How to batch cook a salad
I absolutely adore the fresh vibrant flavours and colours of South East Asian style salads they are like a flavour explosion in your mouth. The perfect balance of salty, sweet and sour with those amazing aromatic’s such as mint, basil, ginger, garlic are the perfect blend of yum!
In my pre-AIP days hitting the local Vietnamese and Thai restaurants down in Fortitude Valley or Darra in Brisbane’s outer western suburbs were at least a once a week sojourn to the point many of the staff and owners new us by name and order lol! I loved the fresh bold flavours and mysterious things bobbing around in a steaming bowl of Pho and at the time I didn’t realise that one of the reasons I loved Pho so much is it basically a bone broth. Funny how our bodies try and tell us what we are needing or lacking.
Sadly all those restaurants are no longer on the menu since going AIP because so many dishes are heavy on soy, grains, my beloved chilli and other nasties such as MSG laden mystery sauces but you can make someone amazing dishes that are totes AIP safe!
At the moment we are sweltering through a record heat wave in Australia and the last thing you want to do is be stuck in a hot kitchen right? So what do I do? I batch cook a salad, that’s right I make big batches of salad so I can escape the inferno in the kitchen. The secret to batching a salad is not dressing it and using robust ingredients that will withstand being chopped up without going soft or wilting.
I am going to give you the basic base of my Thai-inspired salads and you can add or subtract whatever floats your boat. The thing you don’t want to mess with is the kick arse dressing, this baby is so good I can eat it by the spoonful and it’s what brings the whole dish together and it’s also an amazing dipping sauce for chicken wings or prawns.
In a large bowl I add around 3-4 spiralized zucchini, 2-3 spiralized carrots, a medium size Cos lettuce shredded, 1 medium red onion thinly sliced, 2-3 Lebanese cucumbers deseeded and thinly sliced. Once everything is done toss it all around to combine and place into a container in the fridge.
For the dressing I make about 2 cups worth to get me through a few days at least. In a large jar combine half a cup of coconut amino’s, quarter cup of olive oil or coconut oil, 2 tablespoons of ginger minced on a micro plane grater, 3-4 bulbs of garlic crushed, zest and juice of a lime, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, quarter cup of water and some ground black pepper or fresh chilli (omit for AIP). Shake everything up and taste for balance of salty, sweet and sour and adjust accordingly then into the fridge.
How easy it that?!
Now to the protein component, that is entirely up to you! It could be some leftover shredded chicken, some fresh prawns or in the one pictured has some finely sliced topside roast, even an omelette sliced up if you have safely reintroduced eggs or it can be a vego fair if that is what you are feeling. You can also add in some kelp noodles for another textual element.
Now to put this baby together!
Toss in some dry salad into a bowl with your choice of protein and a good splash of the dressing. Add in some torn Thai or sweet basil, mint and coriander. I skip the coriander it’s one of those love it or hate it herbs and I fall in the latter, I find it very overpowering and it’s all I can seem to taste. It’s important to not add in the torn up herbs in the dry salad mix as they will wilt and brown very quickly once torn. Now all you have to do is simply toss it all together and viola it’s served. The dry salad mix and dressing will keep in the fridge for approximately 3-5 days.
This is a great salad to take to work, picnic, or even the school lunch box, just put the dry salad into a container with the torn herbs, optional protein and a little dressing in a separate jar and you are good to go!
For the dressing ~
½ cup organic coconut amino’s (my absolute favourite brand for all things coconut is Banaban 😉)
1 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp fish sauce
3-4 cloves of garlic crushed
¼ cup cold water
¼ cup of olive or coconut oil
Zest and juice of one lime
Ground black pepper to taste (omit for AIP)
Thinly sliced chilli (omit for AIP)
For the salad ~
3-4 zucchinis spiralised
2-3 carrots spiralised
1 medium head of either cos or iceberg lettuce shredded
1 small to medium red onion thinly sliced
1 bunch of fresh mint
1 bunch of fresh Thai or sweet basil
1bunch of fresh coriander
Optional kelp noodles
Combine all the dry salad ingredients except for the herbs in a large bowl and toss. Place into a large container in the fridge.
Add all dressing ingredients in a large jar, shake well and into the fridge.
To serve take required amount of dry salad and tear up a generous amount of herbs into the mix.
Toss in your choice of protein and or kelp noodles, a big splash of the dressing.
Using your hands gently toss everything together and Bon appetite!