Monday, October 18, 2010


I warned you a few posts ago that I was busy stocking the kitchen with Japanese ingredients.

Triple A Salad - Arame, Almond and Avocado Green Salad
So here comes the Japanese-inspired dishes, or at least Japanese ingredient-inspired. I strongly recommend you make a note to grab the bits and pieces for this delicious salad next time you're wandering the aisles of a well-stocked supermarket or little Japanese/Asian grocer.

This is food that makes you hum. Tonight after Miles and I devoured the whole salad bowl we almost bounded around the house, both eager and energetic to take on the Billie-bath-bed routine - rather than sluggish and impatient to crash on the couch.

Okay, I admit Billie didn't eat this one, but then she wasn't actually offered it. Instead I was very happy she chowed down the spinach dahl left-overs, mixed with brown rice, yoghurt and mango chutney. Very happy, because lately vegetables have not been winning the popularity contest at Billie's end of the table. Here's the dahl - I just swapped the red lentils for brown this time: billie bites lentil dahl recipe

This is a superb salad. Extremely tasty and satisfying. It does need to be served with some protein and carbohydrates - we just had a small amount of dahl and brown rice, which obviously isn't the best team mate, but it worked as two courses. Tofu, tempeh, fish, soba noodles, potato...any of these would work well. But you don't need anything with much flavor.

This is just slightly adapted from a Mary Shaw recipe. Mary taught at Bastyr University and ran a cooking program for the Ashland Food Co-Op in Oregon. Another credit goes here to my recent wonderful kitchen companion, Cynthia Lair's Feeding the Whole Family, which published the recipe.


Arame, Almond and Avocado Green Salad
1/4 cup raw almonds
4 cups salad greens - try spinach, rocket/arugular, and lettuce
1/8-1/4 cup arame, soaked in 1 cup cold water
1 ripe avocado, sliced into long strips

3 Tablespoons sesame oil
3 Tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons runny honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Heat oven to 180C/350F. Roast almonds on dry, flat tray for about 7 minutes or until giving off that nice almond smell. Set aside to cool and then coarsely chop. 

Wash the salad greens and spin or pat dry with tea towel.

Combine all dressing ingredients in large deep salad bowl and whisk. Drain arame (don't need the water) and add to dressing with salad greens. Toss well, gently fold through avocado, and sprinkle cooled almonds on top. 

FOR BABIES 6 MONTHS AND OLDER: Mash avocado or offer slices. 
FOR BABIES 9 MONTHS AND OLDER: Offer salad, minus the almonds (for choking purposes)
FOR BABIES/TODDLERS 12 MONTHS AND OLDER: Offer the whole salad (good luck)


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