Oct. 2, 2016

WENCHI CRUNCHY CASHEWS AND PLANTAIN CRISPS SALAD

Welcome back! 

Doesn’t time fly?  I remember last Christmas as if it was yesterday, and there it is again!  By the way, do you remember a promise that I made a few weeks ago about Cashew production in the Brong –Ahafo region in Ghana?  In that blog, I promised that I would share a few recipes that you can include Cashews in preparing.  I have been surprised by the immense benefits Cashews provide our bodies but the bit that blew me away is their benefit as natural antidepressants?  Did you know that? They are packed with protein and so are a good alternative to meat in our food! They also apparently have other nutritional benefits that improve psychological health.  We learn something new every day! I am honouring my promise today with a salad which I have named Wenchi Crunchy Cashews and Plantain Crisps Salad - A mouthful to say but very simple and nutritious to make.  I would like to know what you think when you try it.  

It’s the kind of salad you can use the vegetables you have in your garden to make and substitute whatever you like in your salad with the exception that the crispy cashews will be plentiful whatever you include so you enjoy a wonderful crunchy salad!  I have also added shavings of deep-fried plantain crisps to give it another tier of crunchiness and unripe tomatoes which also tend to be crunchy when bitten into. You can add croutons or hard baked pitta bread broken into pieces which is also very crunchy for salads. Make sure the vegetables that you are using will not ooze too much water onto the crunchy ingredients!  Once these conditions are met, you will have a satisfying salad! 

To make this crunchy cashew salad, this is what you have to do:

Difficulty and servings

Easy, serves 6

Preparation and Cooking times 

Preparation time: 20 minutes, cooking time: 10 minutes for frying the plantain crisps

Plus 15@ minutes cooling time

You will need:

½ raw Plantain, peeled and deep fried and cooled (You can use hard baked pita bread broken into pieces or Croutons also)

200ml Oil for deep frying

2 bunches Lettuce, torn into bite size-pieces

1 bunch Rocket Salad, torn into bite-size pieces (or whatever salad leaves you have)

1 medium-sized Onion, sliced into rings and separated

200g roasted Cashews, 100g crushed and 100g left whole

2 hard, fleshy Tomatoes with crunch, cut into wedges (I added 1 unripe tomato from my garden

A sprig of Coriander (optional) Use Parsley or Mint or other herbs of choice

Salad Cream

All-purpose Seasoning Salt (optional)

Method:

  1. Put about 200 ml of oil in a deep but narrow pan. Heat until  slightly smoky
  2. Peel the plantain and use a slicer to slice them onto a plate.  Fry in small batches, separating them all the time until they are crispy and golden, drain and set aside to cool.  Repeat process until it’s all done.
  3. Mix the lettuce and rocket leaves and arrange in batches, with onion rings, and crushed cashews
  4. On top of the salad, arrange the crispy ingredients – the whole Cashews, the Plantain crisps and the tomatoes and decorate with the Coriander, if using.

Monica’s Tips:

Because you want to keep the salad crunchy, only add the salad cream when you have served individual portions and then sprinkle with the all-purpose seasoning if required.  Enjoy!

Whatever you are doing this weekend,

Happy Entertaining!

Source:http://www.herbs-info.com/blog/cashews-are-a-natural-anti-depressant/?c=d