While Iâ€™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 Iâ€™m yearning for some nutrient-dense dishes. However, I donâ€™t feel ready to jump into full-on â€˜healthy eatingâ€™ mode – itâ€™s just too much of a shock to the system and only likely to last a day or two before Iâ€™m back at the bread basket.
This salad is the perfect in-between recipe: itâ€™s full of vegetables, but the noodles and punchy Asian flavours make it feel a little less worthy – plus itâ€™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, Iâ€™ve added steak, but itâ€™s endlessly versatile. Prawns would be delicious, and for veggies Iâ€™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 Oliverâ€™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
- Â½ cucumber, sliced
- Â½ 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.