The Cool, Low Carb Joys of Cucumbers & Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe

Low-Carb Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe

Are you fond of cucumbers?  I sure am.  I like them sliced, with a little salt or creole seasoning. I like them with dips. I like them in salads. I like them in tzatziki –– that yummy yogurt-cucumber sauce that comes with gyros. I like them pickled. Indeed, I’m hard-pressed to think of a way I don’t like cucumbers.

Ah –– thought of it! The first time I planted cucumbers in my garden, I made the mistake of putting in three plants, little knowing they’d produce enough cucumbers for a small village. So the only way I don’t like cucumbers is “melting down into sad little puddles in my garden because I can’t possibly eat them all!”

Cucumbers are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables, dating back to early historic times. They’re believed to have originated in southern Asia or India. Believe it or not, cucumbers are a type of melon. This surprised me, but then I took another look, and another sniff, and suddenly it was obvious. Too, they have a cooling property that is very appealing during these sweltering summer months.

Low-Carb Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe

How Nutritious are Cucumbers?

But how nutritious are cucumbers? Remarkably so, considering that they’re largely crunchy water. A large cucumber has just 39 calories, with 8 grams of carbohydrate, 2 of which are fiber, for a usable carb count of 6 grams, so eat to your heart’s content. You’ll get 16% of your vitamin C, 13% of your vitamin A, 12% of your potassium, 10 % of your folacin, 4% of your zinc, 5% of your thiamin (B1), 6% of your B6, 4% of your calcium and iron, and 4% of your riboflavin (B2), and 3% of your niacin (B3). Considering that those 39 calories represent a teeny 0.02% of a daily allowance of, to pick a number, 1800 calories, the cucumber suddenly reveals itself as a nutritional giant.

If you’re doing your Low Carb Grocery Shopping, look for cucumbers that firm and bright green. Yellow color means they’re over-mature, while shriveling means they’re old. Either may make them bitter.  I also prefer to choose cucumbers without the shiny coating of wax you so often see, though the wax does keep them fresh a bit longer. Waxed cucumbers should be washed well with soap, or peeled. If cucumbers make you burp, look for seedless or “burpless” varieties.

  • Want a fancy-looking hors d’oeuvre for a summer party?  Top rounds of cucumber with crab salad or smoked salmon dip, place on a lettuce-lined plate, and garnish with minced dill.
  • If you’d like to get even spiffier, try this: Make your dip quite thick – extra cream cheese plus a little gelatin should do it.  Cut a cucumber in two crosswise, and use an apple corer (not the kind that slices!) to scoop out the seeds, leaving a tunnel in the middle.  Pack it full of your dip, then refrigerate overnight.  Cut in thick rounds, and serve on that same lettuce-lined plate.
  • Too hot to eat? A big Greek saladof romaine with lots of cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, and parsley, topped with feta, olives, red onion, and –– if you like –– sliced grilled chicken breast –– is wildly appealing even on days so muggy they kill the appetite.   Dress with olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, plus salt and pepper and plenty of oregano.
  • Similar, but with an appeal all its own, is the Turkish Shepherd’s Salad.  Simply dice up the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and red onion, crumble in the feta, and toss with lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped fresh mint.  Extraordinarily refreshing.
  • For a classic cucumber salad like Grandma used to make, slice 3 cucumbers quite thin.  Put them in a large bowl, salt them well, and refrigerate overnight.  The next day, drain off the liquid that will have collected.  Now stir together sweetener to equal ¼ cup of sugar, ¼ cup vinegar, 1 cup sour cream, ½ cup chopped red onion, and a teaspoon of chopped fresh dill.  Stir into your cukes, and pepper to taste.  Chill and serve.

Here’s my favorite cucumber salad recipe. It’s sweet and hot and so good!  This is one of those magnificent recipes that is low carb, low fat, low calorie, okay for vegetarians — and tastes great.  That makes it a terrific choice for potlucks and parties –– anywhere where you have to cater to a variety of ways of eating.

Low-Carb Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe

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Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe

Low-Carb Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe

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Ingredients

Units Scale
  • Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe
  • 3 medium cucumbers
  • 1 small, fresh jalapeno
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 23 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Splenda (or the sweetener of your choice to equal 2 tablespoons sugar — I like to use 6 drops of EZ Sweetz liquid sucralose, because it has no maltodextrin filler.)

Instructions

  1. I do this in my food processor, but you can certainly cut stuff up by hand.
  2. With the S-blade in place, I put the onion and the jalapeno, seeds removed, in the food processor, and pulse until they are both finely chopped. (Wash your hands really well after handling that jalapeno, or you’ll be sorry the next time you touch your nose or eyes!)
  3. Remove the S-blade, and put on the slicing disk.
  4. Quarter the cucumbers lengthwise, then run them through the slicing disk.
  5. If you’re not using a food processor, you’ll want to dice the onion and mince the jalapeno, then slice the cucumber as thin as you can.
  6. Put all the veggies in a big bowl.
  7. Combine the garlic, ginger, vinegar, salt, pepper, and Splenda well, and pour over the vegetables.
  8. Mix well, and chill for several hours.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 25
  • Carbohydrates: 6g (5g Net Carbs)
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 1g
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One comment

  1. I really enjoy marinating cukes in red wine or apple cider vinegar with salt and pepper. I recently started adding a TBS of MCT oil to get a little extra fat.

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