pretty relaxed over here, and stories and photos are as welcome as menus and recipes.When your Food on Fridays contribution is ready, just grab the broccoli button (the big one above or smaller option at the bottom) to paste at the top of your post. It ties us together visually.Then fill in the boxes of Simply Linked to join the fun!
Food on Fridays with Ann
It all started with a cabbage.I was getting ready to leave my friend’s house the other day when she said, “Wait a minute! I have something for you.” She walked out to her garden with a kitchen knife in hand, hacked off a head of cabbage and handed it to me. “It doesn’t get more organic than this,” she said. “It’s fresh from the garden; no sprays or stuff.”I brought home my treasure and started thinking about coleslaw. I was low on mayonnaise, so I had to improvise a little, straying from my usual creamy recipe. I chopped half the cabbage and grated two carrots. For the dressing, I poured a little apple cider vinegar into the mayonnaise jar, shaking to blend. Poured that over the cabbage-carrot mix, shook some celery seed on top along with salt and pepper, and stirred.The Belgian Wonder called to say he was running late, so the coleslaw just sat there, looking fresh and crunchy. I was hungry. I wanted to stand at the counter and shovel in big forkfuls of it.I didn’t take those liberties, but I did taste it. It needed a little something. While waiting, I searched the Internet for ideas and came up with a simple recipe that included all the ingredients I already used, plus green onions. And sugar.Sugar. Of course. And I had some green onions buried in the vegetable drawer, so I dragged them out, trimmed away the limp green ends, and diced up the rest into little circles. Added some sugar. Stir, stir, stir. Taste.Yes, better. Much better.And suddenly I was thinking of those Asian salads with something crunchy in them, like almonds.I had almonds. And ramen noodles, too, with a seasoning packet.I chopped the rest of the cabbage and then added almonds and crushed ramen. I even stirred in a tiny bit of the seasoning packet.And then I thought of the can of mandarin oranges sitting on my pantry shelf.This simple side dish had morphed into a main course, and I wanted to top it with some chicken.But I had no chicken. None in the freezer. None in the fridge. None in the pantry. I hadn’t a scrap of chicken to fancy this up.So I called the Belgian Wonder, who was a few blocks from Wendy’s.He bought the cheapest chicken sandwich, so that I could have the patty for my creation.I sliced the patty into nice little morsels and arranged them on top.Coleslaw turned Asian Chicken Salad. A dinnertime evolution.Here are the ingredients in list form:Asian Chicken SaladIngredients:
- One cabbage, shredded or chopped fine
- Two carrots, shredded
- Glob of mayonnaise (probably about 1/8 to 1/4 C)
- Splash of vinegar (3-4 T or more)
- Salt, pepper
- Sugar (maybe 2-3 T)
- Celery seed (several shakes)
- Green onions (two, sliced in skinny circles)
- Slivered almonds (maybe 1/8 C)
- Ramen noodles, crunched into bits to use as a topping
- Ramen noodle seasoning packet (only a teensy bit)
- Mandarin oranges (most of a good-sized can)
- Fast food chicken patty (grilled or breaded)
Photos by Ann Kroeker
Hazel I Moon says
This sounds wonderful! I will save this recipe for the next time we purchase cabbage!
I enjoyed watching you add all the different ingredients. My post today does not have a recipe, only about beans. We usually use canned beans, but mom always made them from scratch. She soaked her beans over night and cooked them the next morning until done. She added Chili Con Carne to her red beans.
I think because I was waiting for the Belgian Wonder to arrive from work, I knew I had a little time on my hands, so I snapped all those photos of the dish in progress…normally I’m racing to get food on the table and snap a quick shot under the light of the stove lamp, if at all!
I need to cook some beans–so healthy!
April@The 21st Century Housewife says
How lovely Ann! It’s always so wonderful when things come together like that in the kitchen – it’s the dishes that evolve that always taste the best. Your Asian Chicken salad is making my mouth water, that is for sure! Thank you for sharing it and for hosting.
It has taken me so many years to feel confident messing around like that in the kitchen. I used to be so afraid to make a mistake. I guess I’ve cooked and eaten enough to know what things work together…though I’ve made a lot of “flops,” as well.
Sheila Lagrand says
Isn’t it wonderful how the ingredients can take us somewhere new, if we just let them?
This looks delicious.
Thanks for your note, Sheila. I’m learning to be more adventurous and creative in the kitchen. Little by little over the decades I’ve taken more risks. 🙂
Megan Willome says
Too many pictures? 🙂
I love that kind of food evolution! It’s great to have developed a sense of what you want to eat and how to get there.
I like the way you phrased that, to have “developed a sense of what you want to eat and how to get there.” I think that I was missing one or the other of those pieces for many, many years: I either didn’t know what I wanted to eat, or I knew but didn’t know how to get there.
I could have used a food mentor. It was hard for my mom to invite me into the extremely small kitchen growing up, so I just didn’t get to watch her in action.
Oh, YUM! I’ve been wanting to make an Asian Chicken Salad for the family. Your recipe sounds wonderful. I ate some at a women’s potluck one evening and have wanted to make it since then.
Enjoyed your step-by-step progression of the salad. Creativity at its best.
Janis, that is exactly where I’ve tasted that type of salad, and I have loved it ever since my first bite!
Thanks for your sweet note, encouraging as usual. 🙂
It’s official: You are brilliant!
Wow, if Asian Chicken Salad is all it takes to be brilliant…I’d have made it a lot sooner!
Charity Singleton says
Love this story! (Loved sitting across from you while you wrote it, too!) These sorts of dishes are usually the best. And good for you that you kept track of what you added. Usually, I come up with good dishes but could NEVER recreate them.
Almost forgot to add my link after publishing early last evening.
The post isn’t exactly life-altering content, but it was fun to put it together while we were at Panera. I think the discipline of Food on Fridays helps me think more about what I’m making, why, how, etc.
Glad you linked up! People add links for several days. I like that we’re a relaxed food community.
Cheryl Smith says
I love it! The improv and the recipe. I recently bought a giant head of cabbage at the Farmer’s Market. Wish I had this recipe then!
Cheryl Smith says
My neighbor just called to say she has two heads of cabbage. Guess what’s for lunch tomorrow? 🙂
Super! I got a second head of cabbage, too. The friend who gave me the one that I used for the salad said she really likes it fried with curry powder. I’ve never, ever had it that way, but when I watched a look of longing come over her while she described it, I thought I’d better try it sometime. She looked positively transported!
AMAZING! And so pcfreet and necessary for today! I can see creating, in balance with nature, a garden of eden so beautiful that it stimulates all our senses for a true holistic way of life! How healthy the entire world will be! Exciting! THANK YOU! Look forward to more!