Category Archives: Salads

Peppered Beef Salad Bowls

Using lettuce instead of a bun or bread is really common thing with people doing “Low carb” diets, and you’ve probably seen it a lot in restaurants as the “lighter” option when it comes to burgers and such. I decided to use lettuce as the bun in this recipe as I was actually trying to recreate my favourite sub from Subway- but without the bread! Also as my previous recipe had been quite filling & carbtastic,  I decided something lighter would be nice.

For this recipe you will need:


1 x Iceberg Lettuce (you won’t need all of it)

¼ of a red onion

Handful of Black olives (or whatever type you prefer)

4-5 chopped gherkins for garnish/topping

4 “rashers” of thin sizzling steak (I used Tesco brand “sizzle steaks”, it worked out at roughly 170-175g)

Balsamic Vinegar to dress

Salt, Pepper, and teaspoon of oil to fry.


This is such an easy recipe to make, and it’s also surprisingly filling too. I know some of the ingredients are somewhat controversial, as a lot of people regard olives and gherkins as the “Marmite(s?)” of the ingredients world- with people either loving or hating them- but you can always substitute out what you don’t like for something you do. My salad choices can be a little odd to most people, given the fact that I despise cucumber and tomatoes.  Don’t ask me how I love gherkins when I hate cucumbers- I have no idea.

Anyway, the first part is to carefully peel (I hate that word for some reason) the lettuce leaves off one by one, until you find two good “bowls” for the salad. Wash all the leaves, and cut up about 3 of them for the salad part itself. You can use less if you like, as I’ve said before on my blog, I am extremely greedy! Next is to chop up the steak into bite size strips- cutting off any fatty rind- and fry in a little oil. While frying, add in some cracked black pepper and sea salt- also you could add any other spices that take your fancy. Once done, put aside on a plate to cool, as I make this salad to be eaten cold/coldish.


The last part is the prep of the other ingredients and the assemblage.  Simply chop the red onion, black olives and gherkins. Then, mix together the steak, chopped lettuce, olives, and onion in a bowl, finishing off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to dress.



I looked in the shops for a nice salad dressing, but the fat content and sugar content was off the charts- even with the “low fat” and “healthy” marketed options. So my tip here is: ALWAYS make your own dressing if you are trying to eat healthily, as that way you know exactly what is in it, and how much fat, sugar etc. it contains. Lastly, fill the lettuce “bowls” with the salad mixture, and top with the chopped gherkins. I also like an extra bit of pepper for the heat!


Lemon Chicken Noodle Salad

So I’m finally back blogging full time again- and I’m officially a part qualified accountant! All my exams are done, and college is finished. Although, it did take about 4 weeks longer than I’d anticipated to wrap up all my exams and assessments- hence why my blogging break was a little longer than I thought it would be. Also my laptop broke- moment of silence for that please! However I’m back, and excited to get back into it. I also have been working on some new ideas for the blog, but I’ll probably be getting that into action in a month or two, as it requires me upgrading my computer and purchasing some specialised software. I will be shortly updating the look of the website too, but I’m still deciding on the layout, colours, and navigation. Anyway, onto the good stuff and enough of my rambling!

I had the idea for this Noodle salad after a particularly hot day, where I wanted something a bit filling but without the heavy sauce or rich ingredients. I based this recipe very loosely on an old Ken Hom one I found in my parents (huge) bookshelf of cookbooks. I changed it up a lot, but I feel the need to always give credit. (Large rant on said subject was deleted from here for your sanity!)  I would also have used whole-wheat noodles, but in our local supermarket these seem to be considered something of an exotic delicacy, so plain had to do. The same goes for the ginger- I would have used the fresh stem ginger, but again, they only carried ginger paste. I love the lightness of the noodles, which I think is achieved by the lemon & ginger mix, then the spice of the chilli. It’s also a very easy recipe, suited to any skill level. So for this, you will need:


2 cloves garlic

1 small chunk ginger, equivalent to half a teaspoon of ginger paste

1 Medium chicken breast

1 Chilli (type can be any, depending on how hot you like your food)

1 Lemon

1 serving of Medium Egg Noodles- I used Asda’s own brand (Can be any noodles you fancy)

Serving of Salad Leaves of choice (I used a rocket and babyleaf mix)

Pinch of coarse sea salt

Oil of choice (Groundnut or Coconut are my personal favourites)


Some lemon zest for garnish

The first step is to cook the chicken and do the prep. By prep, I mean cutting up the garlic, chilli, ginger (if you didn’t use paste), chicken, and juicing the lemon. When juicing the lemon, get as much as you possibly can out of it, and if you have a juicer then great- but if not then twisting a fork round gets the job done too. With the chillies, if you are making this in summer as I usually do, and you suffer from pollen allergies, don’t use your finger to rub your itchy eye after chopping chillies. Because that burns. A LOT. Anyway… lesson learned!


The chicken should be cut up into equal bite sized chunks, and added into a frying pan with a small amount of oil. I used groundnut, but was tempted by a new chilli cooking oil in the supermarket (seriously they sell chilli oil but not fresh ginger or whole-wheat noodles? Okay I’m going to stop moaning about that now), however you can use any one you want. Boil the kettle so you have the water for the noodles ready and waiting.

When the chicken is part cooked, toss in the garlic and ginger. The heat should be low at this point, so you don’t scorch the garlic- as it can be temperamental. A lot of people like to add garlic at the beginning, before the chicken, but it is really dependant on what your personal preferences are. You can try the recipe both ways and decide what works best for you. After a couple of minutes, I toss in the chillies with the chicken, and then in a separate pan- put the noodles and boiled water in to cook.



Cook them for as long as they require (mine took roughly 4 minutes), then drain and add them to the chicken with a tiny bit of oil- so they don’t stick together. The oil also stops the horrible ‘dry stringy noodle’ problem when they go claggy and are unpleasant to eat.

Add 3/4 of your lemon juice to the pan, along with a good pinch of the salt. You can add pepper if you’re mad for spice, but I find the chilli enough! Turn off the heat and mix together well, ensuring everything is coated in the lemon juice. While still in the pan, toss in as much salad as you like. I like to add the salad into the pan to wilt it slightly. Turn out and serve, adding the remaining lemon juice evenly. Garnish with a bit of grated lemon zest if you fancy.

Note: If you like more lemony goodness, then zest more of the lemon and mix in. You can vary the amount of lemon juice  to suit your taste.