TASTY: Vietnamese chicken and noodle salad is healthy, fresh and very easy to make.
TASTY: Vietnamese chicken and noodle salad is healthy, fresh and very easy to make.

Fresh Summer cooking

SUMMER is when you don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Making salads with beautiful fresh ingredients can be healthy for you as well as minimising your time in the kitchen.

If you have space available on your window sill to grow your own herbs, you can freshen up your food very simply and be cost effective at the same time. Mint and coriander can be used in many salads and the delicious rice paper rolls of course which are easy to make and can be a filling healthy meal.

One of the easiest types of salads you can make is Vietnamese noodle Salad with lots of herbs and good quality protein with an abundance of green. You can use shredded chicken, mince or fresh prawns in this recipe.

You can whip up a Chicken and Noodle salad in under 10 minutes or a refreshing Asian style soup or a coleslaw to go with barbequed skewers or steak. Pan-fried Salmon, smashed potatoes with a Rocket salad is also an easy fresh healthy meal.

Experiment and try different flavours you might be surprised at how wonderful a fresh salad can be.

ASIAN STYLE BEEF SOUP

INGREDIENTS

500g Beef or chicken mince

1 finely sliced red onion

2 litres chicken stock or stock powder and water

100 grams finely sliced mushrooms

2 Spring onions finely sliced

1 clove of garlic finely chopped

1 tablespoon of finely grated ginger

1 med chilli (optional)

2 eggs beaten

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce (to taste)

1 Tablespoon Sesame oil

Coriander or mint to serve

METHOD

Have all the ingredients ready to go. Add oil to pan cook ginger and garlic then add mince and red onion. Cook for a few minutes then add stock, chilli and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are done then stir soup and add egg while gently stirring soup. Turn off heat.

Serve with a splash of Soy sauce to taste, coriander or mint to serve. This soup freezes well so you can freeze into portions. I find take away containers work well for this.

VIETNAMESE CHICKEN AND NOODLE SALAD

A salad that has it all. It's sweet, sour, salty, fresh, fragrant and best of all easy. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon caster sugar

1 long red chilli, finely chopped

200g rice stick noodles

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 spring onions, finely sliced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

400g chicken mince

100g button mushrooms

1/2 small iceberg lettuce, coarsely shredded

2 carrots, finely grated

1 small cucumber cut into small batons

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1 1/2 cups bean sprouts, trimmed

2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts

METHOD

Combine juice, fish sauce, sugar and chilli in a jug. Stir until sugar dissolves.

Cook noodles following packet directions. Drain. Cool under cold running water. Drain.

Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan over high heat. Stir-fry chicken mince, onion, garlic and mushrooms for 3-4 minutes or until cooked.

Meanwhile, divide noodles, salad, carrot, mint and sprouts between 4 bowls. Top with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with peanuts. Drizzle over dressing.

You can also use fresh prawns or shredded chicken which would be even easier to prepare.

You can freeze the meat mixture into portions and defrost to make an even quicker salad.

PAN-FRIED SALMON, SMASHED POTATOES WITH A ROCKET SALAD

INGREDIENTS

1 piece of salmon skin on per person

1 Potato per person

100g bag of rocket (I buy the small bag - 2 serves)

Any salad ingredients you like

METHOD

Have all you ingredients prepped for the salad. Microwave your potato until cooked depending on the size should only take a few minutes each. Rule of thumb is 10 minutes for 4 medium potatoes. Season the salmon and heat your frypan to medium with a little olive oil cook the salmon skin side down until crisp turn and cook each side. Don't overcook your salmon whatever you do.

While cooking you salmon and potato make your salad. Dress with a little olive oil and balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar.

When potatoes are cooked place on plate and mash with a fork just to break it up a little. Season and add a knob of butter. Serve Salmon with potato and salad.  


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