The changing climate actually has a significant impact on the ease and motivation to get healthy — New Year is a perfect time to start ‘one month to change your life’ which you can find in READ. In Spring dietary patterns naturally move away from starchy, energy rich comfort foods towards fresh, light dishes, further encouraged by the explosion of summer ingredients. Combine this with a brisk (sunny) walk everyday and you will transform your risk factors, weight control and well-being.
South East Asian salads are amazing. The combination of a few simple ingredients will elevate some basic salad vegetables into an exotic combination of flavours that you will actively crave — for Thai food the classic balanced combination of Sweet, Salty, Sour and Spicy. This creates a perfect vehicle to boost the vegetable content of your meals whilst displacing refined or rapidly digested carbohydrates. Extra satisfaction and health boosting properties come from the usual addition of nuts.
This Salad is simple to prepare but made even easier (and quicker) through one piece of essential kitchen equipment — a Japanese Mandolin. This will transform the options and potential interpretations of every day vegetables into interesting and fun meals. It’s the textures of the vegetables which are fundamental to eating enjoyment. The other kitchen gadget that will help with this one is a Mortar and Pestle. Neither are essential but recommended.
Clearly you can use any combination of veg (and fruit) in your salad but there are a few specific elements to highlight.
This Thai beef salad is made with skirt steak — if you haven’t tried this inexpensive cut before we would highly recommend it. Available in some supermarkets and most butchers. Skirt is full of flavour, cheap and when griddled quickly and cut across the grain in thin strip beautifully tender -perfect for this salad. Also when served this way you get full meat flavour and satisfaction without eating large amounts.
We have again focused on a range of textures — crunchy and soft. This has been further accentuated by cutting very thin slices or ‘Julienne’ match stick via the mandolin — super quick. Finally as this is a Cardiologist’s Kitchen recipe focused on cardiovascular risk factors, our salad is rich in nitrate containing vegetables including Chinese leaf cabbage, fennel bulb and radish which can help reduce blood pressure without tablets.
Dressing — the most important part
This is what makes this a Thai Beef Salad. The basic Thai dressing combines fish sauce (salty/savoury), lime juice (sour), sugar (sweet) and chilli (spicy and hot) to produce the classic Thai flavours. Our interpretation boosts the Thai flavours with garlic, ginger and lemongrass. We feel the small amount of sugar per person used here is acceptable when it compliments and makes all the other healthy elements so tasty. Once you get the store cupboard ingredients and become familiar with making the dressing we guarantee you will get addicted to these salads. Don’t be put off if the ingredients seem unfamiliar — you have to try this one.