Salads

Asian Salad with Poached Chicken

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This quick and easy salad can be prepared ahead of time and will last a couple of days in the fridge. It’s gluten free, low calories and a good source of protein. The salad can consist of any vegetable you have in the fridge – it’s the dressing and herbs that pull it all together.


Asian Noodle Salad with Poached Chicken

Serves 4


Ingredients

200g vermicelli noodles, cooked and place in cold water
1 carrot, julienned
1 Lebanese cucumber, julienned
1/2 capsicum, julienned (didn’t use in the photo, didn’t have any)
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup mint and coriander
2 tbsp thai basil leaves ( optional)
6 kaffir lime leaves, vein removed and finely sliced
2 tbsp cashews or peanuts
200g poached chicken, steamed or cooked in broth

Dressing (makes about 3/4 cup)

1/4 cup preferred sweetener ( coconut , Palm or caster sugar)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1-2 tbsp fish sauce
1 small red chilli, finely sliced

To serve, chilli and lime wedges


Method

  1. To make dressing place the sweetener, water , white vinegar and fish sauce in a sauce pan and bring to the boil, then take off heat, add the chilli, taste and adjust if needed ( it will be sweet). Place in fridge to cool.
  2. Combine the cooked noodles, carrot, cucumber, capsicum and spring onion in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Shred or slice your chicken, combine with the noodle salad, add a little of the dressing at a time ( about 1/4 cup) toss and taste.
  4. Assemble salad in a bowls, garnish with the fresh herbs, nuts and extra chilli and wedges of lime.

Notes

Ive made this salad before with pork belly, thai chicken cakes, salt and pepper calamari and bbq prawns, its such an adaptable salad.

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Slow Roasted Tomatos

IMG_2302This is a great way for using up tomatoes. I buy them in bulk at my local fruit market, extremely cheap at the moment. Just slice them in half, place in a large mixing bowl with fresh garlic and oregano, good lug of oil and balsamic vinegar, scatter onto baking trays and season with salt and pepper, cook for about 2hrs on low heat.

The tomatoes can then be stored in the fridge for about 2 weeks or frozen for 3 months. Great addition to salads or pasta sauces and the ones from the freezer work great on pizzas.


Slow Roasted Tomatoes


Ingredients

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

handful fresh oregano, finely chopped or 1/2 tablespoon of dried oregano

A good splash of rice bran oil and balsamic vinegar ( not too much balsamic )

5 punnets of cherry tomatoes halved or  1.25kg of your choice of tomato


Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180* fan forced. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Whisk together the garlic, oregano, oil and balsamic vinegar, add the tomatoes and toss. Divide amongst the baking trays with the cut side facing up, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 15 mins , then reduce the temperature to 120* and bake for another 1-1 1/2 hours. They are ready when they start to shrivel around the edges.
  4. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.

Thai Chicken Burgers with Vegetable Pickle

IMG_1459I’m a sucker when it comes to burgers and this one didn’t disappoint. Using my Thai Curry Paste I marinated the chicken thighs for a couple of hours then cooked on the char grill. The burger is actually smaller than it looks, I found cute little Brioche Buns at Coles, which I now use for all my burgers – just the right size. If I had the time, I would love to make my own buns. I’ve included the Vegetable Pickle recipe which can be done in the morning and will last a week in the fridge. You don’t have to make a burger, skewers would be great or even rice paper rolls – Yum!


Thai Chicken Burgers with Vegetable Pickle

Serves 2-4


Ingredients

500g chicken thigh

2-3 tablespoons of Thai Curry Paste or store-bought Yellow Curry Paste

1-2 tablespoons of oil

Vegetable Pickle

1 carrot, julienned

1 Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed and cut into batons ( I had baby cucumbers which I just halved)

100ml rice vinegar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

To Serve

 fresh chilli, coriander, baby spinach and rocket, sweet chilli mayo and bread rolls.


Method

  1. Marinate chicken thigh in the curry paste and oil, at least 30 minutes or even better overnight. Can be frozen at this stage.
  2. For the vegetable pickle, place the vinegar, sugar, salt and 125ml of water into a small saucepan and heat until sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and cool.
  3. Place the carrot and cucumber into a jar and pour over the cooled pickling liquid, let marinate in the fridge for at least an hour before using. Will last up to a week.
  4. Cook your chicken on the BBQ or fry pan, when ready serve on the brioche bread rolls with some Kewpie mayo mixed with sweet chilli sauce, fresh coriander, fresh chilli if you like, the vegetable pickle and baby spinach and rocket.

Notes

The vegetable pickle is beautiful with a Thai noodle salad, rice paper rolls or Banh Mi. You can also add slices of chilli  and garlic  to the pickle, but the pickle will only last 2 days.

