Happy New Year!
With the start of every New Year we read about the chance to start afresh, to try to resist the urge to move forward as you have been, but instead to make pledges about the positive changes we should make and personal promises we should keep. I have never actually bought into this resolution thing, and especially when it comes to food. I think I lead a pretty healthy life anyway. I love my family, I’m always moving, love to walk and enjoy being outdoors. On top of that I love ALL food and have learnt to keep it balanced between healthy and treats. There is a joy in eating and I believe as Nigella says – ‘there is no need to divide food into evil or virtuous.’
There was a single point in my life that I made a call to follow a diet and to be obsessed about what I ate – to the point that I caused myself anorexia, was mentally miserable and literally lost friends, who were sick of me being picky about what I ate – or indeed did not eat! Thankfully, with some assistance, I came out of this phase and I have never again moved along what turned into such an unhealthy path.
So, I espouse being the healthy and happy version of you that works. Forget all the fads, forget feeling guilty because you actually enjoy a piece of lush, cream filled, butter laden cake occasionally. Just work on the balancing act. Don’t deny yourself pleasures but seek a variety of foods and work on what you can add into your daily routine, rather than what you ‘should’ eliminate.
This January I am going to focus on tempting you with lovely salad ideas; vegetarian options; some gluten free alternatives and some plain simple lovely family food. Some may indeed be healthy and may even verge on a paleo concept but to be honest that is not the focus. The idea is to inspire you to be happy with what goes on your table, who sits around it and what the occasion brings.
So be ready for a light and refreshing month, recipes with an abundance of fruit and veg and options to still fill your table for summer entertaining without bloating or weighing you down.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Asian noodle and crab salad
4 fresh crabs – washed, cooked and picked
4 celery sticks, chopped finely
3 carrots, julienned (matchsticks)
3 baby lebanese cucumbers, julienned
1 packet vermicelli noodles
basil leaves, chopped
coriander leaves, chopped
mint leaves, chopped
3 Tbs sugar + 1 Tbs salt: mixed together
3 Tbs soy sauce
2 tsp fish sauce
2 limes, squeezed
1 tsp caster sugar
2 Tbs sesame oil
Pop the carrot sticks on a plate in a single layer. Sprinkle the sugar and salt on top and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Pour a kettle full of boiling water over the vermicelli noodles and set aside for 10 minutes also.
Toss all the other ingredients together.
Drain the carrots and rinse with fresh water. Pat dry with paper towel and add to the vegetable mix.
Drain the noodles and rinse through with fresh cold water. Drain again.
Mix together the dressing ingredients and whisk with a fork to combine. Pour into the salad and toss together.
Top with the fresh crab and some extra herbs