Dieting and eating healthier foods is likely part of everyone’s New Year’s resolutions. It is certainly part of mine. One of the best meals when trying to diet or eat healthier is salad. But, who wants to eat a simple, bland, leafy salad? Unless you’re a rabbit, I’m thinking to want more to your salad than that. The following are some options that may suit your taste buds!
Chicken Spinach Salad with Pomegranate
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to taste
For The Salad
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 cup steamed broccoli florets
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the chicken by heating a skillet over medium heat and adding the olive oil. Coat the chicken in salt and pepper and cook until no longer pink, about 10-15 minutes Let cool 5 minutes and cut into strips.
- In a large salad bowl toss together the spinach, pomegranate seeds, broccoli, and the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve.
Seared Scallop Nicoise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons each whole pink peppercorns, dried green peppercorns, white peppercorns, and black peppercorns
- 2 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 7 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds haricots verts, stem ends trimmed
- 1 1/2 pounds (about 2 cups) fava beans, shelled
- 1 pound sea scallops
- 1/2 cup Nicoise olives (about 3 ounces)
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 12 small red tomatoes, halved
- 12 small orange tomatoes, halved
- 3 eggs, hard-boiled, cut into 8 wedges
- Fresh tarragon, for garnish
- Lemon wedges, (optional)
- In a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, coarsely grind each type of peppercorn separately. Transfer to a small bowl, and toss to combine. Set aside.
- In another small bowl, mix vinegar and mustard; add 6 tablespoons oil in a slow steady stream, whisking continuously. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and set dressing aside.
- Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add haricots verts, and cook until bright green and just tender, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, lift beans from water, and transfer to the ice bath to cool. Remove from ice bath with slotted spoon; transfer to a clean kitchen towel. Pat dry; transfer beans to a large bowl. Set aside.
- Return the water to a boil. Add fava beans, and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to the ice bath. Drain in a colander. Remove and discard inner skins from fava beans, and add beans to haricots verts.
- Sprinkle scallops with salt and reserved peppercorn mixture. Heat a cast-iron skillet until very hot over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add half the scallops, and cook until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate, and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil to the skillet. Repeat with the remaining scallops, and transfer to the plate.
- Add olives, onions, tomatoes, and reserved dressing to beans; toss to combine.
- Arrange salad on six plates. Top with eggs and scallops; garnish with tarragon. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
Vivian’s Vietnamese spring roll and vermicelli salad
- 200g dried rice vermicelli noodles
- 1/2 green oak lettuce, leaves separated
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced diagonally
- 1/2 cup fresh Vietnamese mint leaves
- 1/3 cup fresh Thai basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 50g dried rice vermicelli noodles
- 750g medium green king prawns, peeled
- 250g pork mince
- 1 small carrot, grated
- 1 brown onion, halved, grated
- 1/2 x 227g can sliced water chestnuts, drained, thinly sliced
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 40 frozen small spring roll wrappers, thawed (see note)
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- Make Dressing. Combine sugar and boiling water in a heatproof jug. Stir until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool completely. Add fish sauce, lime juice, chili, and garlic. Stir to combine.
- Make Spring Rolls. Prepare noodles following packet directions. Drain. Cut into 5cm lengths. Cool for 5 minutes.
- Place prawns in a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add pork mince, carrot, onion, water chestnut, egg, fish sauce, and noodles. Season. Mix until well combined.
- Place 1 spring roll wrapper on a flat surface with 1 corner facing you. Cover remaining wrappers with a dry tea towel. Place 1 level tablespoon prawn mixture across the wrapper. Fold corner overfilling. Roll up firmly, folding in edges. Brush the final corner of the wrapper with a little water to seal. Place on a tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with remaining wrappers and prawn mixture.
- Pour enough vegetable oil into a wok or large saucepan to reach 8cm up the side. Heat over medium-high heat. Deep-fry spring rolls, in 5 batches, for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden. Using a slotted spoon, remove from wok. Drain on paper towels.
- Prepare noodles following packet directions. Drain well. Arrange noodles, lettuce, cucumber, mint, and basil on a serving platter. Top with spring rolls. Drizzle with dressing. Serve.