Okay, so, it’s been a while. What can I say? I felt like nobody wanted a food blog anymore back when I put a dustsheet over this site. Instagram seemed to be the place everyone went for easy recipes, then TikTok. And YouTube, always YouTube. But recently, as I’ve accidentally watched some of those recipe videos I’ve pondered if longer form blogs are ripe to resurface. Aren’t we all a little bored of ‘3 INGREDIENT RECIPES’ (always shouted in capitals) and ‘hacks’ (pretty sure Take a Break magazine used to just call a hack a ‘top tip’)?
What can I tell you has happened since I last posted? Well, lots. The high and lowlights? I wrote a book, was diagnosed with ADHD for which I am now medicated and my very best friend died. It’s been quite a rollercoaster these last three years. I also started a patreon which is essentially a paid for blog where I write about life, love, ADHD, divorce, grief, parenting, DIY, sewing (which is my new big love) and anything else that springs to mind. It’s £3 a month and you also get access to every previous post, of which there are many, so it’s pretty good value I think. Oh and it’s also the place where I have resurrected my old monthly newsletter which used to have a lot of subscribers (12,000 I think at last count). If you want to sign up for my patreon or peruse the few posts that are public and free, then you can find it here.
Anyway, enough of my ramblings. I made a salad the other night and it was good. I had a conscious thought of ‘I must remember this for the blog’ and well, here I am, doing just that. I think the timing might be spot on given that there’s a heat wave beginning again tomorrow, albeit not a 40 degree one like last month.
Serves 2, easily scaled up or down/adapted according to ingredients available.
For the dressing:
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled (teaspoons are really good for this)
- 1/2 large red chilli
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
- 2 cooked chicken breasts, sliced or shredded
- 100g glass noodles (also called vermicelli, but you could use pasta or regular noodles instead)
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into thin batons
- 1/3 cucumber, cut into thin batons
- 2 plums, destoned and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp salted peanuts, finely chopped
- a handful of fresh, chopped coriander if you have it
This is one of those salads that can pretty much use up anything in your fridge. On an especially hot day I plan to make the dressing in the morning and then leave the chicken leisurely marinating in it all day, covered in the fridge, so that dinner is just chopping vegetables and boiling a kettle. (I don’t think I’ve recovered from the trauma of the 40 degree heat wave where I made toasties for dinner every evening in my pants. I truly gave up on cooking and outdoor clothes that week).
Take all of the dressing ingredients and whizz up in a Nutri Bullet (my pref as no extra chopping required) or a food processor until finely chopped. If you use a food processor it might be worth chopping the chilli, ginger and garlic up a little before you add to the machine so that nobody ends up with big lumps of chilli on their salad. Stir the chicken through the dressing and set aside.
Place the glass noodles in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Set a timer for 5 minutes and then drain in a sieve. Run the cold tap over the noodles to stop them cooking. Add the drained noodles to the chicken mixture along with the rest of the ingredients, toss well and serve piled into large bowls with salted peanuts scattered on the top.
Sorry for the poorly lit photo. I took this in the kitchen and it was late.