Archive for June 15th, 2010
Ask anyone who knows me, and you will quickly find out that I am a really picky eater. I have weird issues with texture, taste, and seeds, so it’s often hard to find food I like that is actually good for me. Today, the team from Thailand’s acclaimed Chiva-Som destination spa came to New York City to treat a group of journalists to a healthy lunch concocted by their incomparable executive chef, Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat. When he announced that we would be having Banana Blossom Salad to start, I got nervous. Bananas rank as one of my least favorite fruits (back to my texture and seed problems), and I was not looking forward to a salad made with them. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Banana blossoms are delicious, and the salad was divine. I loved it so much, I wanted to share the recipe here. In New York City, most of these ingredients can be picked up in Chinatown or at Whole Foods. Outside the Big Apple, head to your local Asian specialty food store.
Banana Blossom Salad
2 ½ TBSP Lime Juice
2 TBSP Soy Sauce
1 ½ TBSP Honey
1 TBSP Roasted Chili Paste
2 Bird’s Eye Chilies, Finely Chopped
4 ½ oz Banana Blossom, Peeled
4 ½ oz. Chicken Breast, boiled for 10 minutes and shredded
3 TBSP ground roasted almond, coarsely chopped
2 TBSP Sliced Shallots
2 TBSP Chopped Spring Onions
1 TBSP Finely Diagonally Sliced Lemongrass
4 TBSP Roasted Coconut Flakes, To Garnish
To prepare the dressing, whisk lime juice, soy sauce, honey, chili paste, and chilis in a large bowl. Set aside. To prepare salad, gently toss all remaining ingredients with all of the dressing in a mixing bowl until evenly mixed. Sprinkle over coconut flakes and server.
This is just one of the wonderful recipes in the spa’s latest cookbook, Chiva-Som’s Thai Spa Cuisine. I received a copy at lunch, and I can’t wait to test out more healthy dishes to see if I can overcome some of my other food quirks. To order your own copy, click here.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to indulge in a massage at the posh Guerlain Spa at The Waldorf=Astoria. I had toured the spa when it first opened about two years ago but had yet to experience a treatment there. Deciding it would be the perfect way to end a particularly stressful week and ease into the weekend, I scheduled the massage for 5pm on a Friday afternoon. Fortunately, the spa is just a few blocks from my office. Of course, that didn’t keep me from arriving drained and out of breath from having to tie up some last-minute loose ends at work. Within minutes of my arrival, I was happily ensconced in the lounge with a glass of champagne in hand. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of spas that offer a glass of vino in addition to the usual teas and cucumber water. Anyway, it wasn’t long before I was feeling more myself thanks to the decadent foot bath and healing hands of my talented therapist. And because the last thing I wanted to worry about after a sensationally soothing massage was doing math, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s the spa’s policy not to accept gratuities. It was certainly a blessing in my blissed out and arithmetic-challenged state.