The weather has been anything but summery, however it feels good to be healthy. Here is hoping that the rest of July onwards delivers a-lot more in terms of weather!
1- Thai Inspired Carrot and Peanut Salad
Had this as a side dish at a beautiful Thai restaurant in Perth called Roca Blu. Liked it so much I've attempted to re-create it. Adaptable to suit tastes and what you have available, it is also nice to have as a side dish with curry, a sandwich/wrap filler. A lovely place to eat, chilled out atmosphere and decor- there are pots of herbs growing around the place that smell beautiful. They also offer cocktail classes.
3 Medium sized carrots
2 Spring onions
2 Cloves of garlic, 2cm chunk of fresh ginger, 1 chili
1 tbsp peanut butter
Handful of salted peanuts/sesame seeds
Vinegar ( any light one will do eg malt, sherry or cider)
Fresh herbs (e.g. coriander, thai basil, tarragon, fennel, chives)
1- Grate carrots into a bowl, followed by garlic, ginger and zest of the lime
2- Finely slice the chili, seeds out if you aren't a fan of too much heat and if your chilli's are particularly spicy you may want to add just half. Slice the spring onion finely also. Add both to bowl along with the herbs chopped.
3- Squeeze lime juice into the bowl, followed by the peanut butter and a splash of soy and vinegar. Stir thoroughly- it takes a little while to ensure the peanut butter is well mixed through. Add enough soy and vinegar for the carrot to be well dressed. Taste and adjust accordingly- sometimes can do with more vinegar. If not loose enough oil can be added- sesame would be very nice.
4- Spoon salad on serving plate to serve, topping with toasted sesame seeds or chopped peanuts. Salad can be healthy alternate to coleslaw, as part of a picnic, served with mixed leaves/lettuce with a meal and is a snack I have often with pita bread. The quantity would serve 4 as a side and the recipe is easy to adjust- it keeps well in the fridge too.
2- Lemon Bean Salad
A light salad that is easy to make. Tend to make things up as I go and depending on what I have in the house. Therefore the food I cook is very open to adaption. Feel free to chop and change, especially with the veg- have used grated carrot, radish, fennel, sweetcorn, spring onions, beetroot etc before and all different herbs. I also like things that are very sharp and don't use oil. It depends on taste but it is recommended to use a couple of tbsp's of oil- olive, rapeseed, sesame etc in this- I add this when making it for others.
1 Tin of Beans (mixed, canellini, aduki, butter beans are all good)
1/2 Red Onion
Sweet Chili Sauce
Fresh Herbs (eg mint, parsley, basil, lovage, fennel etc)
Other flavours to add- fresh ginger, fresh chili,
1- Open and drain beans and place into bowl
2- Prepare veg by chopping finely into small cubes or however you like. If using a firmer veg such as carrot or beetroot grating is better and this also adds a different texture which is nice.
3- Add veg to beans and grate in the vest of the lemon
4- Next squeeze lemon over the beans, if using a larger lemon half will probably be enough. Add in vinegar, pinch of salt and pepper, oil if you are using, herbs and a tbsp of sweet chili sauce. Stir well and taste. Adjust accordingly.
3- Bulgar Wheat Salad (Could serve up to 4 if part of a meal)
Makes a nice change from cous-cous and if you have tried it before it is very recommended you do! Has a different texture to cous-cous, which makes it nicer. Have made a superfood winter version of this adding in lentils (tinned), mixed seeds and roasted veggies- certainly had the feel good factor.
200g Bulgar wheat
2 Average sized tomatoes/handful of cherries
1 Small red onion
2 Cloves of garlic
1tbsp Fennel seeds, ground coriander, paprika
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Seeds (mixed/sunflower, pumpkin)
1- Prepare veg by chopping into small chunks and finely slicing garlic
2- Fry off the veg (except toms), garlic and spices until cooked (allow to caramelise) and set aside to cool. Veg can also be roasted in oven for more flavour. Works well with roasted roots for a more robust salad.
3- In a pan add boiling water and salt to the bulgar wheat and boil on a medium heat until tender- should only take 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water
4- Combine the cooked veg and bulgar wheat, adding in the tomatoes which should be diced finely. Add in the mixed herbs.
5- Add a splash of oil, the lemon juice, salt n pepper and a splash of vinegar. If desired a handful of seeds for texture. By not adding the lemon and vinegar this is also really nice warm served with cooked meats/fish, curry, tagine etc...
4- Satay Noodle Salad
Cold noodle salads are quick and surprisingly filling. Any noodles will do, but find the finer the better works. Egg noodles are lovely in this and rice can also be used. Recently discovered the flat ramen noodles pictured above and are now my favourites- they work very well here.
Two blocks/nests of noodles (1 bundle of the ramen)
Mix of veg such as- handful of mangetout, beansprouts, fine green beans, babycorn, sweetcorn kernels, spring onions, cucumber, pepper, pre-packed stir fry veg, mixed leaves- whatever you have
1 Mild chili
1 Thumb sized piece of ginger
2 tbsp's Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Honey
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp's Sesame oil or alternative
Handful of peanuts
2 tbsp's sesame seeds
1- Either on the hob or a deep bowl in the microwave cook the noodles, ensuring not to overcook. Should take minutes. Drain and refresh with cold water.
2- Place into bowl and add in all the other ingredients. Veg should be chopped into fine batons (julienne), grated and shaved with a peeler into ribbons. To make salad more interesting a mixture of the three works well. If using stir fry pack, stir fry these before adding to salad.
3- Add in the ginger grated and chili finely sliced followed by the soy, lime, honey and oil. I sometimes add some sweet chili sauce too and depending on the veg/thickness of noodles you may want to add more liquid.
4- Stir through a handful of peanuts, some toasted sesame seeds and if you have them fresh herbs such as parsley and coriander.