Oriental Chicken Salad with Nutty Dressing Laura of London Laura Nana

Family Salad – a quick meal to get in the mood for Summer

Summer is just around the corner, I can almost touch it! So I’m testing out lots of new salad ideas, packing as much nutritional punch as I possibly can. I try and add lots of additional beneficial extras  – things like mixed seeds, nuts, bee pollen, flax seeds – you barely notice they’re there but they do heaps of good for your insides! You can easily omit the chicken in this recipe or replace it with rare cooked tune or steak or seafood – its really versatile.

Oriental Chicken Salad with Nutty Dressing Laura of London Laura Nana
Oriental Chicken Salad with Nutty Dressing

I’ve used a spiraliser on my salad vegetables to get nice long thin curly pieces but you can easily just use a peeler to shave them into your salad bowl.

The vegetables in my salad, using a spiraliser Laura Nana
The vegetables in my salad, using a spiraliser

Ingredients

1/2 pack of bean sprouts
Buckwheat/Soba Noodles
500g Chicken mini-fillets
Mixed seeds or nuts
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Finely chopped coriander, basil and mint – it doesn’t matter if you don’t have all of these

Herbs needed for Oriental Chicken Salad Laura of London
Herbivores unite! Basil, Coriander and Mint

any or all of the following
Carrots
Cucumber
Mooli
Peppers, sliced

for the dressing

2 tbsp Tahini
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tbsp Fish sauce
1-2 tbsp dark soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp chilli flakes or fresh chilli
1 tbsp honey or agave
You can also add a bit of fresh chopped ginger and garlic to the dressing, if you want/have it in

Nutty Dressing - Laura of London
Nutty Dressing

Method

Ok a lot of this is going to be prep work for the vegetables and then pulling it all together at the end.

Put some coconut oil in a pan and add your chicken mini fillets – I cook just a couple at a time on a high heat – this means that they will get super crispy on the outside which is lovely for some added texture to your salad – you can’t have a crowded pan to do this. Once it is all cooked, chop it up into bitesize pieces. Set the chicken aside to cool.

Prep all your vegetables, using a peeler or a spiraliser and set aside. This may take a while – play some music, dance around, get family to help.

Boil your noodles for 5 minutes, drain and run under a cold tap to cool quickly. Mix with your salad vegetables and bean sprouts.

Pop all the dressing ingredients into a saucepan and warm through gently until the sesame paste (tahini) has melted down. I add my spring onions to the dressing because I think warming them through takes away that sharp bite they can have when they’re completely raw.

Now just put it all together, its nice to put this on a big serving platter or a chopping board and everyone can get stuck in at the table. Lay out the veg, bean sprout and noodle mix first, then put the chicken over the top, drizzle over your dressing and then add seeds/nuts and your mixed herbs.

I really enjoy this salad, we’re having it once a week at the moment because everyone likes it so much. I think this would be lovely as a side salad for a BBQ – one for me to test further down the road.

Let me know what you think xxx Have a great weekend all xxx

Laura of London

Oriental Chicken Salad with Nutty Dressing Laura of London Laura Nana
Oriental Chicken Salad with Nutty Dressing

Time constraints

I had a pretty full on day today at work – back to back meetings and then some crappy traffic to slow us down on the way home. I didn’t really have much patience for cooking so chose this quick Italian salad that’s ready in 10 minutes

 

Laura of London Italian Salad Laura Nana
Perfect for those nights when you need something fresh and tasty super quick
  
Ingredients

  • 3 slices of Prosciutto 
  • 1 beef tomato cut into slices
  • 1-2 organic mozzarella balls
  • 5-6 sprigs mint
  • 10(ish) basil leaves
  • Asparagus
  • Lambs lettuce or rocket
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 5tbp Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Laura of London Italian Salad Laura Nana
Ten minute meals are the way forward

Method

I split the asparagus lengthways and put them under the grill for 3-4 minutes on high, turning them over half way through. 

I finely chopped the mint and basil and put it into a bowl with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Mix well.

