Craving Asian food? Here’s a fresh idea for dinner that’s ready in less time than it takes to get take-out: a spinach salad tossed with warm ginger vinaigrette, marinated pork, red bell peppers and a choice of snow peas, bean sprouts or water chestnuts. Select the vegetables according to what is tolerated by your guests, but put a bottle of Sriracha hot sauce on the table in case someone wants to kick up the heat with a drop or two. It’s a great way to please everyone. Prep the vegetables and marinate the pork the night before to speed up dinner on a week night.
If you tolerate polyols you can also use 3 ounces (84 grams) of sliced Shitake mushrooms. Feel free to mix and match other vegetables you like, as the vinaigrette is what gives this salad an Asian flavor.
Spinach Salad with Stir-fried Pork and Warm Ginger Vinaigrette
Serves 4, adapted from “Cook Fresh”
1 pound (450 grams) boneless pork chops, sliced in 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick slices
2 1/2 tablespoons (37.5 ml) wheat-free tamari (or soy sauce if tolerated), divided
1 tablespoon (15 ml) dry sherry
1 teaspoon (5 ml) cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
1/2 pound (230 grams) baby spinach (8 loosely packed cups or 2 L)
1/2 cup (120 ml) canola or peanut oil, divided
3 tablespoons (45 ml) unseasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 ml) dextrose or 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar
3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
2 teaspoons (10 ml) toasted sesame oil
6 green onions, green part only, cut into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces
1 small red or orange bell pepper (capsicum), cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 vegetable from the list below, as tolerated
2 tablespoons (30 ml) minced fresh ginger
20 snow pea pods (Monash University says most people can tolerate up to 5)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 can (8 ounces or 224 grams) water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
Put the pork in a medium bowl and add 1 tablespoon tamari, along with the sherry, cornstarch and salt. Toss the pork until evenly coated and let sit for 10 minutes. Put the spinach in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 ml) tamari, dextrose or sugar, and water.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 ml) oil in a large, heavy pan. Add the pork and cook over medium-high heat until it’s firm and no longer pink, stirring constantly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Put the pork in a clean, medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 ml) oil to the pan, along with the sesame oil, green onions, bell pepper (capsicum) and additional vegetable. Cook over medium-high, stirring constantly, until the vegetables soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the pork and toss to mix.
Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil to the pan, along with the ginger and cook over medium-high heat, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Take the pan off the heat and add the vinegar and tamari mixture, stirring until the browned bits on the bottom of the pan are mixed into the sauce. Whisk in 1/4 cup (60 ml) oil. The vinaigrette will separate if it stands.
Whisk the vinaigrette again if needed and pour half over the spinach. Toss the spinach until it is lightly coated. Divide the spinach between 4 plates and top each portion with a quarter of the pork and vegetables. Drizzle a little vinaigrette over each salad and serve. There will be some vinaigrette left over.