What kind of feedback can I expect on this Ginger Soy Rice Salad?

Posted on June 20, 2011


I wasn’t sure how my husband would react to this meal, which I produced out of kitchen leftovers. I knew it wouldn’t go over well for dinner — he would claim to be hungry again in 10 minutes. The same thing happens if I try to feed him pasta, shrimp, or any kind of boneless meat. I believe in cases like these he really is only “mentally hungry.”

Because this is a hearty salad and tasty, too… but it does not quite meet his criteria for a “Meal” (yes, with a capital M). See, my husband has devised his very own “MyPlate” with lots of specific details, including requirements like hunks of bone-in meat, lots of starchy grains, and a ton of heat. 

I mentioned in my post on Fish and Chips that I can’t really blame him for being so picky. We just have different tastes that rightly developed over time in our very different cultural environments. 

I can’t deny he is picky though, and being his personal chef is no easy job, let me tell you. I try to keep his interests in mind, but I’m also my own personal chef so you better be sure I keep my own interests in mind as well. I fulfilled some of his meal requirements here, with a spicy dressing and some rice, and some of mine with the great garden mix of greens. The boneless chicken meat is a faux pas for him, but a delight to me.

I made this when I got home early from work one day and was so pleased with it that I wanted to make it again the next day and take some pictures to share here (the first day I gobbled it down too quickly for photos!), but I also had my husband home then. I would happily take this as dinner, but I decided to try it out on my husband for lunch…

And the verdict? First, he commented on the presentation. “How fancy!” Second he wondered at the discovery of rice in a salad. “Rice?” Third, he declared the salad dressing the tastiest ever made. “This is the tastiest salad dessing ever made!” Then, he ate every last bite.

And that’s the kind of feedback I like! It’s probably not very diplomatic of me to say that I don’t like negative feedback. Criticism certainly is just as important as a compliment, but believing that statement takes a lot more gusto than is required just to write it. I’m working on that…and boy, does my husband give me good practice!

It certainly is a delight to receive feedback through this blog!  Afterall, most blog readers seem only to want to leave compliments (which I don’t mind, naturally), but I also love ideas for adapting recipes and comments on how you see principles of psychology playing out in your own kitchen. So thanks very much — for reading, for leaving your feedback, and for being not quite so picky at all!

I made the dressing while preparing the salad, and still got the flavor of the ginger and pepper. You could also make the dressing ahead to let those flavors marinate! The amount below makes just enough for two salads.

I’m dreaming about adding beans from my garden to this salad once they start maturing! The vines are weaving up the poles as we speak. Another full garden update is soon to come!

Garden Greens Salad 
with Rice, Ginger Soy Dressing, and Chicken

For dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon minced habanero pepper

For salad:
1/4 head Red leaf lettuce, torn
1/4 head Romaine lettuce, torn
Handful fresh arugula
3/4 cup cooked rice, warmed
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
1 scallion, diced

Prepare salad dressing by combining olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Adjust flavors to taste.

Rinse and dry lettuce and arugula, then arrange among two salad bowls. Layer rice then chicken on top of salad greens, dividing evenly between two bowls. Pour half of the prepared dressing over each salad. Garnish with scallions and serve. Makes 2 servings.