Thai It Up Steak Salad

The lesson here is that a little beef goes a long way. What people crave is the taste and texture of beef, not to be overwhelmed by it, and this dish satisfies that need by turning beef into a  supporting player. The headliners here are the veggies and the dressing: think a big band combo filled with horns (that’s the lime and chili paste dressing), a rollicking rhythm section (shredded cabbage, peppery watercress, crunchy cucumber), and silkily dressed pitch-perfect backup singers (the cellophane noodles). Add meat and bring down the house!

MAKES 6 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 20 minutes

DRESSING

⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons lime zest
1 tablespoon Grade B maple syrup
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1½ tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1½ to 2 teaspoons chili paste
¼ cup mild olive oil or grapeseed oil
1½ pounds flank steak, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3½ ounces cellophane (bean thread) or rice stick noodles
2 cups arugula or mixed greens
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
¼ cup cashews (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, zest, maple syrup, ginger, fish sauce, and chili paste. Slowly whisk in the oil until well combined.

Put the steak in a shallow dish; rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and rub with about half the dressing; reserve the remaining dressing. Let it marinate for 10 to 15 minutes. Heat a grill or grill pan to high heat. Generously oil the grate or grill pan and grill the steak until an instant-read thermometer registers 135°F for medium-rare, about 3 to 4 minutes per side depending on the thickness.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil; allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Slice the steak diagonally across the grain into thin pieces and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the reserved dressing.

Meanwhile, prepare the noodles according to the package directions. When the noodles are cooked, rinse them with cold water, and drain them well. Transfer them to a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Add the arugula, cabbage, basil, cilantro, mint, bell pepper, cucumber, and noodles and toss with the remaining dressing (you should have about 2 tablespoons left). Divide the salad evenly onto 6 plates and arrange the steak over the salad. Sprinkle each serving with cashews.

COOK’S NOTE: Keep your eye on the grill. Grass-fed beef is leaner than grain-fed beef and will dry out if overcooked. For perfect taste and texture, cook to rare or medium-rare. If you like your beef well done, then cook it at a very low temperature.

Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Mind Cookbook Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.