Monday, May 7, 2012

Holly's Gluten Free Nappa Cabbage Salad

Even our dog Cookie gets spoiled
at Grandma Holly's house.

This is post two in honor of the moms in my life. Click here for the first post dedicated to my mother-in-law Linda.

My step-mother-in-law, Holly, makes so many good things, it was really hard to narrow them all down to one favorite. But, after I thought about it for a bit, I realized it was really no contest. Her Nappa Cabbage Salad is simply one of those dishes I always crave. When I was first diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, I tried for a long time to find ramen noodles to recreate a gluten free version of this asian-inspired dish. Nothing worked until I replaced the noodles with walnuts. It's not a perfect substitute, but the walnuts keep their crispness and work well with the almonds.

Holly's Gluten Free Nappa Cabbage Salad

  • 1 head nappa cabbage, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 stick butter (I'm wondering if 1/4 cup grapeseed oil might work for dairy free.)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
Cool mixture to room temperature.

  • 1 cup sugar (yes, yikes! This is definitely not your everyday side dish. I've tried substitutes, but none come close to the real thing for this dish.)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
Dress salad right before serving. Holly advises to eat same day as it doesn't keep well. However, with the walnuts instead of ramen noodles, I've been able to keep it for a couple of days. Another bonus of losing the gluten. 

Holly always makes sure I have something safe to eat and that's no small feat given the delicious, epic meals she prepares to get the family together. She's also been very patient with me. She almost has me trained on how to pitch-in for clean-up after a meal. I've finally learned that it's actually kind of fun to catch up on gossip over a sink full of suds rather than staying up all night doing the dishes alone after everyone's gone home. 

Thank you, Holly, for accepting me as I am, clumsiness, goofiness, food sensitivities and all. I'd love you simply for the fact that you love my husband and children, but I've also come to love and appreciate you for who you are. 

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