Arrange your tomato, mozzarella and lettuce on a plate, drizzle over some of your dressing then add the prosciutto and the asparagus and add a final drizzle of the dressing. 

Laura of London Italian Salad
Get stuck in

A Simple Little Smoothie To start a good Sunday

We’ve got family over for a roast dinner today so for breakfast I want something that’s going to be a good healthy boost and keep me going whilst I cook. 

 

laura of london smoothie ingredients laura nana
simple smoothie ingredients
In my smoothie I’ve added one satsuma, one Granny Smith, two strawberries, a handful of frozen raspberries, bee pollen, milled flax seed and water. 
 
laura of london blitzing the smoothie laura nana
Blitz away
 
It’s deliciously fresh and tasty, not to mention the health benefits, especially when adding things like bee pollen and flax seeds to really pump up the nutrients. 

laura of london smoothie done laura nana
smoothie, clean eating, breakfast

Who wouldn’t want dinner ready in 15 minutes?

I’m a big fan of fast cooking during the weekday, I have a regimental order post-5.30pm that must be followed otherwise we’re heading for a meltdown (mine, not my son). I learned this Vietnamese salad as part of a cookery lesson at Recipease a couple of months back and realised its a great little ‘go to’ dish when you need something quick and super healthy to make you feel good. Most of it is just prep work with a final flourish at the end to pull it all together.

Laura of London Delicious Vietnamese Prawn Salad Laura Nana
Vietnamese Prawn Salad

You can also prep the salad and wrap it in soaked rice paper and then use the dressing as a dipping sauce – Vietnamese Rolls – this is quite a nice ‘fancy’ starter when you have friends round.

If you’re not big on prawns, leave it out or replace with chicken, mackerel or beef strips just make sure they’re cool before you add to the salad/rolls.

Laura of London wrapping Vietnamese Rolls Laura Nana
Laura wrapping Vietnamese Prawn Rolls
Laura of London Vietnamese Prawn Rolls Laura Nana
Vietnamese Prawn Rolls

 

Ingredients

Packet of cooked prawns
Vegetable stir fry packet including bean sprouts
Buckwheat/Soba noodles
10cm piece of Mooli (if you can get it)
1 carrot
10cm piece of cucumber
3 spring onions
Good handful of nuts – cashews or peanuts

For the salad dressing/dipping sauce
1/4 cup of Fish Sauce
1/3 cup of either Rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar (I tend to use whatever I have in the cupboard)
Approx 4 tbsp Honey – depends on your taste
Juice of 1/2 a lime
2 cloves of garlic
2cm piece of ginger, cut into matchsticks
At least 2 fresh chillies split lengthways

Optional
Pack of Rice Paper Sheets
Extra chopped chillies in the salad

Method

Put all the ingredients for the salad dressing (or dipping sauce) in a saucepan and heat gently for 5-6 minutes then take off the heat and leave to cool. Taste it with a bit of salad from your bowl – its meant to be quite strong – add more of the fish sauce, vinegar, lime or honey depending on what you think it needs. Go for less sweetness than you think it needs.

Put the stir fry packet in a large bowl. Peel the skin off the carrot and then proceed to use your peeler to peel the carrot into the salad bowl so you end up with nice thin ribbons of carrot. Do the same with the mooli and the cucumber. Alternatively you can cut them up into matchsticks if you prefer. Boil the soba/buckwheat noodles in water for 3-4 minutes and drain, leave to cool then add to your salad bowl.

Slice the prawns lengthways and slice the spring onions finely at an angle and add to the bowl. Chop up your nuts and leave to one side.

Once your dressing/sauce has cooled, pour 4-5 tablespoons of it over your salad, toss and taste to see if it needs more of anything. Add a final squeeze of lime juice then throw on your nuts and munch away!

If you’re turning these into rolls then just soak a paper sheet in warm water, as per packet instructions, put it on a clean kitchen towel and then put 1-2 tablespoons of the salad into the middle. Wrap it up and put any left over salad on the side or save it for lunch the next day. Keep the dipping sauce on the side otherwise the sheets will go too mushy.

