Thai cu­cum­ber salad of­fers healthy start to the new year

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FOOD - BY KATIE WORK­MAN THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS Katie Work­man has writ­ten two cook­books on easy, fam­ily-friendly cook­ing, “Din­ner Solved!” and “The Mom 100 Cook­book.” She blogs at http://www.the mom100.com/about-katie-work­man/

I love ev­ery bite of the hol­i­days. I loved the mashed pota­toes and the pies and the corn­bread stuff­ing and ev­ery­thing else. And I’m not go­ing to look back with re­gret.

I am, how­ever, not go­ing to con­tinue eat­ing this way in­def­i­nitely. And this salad is why I’m not so sad about that.

Lots of us are crazy about Thai food, what with all those bright, vi­brant flavours, ex­cit­ing tex­tures and the play of sweet and sour and salty hap­pen­ing in so many ways. And clas­sic Thai in­gre­di­ents like lemon grass, chilies and co­conut milk are now pop­ping up at gro­cers all over the coun­try. You’ll find it’s fun and easy to work them into your home cook­ing.

This sim­ple salad fea­tures crunchy cu­cum­bers en­hanced with just a bit of cit­rus, soy sauce and a few other Thai in­gre­di­ents. Cilantro is an herb peo­ple usu­ally love or hate; few peo­ple feel “meh” about it. So if it’s not your thing, or some­one at the ta­ble doesn’t like it, serve it on the side and let peo­ple add it to their own sal­ads as they wish. You also could sub­sti­tute Thai basil.

If you want to bump up the flavour even more, sub­sti­tute fish sauce for half of the soy sauce. It will add a layer of deli- cious pun­gency to the dish.

THAI CU­CUM­BER SALAD

Start to fin­ish: 15 min­utes Serv­ings: 4 2 large English cu­cum­bers 1 jalapeno pep­per 2 tsp minced shal­lots 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce 2 tbsp lime juice (freshly squeezed is best in a recipe such as this) 1 tsp sugar 2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves 1/4 cup salted cock­tail peanuts, lightly crushed Peel the cum­bers, then slice them in half length­wise. Us­ing a tea­spoon, scrape down the cen­tre of each half to re­move any seeds. Slice the cumber halves cross­wise into thin slices. A man­do­line is best, but a knife is fine. Trim the jalapeno, slice in half length­wise, then re­move the seeds be­fore minc­ing. In a large bowl, com­bine the jalapeno, shal­lots, soy sauce, lime juice and sugar, then stir to com­bine. Add the cu­cum­bers and toss to com­bine. Trans­fer the mix­ture to a serv­ing bowl or plat­ter, then top with the cilantro and the peanuts. Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 80 calo­ries; 45 calo­ries from fat (56 per cent of to­tal calo­ries); 5 g fat (1 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg choles­terol; 320 mg sodium; 7 g car­bo­hy­drate; 3 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 5 g pro­tein.

AP PHOTO

Thai cu­cum­ber salad fea­tures crunchy cu­cum­bers en­hanced with just a bit of cit­rus, soy sauce and a few other Thai in­gre­di­ents.

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