Steak, cucumber, herb, & onion salad with Thai vinaigrette

When I transitioned to a grain-free diet, I was petrified of sacrificing flavor. I was used to in-your-face sweetness and fatty textures ie lots of dairy, cheese, grains, breads, baked goods, and sugar in all forms. Those flavors are easy delicious; they’re engineered to give you a dopamine hit, and they taste unquestionably amazing. After cutting most of them out, how would I easily achieve delicious with the new foods I was eating? And also, how would I appease the palates of those closest to me, and that live with me, and eat with me every day?

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This salad is how. It’s a balance of a sweet/salt/sour/ZING flavor bomb. Every time I eat it, or feed it to someone else, their eyes light up with happiness and surprise as if they’re been pleasantly electrified; they don’t expect something that’s pretty simple to turn them on so much. It’s just DAMN GOOD.

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Using these flavors is just one tool that I’ve learned along the way as I have undergone this change. In addition to the life lesson: realizing that when we are fearful of something, when we are terrified of change, when we are used to something and live in a world of “easy” and “I’m used to”, we can step out of our comfort zones and reinvent ourselves in ways we never believed possible, as long as we adapt.

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Steak, cucumber, herb, & onion salad with Thai vinaigrette
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
  2. 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  3. 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  4. 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or wheat-free tamari)
  5. 1 garlic clove, minced
  6. 1/2 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  7. 1/2-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger (about 2 teaspoons), minced
  8. 1 teaspoon honey (optional, omit for whole30)
  9. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. 1 tablespoon ghee or another cooking fat
  11. 1 pound flat-iron or skirt steak, left at room temperature for 1 hour
  12. 2 heads of romaine, washed and chopped
  13. 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  14. 1/2 large red onion or shallot, thinly sliced and soaked in water for 10 minutes
  15. 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  16. 1/2 cup basil or mint leaves
  17. 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  18. Sliced seasonal fruits, optional (I used peach)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil lime juice, fish sauce, coconut aminos, garlic, chile, ginger and honey. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the ghee on high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Sear the steak about 5 minutes per side, until it reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F for medium-rare (it will rise 10 degrees as it rests). Transfer to a work surface and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the romaine with the cucumber, onion, scallions, basil and cilantro leaves, and seasonal fruits, if using. Pour two-thirds of the dressing over the salad and toss. Divide among 4 plates. Slice the steak across the grain and serve atop the salad. Pass the remaining dressing at the table.
Ashley Pardo https://ashleypardo.com/

Leave a Reply

  1. Santiago pardo

    November 3rd, 2015 at 1:18 am

    The steak, salad combination looks delicious.
    I would like to try it very soon, I will give it a shot in making it.
    I am sure it will taste very good and is very light.As usual I just finished a steak dinner and FEEL hungry again.
    Love Dad

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