While I’ve no problem with eating carbs/cheese/chocolate at every meal, two weeks of it over Christmas is usually enough for anyone – even me – so I’m yearning for some nutrient-dense dishes. However, I don’t feel ready to jump into full-on ‘healthy eating’ mode – it’s just too much of a shock to the system and only likely to last a day or two before I’m back at the bread basket.
This salad is the perfect in-between recipe: it’s full of vegetables, but the noodles and punchy Asian flavours make it feel a little less worthy – plus it’s really easy to make. If you wanted to really crank up the health factor, you could of course skip the noodles and add more veg.
In the picture above, I’ve added steak, but it’s endlessly versatile. Prawns would be delicious, and for veggies I’d recommend those little cubes of marinated tofu that Cauldron do. But the absolute ideal iteration is with leftover roast meat. Just shred whatever you have – chicken, beef, lamb – and fry it in a little oil until golden and crisp. This also works really well as a packed lunch for workdays – imagine how jealous your colleagues will be when you whip this out! (See my note below for how to avoid sogginess.)
The recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver’s excellent Save with Jamie. I am unashamed about my love for Mr Oliver, especially his recent books that are designed for people to cook from every day. I also really recommend 15-Minute Meals. In both books, he makes all the recipes reasonably straightforward, delicious and as healthy as possible.
- 200g rice noodles
- thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lime, juice only
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 Little Gem lettuces, cut into small wedges
- ½ cucumber, sliced
- ½ bunch fresh mint, leaves only
- 200g leftover roast meat, tofu or steak (or 200g cooked prawns)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped roasted peanuts
- Soak the rice noodles in boiling water according to the packet instructions (usually about 15 minutes) until tender.
- Mix the ginger, chilli, olive oil, lime juice and soy sauce together in a large bowl.
- Add the carrots, lettuce, cucumber and mint.
- Drain the noodles and add them to the bowl. Mix together and add more lime juice or soy sauce, to taste.
- Spoon the salad into serving bowls and add your topping of choice. Sprinkle over the peanuts.