Tag Archives: salad

Thai beef salad


Here’s another light, easy salad for those lazy summer days. The first time I made it, I followed the recipe for the coriander and chilli dressing, but changed all the vegetables in the salad (taking out the red onions because I don’t like them very much, throwing in various things that I wanted to use up, adding some mixed lettuce and bean sprouts for the vitamins). The dressing was totally overwhelming when I tasted it straight, but very good in the salad.

The next timeI made it, I tried to add some extra fat into the recipe by mixing coconut milk powder into the dressing.  It was so good I practically drank it. I’d also recommend the coconut milk version for anyone who doesn’t like too much chilli.


For dressing

  • 2 fresh red thai chillies, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 stick lemongrass, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 bunch fresh coriander
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk powder

For salad

  • Canola oil spray
  • 400g been rump steak
  • 100g mixed lettuce leaves
  • 2 large handfuls bean sprouts
  • 100g cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 a red capsicum, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lebanese cucumber, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup thai basil leaves
  1. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients except the dressing in a blender and process until smooth. It will be necessary to stop every ten or twenty seconds to scrape down the sides.
  2. To make the coconut dressing, combine about half the chilli paste with the coconut milk powder, and stir until the coconut has dissolved. Add 1tbsp of boiling water to make into a runny dressing.
  3. Spray the canola onto a hot frypan, and fry the beef for three minutes on each side or until well done.  Remove and allow to rest for five minutes before slicing finely.
  4. To serve, toss the beef with all other salad ingredients in a large bowl. Divide between bowls and serve with the two dressings in different bowls.



Prawn salad with green goddess dressing


Prawns, roast potato and avocado are three of my favourite foods, so this salad is definitely a winner. Plus, there’s hardly anything to do other than roasting the potatoes and throwing everything together (and the potatoes can be roasted in advance), so its a great recipe for a summer night when you don’t really feel like cooking

To vary the fat content, you can vary how much dressing you put on each salad. Squeeze some lemon over the salad if you’re serving it without a lot of dressing. If you’re really trying to lower the fat content for the non-CF version, you could use boiled potatoes instead of roast potatoes. You can also leave out the avocado when tossing the salad, and only add it to the CF-version.


  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 a cup of fresh herbs (I used a mixture of basil, parsley and chives, but use whatever you have)
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp French mustard
  • 500g cooked, shelled prawns
  • 100g rocket
  • 5 radishes, finely sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut the potatoes into 3 cm cubes and spread out on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 25 minutes or until crispy.
  2. To make the dressing, combine half an avocado, the herbs, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, and half a cup of cold water in a blender or food processor and process until the herbs are finely chopped and the dressing is combined.
  3. Dice the remaining avocado.
  4. To serve, combine the rocket, prawns, avocado and radishes in a large salad bowl. Serve onto individual plates and add dressing.


Smoked trout and beetroot salad


Last night I was at home on my own, so I was only cooking dinner for myself. When I’m only cooking for myself, I like to treat myself a little, mostly with pricier ingredients that only need a little work to make into a meal. Now that I live with L, dinner on my own is also an opportunity for something lighter. This salad fits the bill.

I only discovered recently that beetroot greens are edible, and since then I’ve been using them in place of whatever green the recipe called for in dishes involving beetroot. They work well in the salad with the strong flavours of the trout and feta. You need to wash the leaves well, as they will have quite a lot of dirt on them. If you can’t find beetroots with the leaves still attached, or if the leaves don’t look very nice, you can use baby spinach instead.


  • 1 bunch of beetroots or baby beets, leaves still attached
  • 1/2 a butternut pumpkin, chopped into 2-3 cm cubes
  • 1 smoked trout
  • 1/4 cup Persian fetta in olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Cut the beetroots away from the leaves, leaving about an inch of stem attached. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Cut the remaining stem off the beetroot leaves, and wash leaves well. Leave beetroot leaves to stand in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes, then drain. Spin the leaves dry and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Add pumpkin to the baking tray, drizzle with olive oil. Bake pumpkin and beetroot for another twenty minutes, or until beetroot can be easily pierced by a fork.
  5. In a salad bowl, mix together the pumpkin and beetroot leaves.
  6. Trim the root and the remaining stem from the beetroot, and remove the skin. Cut into 1-2 cm sized pieces. Add to the salad bowl with the leaves and pumpkin.
  7. Remove the skin from the smoked trout, and pull the flesh apart into flakes.
  8. Add trout and feta to the salad bowl with a little of the olive oil. Toss to combine and serve.


What do you like to make when you’re only cooking for yourself? Do you go for something simple or something fancy? Do you use the opportunity to make something no-one else in your house likes?

Vietnamese chicken salad


This salad is inspired by two different recipes. One is a light, tangy, herby salad from Bill Granger, and the other is my mother’s fried noodle salad recipe.

Chinese cabbage is one of the best sources of vitamins and minerals going, while the carrot, cucumber and coriander add colour and crunch.

I often make a big bowl of this for work lunches. It will hold up fairly well if you add the dressing the night before.  This recipe is easy to adapt to a high-fat version with a few additions after it’s been divided into individual servings.


  • 600 g chicken breast fillet
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 a wombok, finely sliced
  • 1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 small chillies
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • A handful of Chang’s Fried Noodles (optional – high-fat version)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (optional – high-fat version only)
  1. Cook the chicken breast in the oven at 220 C for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  2. Julienne the carrots and cucumber. Sprinkle with salt and toss to combine, and leave for twenty minutes. Rinse the vegetables, then cover with the vinegar and sugar. Leave to stand for twenty to thirty minutes.  Reserve pickling liquid.
  3. Shred the chicken with fingers once it has cooled. Combine with the wombok, pickled vegetables and coriander.
  4. To make the dressing, pulse shallots, garlic and chilli in a food processor. The shallots should remain in coarse pieces. Mix with the lime juice, fish sauce, and reserved pickling liquid.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad before serving.  For the high-fat version, add a handful of fried noodles and some sesame oil.