Sometimes you get into a production efficient rut. You optimize your free time between work and chilling out with a glass of wine by optimizing your life chores and the thing you need to do - like cook dinner. I’m incredibly guilty of doing this. My hubby and I have quite the commute to and from work each day so we’ve developed a number of quick and easy meals that we can get on the table from scratch in around 20mins at night. While this is great from a life enjoyment perspective it does get a little monotonous from a foodie perspective. I’ve decide to make 2014 the year that I try and expand my "go to" 20min meal repertoire. My criteria for new meals was that I could have them on the table inside 30mins - even if it was the first time I was creating them, and that all the ingredients were available at my local fruit & vege store, butcher or supermarket.
We love the wide variety of Asian flavors - so my first go to was to rework an old favorite - Vietnamese chicken salad. Super easy to make, there is hardly any cooking in this recipe and it made enough for 4 people so we could have it the second night also.
Boil around 500g chicken. When it’s cooked through allow it to rest before roughly shredding with a fork. In the mean time thinly slice around 1/4 to 1/2 a savoy cabbage. Change the amount depending on how much cabbage you like. Thinly slice a couple of carrots into small pieces around the size of a toothpick. Again you can add more if carrot is a favorite food. Roughly chop a bunch of coriander and a bunch of Vietnamese mint. And thinly slice one white onion. Add a cup or two of bean sprouts. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl - including the chicken. Serve on a plate and dress. The dressing can be customized to your taste but is roughly 2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce, 2-3 table spoons of lime juice, a tea spoon of palm sugar (or castor sugar) and fresh chilli to taste. I add about 2-3 birds eye chills as we like it spicy. If you’re going to eat this over 2 nights I recommend keeping the dressing separate and only pouring it over what you serve up. Garnish with some fried shallots. (You can find these in the international foods section of your supermarket) and you have a great meal. I particularly love this in summer. Oh and it’s super healthy so if you’re hungry just add extra cabbage and carrot and you have a great filling meal that’s pretty low calorie.
This is definitely going to be on my meal repeat list for the next few months.