(Cheat) Bloody Mary Sundays

Photo of a Bloody Mary

At a loss of where to go on a sunny Gold Coast Sunday for a Bloody Mary, my girlfriend and I finally gave up and decided to take matters into our own hands and make our own! A reconnaissance of several establishments along the Coast for this quintessential Sunday morning-after beverage left us faced with places either without a bartender, a supply of tomato juice, an open kitchen for brunch or sun-drenched seating! With our determination strong to make sure we got what we had set out for, we changed our game plan and headed to the supermarket for a quick collection of essential ingredients to mix with the vodka we already had stashed in the freezer at home – how convenient! Not being mixologists by trade, we were pretty chuffed with the concoction we came up with.

Cheat Bloody Mary

Ingredients

  • 2.5 parts vodka
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Slice of cucumber (just a touch longer than the height of your glass)
  • Slice of celery (again, just a touch longer than the height of your glass)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Fresh grind of pepper
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot & Spicy V8 Veggie Juice (that’s the cheat!)
  • Extra Tabasco, if required
  • Ice

Method

  1. Fill a large tumbler half full of ice.
  2. Place the cucumber and celery sticks in the tumbler.
  3. Pour in vodka, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and stir with your veggie sticks to combine (how nifty!).
  4. Top with salt, pepper to taste and extra Tabasco if you are a brave soul.
  5. Stir and sip contently. Continue to top with tomato juice if your ice melts quickly.

Makes one delicious and potent Bloody Mary.

If you are feeling extra fancy, you could muddle some cherry tomatoes and basil. I think that would be rather delicious!

A great success! Lucky for us, my place has an amazing and sunny view! Cheers!!

As a side note: Any Gold Coasters (around the Broadbeach area) know of places to go for Bloody Marys on a Sunday, preferably with sunny seating and decent food?
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How To: Look Like Miranda Kerr

… or at least emulate her supermodel glow by gulping down the same superfood-packed green smoothie that the Aussie model starts her days with.*

The lovely people at Total Vita have generously supplied me with some of the ingredients (thank you!!) so that I could whip one up for myself. Hoorah for me!

Total Vita is an awesome online natural health goods store. Check them out at www.totalvita.com.au for all your healthy and organic food, supplements, vitamins, natural beauty and eco-friendly home product needs!

I come across a lot of green smoothie recipes and I was expecting it to be the usual spinach, kale, cucumber concoction. But not so! One ultimate nutrient-packed breakfast smoothie will require the following..

Kerr’s Ultimate Morning Smoothie

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Ingredients

  • 1 glass (235mL) fresh coconut water – mine came from a carton but it’s close enough for these purposes
  • 1 glass (235mL) cold-pressed coconut milk
  • 1 tbs acai berries antioxidant-rich fruit (layman’s terms: anti-cancer, anti-disease, anti-aging!!). I used acai powder.
  • 1 tbs chia seeds – these tiny little suckers (pun intended) will soak up liquid and go all gelatinous. They are great for colon-cleansing (high-fibre), they are gluten-free, full of Omega-3’s, are a complete protein with all essential amino acids, are high in antioxidants, vitamin C and calcium, and are great for healthy hair skin and nails – why hello there Kerr glow!
  • 1 tbs maca powder – this vitality enhancer will give you a big boost of energy, especially in the bedroom! Woot woo!
  • 1 tbs spirulina – a true “superfood” jam-packed with goodness but the big ticket here is its high Chlorophyll content. It will help remove toxins from the blood, bind with heavy metals in the body and help remove them, alkalise your body and boost your immune system.
  • 1 tbs goji berry powder – nutritional powerhouses, these berries are used in traditional Chinese medicine to help with improving eyesight, cleansing the blood, improving the condition of the skin and increasing longevity! I used actual berries and not powder.
  • 1 tbs raw cocoa powderrich in antioxidants and magnesium and deliciously chocolatey – sold!
  • 1.5 tbs vegan rice protein powder

Method

Throw all ingredients into a powerful blender (like a Vitamix) and whiz until smooth and creamy. I blended mine with lots of ice.