Thai Beef Salad

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 Everyone has their own method for doing a Thai Beef Salad and this is mine. This Thai Beef Salad is gluten-free, dairy free and grain free. I’ve listed  just the basic salad ingredients,  you could also add finely sliced capsicum, julienned carrots, snow pea sprouts, bean sprouts, rice noodles and fresh chilli. All can be prepared ahead and will take 15 mins to cook.


Thai Beef Salad


( serves 2-4 )

Ingredients

Juice of 2 limes*

2 cm pice of ginger, grated on a micro plane or pound in a mortar and pestle *

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tablespoon  palm sugar or soft brown sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon soy sauce **

Pinch of white pepper

500 g rump, porterhouse or scotch fillet steak

100-200grams mixed lettuce leaves

1 cucumber, sliced into ribbons

1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon mint, coriander and Thai basil, roughly shredded

1 tablespoon unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

 


Method

  1. Mix the lime juice, ginger, garlic, sugar, oil, fish sauce, soy and white pepper in a jar and shake to combine.
  2. Take 2 tablespoons of dressing and marinate the steak for at least an hour or overnight.
  3. Start arranging the salad, place mixed lettuce, cucumber ribbons, cherry tomatoes, mint, coriander, Thai basil on a large platter.
  4. Heat a BBQ or fry pan over high heat, cook steak to your liking, rest the steak, then slice across the grain into thin ribbons.
  5. Scatter the steak over your salad, pour over the reserved dressing, garnish with peanuts and fresh chilli.

*I have these items stored in freezer. Grate ginger straight from freezer and microwave limes at 30 sec increments till defrosted.

** can use Tamari, just halve the quantity.

Ancient Grain Salad with Ras el Hanout Lamb Meatballs

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I finally found a recipe that used Freekah as the main element. It’s another crazy superfood that I found, with more than four times the fibre content then brown rice, high protein, good prebiotic effect, low fat, rich in calcium, iron and zinc and overall Freek-ing good for you !! Haha… Just had to throw that line in there! It’s very similar to brown rice in flavour and texture. You will find it in the health food isle of your supermarket and  health food stores. This recipe was adapted from one of my favourite homecooks Valli Little, I think I have a little piece of her in every recipe, I try, adapt or create!


Ras el hanout Lamb Meatballs with Ancient Grain salad


Serves 2-4

Ingredients


Lamb Meatballs
500 g lamb mince
1/2 tbsp ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend, available from supermarkets or you can make a version of it yourself)
1 clove garlic minced
1 tbsp ginger minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Ancient Grain Salad
1 cup dry Freekah cooked per packet instructions ( I used chicken stock)
1 can of brown lentils , washed and drained
1/3 cup mixed seeds and nuts (pine nuts, pumpkin and pepitas)
1/2 cup of sultanas or craisins
1 cup coriander and italian parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup mint leaves, chopped

Dressing
Juice of a lemon
1/4 cup oil
1 tbsp honey
Salt and pepper


 

  1. Combine all lamb meatball ingredients and mix well. Shape into balls and place on tray , cover and place in fridge till ready to cook.
  2. Cook the Freekah according to packet instructions, drain and combine with the lentils. I toasted my seeds and nuts slightly in a small frypan before adding to salad, purely optional, I think it gives a nice crunch. Then add the sultanas or craisins and herbs.
  3. Whisk up dressing ingredients, season to taste and pour over salad, mix through with a fork, gently, trying not to break the lentils. Place in fridge until meatballs are ready.
  4. Heat a fry pan with 2 tablespoons of oil and cook the meatballs until done, alternatively line a baking tray with baking paper and cook @180c fan forced 15-20 mins ( you don’t get the caramelisation on the outside of the meatball if you use the oven). When ready drain on paper towel, serve with salad and Greek yoghurt.

    NOTES
    You could use the ras el hanout on a butterflied leg of lamb or a whole chicken, just mix with 2tbs oil and marinate.
    Freekah will last 3 days in the fridge.

Thai Quinoa Salad with Chilli Lime Prawns

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Quinoa crazy at the moment. This little grain is the superfood of superfood. It is a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids, has twice as much fibre as most other grains, high in iron, rich in magnesium, high content of manganese (which is an antioxidant), high in Riboflavin (B2) and the obvious Paleo, gluten free, low fat and low carb.
Inspired by Asian flavours, I wanted to create a salad with the sweet, sour, salty balance. My best friend did not have faith in me that these flavours would work well with Quinoa, I proved her wrong – HA! This dish can be made a couple of days ahead, would be great for a bbq lunch or just a simple starter. 

