Gourmet Guru January
Q I’m on a diet – aren’t we all – but looking for an alternative to salads. Help!
Tina, The Palm
A I know how you feel – salads become dull to even the most healthy and inventive of cooks. My advice (and my own personal go-to when needing to drop the pounds and the bloat) is to cook up a batch of clear healthy Asian broth – think Wagamama’s style but without the fattening noodles and hidden oils. First create the base: to two cups of water add a chicken stock cube, a teaspoon of garlic, chilli (if you like it hot), minced ginger and lemongrass. Gently bubble this and add spring onions, coriander stalks (save the leafy part for later) and then get creative with the veggies. Asian varieties are best: oyster mushrooms, pak choi, Chinese cabbage, mange tout and beansprouts are all easily available in supermarkets. If you want to be really healthy you can leave it at that, or add fish or chicken if you want some protein. Delicious served steaming hot in a big bowl with fresh coriander and a dash of soy or fish sauce.
Make Salads Edible!
I know that proper detoxes should mean no salad dressing – but in all honesty what is a teaspoon of my grandmother’s recipe going to do (especially when you’ve left out the carbs)? The only recipe that’ll make a bowl of leaves interesting, it’s creamy and delicious and healthy at the same time; mix a tablespoon of low-fat mayo with a heaped teaspoon of French mustard. Add celery salt, pepper and a dash of white vinegar. Then top it off with extra virgin olive oil (start off with two tablespoons and then add more to taste).
Store Cupboard Essential
TOM YUM PASTE
When you’re looking to give your soups or sauces a little extra kick, add a spoon of Tom Yum paste (or shrimp paste). Delicious and healthy, it gives recipes an instant Asian flavour – just add to water, veggies (especially coriander) and some prawns.