Verdict

Jam-packed full of nutrients and a little luxe, but how does it taste? Well I won’t say it’s the most delicious green concoction I’ve tried but it’s not too bad, especially considering it’s got a good dose of spirulina, which I normally find rather offensive and unpalatable. Here you can’t really taste it at all. Just remind yourself of all the health benefits and the vision of your Kerr-like strut down the runway (aka street), blend it with plenty of ice, and you’ll be powered all the way until lunchtime.

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*Recently featured on Net-a-Porter’s The Body Beautiful video series: http://www.net-a-porter.com/magazine/200/21

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Low Carb Anti Ageing Mixed Berry Smoothie

I bet you’ve all been wondering what I’ve been up to!

Well, it’s nearly the end of my “No Processed Sugar August Challenge” and I have to be honest and confess that although I started out with good intentions and kept it up for a little bit, I have fallen off the wagon hard and may even be worse than before I set myself out for this challenge! (oops).

So, a few lessons learnt from this little experiment:

  1. Being too strict is extremely hard to maintain and you will probably end up bingeing after even the smallest slip-up. That “oh well I’ve ruined it now” attitude will kick in, and you’ll end up being worse-off than if you had just allowed yourself to indulge a little.
  2. Moderation is key – the “80/20 Rule”: Eat well 80 per cent of the time, and 20 per cent of the time you can enjoy a little indulgence. Of course, still try and go for healthier, homemade alternatives, not that nasty pre-packaged gunk. If you’re going to be bad, at least make it good.

At least now I am inspired to think up yummy clean recipes to try and reverse some of the damage that I have no doubt induced upon myself by demolishing naughty processed sugars. Not only do we know that sugar is a major culprit for weightgain and disease, sugar literally ages your skin by damaging the collagen and elastin. Say hi to sagging and wrinkles. Um, no thank you! 

Here’s a low-carb, low-sugar (minimal naturally occurring sugars from the fruit and milk), high-protein, gluten-free, antioxidant-rich, low-fat, anti-ageing smoothie for you to enjoy as a light meal or post-gym snack.

Low Carb Anti Ageing Mixed Berry Smoothie

Photo of low carb anti ageing mixed berry smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup (250mL) milk of your choice, coconut water or water – I used lactose-free full cream milk
  • 1 tsp flaxseed oil – promotes healthy skin
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 big scoop raw vegan wholegrain brown rice protein  – I use ezyprotein but you can use any other whey or pea protein you like
  • Ice
  • Splash of water, if needed

Method

  • Throw all the ingredients into a powerful blender (like a Vitamix) and whiz until smooth and creamy.
  • Gulp down guilt-free.

Nutritional Information (when made with water)

  • Protein 31g
  • Total fat 6.7g
  • Saturated fat 1g
  • Carbs 7.2g
  • Calories 214
  • Kilojoules 896
  • Fibre 4.4g

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Challenge for August: No Processed Sugars! (and Raw Carrot Cake Recipe)

Hey everyone! Happy Friday to all!

I know I’ve been M.I.A. and have been neglecting you (I’m so sorry!) but rest assured I have been keeping healthy, staying dry (I completed the Dry July charity challenge and raised over $500 for cancer research) and busy dreaming up all sorts of new ideas to post about.

Dry July

Staying booze-free wasn’t too hard at all. The most challenging times were the first few Friday afternoons (I love an after-work red to kick off the weekend), a friend’s 30th (but I got over it after the first hour) and another friend’s birthday dinner (and I soon got over that after the food arrived – oink). I did however, find myself eating a lot more sweets and treats, justifying to myself that since I wasn’t drinking, I was consuming fewer calories anyway, or they were at least cancelling each other out.

BUT as we all know, it’s not (all) about the calories right?  I was consuming more processed sugar than before and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you don’t need me to tell you that nasty processed sugar is addictive and detrimental to your health! Yuck!

There are many opinions out there about sugar – processed and naturally occurring – and how much one should consume. I don’t purport to be an expert on it so I won’t preach here, but I will share with you what works for me, and how I want to eat.

