This Apple Bok Choy Salad has got to be one of my favorite salads of all time. That’s why I wanna share it with you, silly! :P
I found the original recipe in a book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman called the Eat to Live Cookbook. I discovered it when I was doing my 42-Day Challenge last year, and an integral component of the challenge that I incorporate is to try a new recipe very week. That way when you’re done, you’ve learned a whole slew of recipes that will help you stay on track after you’ve finished.
This one was a super winner.
Your Salad Chopping Technique is All Wrong
The thing I think is the most important when you start to cook with lots more vegetables is to keep your preparation interesting and suited to your taste and texture preferences. Like, if you’re not a raw broccoli fan, don’t force yourself to eat it that way.
If you don’t like beets, just don’t eat them! (Pass them over to me instead)
And above all, learn some new techniques to keep the textures of these veggies interesting to YOU…that can make all the difference.
For me, the key here are easy chopping and slicing tools that create smaller, easier-to-eat textures and sizes.
For instance, when I’m making a soup, I always chop the pieces into the size that I’m actually going to want to eat in one bite. Like, I’ll never chop broccoli or cauliflower into a full floret size. It will always be smaller. Size doesn’t matter nutritionally, so I just chop to suit my preference.
That way, when I go to eat the soup, the bites are pleasant to chomp on. :D
The Tools Make All The Difference
And I use a few different types of tools to get the right sizes too, and save time on the preparation. I really like hand-held individual graters and slicers. I am not into the kind that are all-purpose and come with a lot of different blades, etc, because when I’m cooking, I NEVER go to the trouble of getting organized like that.
If I can’t just grab it and use it immediately, it will get lonely in the drawer. Get the types of tools that work for YOUR cooking style, and you’ll be more likely to keep cooking the good stuff. :)
Here are a couple of my favs:
I love (especially for this recipe) making flat slices of things. So a mandoline slicer is my go-to tool. This works well for the bok choy, the apples AND the red onion in this particular recipe. This is the one I have:
There are lots of different textures that you can create for any recipe — but what really matters is that you create textures you like and will eat.
My other go-to tool is a hand-held grater. See I have both the box style and the handheld style, but I NEVER pick up my box style because it’s just too bulky. I love these because I can just grab it and use it, and cleaning is easier than the box. This is similar to the ones I have:
These tools save me a lot of time, and require minimal cleaning.
The other technique I use in this video is the chiffonade technique. It’s a fancy French word that just means to make thin ribbons out of something like greens. I like the chiffonade texture in this salad because to me, bok choy can have a strong flavor, and preparing it like I do takes some of the harshness away and makes is more fun to eat!
How to Chiffonade
Note that this technique can be used on greens of any size, including basil all the way up to collard greens!
And that is how you chiffonade!
What is Bok Choy Though?
The green in this salad (and that I am using the chiffonade technique on above) is called Bok Choy. Maybe you’ve heard of it…or maybe not. But I’ll tell you what I think of it.
See, I really like it — but in a limited way. It can have a very strong flavor, but it’s a really great vegetable to add to your diet, and keeps it interesting.
Typically bok choy is stir fried. You’ll find it in a lot of Asian dishes cooked this way.
But if we’re trying to get the real fancy nutrients out of the bok choy, it would be great if we could eat it raw. And this salad does just that trick.
The Benefits of Eating Raw Bok Choy
Bok Choy is a member of the super popular cruciferous veggies clan. Think kale, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower…you know, all that stuff you never wanted to eat as a kid, and wish you knew how to tolerate as an adult.
Cruciferous greens are good for us because, according to DrFuhrman.com:
Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates and in a different area of the cell, an enzyme called myrosinase. When we blend, chop or chew these vegetables, we break up the plant cells, allowing myrosinase to come into contact with glucosinolates, initiating a chemical reaction that produces isothiocyanates (ITCs) – powerful anti-cancer compounds. ITCs have been shown to detoxify and remove carcinogens, kill cancer cells, and prevent tumors from growing.
That’s good stuff. :)
And about bok choy specifically…according to Fuhrmans’ website DiseaseProof.com:
Bok choy (or pak choi) is a relative of cabbage, scientifically named Brassica chinensis. It is most often associated with Chinese cuisine, and has been grown in China for over six thousand years. Today, bok choy is also grown in Europe, Canada, and the U.S, and is available almost year-round – it is said to be most tasty in the winter months.
Bok choy has crisp, white stalks and dark green leaves, and in Chinese its name means “white vegetable.” There are over twenty different varieties of bok choy – the two most common seen here in the U.S. are the traditional and “baby” or “Shanghai” bok choy – however, if you visit your local Asian market, you may see several more of these varieties.
So these types of cruciferous veggies are super important for us. Bok choy provides fantastic amounts of over 20 plant nutrients and over 70 antioxidants! It’s a great source of zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, vitamin C and beta-carotene, all helping to lower inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of oxygen based damage to your cells!
This is some good stuff, for REAL.
So it behooves you to figure out a way to get it into your body without gagging. :D Trust me, there are many ways…and I am here with this recipe today to give you my favorite way so far.
But some other ways I’ve found that help me enjoy bok choy:
- Use it blended in a smoothie with other things to mask the taste
- Use in small ratios, sliced very finely (like chiffonade) to dilute the flavor
- Don’t use baby bok choy — the taste is too strong for me — unless you’re stir frying it with other veggie flavors
Video of How to Make the Apple Bok Choy Salad Recipe
- FOR THE SALAD
- 3 large leaves bok choy, chiffonaded
- 1 large apple, mandoline sliced
- 1 large carrot, grated
- ½ cup red onion, sliced thinly
- FOR THE DRESSING
- ½ cup unsweetened soy, hemp, or almond milk
- ½ cup raw cashews (soaked in water for 30 min or more if using standard blender, then drained) or ¼ cup raw cashew butter
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup raisins (soaked in water for 30 min or more if using standard blender, then drained)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl and mix to combine.
- In a blender, add all the dressing ingredients and blend to combine until smooth and creamy. Serve the salad with dressing mixed in. Tip: Don't dress the salad until ready to eat, and that way leftovers can be kept in separate containers in the fridge for 3-5 days.
** The links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, because they are products that I truly love and have paid my own money for…if you buy them based on my recommendation, we all win. I get a tiny commission for recommending, you get a great new tool for not extra charge, and we’re all happy. :P