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 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 chili 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 Asian & 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.