Are you looking for a nutritious, allergy-friendly, quick, easy, and delicious lunch that doesn't break the bank or leave your stomach hurting? This Vietnamese-inspired salad will be your go-to dish to make.
About this thyroid-healthy recipe
This recipe is full of flavor, from the citrusy umami (tangy, sweet, and salty) dressing, to all the nutrient-dense salad greens and the fresh, vibrant herbs, including basil, cilantro, and mint!
It is extremely important to balance each meal with protein, fiber, and fat to keep your blood sugar levels stable when dealing with a thyroid issue like hypothyroidism. And this salad does just that! Protein comes from the shredded chicken, fiber from the veggies, and fat from the avocado oil in the dressing and the almonds (if using). It will keep you full without a stomach ache until dinner while also keeping your blood sugar balanced, so you don't have cravings or get that midday slump!
The recipe is also super adaptable to your needs. You can stick with the gluten and grain-free kelp noodles or switch it up with rice noodles (if you can handle grains). You can even discard the noodles altogether, and it's still just as delicious!
It can also be fun to switch up the protein from shredded chicken to grass-fed pasture-raised steak or wild-caught shrimp or make it vegan with some soaked beans or a veggie protein of choice!
Since it is gluten, dairy, grain, soy, and nightshade-free, it is also 100% compliant with the autoimmune protocol, or AIP Diet. If you have issues with sprouted nuts, eliminate the almonds. If you aren't having any added sugars, also just as delicious to eliminate the honey in the dressing. There are lots of variations available here!
Thyroid health benefits in this Vietnamese Chicken Salad
Rich in antioxidants and nutrients, making kale naturally anti-inflammatory! Fun fact: A single cup of raw kale contains more vitamin C than an orange. So when you feel like your immune system is run down, eat kale!
Not only does garlic add tons of flavor to a dish, but it also has sulfur-containing compounds. These compounds help our liver detoxify heavy metals from our bodies. Environmental toxins, such as heavy metals, are one of the leading triggers of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Adding garlic into our diet to support our bodies in detoxing is very beneficial!
Ginger increases glutathione levels in our bodies, a necessary antioxidant that helps us detoxify and reduce oxidative stress. Both Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis involve increased oxidative stress, so eating ginger can be helpful for us!
It is very common for people with thyroid conditions to have gut issues as well. Ginger can also help improve gut health. A healthy gut equals a healthy immune system which in turn helps our thyroid function properly.
Coconut aminos are a delicious soy sauce alternative that is gluten and soy-free! It tastes incredible and comes from coconut tree sap. Coconut aminos are entirely natural, additive-free, with no added sugars, and are AIP-compliant.
Not only do kelp noodles add a nice crunch to this salad, but they are also from iodine-rich seaweed! Iodine is vital for your thyroid because if you don't have enough of it in the body, you can't make enough T4 hormone which can lead to hypothyroidism. Iodine also helps the liver convert free T4 to the active free T3.
Note: consult with your healthcare to test your iodine levels and know whether eating iodine-rich foods is enough or maybe a supplement is needed. Start with iodine foods, including organic eggs, raw dairy, Celtic sea salt, wild seafood, sea veggies, and see how you feel first!
Thyroid Recipe: Vietnamese Chicken Salad
Light, refreshing, and SO satisfying! Serves 2. AIP compliant, gluten, dairy, grain, soy, and nightshade-free. You will not regret making this for lunch every week!
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tsp coconut aminos
2 tablespoons fish sauce (Red Boat sugar-free version)
2 tablespoons honey (optional)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/4 napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 bunch Tuscan kale, ribs removed and sliced
1/2 English cucumber, quartered and sliced
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
1 carrot, outside peeled and shaved with a peeler
2 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup bean sprouts
leaves from mint, basil and/or cilantro, roughly chopped or torn
1 package kelp noodles, rinsed (optional)
1/2 cup salted roasted sprouted almonds, roughly chopped (optional)
Whisk all the ingredients together and adjust seasoning as needed.
Toss all the salad ingredients in a large bowl with 1/4 cup of dressing, adding more dressing to your desired taste.
Top with almonds. Enjoy!