Challenge for August

Now bringing it back to where I started off.. Taking on the Dry July challenge was fantastic – it gave me a goal to work towards and achieving it was very rewarding. I felt positive in body and mind. So I thought, why not take on another challenge in August: No processed sugars?!

Let me be clear: This isn’t a license for me to go and eat barrels of fruit a day and ladle honey over my morning muesli like it’s going out of fashion – a balanced diet is still important – it is an attempt to minimise the amount of processed sugars consumed. Sugar is in so many unsuspecting food items (like Ketchup and many of the Asian sauces we cook with plus so much more!) I can’t possibly cut them all out, but I can at least try to make “sugar swaps” – using healthier natural alternatives where possible – and cut out those blocks of Cadbury after dinner each night, and that 3pm cupcake at work, “you know, because it’s Tuesday”.

I’ll be experimenting with some different sugar alternatives, and working on some other greener meals and snacks, so stay tuned!

Raw Carrot Cake*

Depending on which way you look at it, this could be the perfect (or counter-intuitive) way to bring on my August challenge: a raw carrot cake using only natural ingredients and no added processed sugars (only honey and fruit are used as sweeteners). Just remember that cake is meant to be a treat, so enjoy in moderation.

raw carrot cake

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups walnuts
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup organic rolled oats – I used my morning raw muesli mix already stocked in the pantry (my cake batter was scattered with almonds, pepitas, sultanas and coconut – yum!) 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt – I love a touch of saltiness in my sweet!
  • 12 large fresh dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup dried chopped apricots or pineapple – I used a combination of both
  • 2 large raw carrots, grated
  • 1 orange
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste – which I didn’t have so I used 2 tsp natural vanilla essence
  • 2 tbs raw protein powder

Method

  1. Combine walnuts, chia, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, protein powder, orange zest and salt into a food processor and processed until mixed and finely chopped.
  2. Add dates and apricots then process again until mixed through.
  3. Add grated carrot and vanilla and then process again until combined. The mix should now form a lovely dough.
  4. Tip into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add oats and kneed through the mixture.
  6. Press cake firmly into a 15-20cm baking tin that is lined with baking paper.
  7. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Leave at least 2 hours to allow the carrot cake to rest.
  8. Lick fingers and bowl.
  9. Enjoy as is or with your choice of frosting.

Frosting Ideas

  1. Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt
  2. For a raw cashew or macadamia nut cream, combine 1 cup raw nuts with 1/2 cup orange juice or coconut water and a little vanilla. Blend in Vitamix until smooth and creamy
  3. For a cream cheese style frosting, combine 250g soft cream cheese with a little lemon zest, juice, vanilla and maple syrup and honey, and beat until combined and creamy. You can use quark or Neutachafel (try Flannery’s, I think Barambah organics makes a quark) or a naughty but easily-accessible option is Philadelphia cream cheese (not raw or sugar free!!).

This cake is rather dense, and will cut up into about 16 slices. I ate 3 in the first day – oops! Enjoy xx

*Recipe credit to Teresa Cutter, The Health Chef: http://www.thehealthychef.com/2013/07/raw-carrot-cake/
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Winter Warmer : Pear Mint and Ginger Crumble

Image 2This is a recipe from one of my favourite food blogs “Finger Fork & Knife”, which is a real inspiration to my own aspirations of becoming a food stylist / food photographer / food designer, if not only just as a hobby. I’m not quitting my day job any time soon – I have a mortgage!

Warm pear and ginger are some of my favourite flavours, coupled with the sweet and crunchy oat and nutty topping – with little bursts of saltiness dotted throughout – contrasted with the freshness of mint and zestiness of lemon, balanced with cold creamy vanilla icecream atop, makes this dessert a winter winner in my book. Pears are in season now too which is perfect as I’m a big fan of cooking seasonally and using produce at its optimum quality and availability.

I made a few ingredient substitutions in order to reduce the guilt when seeking comfort in this treat, but all in all this crumble is pretty wholesome (in terms of desserts), so don’t feel too bad.

