Spring brings warmer days, budding flowers and a new season’s produce – many reasons why fresh, healthy salads are so perfect for spring. Here are two of my favourite recipes for the coming months. Both are full of protein and loaded with vegetables and taste just as good as they look.
Recipes, styling and photography by Elisabeth Chieng of The Gluten Free Table
While acai bowls made a colourful statement in 2015, they are set to take a backseat to poke (pronounced “POH-keh”) bowls over this coming spring and summer. In essence, this Hawaiian seafood dish is simply made of bite-size pieces of raw fish (such as tuna, salmon or octopus) marinated in soy sauce. Similar to a sushi bowl, poke bowls are much simpler to assemble than they may seem. The hardest part of assembling this dish is finding sushi-grade tuna, so do some research and call your local seafood suppliers to get you on the right track. If you prefer a milder fish, sushi-grade salmon can be substituted for the tuna.
Refreshing and delicious, this easy recipe is great for parties or to enjoy on a quiet night in with a glass of crisp white wine.
1 cup short grain brown rice
600 g sushi-grade tuna or salmon
3 tbsp tamari
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp wasabi paste
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 large, ripe avocados plus 2 to serve
1 tbsp black sesame seeds Micro herbs, for garnish
Rinse the rice and cook according to packet instructions. Using a very sharp knife, cut the tuna into bite size cubes. In a large bowl, whisk together the tamari, sesame oil, vinegar and wasabi. Add the tuna and spring onions and stir gently to combine. Cube two of the avocados and gently stir them into the tuna mix along with the sesame seeds. Arrange your poke bowl with a generous scoop of rice, tuna mixture, the remaining (sliced) avocado and garnish with micro herbs.
If raw seafood is not your thing, I’ve also included a recipe for Vietnamese chicken salad. Made with leftover roast chicken, this recipe couldn’t be easier to throw together. It’s the ideal recipe for a healthy weeknight – a vibrant, visual dish featuring spiralised vegetables, highlighted with fresh herbs like mint, Thai basil and coriander.
Vietnamese Chicken Salad
This salad is super easy, simply throw all the ingredients together, toss and you’re good to go. It combines everything I love about Vietnamese cuisine – fresh herbs and big flavours. You get the satisfying crunch of vegetables, the spicy bite of chilli and the saltiness of fish sauce.
For the dressing:
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp very finely grated garlic
1 tsp very finely grated fresh ginger
For the salad:
Cooked roast chicken breast, roughly 500 grams, sliced (purchased or leftover)
1 large zucchini, spiralised
1 large carrot, peeled and spiralised
1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil, divided
1 cup roughly chopped fresh mint, divided
1 cup roughly chopped fresh coriander, divided
2 cups finely shredded red cabbage
2 cucumbers, halved lengthwise, seeded, and finely sliced
1 red chilli, finely sliced