This crispy chicken Thai salad is super refreshing thanks to a light but flavorful lime dressing and plenty of fresh herbs. The chicken is amazing on its own, but transcendent when paired with the crunch and tang of the salad.
If you’re a long-time reader, you may have heard me mention my lack of love for salad. However, I’ve been working on changing that, because eating lots of raw vegetables is so good for you, and salads are generally easy and quick to put together. Also, I get so much lettuce in my CSA, and I definitely don’t want it to go to waste.
Here’s the formula I’ve discovered for making salads that I don’t hate: some kind of greens, preferably fresh from the farm + something sweet (usually fruit) + something crunchy (often nuts) + something creamy like avocado or cheese + plenty of pops of color + a flavorful dressing that’s just tart enough. And if said salad is meant to be an entire meal, add in a good dose of protein.
Writing this cookbook was a ton of work, but I’ve never eaten better than I did while working on it! It was so much fun researching dishes from different cuisines and adapting them to fit the paleo lifestyle. Some of the recipes in the book are traditional foods from a certain country, while others are more fusion recipes. Still others just incorporate exotic flavors into an old classic or provide a fresh twist on a well-loved recipe.
This pico de gallo de frutas is a spicy take on fruit salad that is paleo, gluten free, and vegan. It’s perfect for Cinco de mayo or anytime!
At the end of three years, I had learned a huge amount of Spanish (I had thought I was fluent before taking the job, but the Spanish spoken in Texas is so different from what I’d practiced while studying abroad in Argentina that I had to learn new words for much of what I wanted to say). Most of them had learned a huge amount of English, and had learned to read in both languages. I had also learned so much about teaching, about children and families, and about life. I know that sounds very expansive, but it was a foundational experience for me, and I think of those kids and their families almost everyday. Shockingly (to me, because it makes me feel so old), they’re in middle school now, and I’m happy to still be in touch with several of them.
Blackberries are my favorite fruit, and they are so delicious this time of year. In addition to eating blackberries & dark chocolate for breakfast, I’ve been using them to make this amazing mocktail/cocktail, the blackberry smash. I was going to call it a blackberry fauxjito, but blackberry smash is just so much more fun to say. In addition to being fun to say, it’s really fun to make and drink.
When I have a party, I like to offer one special, seasonally-inspired cocktail that I can make for my friends all night long. I’m not a very proficient bartender, so I don’t want to offer a bunch of different things, but I’ve found that having one unique drink makes a gathering way more glamorous and fun. At Thanksgiving this past year, I had ten people over, and was prepared with several different kinds of wine and beer, as well as the ingredients for cranberry margaritas. The margaritas were such a hit that I don’t think we opened a single bottle of wine–no one could say no to a creative libation based on fall’s quintessential berry.
Ingredients (serves 2):
For the steak:
2/3 pound thin sliced top round steak (or another thin cut)
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon red chili paste
Juice of half a lime
For the salad:
2 zucchini, cut or peeled into thin, noodle-like matchsticks
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon almond butter
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon apple juice
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds
To make the marinade, combine all ingredients in a shallow bowl and toss with the steak to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to two hours. If you marinate in the refrigerator, take the meat out 30 minutes before you plan to cook it to let it come to room temperature.
Heat a George Foreman grill or a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the steak to your desired doneness. Set steaks aside on a plate, covered.
In a medium bowl, combine the almond butter, sesame oil, coconut aminos, and apple juice to make a smooth sauce. Toss the zucchini to coat it with the sauce, and divide the zucchini between two plates. Slice the steak into strips and place it on top of the zucchini. Top the steak with the avocado slices and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serve warm or chilled with lime wedges.