Let me know how it goes!

Wake up with a smile on your face…

By knowing you’ve got a great tasting, healthy cereal to look forward to!!

  
This is a versatile cereal you can adapt and refine depending on your tastes. It’s a good feeling knowing exactly what has gone into your cereal in the morning, you can pair it with yoghurt and fresh fruit or soak it in almond milk overnight with chia seeds, it’s also really good as a topping to stewed apples – a la ‘Apple-not-Crumble’ 😜

Dry ingredients 

  • 2.5 cups oats
  • ÂŒ cup flax seeds – I used Linwoods flax, sunflower, pumpkin & sesame seeds with goji berry mix
  • ÂŒ cup flaked almonds
  • ÂŒ cup of pecans, cashews or walnuts
  • 1tbsp bee pollen
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • Âœ cup shredded coconut
  • Small pinch of salt

  
Wet ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

  
Put all the dry ingredients in a big bowl and mix them. Put the wet ingredients in a saucepan and heat until they all melt and mix together. Pour the wet onto the dry ingredients and mix really well. Put them on a lined baking sheet in the oven at 160 for 10 minutes. Remove and stir them. Put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes then remove, stir and leave to cool. 

Pop your amazing cereal in an airtight container ready to use in the morning, go to bed feeling like a boss 👊😝â˜ș

Lazy Sundays and feeling Virtuous 

We went to the Syon Food Festival yesterday and although delicious, the majority of the food was not clean so today I want to have a bit of a kick restart. We got up late and had a simple smoothie with some added natural nutritional additions:

  • Natural yoghurt
  • Frozen berries
  • Ripe pear
  • Milled hemp seeds
  • Milled bee pollen
  • Flax seeds with goji berries and sunflower seeds

   
 Bee pollen is a great addition to smoothies and salads, I got mine from a local health food shop but you can order it online too. Its a complete food and contains proteins, vitamins, minerals, lipids and carbohydrates.

Hemp seeds are a really good source of essential fatty acids including Omega 3, 6 and GLA, it’s a more digestible protein than meat and is rich in Vitamin E. 

For the rest of the day I’m going to snack on fruit and nuts and lunch today will be oven roasted salmon fillets with Mediterranean vegetables and some fresh zingy lemon and basil new potatoes.

I love Sunday’s, they’re my favourite day. We try not to plan much and just spend the day pottering, shopping or walking the dog. 

One thing I’ve started to enjoy doing is prepping a few food bits to make my life easier during the week.

Depending on my food menu for the week, I will make my own breakfast cereal, blitz up some fresh nut butter or make some sauces for dinners, such as fresh, Parmesan-free pesto. I’ll blog recipes for all of these today/tomorrow for you. 

Happy Sunday!

Roasted Tomato Soup

Ok so every man and his dog has a tomato to soup recipe but hey, I’ll throw my hat in the ring… I made this today in a bid to stay healthy then ruined it by pairing it with olive stuffed bread…oh well…

Ingredients
800g tomatoes
1 red pepper
œ packet of fresh basil
A few Thyme sprigs if you have them
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tsp sugar
1 onion, finely diced
1 stick of celery, finely diced
1tbsp tomato purée
500ml chicken stock
2tbsp mascarpone (optional)

Method

Heat your oven to 220 or 200 degrees, nice and hot. Slice the tomatoes in half and place them in a roasting pan. Chop the pepper any way you like and put on top of the toms. Add the balsamic, herbs and sugar. Roast in the oven for at least 30 mins, longer if you have time (although reduce the temperature if you do).

Meanwhile, sauté the onions and celery in olive oil for 10 mins then add the tomato purée and stock. Season well.

When the tomatoes are nicely cooked, remove from the oven and tip the whole lot in the stock pan. Blitz with a stick blender then add the mascarpone, stir well and serve. Not with olive bread, is far too moreish!!