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Healthy Dish

Fresh Thai Salad with Jalapeño Peppers

You can’t get more flavorful than this Thai salad that blends sweet, salty, sour, astringent, bitter, and pungent.

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Chef Jeanette’s creative twist on the classic Thai green papaya salad is unbelievably fresh and light, but balanced with an out-of-this-world fish sauce that gives the whole thing just the right amount of body. Thai food specializes in combining 6 tastes in one dish, and this one delivers on that promise: sweet, salty, sour, astringent, bitter, and pungent notes all commingle in one big bowl of springtime deliciousness! —Dr. Jonny

Notes from The Clean Food Coach

The spiralizer is an inexpensive tool that allows you to turn firm fruits and vegetables into ribbons or “zoodles” (zucchini noodles). You can increase the health value of any traditional pasta meal by replacing half the flour-based pasta with vegetable noodles. You can just stir raw zoodles into hot pasta, or give them a quick steam sauté before mixing them into a recipe.

Featured ingredient: Jalapeño Peppers

Like all chili peppers, jalapeños come with a substantial helping of red-hot capsaicin. But this potent compound does a lot more than make your mouth feel like a furnace. When applied to the skin, capsaicin depletes substance P, a chemical that transmits pain messages to the brain. It’s also a vasodilator, meaning it enhances circulation.

In addition to capsaicin, jalapeños contain iron, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, and a healthy dose of vitamin C. In fact, they have twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits, which may be why they’ve been a popular remedy for colds for centuries.

Jalapeños are also used to aid digestion and stimulate appetite. Counterintuitive though it seems, they probably do not irritate the stomach. In fact, they may help prevent ulcers by killing bacteria, and they also stimulate the stomach lining to secrete protective juices. But use with care—they’re not recommended for anyone with an inflamed colon.

View our Thai Fresh Salad recipe.

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