Pear Mint and Ginger Crumble*

Serves 4-6

For the fruit

  • 4 large pears, peeled, cored, sliced – I actually forgot to peel mine. The skin has antioxidants, anti-inflammatory flavonoids and heaps of dietary fibre, so feel free to leave it on for added nutritional benefit.
  • 2-3 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped – I used 3
  • 2 pieces stem ginger, chopped – I couldn’t find any so I used glace ginger and halved the amount of sugar used in the crumble topping to compensate
  • zest of 1 lemon – when zesting the lemon, do so over the pan, so that you capture all those flavoursome oils from the rind that splutter everywhere
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

For the crumble topping

  • 1/2 wholemeal flour – I used wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats – next time I’ll try rolled spelt oats to reduce gluten
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar – I used 2 tbs to reduce the sweetness since I used glace ginger, and also to make it a tad healthier
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped – hazelnuts would be yummy too
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 60g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes – sorry, but butter makes everything better! Use organic grass-fed if you can.
  • Himalayan rock salt

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.

Put the sliced pear, dates, stem ginger, lemon juice and zest into a saucepan. Add a splash of water and bring to the boil. Reduce hear and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the pear has softened slightly. Remove from the heat and add in the chopped mint leaves. Stir gently to mix through mint then spoon into an oven-proof dish or divide between individual ramekins.

To make the crumble topping, combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs – this can also be done in a food processor. Stir in oats, brown sugar, almonds and sunflower seeds. Scatter the crumble over the fruit in an even layer and pop into the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes, until browned on top. Serve warm, with a big dollop of natural yoghurt, custard, cream or (my choice) vanilla icecream.

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IMG_2209*Recipe credit to Finger Fork & Knife: http://fingerforkknife.com/2013/06/30/pear-mint-ginger-crumble/

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Thai Chicken Burgers with Korean Slaw

Image 1It’s the first weekend of Dry July, so in an effort to keep busy and eat clean, I decided to make a healthy dinner (as opposed to lazily getting takeout as I am often guilty of on a Friday night, bottle of wine in tow).

This recipe is from the “detox” menu plan in Gwyneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good” cookbook. By the way, I’ve tried a few of her recipes now and I must say, I am digging them! I had mine bun-free as I had already indulged in pizza, chips and cake today (oops) but you can have them on a gluten-free bun. These burgers were, as my friend Lauren would say, absolutely deeelish!

Thai Chicken Burgers

Serves 4

  • 500g minced chicken breast
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely minced
  • 2/3 cups coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped – I used spring onions
  • 1 tsp very finely minced red chilli – I used 2 small hot chillies
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs neutral oil (like canola, grapeseed or safflower oil)

Thoroughly mix the chicken with the garlic, coriander, shallots, red chilli, fish sauce, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 4 burgers (I made 8 smaller ones).

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Rub each burger on both side with a bit of the oil and grill for about 8 minutes on the first side and another 5 minutes on the second, or until nicely marked and firm to the touch.

Korean Slaw

Makes 2 cups

  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil – Next time I would use only 1tbs, it was a tad oily for my liking
  • 2 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded cos lettuce
  • 3 tbs finely diced red red onion
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced – I used spring onion
  • 3 tbs roughly chopped coriander
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice and fish sauce in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and allow the slaw to sit for at least 10 minutes and as long as 6 hours before serving.

Easy as!

I hope you enjoy the burgers as much as I did, and that you have a happy and healthy weekend! Rest relax rejuvenate xx

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Dry July

Clear Your Head, Make a Difference

Back in April my boyfriend and I had 6 weeks off the booze, in an attempt to be healthier and to save some money. It really wasn’t that hard especially since we were doing it together. We felt energised and positive! So when I heard of “Dry July” – a charity that raises funds to help adults living with cancer – I thought, why not participate? It’ll give me an opportunity to have another month off and re-focus, and more importantly, it’s a good deed!

A colleague of ours is currently going through the heartache of helping her loved one fight cancer, so we have set up a workplace team to show our support. If you wish to donate, you can do so by visiting http://au.dryjuly.com/team/chesswealthpartners.*

Eating Clean

A month without alcohol is also a good motivator to eat clean. I must admit that lately I have been indulging a little more than I should be in sweets and processed foods (white flours and sugars.. I’ve been naughty!) so this is a good time for me to reset. I’ll be making an effort to have a juice or smoothie everyday and to eat clean.

