When I was 20 I had my first real travel experience. Yes, I’d been to Disneyland and different areas in Canada before then, but I had never travelled overseas. This first big trip changed me forever.
I backpacked through Thailand. Not only did it give me the travel bug and begin series of backpacking trips that I would take over the last 9 years, it also gave me a glimpse into what it’s like to live outside of a first world country. During the weeks that I travelled through The Land Of Smiles, the country gifted me with wonder, excitement, at times…utter shock, and a slight hint of guilt for having taken for granted all that I was fortunate enough to have at home. One more gift that Thailand gave me was an incredible love for Thai food.
I have to admit, Thai food might just be my favourite cultural cuisine, and I’m Ukrainian, so it’s saying a lot to say that I would even choose it over pyrohy and kielbasa (I can hear the gasp from all my relatives at this very moment), Thai food is just so fresh and flavourful!
Last week I was poking around the grocery store (a legit hobby of mine) and found myself, as usual, in the Asian foods aisle spying up the Thai red curry paste. Kaffir lime, galangal, lemongrass, coriander, and chilies danced around in my head. I tossed a can of organic coconut milk into my cart and set on my merry way drooling at the thought of the delicious flavours that would ensue!
As I sat in my kitchen brainstorming how to incorporate the delicious coconut curry sauce into a recipe in a not-so-typical way, I imagined a mix of bright colours and crunchy textures and eventually landed on the idea of a fresh, raw salad, using the coconut curry sauce as a “soupy” dressing!
I always marvel at how gorgeous (seriously, I can’t think of a better word) fresh, whole, perfect vegetables are with their bright hues. They just scream life, vitality, and wellness!
The zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, sweet potato, Thai basil and lime in this dish create a burst of colour and nutrients along with the healthy fats from the coconut cream, sesame oil and crushed nuts!
If you are like me and find yourself regularly in the mood for Thai, I definitely recommend giving this super simple, delicious, nutrition boosting salad a go and if you are feeling extra feisty, pairing it with your favourite healthy protein on the side to round it out into a filling meal!
I enjoyed the salad with grilled chicken thighs and I think it would also be great with seared organic tofu, prawns, or even topped with a poached egg!
- 1 small zucchini, spiralized or sliced with a mandolin
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and spiralized or sliced with a mandolin
- 1 small carrot, spiralized or sliced with a mandolin
- 1 small red bell pepper, julienned
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream (or full fat coconut milk)
- 1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste
- 1 tsp lemongrass paste or minced lemongrass
- 1 tsp ginger paste or minced ginger
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped Thai basil or cilantro
- ½ lime wedge
- 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts or cashews to garnish
- Slice vegetables and set aside.
- In a small saucepan heat the curry paste with the sesame oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add in the lemongrass and ginger.
- Add in the coconut cream and stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and set in the fridge to cool.
- Place the sliced vegetables in a bowl, pour the cooled "dressing" over the vegetables, garnish with the Thai basil, nuts, and squeeze generously with lime juice.
Are you a fan of Thai food or have you been to Thailand? What’s your favourite Thai dish? I’d love to know so drop me a comment below!
Have a wonderful Thursday and stay tuned to an upcoming post about my recent cooking experience with Food Network Chef Lynn Crawford!!
Nutritionist in the Kitch