from the May 2010 issue of InStyle, recipe courtesy of Ginnifer Goodwin & Linda Goodwin-Parkinson

1 medium head organic bok choy, washed, cored and dried
1 bunch organic green onions
2 3-oz packages Nissin Top Ramen Oriental Instant noodles (no need to use flavor packet)
2 1/2 oz organic sesame seeds
1 2-oz package organic sliced almonds
2 tbsp olive oil
garlic powder and salt to taste
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 c rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1/2 c organic sugar
1 package Gardein Crispy Tenders vegetarian “chick’n,” prepared as directed on the package

Chop bok choy into 1-inch pieces; add onions, place in bowl, and refrigerate.

Break up uncooked ramen noodles into bite-size chunks.

Saute noodles, sesame seeds, and almonds in oil, about 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add garlic powder and salt. Cool and store in covered container.

In a small saucepan, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Boil for 1 minute.

Combine all parts of salad and toss with “chick’n” pieces. For variety, try with chopped pimientos or mandarin orange wedges. Serves 6.

I’m just going to admit this right off the bat. It was the uncooked ramen noodles that caused me to tear this page out of the magazine. Sure, I LOVE everything I’ve tasted from Gardein, and I love a dark leafy green; and yes, the almond is my favorite food, but uncooked carbs will suck this girl in any day. It’s a guilty pleasure. I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of this salad- the flavors go together so well and the crunch paired with the tender of the crispy “chick’n” tender is just heavenly. That dressing though… sticky sweet! I used about half of it. And I’d highly recommend doubling or tripling the amount of bok choy, unless you find yourself unusually large heads of it in your marketplace. You can never get too many greens! My dad enjoyed this salad, and I might have mentioned before that he’s kind of a curmudgeon who is hard to please with salad, if he is even willing to try it. Of course, my favorite part is the crunchy ramen-almond-sesame action, and good thing for this salad, there’s plenty to go around.