Recipe: Chicken and herb salad with palm sugar dressing

Serves 4 and is delicious, healthy and moreish! Will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. This is a modified Neil Perry recipe. There are a lot of ingredients in this one and from start to finish for 1 person it will take about 1 1/2 hours to prepare.



2 chicken breasts, poached, or 1 roast chicken, shredded
300g bean thread vermicelli (i use wai wai brand), soaked in boiling water, then drained
2 lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthways and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 sml red onion, finely sliced
2 french shallots, thinly sliced and fried until golden
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 long red chillies, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1 large handful coriander leaves
1 large handful flat-leaf parsley
1 sml handful mint leaves
1 sml handful dill
80g unsalted roasted peanuts
sea salt

2 coriander roots, trimmed, well rinsed and roughly chopped
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon sea salt
70g palm sugar
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves


To make the dressing, pound the coriander roots, garlic and sea salt to a fine paste in a mortar with a pestle. Put the palm sugar in a small pan with a dash of water, and allow it to dissolve over very low heat. Continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar starts to turn a rich golden brown colour. Add the sherry vinegar to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes, then allow to cool. Add the red wine vinegar and palm sugar mixture to the coriander paste, then whisk in the oil. Add the chopped coriander leaves and season to taste.

Combine the shredded chicken, vermicelli and remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Dress with the palm sugar dressing and toss well. Enjoy!

Recipe: Low-fat Chicken Spring Rolls

These low-fat spring rolls are just as tasty as the full-fat versions but without the guilt! They reheat in the oven really well. Serves 4.




250g chicken breast mince
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup grated carrot 
10 finely chopped snow peas
small piece grated ginger
1 cup shredded Chinese cabbage
few chopped shallots
2 teaspoons soy sauce
100g vermicelli noodles


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Put the vermicelli in a pot of boiling water for 4mins, drain, cool & put in a bowl. Add all the other ingredients and combine well with your hands.

Spoon into spring roll wrappers and cook on baking paper until brown. Turn over after about 15 mins. If you spray (or brush) them lightly with olive or canola oil it helps them brown.

Serve with sweet chilli sauce. Enjoy!