Well, we did it. Cut the cord. Cable television is no longer taking up residence at Chez Nichols. Good riddance Guy Fieri, Sister Wives, and Dance Moms. So shameful, yet so addictive. This isn't the first time we've abstained from cable. It's been an on-again, off-again saga. Regrettably we've always come crawling back for the one fix Netflix and Apple TV can't deliver: live sports. With the Patriots playoff game only days away, I'm reminded why relapse is an ever-present threat.
Now, I know we're not alone in this camp. As I've learned it's actually quite a trendy move. So trendy in fact that some big wigs have figured out how to capitalize on our situation. Apparently ESPN is leading the charge to unbundle a sports package that you can buy a la carte. I think we're about to enter a new era, my friends.
But in the meantime I've been looking for ways to fill the time House Hunters marathons used to occupy. This salad on repeat is one of them. I think this is our third go round in two weeks. I have to say it's far more satisfying than even the most tempting reality TV.
Napa Cabbage Salad
- 1/2 head napa cabbage (also known as Chinese cabbage, napa is much more delicate than regular green cabbage and thus better suited for salads like this)
- 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 2 Thai chiles, finely diced (if you don't like heat, leave these out)
- 3 green onions, finely diced
- 1 package ramen noodles, crushed and lightly toasted in a dry skillet (discard the seasoning packets)
- 2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
- Juice of one lime
- 3 Tbs. peanut butter
- 3 Tbs. peanut oil
- 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
- 1 Tbs. soy sauce
- 1 Tbs. honey
- 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. siracha
- 1/2 sesame oil
- To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Cut the cabbage into thin strips: lay the half cabbage head on a cutting board and cut in half lengthwise, leaving the root end in tact. Then cut the remaining halves in half again lengthwise. Now cut all three sections crosswise into half inch strips until you reach the root end.
- To prep the ramen noodles, crush lightly while still in packaging. Open package and discard seasoning packet. In a dry skillet over medium heat toast noodles until lightly browned, about 4-6 minutes.
- Toss cabbage, cilantro, bean sprouts, green onions, chiles, ramen noodles, and sesame seeds with peanut dressing and serve. Tofu, chopped nuts, shredded chicken, or grilled salmon would all be top notch adds.