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

Breaded Chicken, Mash, Kale and mushroom sauce

I’m making this tonight (20.02.14) for dinner, my mouth keeps watering at the thought of it!!

Ingredients

4 Chicken Breasts, flattened as much as you can with any suitable kitchen instruments
Breadcrumbs (I used panko)
2 eggs beaten
Plateful of flour

Half an onion finely diced
2 cloves of garlic crushed
200g mushrooms
100ml single cream
Splash of white wine or brandy
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Sprig of Thyme or Rosemary

Mashable potatoes, I used Tesco’s Finest Blue Belle Potatoes

Kale

Method

  1. MASH: Peel your potatoes, put them in a pan of cold water and once boiling, time for 20-25 minutes. Drain them for 5 minutes, put them back in their pan with a few knobs of butter and go all out mashing them. Add a little milk and use a fork to stir/fluff it through. Put it in the oven to keep warm if necessary
  2. CHICKEN: Having bashed up the chicken satisfactorily, set up a production line with the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. Dip in each methodically and put on a plate.
  3. CHICKEN: You can either spray with Olive Oil spray and oven back for 20 minutes at 180 or you can pan fry them – heat some oil in a pan then add the chicken breasts. Don’t overcrowd the pan or they won’t get crispy. Pan fry for 5-7 mins on each side. Cut into the middle of your meat, if any pinkness remains, put it back in the oven/pan – this can vary depending on how thick/think your chicken is.
  4. SAUCE: Fry your onions and garlic on a medium heat with a little oil for 5-7 minutes until translucent. Add your mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Add your white wine or brandy and boil down for 4-5 minutes. Add the dijon mustard and herbs, stir well. When ready to serve, add the single cream and stir. Season to taste
  5. KALE: Boil for 7 minutes and serve

As always, please post your results in the comments. Good idea to warm your plates beforehand too – especially if you have the oven on anyway 🙂

One Pot Coq au Vin

Here’s a really simple mid-week dinner that packs in the flavour and doesn’t mess up too many pots and pans…

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Ingredients

4 whole chicken legs, cut into thighs and drumsticks
2 onions, each cut into 8 wedges
8 garlic cloves, left in their skins
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, snipped into 3cm pieces
2tbsp tomato puree
For the gravy
200ml (7fl oz) hot chicken stock
200ml (7fl oz) full-bodied red wine
250g chestnut mushrooms, halved
handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunky pieces

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C or 180°C if its a fan oven.

Put the carrots, onions and garlic cloves (still in their skins) into a large roasting tin and put the chicken on top.. Drizzle with some oil, then scatter the bacon over the top. Season and roast for 30 minutes, until the chicken and vegetables are turning golden.

Dissolve the tomato purée in hot chicken stock then stir in the wine. Pour the liquid around the chicken and return to the oven for 30 minutes until rich and saucy.

Nestle the mushrooms in the sauce around the chicken, then roast again for 15 minutes until everything is golden. Season to taste, then scatter with the parsley to serve. Serve with mash or just some nice crusty bread.

Butter Chicken Heaven

20120929-220343.jpg

Easily the quickest and tastiest chicken curry you can make mid-week. Don’t even bother with a takeaway as this recipe requires few fresh ingredients and mostly store cupboard staples….

Ingredients

For the marinade

  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • large pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder or fresh green chilli
  • 500g chicken breast sliced or diced into bite size pieces

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground fenugreek seeds, or 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 100 g plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt

To serve

  • Chapatis or Rotis
  • onion, tomato and coriander salad

Method

In a large bowl, mix together the ingredients for the marinade, adding the chicken. Mix the marinade with the meat until it is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 and hour.

To start the sauce, heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions for 5-7 minutes or until they are lightly browned.

Add the turmeric, cumin, salt and fenugreek. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Tip in the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes or until the onion mixture becomes thick.

Stir in the butter, then the chicken and marinade, and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes or until the chicken is done.

I always serve this with shop bought frozen chapatis and an onion, tomato and coriander salad mixed with a little oil and the juice of 1 lemon
I’ll get a picture of this up for you as soon as I make it again 🙂