I’m feeling good. A new yoga studio has opened up two minutes from my house and I am loving downward dogging it regularly again. I’ve been swimming at least every other day and on Wednesdays I practise Pilates with a friendly group of mums while our sons have soccer coaching next to us. I’m even getting to bed before midnight some nights.
Regular readers will know that I’m not usually a huge fan of exercising. My last gym visit ended up being my one and only gym visit for the year so this sudden emphasis on exercise is highly unusual for me. But I was tired of feeling tired and grumpy. Sure, I had good reason to be feeling low for a while — going through a divorce with kids is never fun no matter how amicable it is — but it’s time to move on and that means re-prioritising.
For the past 18 months my focus has been on my kids and my work, as it needed to be. But now it’s time to focus a little on myself, too, because I’ve realised that if I’m not feeling strong, happy and healthy, then we’re all in trouble.
So I’m making exercise a priority. I’m trying hard to go to bed at a reasonable hour a few nights a week. And I’m accepting invitations instead of turning them down.
I’m eating healthy, too. When I’m stressed I tend to reach for junk food but now I’m eating lots of salads, lots of protein, and lots of vegetables. This salad — Thai Beef Salad — is one of my ultimate healthy Summer meals, combining my loves of a good steak, salad and Thai flavours. Serve it alone as a light meal or with a tofu or seafood tom yum soup, a green curry and steamed rice for a more substantial Thai-themed meal.
Thai Beef Salad
- 1 bunch coriander, washed and separated into roots and leaves
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 inch fresh ginger (or 1 generous teaspoon minced ginger)
- 3 chillies (e.g. Birds Eyes chillies)
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- Juice of 1/2 lime or 1 generous tablespoon lime juice
- 500 grams top quality porterhouse steak, trimmed and cut into slices.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 100 grams mixed lettuce leaves
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 red (Spanish) onion
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers, seeds removed and sliced
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
- Use a blender to chop coriander roots, garlic, ginger, chillies, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice until well combined.
- Reserve half of this mixture to use as dressing and use the other half to marinade the beef strips for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes heat up a large fry pan and add one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Fry the beef strips for a few minutes and then turn off the heat just before the meat is done to your liking – I like mine medium. Remove the pan from the heat and let the beef cool in the pan. Reserve the pan juices.
- Arrange the reserved coriander leaves, lettuce leaves, mint, cucumber, onion, tomatoes and beef on a large platter.
- Mix the pan juices into the dressing and then spoon the dressing over the salad and mix well.
- Gluten, nut and dairy-free.
- Serves 2-3 as main, 4-6 as a side dish and 8-10 as part of a banquet.
More Easy Summer Recipes
- Duck, Orange and Pomegranate Salad
- Lamb with Pomegranate, Mint and Broad Beans
- Thai Prawn Salad
- Two Spring Salads: Radish Salad / Beetroot, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
- Blood Orange and Pomegranate Salad
- Tomato and Bocconcini Salad
- Fig, Prosciutto and Pear Salad
- Beetroot, Walnut and Mint Salad
- Fiery Vietnamese Chicken Salad
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