Thai Quinoa Salad with Chilli Lime Prawns


Ingredients
3/4 cup quinoa (cooked per packet instructions)
1 med carrot , julienned and diced or grated
1 Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed and finely diced
1 small capsicum, finely diced
1 small asian shallot
Dressing
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
2 to 3 tablespoon of palm sugar
1 small chilli, finely chopped , de-seed to reduce heat
Chilli Lime Prawns
1 kg fresh prawns, deveined and heads removed, threaded onto a skewer if you like
Juice of 2 limes
6 cloves of garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
2 large chilli sliced, 3 if you like it hot
4 tbsp oil

 Method
  1. Cook quinoa per packet instructions. I always cook mine in chicken stock, adds more flavour.
  2. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Set aside.
  3. For the salad, place the quinoa and salad ingredients in a large bowl, toss, add the dressing. Place in the fridge. Salad can be made a couple of days ahead.
  4. Combine the prawns and marinade, place in fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
  5. To cook prawns, heat a oiled frypan or bbq and cook until golden. They wont take very long, as they have been tenderising in the lime juice.
  6. To serve, place quinoa salad on a plate, top with the prawns, thai basil, kaffir lime leaves (finely chopped) and a lime wedge.

Risoni Pesto Salad with Roast Pumpkin

Rissoni Pesto Salad with Roast Pumpkin

Following on from my previous post, this is one of my all time favourite uses for my Pesto. Its really not the kind of weather here for salad, but too much indulging with visitors, being sick and no gym calls for some healthy, wholesome food this week. This salad was a great hit with my best friend “the taste tester” and that made me decide to post it.

To make the salad you will need 1/2 cup or more of my Cashew Basil Pesto, of course you could use store bought, but it will be no way near as tasty – haha! The combination of the rice like pasta, crunchy beans, sweet caramelized pumpkin and the saltiness of the feta is so refreshing and then you get a pop of crunch from the roasted pine nuts and seeds -yum,  yum! I always cook this salad in stages, as I have 2 little ones who are very demanding and I have very short windows of  “ME” time. I just combine all ingredients just before its time to serve. The salad will last in the fridge for a couple of days  and can be refreshed with a squeeze of lemon before serving.

 

 


Risoni Pesto Salad with Roast Pumpkin


 

(Serves 6)

Ingredients

1/2 pumpkin ( any type) cut into 1 inch pieces

300g green beans, cut into 1 inch lengths

500g risoni pasta

1/2 cup Cashew Basil Pesto

2 tablespoons pine nut, pepita and sunflower seed mix

100g rocket and baby spinach mix

50g danish feta

2 tablespoons rice bran oil and extra for drizzling

juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper


Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180c fan forced, prepare an oven tray with baking paper, scatter the chopped pumpkin on the tray, drizzle with oil , mix with hands to cover, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 20 minutes, remove tray and turn the pumpkin over. Cook for a further 15-20 minutes (you want it to be a bit burnt and caramelized on the edges). When cooked, cool on tray and  place in fridge until ready to assemble salad.
  2. Cook pasta according to packet instructions (mine took 10 mins) strain and place in a large bowl with the rice bran oil (the oil stops the pasta from sticking together).
  3. Place the beans into a medium pot of salted boiling water, boil for 3 minutes, strain and place into a bowl of cold water. Set aside.
  4. Roast the seed and nut mix in a small fry pan until lightly browned, keep an eye on it, they will burn quickly. Place in a small bowl until ready to sprinkle on top.
  5. Combine the pasta with the Cashew Basil Pesto, beans and crumbled feta, gently fold to combine, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Scatter the rocket and baby spinach leaves in a large salad bowl or serving platter, top with pasta mixture, roast pumpkin, nut and seed mix, lemon juice and a drizzle of oil.

 

Warm Duck Salad with Orange and Fennel

Warm Duck Salad with Orange and Fennel

 My days have been pretty slow, being sick puts such a downer on your mood. All it takes is some nice produce or more to the point…DUCK to get me excited, now I’m feeling slightly human.This recipe was adapted from  Curtis Stone’s Asian Duck Salad.I love the combination of orange and fennel, the sweetness of the orange cuts through the aniseed flavours of the fennel and they all come together to balance the richness of the duck. Perfect!
It will only takes 30 minutes, cook the duck (or even quicker,buy ready cooked duck breasts), prepare the salad and whip up the dressing. You could use chicken or spatchcock and the dressing will last a couple of days in the fridge.

 



Warm Duck Salad with Orange and Fennel


(serves 4)


Ingredients
4x duck breasts, cooked to liking and sliced, or precooked duck
1 Fennel, finely sliced
1 Shallot, Julienne
1 Lebanese Cucumber, cut into ribbons
2 cups of Baby Spinach
2 Segmented Oranges

Dressing
1/4 cup Fresh Orange Juice
2 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp Sesame oil


 Method

  1. Cook the duck to your liking , cover and set aside to rest.
  2.  Whisk dressing ingredients in a bowl or pour into a glass jar and shake to combine.
  3. Place all salad ingredients into a large bowl, toss, then pour over half the dressing and toss again.
  4.  Arrange salad on serving plates, top with sliced Duck and the remaining dressing.