Sweet sesame pasta salad

I love combining ingredients from the East and West to create my own flavours. This salad dressing was a result of my experimentation and it turned out to be great. Be creative with the ingredients and mix in some cherry tomatoes, arugula, grapes and chopped corn. A perfect salad for a light lunch or dinner.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup of cooked pasta
1/2 zucchini ( cubed )
1/2 chicken breast
1/2 carrot ( julienned )
Black pepper
Cajun powder

Dressing

1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tbsp sesame sauce
1.5 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp cajun mix
1/2 tsp cayenne powder

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Place the cubed zucchini on a lined baking tray and sprinkle black pepper over the zucchini. Baked at 170 degrees for 20 minutes.

2) Coat the chicken breast with cajun powder and leave it in the fridge while the zucchini cooks. When the zucchini is ready, transfer the chicken breast to the oven and bake at 190 degrees for 20 minutes.

3) Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.

4) In a large bowl, mix together the cooked zucchini , pasta and carrot strips.

5) Allow the chicken to cool for about 10 minutes before chopping it or shredding into smaller pieces. Mix it into the large bowl.

6) Pour the dressing over and mix well.

Green mango salad

This weekend, I feel like the kid from ‘Home Alone’. Everyone is out and I am left alone in an empty apartment. I thought I would enjoy the peace and quiet yet I just miss all the chaos when the entire family is around. I spent a lot of time cooking and cleaning to get rid of the boredom. And my weekend is gone just like that. Here is to a better week ahead for everyone!

INGREDIENTS

2 green mangoes ( julienned )
2 red chilli padi ( deseeded and sliced )
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Crushed peanuts

INSTRUCTIONS

1) In a bowl , whisk the fish sauce , brown sugar and rice vinegar

2) Add the sliced chilli padi to the mixture

3) Pour the mixture over the julienned mangoes.

4) Top with the crushed peanuts and its ready to be served

This is a basic recipe so feel free to add in red onions, cherry tomatoes, green papaya or any other ingredients.

Teriyaki tofu salad with tahini dressing

A convenient option for lunch on working days might be a rather unhealthy option. It takes discipline to eat well but the good news is that it only takes 21 days to form a habit. And that is about 15 work lunches. Try to challenge yourself to take control of your diet and eat healthier. I know the recipe posted is a salad but that does not imply that eating healthy means having a salad for every meal. If you like pasta, go for it. Fuck carbs and all they say. But making it yourself means you are aware of what you are eating and you are in control. 

INGREDIENTS

Salad

2 cups raw mix ( Mesclun mix with spinach )
1/4 cherry tomatoes
1/4 raw corn kernels
1/4 Japanese cucumber (cubed )
2 kings oyster mushroom sliced and toasted for around 15 minutes
1 teriyaki tofu cubed ( I just toasted my tofu for around twenty minutes with a store bought teriyaki sauce )

Dressing

1/4 cup tahini
1/12 cup plain yogurt ( not greek yogurt as it is too thick )
2 teaspoon lemon juice
Garlic powder
Dash of black pepper
Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Mix up the ingredients for the dressing till well combined. Add to salad and you are ready to go! I usually pack my dressing separately in a tiny ziplock to prevent the salad from getting soggy.

Easter salad

This year, I had a really special Easter this year. I spent it with my special boy and his wonderful family. I have never celebrated Easter and it was so much fun. We made eggs with patterns, great barbecue food and loads of games. Though Easter is long over , I still cannot forget it. So I will share a wonderful salad recipe that special boy’s Mum made on Easter day. This is a refreshing salad which took me by surprise. The flavours blended so well that my usual dislike for beetroot and carrot did not stop me from taking seconds.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium sized beetroot
1 canned cannellini beans
1 carrot
4 gherkin
2 tablespoon EVOO
A pinch of salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Place the beetroot and carrot in a pot of boiling water. Boil it for around 30 minutes.

2) Remove the beetroot and carrot from the pot. Peel off the skin of both vegetable.

3) Dice the beetroot , carrot and gherkin

4) Rinse the cannellini beans with some boiled water

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5) Mix all ingredients in a large bowl

 

Gado Gado ( Indonesian salad with peanut dressing )

Salad is universal. In Chinese cuisine, we have 凉拌菜(liang ban cai ) which are basically cold dishes . I remember my days in Shanghai , the fresh cucumbers with vinegar and garlic. Such a simple dish yet always so yummy. Or the thinly sliced tofu with century eggs and a dash of soya sauce and sesame oil topped with loads of green onions. So when my Dad brought back a few packets of Gado Gado sauce from Indonesia , I knew what I had to make. Gado Gado is an Indonesian dish with boiled vegetables and eggs mixed into a sweet peanut sauce with spices. It is absolutely delicious and just as healthy as any other salad. I deviated from the normal recipe and just included vegetables I like.

INGREDIENTS

1 head cabbage ( medium-sized , chopped roughly )
2 slices of tau kwah ( hard beancurd , sliced )
1 cup Chinese long beans ( cut into small pieces of about 2.5cm )
10 quail eggs (boiled and shelled) 
1.5 cups bean sprouts 
1 cucumber ( sliced )
1 packet Gado Gado sauce
1 pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Add a pinch of salt to a pot of water and bring it to boil

2) Blanch the cabbage , bean sprouts and Chinese long beans separately 

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3) Arrange the tau kwah on a lined baking pan ( do coat the baking paper with a little olive oil before putting on the tau kwah )

4 ) Bake it at around 150 degrees for 15 minutes before flipping all pieces over and baking it for another 15 minutes

5) Add some hot water into the Gado Gado sauce to soften it such that it becomes a paste

6) Place all ingredients in separate bowls and prepare for serving

I prefer to place all ingredients in separate bowls so that each person can customise their own salad. But it’s really up to you and you can place all ingredients in a bowl with the sauce and mix it up. 

Confession : I left out the crackers that was later added to the salad. But honestly, the prawn crackers really tastes awesome with the peanut sauce.

Spicy broccoli salad

Did you know that broccoli is actually part of the cabbage family ? Though it looks nothing like its cousins , it is just as delicious and healthy. In fact, broccoli is full of vitamin A & C and it is also perfect for salads as it does not turn mushy easily. Most people eat only the green flowered parts of the plant and throw away the stem. But I actually find the stem really delicious too. Besides its just a waste of good food to throw it away. Simply peel of the outer layer and cut the green flesh into small pieces before stir frying or blanching. 

Adapted from recipe by Maangchi

INGREDIENTS

1 head of broccoli
2 tablespoon of EVOO
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of red chilli flakes
1 garlic cloved, finely minced 
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Cut the broccoli into florets 
2) Pour the washed florets into a pot of boiling water and leave it for around 3 minutes
3) Drain the water and run the cooked broccoli under cold water
4) Mix all other ingredients in a bowl
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5) Mix the cooked broccoli with the sauce. Refrigerate the salad for an hour before serving

 

The sweltering heat in Singapore sometimes makes one crave for something sour and cold. When I saw some beautiful fresh mangoes at the market, I knew exactly what I had to make. This mango salsa is good on its own or served with white meat. 

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized green mango
1 small red onion
1 big lime
1 red pepper
1 tomato
Small bunch of coriander
Salt & pepper

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate for an hour or more before serving.

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This is a simple recipe and all it requires is a couple of fresh ingredients. The perfect way to get rid of the summer heat !