This Asian Slaw Recipe has quickly become one of my favorites. It made me realize how much I love tempeh (fermented soy). This is one of the easiest salads for me to bring to work for lunch. I usually enjoy this while I sit overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The flavor is amazing. But let’s have that “soy” discussion first.
Soy Provides the Protein in this Asian Slaw Recipe
You may have recently come across soy-bashing articles. Now you wonder if you should steer clear of this protein source. But many of these one-sided articles misinterpret the science. I believe that eating traditional soy foods can be a healthy part of a varied diet. Just remember to use organic, fermented soy products such as tempeh, miso, shoyu, and tamari. Never compromise with soy. Why? Because unhealthy, overly-processed soy products made from GMO (genetically modified) soybeans dominate the marketplace. The worst soy ingredients are:
- soy protein isolate
- soy protein concentrate
- texturized vegetable protein
- hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- soybean oil (heavily refined)
Energy bars, shake powders, snack foods, and a wide array of vegetarian products contain these ingredients. Avoid processed soy products. If you want to enjoy some soy, always buy organic and fermented soy: tempeh, miso, natto, shoyu, and tamari. Tofu is less healthy due to the processing. Edamame, the green immature soybean, has fewer toxins than those in mature soybeans. Eat it occasionally. These foods represent old-fashioned soy that has been enjoyed for thousands of years. In small amounts, this type of soy can be part of a healthy diet. I suggest a moderate intake of 3-4 servings a week.
Soy protein has an excellent reputation for disease prevention. There is overwhelming scientific evidence showing it can protect from chronic diseases, including cancer. Soy is abundant in natural substances called isoflavones, which are key in cancer prevention research. Miso soup is a main part of the diet in Japan. Some studies show miso soup may dramatically reduce breast cancer risk. Other studies show soy intake associated with reduced levels of circulating estrogens. So if you like soy products, be sure to use high-quality, organic, fermented products.
Cabbage is Abundant in Asian Slaw
There are many flavonoids and phenols in cabbage. These are substances with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. This is why so many studies link cabbage to a lower risk of chronic disease. Cabbage is a good source of sinigrin, a sulfur-containing compound that has been widely studied in cancer prevention research. Other health benefits of cabbage include heart protection and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Cabbage also helps the stomach and digestive system. And, it’s a great source of fiber providing 4 grams per cup!
Cabbage is a “cruciferous” vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables contain substances called “glucosinolates” or sulfur-containing chemicals. These are broken down in the body to form compounds that have powerful health-promoting effects. Glucosinolates are widely studied for disease prevention.
This Asian Slaw is Immune-Boosting
Not only do the cabbage and carrots provide support for a healthy immune system, but the glucosinolates in cabbage have anti-microbial effects. So, regular consumption may help keep a healthy balance of gut bacteria. OK, so now it’s time to learn how to make this Asian Slaw recipe and enjoy everything about it.
If you like this recipe, you’ll love my Japanese Salad Dressing.
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Easy Asian Slaw Recipe With Peanut (or Almond) Dressing and Baked Tempeh
For the Salad:
- 2 cups of red cabbage shredded
- 2 cups of savoy or napa cabbage shredded
- 1 cup of carrots shredded
- 1/2 cup Romaine lettuce shredded
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
For the Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons organic peanut butter almond butter may be used
- 4 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons coconut aminos or wheat-free tamari
- 1 tablespoon ginger root minced
For Marinated Tempeh:
- 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 package 8 ounces/ 227 g organic tempeh (Lightlife or Franklin Farms brand)
- Cut the tempeh into one-inch bite-sized cubes and marinate overnight in coconut aminos.
- Place the tempeh on a baking sheet that has been slightly oiled (I use avocado oil baking spray). Bake the tempeh at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, turn pieces over, and bake another 8 minutes.
- While the tempeh is baking, shred the vegetables to make the salad.
- Place dressing ingredients into a blender and mix well at high speed for 1-2 minutes.
- To assemble the salad, add the tempeh and mix with about 6 tablespoons of the dressing. Toss well and let sit for 10-15 minutes.