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!

Easy Strawberry Cheesecake #NoCookDessert

I did this for a dinner party recently and had requests to post the recipe so here you go!!

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Ingredients
500g mascarpone
284ml Double Cream
3 or 4 tbsp Icing Sugar (taste as you add)
2 punnets Strawberries
2tbsp Strawberry Jam
14 Digestive Biscuits
25g – 50g butter, melted
Pinch salt

Method
Smash up the biscuits and mix with the butter and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Whip the double cream to soft peaks. Beat the mascarpone until soft then add the double cream and icing sugar and beat well. You could add some vanilla here too to add flavour.

Slice up the strawberries, reserving some to decorate the tops. Mix with the jam.

Get some glasses or jam jars and start with a layer of biscuits, make sure you smush them down with a spoon. Then a good thick layer of mascarpone and the strawberry mix. Repeat until you’ve run out of each.

That’s it! Enjoy!