I don’t know about you but I get pretty fed up of lunches in the work week. I find my choices get quite boring if I make lunch myself – salad, sandwich or soup, again and again. Even when I decide to go out and buy my lunch, it can A) get very expensive B) I don’t have enough time to sit in anywhere half decent C) doesn’t always even taste great and D) can be rather unhealthy as I’m usually tempted by the smell of sweet potato fries!
I try to stick to a healthy diet in the week so I can enjoy the weekend and so would like a healthy, tasty and filling option that is easy to prep in the morning and that doesn’t cost a bomb each day – I do find prepping a salad that is at least slightly interesting besides your usual iceberg lettuce, cucumber and under-ripe tomatoes can start to add up in price!
This salad is perfect for lunch and even better if you prep a huge batch of it on a Sunday, ready to pack up for your lunch in the week! OK it’s little effort to do on a Sunday afternoon or evening, but the rewards of it are great. It’s cheap to make, tastes GREAT and is healthy! Perfect.
This recipe will make 4 portions, your lunches for Mon – Thus (Friday is always my treat day!)
For the salad:
4 noodle nests (any type is fine, I use egg noodles)
4 skinless chicken thighs
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp hot chilli sauce (I use sriracha)
2 tsp honey
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, cut into slices
2 spring onions (and I always add a fresh sprinkle on top of each), chopped
2 tbsp sesame seeds
75g cashew nuts
For the dressing:
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp of minced ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
Squeeze of honey
Juice of 1 lime
Preheat your oven to 200c.
In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, sesame oil, chilli sauce and honey together. Then put in the chicken thighs and mix well until all the chicken is covered in the marinade. Leave for 15 minutes or so (if you have time). Pop the chicken thighs onto a baking tray and cook for 25 minutes until cooked through. Leave these to go cold.
While your chicken cooks, you can prep the rest of the salad.
Boil your noodles (as per the instructions on the pack) and then drain. Run the noodles through running cold water to stop them cooking and so they are cold.
In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients.
When your chicken is cold, chop and slice into little bite size pieces, then in a large bowl, mix the sliced carrot, pepper, onion, spring onions, cashew nuts, noodles and the chicken until well combined. Pour over the dressing and the sesame seeds and toss together until coated.
When serving or putting into your little lunch Tupperware, top with more sesame seeds and slices spring onions.