GROW FOOD slow food Have your garden and eat it too. A practical guide to organic gardening in the sub-tropics with step-by-step instructions and delicious seasonal recipes. Come with me too on some of my travels in Australia, Europe, Asia and beyond.

I had a ‘eureka’ moment this evening thinking about what to make myself for dinner.

Uppermost in my mind had been my recent trip to Sydney and seeing my daughter having the same dilemma I used to go through – feeding the children (aged 2 and 4) something they will like and you like too without cooking two meals – not easy! This is what popped out of the garden, fridge and larder without too much fuss – I hope you enjoy it too!

This is one of those very adaptable dishes that you tweak to your families’ tastes which I will break down into NEGOTIABLE and NON-NEGOTIABLE just to make it easier.


Rice vermicelli noodles, soaked as per instructions on packet
Leftover bbq meat – I used duck, but it could be chicken, beef or pork (vegetarians could used tofu) thinly sliced.
NOTE: Starting from scratch without having any of the above, you could marinate a free-range chicken breast in soy sauce, honey and garlic for an hour or so, and then bbq or pan fry.  I just happen to be a big fan of duck and had some breast left-over.
1/2 mango OR nectarine/peach or papaya
1/2 cup raw peanuts or cashews
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
Handful of mint leaves
NOTE:  A dish like this would normally have handfuls of coriander in it too but, I find, most young children don’t like it – so we’ll stick with the mint – it still tastes really yummy

Juice of one lime
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp good soy sauce (i.e naturally fermented with no MSG like Kikoman)
1 tsp fish sauce

Shredded carrot
Finely shredded crunchy lettuce or cabbage
Finely chopped green beans
Snow peas, steamed or raw
Fresh bean shoots
Thinly sliced red capsicum
Chopped chives or spring onions
Thai basil
Vietnamese mint
Sauce of freshly chopped red chilli and fish sauce for  for the adults prik nam pal in Thai cuisine

1.  In a dry wok, toast raw peanuts and when they are golden, toss in the coconut until golden too.  When cool, chop together.
2.  In a large bowl toss vermicelli, vegetables and mix together.
3.  Make sauce by combining all ingredients.
4.  Top salad with chopped, toasted peanuts and coconut and sliced bbq meat.
5.  Add sauce and serve.

You could pretend it’s deconstructed sushi??!!

Rose Bay – my morning coffee spot in Sydney – wonder what seagull would taste like in this?


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