I kicked off the morning this Energising Green Juice.

Photo of Energising Green Juice

Energising Green Juice

Ingredients

  • 1 green apple
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 stick celery
  • 4 leaves kale
  • 2 sprigs mint
  • 1 lemon, peel removed
  • 2cm-piece ginger

Method

Put all ingredients through a juicer. Simple!

You can use any combination veggies and fruits you like. There are no rules.**

Stay tuned for more clean recipes throughout my Dry July!

*If you want to sign-up for Dry July yourself, visit https://au.dryjuly.com/sign-up/. My individual profile is http://au.dryjuly.com/profile/fionawhite.

**Remember to eat the colours of the rainbow – mostly veggies. Fruits are still high in sugar so have these in moderation. More green veggies = higher alkalising effect = better for you! Happy juicing! x

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Mexican Beef Tacos with Chimichurri Corn and Green Goddess Slaw

IMG_2154On the weekend my girlfriends and I had a takeaway picnic lunch in the park – to take advantage of the beautiful winter’s day, and really so we could all be selfish and have whatever flavours we felt like that day. I opted for Chinese (steamed chicken with rice and greens and lots of chilli) and my friend had Mexican. The few bites I snuck in were yummo and thus became my inspiration for tonight’s dinner.

This is a mix and match of a few recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good”. I took a few liberties and improvised a little with what I had in my fridge. Next time I may be a little lighter-handed on the oil and salt, but that’s my personal preference (and it’s a little healthier), though my dinner amigo thought it was just delicioso as is.

Mexican Beef Tacos with Chimichurri Corn and Green Goddess Slaw

Serves 4 hungry fiesta guests

Mexican Beef

Rub some rump steaks with olive oil and Mexican seasoning (cumin, oregano, garlic, paprika, chilli, pepper) then BBQ for a few minutes on each side. Remove from heat, cover and leave to rest whilst you make the sides.

Chimichuirri Corn

  • 4 fresh ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • Himalayan rock salt
  • 2 tbs Chimichurri (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

Remove the kernels from the corncobs. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over high heat and immediately add the corn kernels and a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring now and then, until the corn is softened and takes on a bit of char around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the Chimichurri and chilli flakes. Season to taste.

Chimichurri

  • 1 packed cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 packed cup coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Himalayan rock salt

Pulse everything together in a food processor (I use a powerful blender like a Vitamix). Let it sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Mexican Green Goddess Dressing

  • 2/3 cup Greek yoghurt – I use Chobani No Fat. It’s got heaps of protein, zero fat and low in sugar (and non of the yucky added sugars)
  • 1/4 cup coriander
  • 2 scallions, which and light green parts only
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 jalapeno – I used a whole one, I like spicy
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

Combine all the ingredients in a powerful blender and blitz until completely smooth. This makes a lot of dressing. If you don’t use it all, it will keep well in a jar for up to a week.

Slaw

  • 1/2 red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1/2 green cabbage, finely shredded

Combine in a large bowl and top with Green Goddess Dressing. Keep some dressing to the side for your hombres who like a creamier salad.

Now assemble! Layer all ingredients onto heated tortillas. Top with salsa, Tabasco, chopped chillies, extra coriander, big squeeze of lime.. whatever you like! That’s what makes Mexican so much fun to eat!

¡Buen provecho!

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Protein Power Balls

IMG_2147I’m a huge fan of Teresa Cutter (aka “The Healthy Chef”) and her approach to food – she creates delicious functional foods for optimum health and wellbeing.

I have been meaning to give these protein balls a try forever but have never gotten around to it, so Friday night when my girlfriend came over for healthy fish and veggies (and wine – what? It’s the weekend, plus isn’t a glass of wine good for you?!), we gave them a whirl. They turned out absolutely dangerously delicious!! Let’s just say we couldn’t stop at one..

