Chicken, Mango and Soba Noodle Salad
With summer weather well and truly upon us, we all want light, fresh and quick meals that avoid using the hot stove! Often we look for seasonal salads that are low in calories, satisfying and leave us feeling comfortable. BUT – not all salads are made equal! Watch out for creamy or oily salad dressings a source of hidden calories. When eating out ask for the dressing on the side. When making your own salads try to stay away from mayonnaise egg based dressings and instead uses zesty and acidic ingredients such as vinegars, lemons, and oranges. Limit oil to about a tablespoon per person.
Salads don’t just need to be a side – they can easily become a nutritionally complete meal, just like the recipe below.
Overall this salad is nutrient dense and tastes great! It is low in fat and provides a good source of protein, carbohydrate, fibre and includes fruit and vegetables. The dressing is full of flavour without being excessive in oil. I suggest you add an extra chicken breast or two to the poaching liquid to have enough chicken for sandwiches the next day. If time is an issue you could use shredded roast chicken, but don’t forget to remove the skin! Or, if you’re like me and have a house filled with seafood at Christmas time, cooked prawns is a quick and easy substitute for chicken. Grilled salmon is also a tasty healthy option. Smoked salmon is a common time-saver for most people but watch out for the sodium content, just 100g of smoked salmon contains 1200mg of sodium and the daily recommended intake is less than 2300mg! Enjoy.
Salad (serves 2)
- 80g soba noodles
- 1 lebanese cucumber, julienned or grated
- 1 yellow mango, diced
- Handful fresh coriander leaves
- 1/3 cup blanched broad beans or soy beans
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 carrot, grated
- ¼ teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 chicken breast
- 500ml salt-reduced chicken stock
- 3cm piece of ginger, chopped
- 2 kaffir lime leaves (or use bay leaf as a substitute)
- 2 spring onions
- Rind of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon light salt-reduced soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- Place stock saucepan with ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemon rind and spring onions. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for two minutes.
- Add chicken to the saucepan, and if needed top the saucepan up with hot water to ensure chicken is just covered. Poach the chicken, uncovered over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.
- To make dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Blanch soba noodles in a saucepan of boiling water according to packet directions. Add broad beans or soy beans for the final minute of cooking. Drain and refresh under a little cold water for one minute. Drain again.
- Grate or julienne the carrot and cucumber, then use paper towel to absorb as much excess water from the cucumber as possible. Shred the chicken into small pieces and combine with noodles, broad beans or soy beans, cucumber, carrot, diced mango, bean sprouts and coriander in a bowl. Pour over dressing and gently mix. Pile onto a serving plate and top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
- Serve immediately.
Per serve: 1760 kJ(436Cal), 37.5g Protein, 6g Fat, 47g Carbohydrate, 10g Fibre, ~830mg Sodium
(Themis is an Accredited Practising Dietitian at Life Personal Trainers Hutt St Studio and Director of Sprout Cooking)