Sunday, June 30, 2013

Crunchy Thai Styled Salad

I have this family. This wonderful extended family. The sort of people who are warm and kind and want to keep your belly full with divine desserts. And I’m not just saying that. They really do.

Which is all well and fabulous until you return from North Dakota and Minnesota (where they live) to find yourself feeling heavy, full, and in a perpetual food coma. To snap out of it, I've essentially been consuming my weight in dark green leafy vegetables. Not really, but salads have taken over my plate. All sorts of salads ...Mediterranean, throw in the kitchen sink salads, and this Thai inspired salad.

Light and refreshing. A slightly sweet, slightly spicy fat-free dressing coating vibrant, crisp produce. Simply combine a few quintessential tastes of Thai cooking and welcome deliciousness.

The cool crunchiness of the salad works wonders alongside a spicy curry recipe. Or, add pan sauteed tofu and more vibrant veggies for the summery dish to stand on its' own.

Don't like spicy? Add less of the chili pepper. Really like spicy?? Include the seeds of the chili pepper.

Crunchy Thai Styled Salad
Serves 4 (side salads)

1 ripe mango
5 romaine lettuce leaves, torn into pieces
1 cup bean sprouts
handful of fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons roasted peanuts

juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or water
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, thinly sliced (or 1/4 onion)
1 red Thai chili, seeded and thinly sliced

1. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
2. Peel the mango using a sharp knife or a potato peeler. Slice the flesh from each side and around the pit. Chop or slice the mango flesh.
3. Place torn lettuce, bean sprouts, cilantro leaves, and mango in a serving bowl. Spoon the dressing over the top and gently toss together. Sprinkle the peanuts on top, and serve immediately.

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