It’s a salad and a stir-fry all at the same time! Leafy greens kale and bok choy are steam-fried along with cabbage and carrots in this oil-free kale salad.
I’m on a diet healthy eating plan. Those of you who just stumbled on this blog are probably now looking at its name and going, “Well, duh!” But the fact is, I never really talk about my struggles with my weight here because that’s a long and personal discussion, and my writing style is fast and breezy and cut to the chase, er, recipe.
So let’s just suffice it to say that though the recipes I post here are low-fat and most are suitable for any healthy diet plan, there are things in my pantry that aren’t fat-free or low in sugar or unprocessed, and they’ve been known to find their way out of my pantry and into my mouth. (I’m looking at you, Boca Chik’N and Fruitful O’s!) No matter how healthy my dinners are (and they really are what you see on this blog), I don’t make any progress losing weight if I eat junk for lunch and between meals. So I’ve cut out all processed foods, including flour and sugar, which always cause me to crave more processed food.
And I feel great! My new motto is “If I didn’t cook it myself and it doesn’t fit on my blog, I don’t eat it.” That’s a long motto, but you get the idea.
I’m basically following Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live (I have my own little tweaks), and one of its main precepts is “Thou Shalt Eat a Mega-Huge Salad for Lunch.” Mega-Huge means take the salad bowl you use to make salad for dinner parties and fill it up with lettuce, spinach, kale, and various other leafy greens and top them with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, peas, and whatever other raw vegetables you can find. Finally, top that with an ounce or two of raw nuts and some cooked beans, and then eat the entire thing.
My main problem with this main precept is that I get tired of salads every day, especially during the winter when the thought of cold salad often leads me to heat up the beans before pouring them over the salad. So yesterday I opened my fridge and took out all the “remnants” of other recipes–the cabbage and kale I’d chopped for a photo shoot, the white beans leftover from Roasted Parsnip Soup, two baby bok choy that I didn’t use in my last stir-fry–added some onions and carrots, and made a hot salad out of them:
Then I posted the photo above to Facebook with the caption, “I just ate almost this entire stir-fry pan full of food–the kind of lunch that happens when I get tired of salads!” So many people wanted the recipe (though one wanted to chastise me for my “gluttony”) that I posted the ingredients. But since ingredients do not a recipe make, I figured I’d better give you the full run-down here on the blog.
What follows is exactly what I used and what I did, but since I was cleaning out my own fridge, not yours, feel free to use the vegetables that you need to use up. Chopping time aside (and I was lucky to have most of this pre-chopped), this cooks very quickly: Be sure you use a deep enough skillet that you can cover because steaming is necessary to get the veggies cooked fast without oil.
And note the number of servings. The recipe made about 4 of the salad-plate-sized servings in the plated photo, but if you’re following Eat to Live, you’ll want to eat more than that (or even the whole pan!) so I’ve set the nutritional info up for 2 servings. You could also serve it as a side dish for 4; just divide the nutritional stats in half.
Hot Skillet Salad
- 2 baby bok choy
- 1/4 cup red onion chopped
- 3 ounces baby carrots about 6, slivered
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup red cabbage sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 cups sliced kale
- 1 cup cooked great northern beans
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon fat-free balsamic dressing or balsamic vinegar
- Wash the bok choy well. Slice the white stems into 1/4-inch slices and set aside. Slice the green leafy tops thinly and keep separate from the stems.
- Preheat a non-stick wok or deep skillet. Add the red onion and cook until it begins to soften. Add the carrots, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Add the bok choy stems, cabbage, basil, oregano, and 1/4 cup water. Cover tightly and steam for about 3 minutes, stirring several times. Stir in the bok choy leaves, kale, and beans and add another splash of water if it’s too dry. Cover and steam until the kale is tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in salad dressing or vinegar just before serving.
Nutritional info is approximate.
Eat to Livers Unite!
What do you eat when you don’t want salad? Leave your ideas and recipes in the comments below. And see Hidden Cashew Ranch Dressing Plus Tips for Eating Salads When You Really Don’t Want To for more ideas.
Looking for other Eat to Live-able recipes? Check out my ETL sections both here and on the main website. Looking for support? Join us in the Eat-2-Live Group on Yahoo!
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kimMay 26, 2012 at 11:28 am
it said daiya is bad for you is that true? I would not buy that anyway but I didn’t know. But it makes me think about nutritional yeast, which I though was HEALTHY. Whats going onnn?!!
Susan VoisinMay 26, 2012 at 11:33 am
Kim, Daiya is full of fat, which is why it’s not really a health food. But nutritional yeast is fine, in my opinion.
AndreaJanuary 18, 2013 at 5:00 am
Hi can i sub spinach for kale! Thx
Susan VoisinJanuary 18, 2013 at 7:29 am
Sure, use any green you like!
Andrea NittelFebruary 11, 2013 at 4:11 pm
Hey Susan!!! I agree with your hot salad idea, but something else I do is a genuine stirfry. I use a ton of veggies like garlic, onion, ginger, carrots, snap peas, broccoli, bok choy. I cook with either olive , grapeseed, or avocado oil and I also top it with nuts. For a sauce I use a bit of green curry or stir fry sauce ( sodium reduced). This can be eaten at lunch or supper – depending on the day and one’s schedule. I also sometimes add soy noodles or pumpkin/buckwheat soba noodles. There are so many possibilities. The way to change it up is to change the veggies and nuts. I am not a complete vegan like you are, but I use a lot of your recipes because I definitely lean that way. Even for meat eating people, it is healthier to have a few meals /week that do not contain meat. I eat fish/seafood, a bit of chicken and stay away from red meat. I often use mushrooms to replace meat in my recipes such as mushroom burgers and mushrooms and spaghetti sauce. I love your site and will continue to read all your great ideas!!!!
Mrs. DoodlepunkFebruary 15, 2014 at 5:38 pm
Oh. My. Goodness. I have everything to make this, right now! Thank you!
SakshiMarch 22, 2018 at 9:06 am
same feeling 😀
VibekeJanuary 21, 2015 at 4:59 pm
Mmm one of my favourite recipes!