A while back I discovered this lovely Cucumber Peanut Salad Recipe from 101 Cookbooks. It was a huge hit with the family and I get requests for it at parties. One problem.. It’s not paleo. Sure, I could fudge it and just eat the peanuts… and it is just a TINY amount of table sugar, right? What’s the harm, eh?
Probably not much, and I have eaten peanuts while on paleo before, but the sugar is a HUGE no-no for me. I don’t trust myself with any of it. And it is so easy to update this recipe to be paleo compliant, I can’t really see why I wouldn’t.
So here is my updated paleo version of my favorite cucumber salad.
3 medium cucumbers, partially peeled
1-2 green serrano chiles, stemmed and minced
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
1/3 cup dried coconut, toasted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or honey, maple syrup, feel free to play with it)
1 tablespoon, ghee, clarified butter, or sunflower oil, or coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
a handful cilantro, chopped (optional)
Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and chop into pieces roughly the size of pencil erasers. Just before you’re ready to serve, transfer to a mixing bowl and toss gently with chiles, peanuts, coconut, lemon juice, and sugar.
Over medium heat melt the ghee in a small skillet. When hot stir in the mustard seeds. They are going to sputter and spit a bit, and when this starts to happen, add the cumin for 15-30 seconds, just long enough to toast the spices. Cover with a lid if needed. Remove from heat, stir in the salt, and immediately stir this into the salad. Top with cilantro if desired.
To recap, all I did was change 2 or 3 ingredients and this recipe is now paleo ready! I really recommend that if you decide to try the paleo lifestyle, don’t give up on your favorite dishes. Find ways to tweak them so they fit your personal needs.