Ingredients

  • 330g raw whole almonds or walnuts – I didn’t have quite that many almonds so made up about 50g of the difference with pistachios
  • 60g protein powder – I use ezyprotein (vanilla) which is an Australian certified organic, sprouted, bio-fermented, raw, wholegrain brown rice protein powder
  • 16 fresh dates, pitted
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder – I used raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbs natural vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • desiccated coconut, goji berries, cocoa, nuts for rolling

Method

  • Throw almonds, cinnamon, protein powder and cocoa into a food processor and process until the mix looks crumbly – Vitamix won’t work, I found this out the hard way.. but you can blitz the nuts in a Vitamix, chop up the dates and moosh all ingredients together with your hands in a big bowl. Get dirrrrty!
  • Add dates and vanilla extract and process again until the mix starts to come together
  • Add a splash of water if you need to so that the mixture is soft and forms a soft ball
  • Form into 14 decent sized balls
  • Roll in coconut or other suggested coatings and store in the fridge (up for 4 weeks, if they last that long!)

Nutritional Info (per ball)

  • Protein 8.2g
  • Carbs 7.6g
  • Total fat 12g
  • Saturated fat 0.9g
  • Fibre 2.8g
  • Kilojoules 703
  • Calories 168
Picture of Protien Power Balls

After-dinner treat

Recipe from: The Healthy Chef http://www.thehealthychef.com/2011/09/protein-power-balls/

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Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Green Papaya, Pickled Carrot and Mint

Picture of Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Green Papaya, Carrot and Mint

At the farmers markets on Saturday morning, my usual green grocer had bags of freshly-shredded green papaya for sale. I love green payaya salads but seeing as though I am way too lazy to go to the Asian supermarket to buy green papayas and even lazier to peel and shred the big melons myself, I didn’t hesitate to procure myself a bag of the not-always-available (and conveniently pre-packaged) fruit.

I didn’t have a recipe for a Thai green papaya salad (originally from Laos as I have now learnt) so I adapted a recipe for Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Carrot and Mint from Bill Granger’s “Bill’s Everyday Asian” – a cookbook that comes highly recommended by my best friend and she is not wrong! All the dishes I’ve made so far have been really tasty and quite simple, especially for Asian food which I can find to be a tad onerous on time, ingredients and processes.

Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Green Papaya, Pickled Carrot & Mint

  • 1.5kg rotisserie chicken – I used 2 poached chicken breast instead (see recipe below)
  • 90g bean sprouts
  • 180g Chinese cabbage, finely shredded – I used green papaya instead
  • handful mint leaves
  • handful basil leaves
  • pickled carrot (see recipe below)
  • 3 tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tbs soft brown sugar – I used raw organic honey
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crush with the flat of a knife – I finely chopped mine
  • handful chopped roasted peanuts
  • small handful crispy shallots – I used sliced spring onions (fresh)

Shred the chicken breast meat. Place the chicken, bean sprouts, green papaya, mint and basil leaves and picked carrot in a serving bowl.

Make the dressing by whisking together the fish sauce, lime juice, honey, chilli, ginger and garlic. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine with half the peanuts. Sprinkle with the remaining peanuts and spring onions to serve. Serves 4 (it served a hungry boyfriend who loved it and who doesn’t normally like Vietnamese food plus myself for lunch, and we even some leftover to use as rice paper roll fillings the next day).

Pickled Carrot

  • 1 large carrot, finely julienned – I simply grated mine
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt – I always use Himalayan pink rock salt
  • 1.5 tbs rice vinegar
  • 3 tsp caster sugar – I used raw sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and leave to pickle for 20 minutes.

Poached Chicken Breast

You can use many combinations of aromatics you have on hand to poach chicken breast, eg. black peppercorns, bay leaves, spring onions etc. Use a good dose of salt (about 1 tbs for 4 breast fillets). Add all the aromatics into a pot of cold water. Bring to the boil. Add the chicken, turn off the heat, cover and leave to poach for 20 minutes. You will have perfectly poached chicken breast every time. Too easy! I like to poach a few extra so that I always have easy salad proteins and wrap fillings on hand.

Chúc ngon miệng! (Bon appetit in Vietnamese)

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