Prawn and avocado salad with a sesame, honey and chilli dressing

This is a delicious salad of juicy king prawns and creamy, soft avocado in a slightly spicy yet sweet Asian-inspired dressing on a bed of mixed leaves.

Spring has sprung. As we feel rejuvenated by the sunnier mornings and longer evenings, and we start to think about the approaching wedding and holiday season, the lighter option of salad is once more appealing.

But this ain’t any old boring salad. This lunchtime dish is an absolute treat. The dressing is made up of honey, sriracha chilli, soy sauce, lime juice and sesame oil, bringing together a mixture of exceptional sweet, spicy and salty flavours. It really packs a punch.

I hate to be shellfish to all the other shellfish, but prawns are the king of crustaceans for me. They’re fairly firm in texture and have a subtle fishy flavour which is so versatile. They go well in soups, salads, curries, noodle dishes, pasta, dumplings, batter, on a barbecue, you name it.

And let’s not forget the amazing avocado. It’s not the most Instagrammed food going by luck. This creamy green dome of goodness is highly nutritious, providing you with iron, Vitamin E and potassium.


  • 160g pack of cooked and peeled prawns
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 80g mixed leaves – I used a salad bag of watercress, rocket and spinach

For the dressing

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sriracha chilli sauce
  • ½ tsp honey
  • 4 drops lime juice
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves 2


  1. Pour the dressing ingredients to a large bowl and mix together with a metal spoon to form a smooth paste.
  2. Mix in the prawns and salad leaves until they’re well-covered by the dressing.
  3. Slice the avocado in half. Lift out the stone by scooping underneath it with a teaspoon and then scoop out each half. Cut into thick strips and then halve the strips into chunky cubes.
  4. Tip the prawns and salad mixture into a pasta bowl or plate and scatter over the avocado.

If you fancy having this for dinner, add two nests of wholemeal noodles to the mix for a more filling meal.


Prawn, mangetout and baby courgette satay noodles

This is a fabulously fresh fishy noodle dish stir-fried in a smooth and rich satay sauce. Featuring succulent shrimps, crisp mangetout and sweet and juicy strips of baby courgette, this meal is inspired by the delicious flavours of Southeast Asia.

Prawn, mange tout and baby courgette satay noodles

Made with wholemeal noodles and low fat coconut milk, not only is this stir-fry healthy; it’s packed with protein, is quick and simple to make and ticks off a couple of your five-a-day with its gorgeous green veggies.

As featured in The Guardian’s Readers’ recipe swap.


  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 wholemeal noodle portions
  • 75g cooked and peeled prawns
  • 100g mangetout
  • 125g baby courgettes, cut into quarters lengthways

For the satay sauce:

  • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 200ml reduced fat coconut milk
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp chopped ginger
  • A dash of rice wine
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 2


  1. Put a large frying pan or work on a medium heat and pour in the sunflower oil. Add the sliced onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly, until it begins to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, make the paste: put all of the satay sauce ingredients – except for the coconut milk – into a measuring jug, or another high-edged container and whiz together using a hand blender. This may take a little while because the peanut butter is thick and sticky. After a minute or so of blending, the mixture should form a thick paste.
  3. When the onion has softened, stir in the paste and fry for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and stir frequently for a few minutes, until the paste has mixed in well and the milk turns a light orange colour. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Boil the kettle and place the two wholemeal noodle nests into some tupperware.  Pour over the boiling water and use a fork to break up the noodles a bit. Leave to soften in the tupperware.
  6. After you’ve left the sauce to simmer for a couple of minutes, add the mange tout and courgettes and leave to cook for the remaining 10 minutes.
  7. Defrost the prawns by pour cold water over them for a minute or so, until they feel soft.
  8. Add the prawns to the pan and stir in with the sauce.
  9. Once softened, drain the noodles and add to the pan. Stir them in so they’re evenly dispersed with the veggies and prawns.
  10. Serve in large bowls with a side of crushed peanuts and a wedge of lemon or lime.

Grilled salmon salad with a warm almond and ginger dressing

This simple salad topped with succulent salmon and an aromatic, nutty dressing makes a deliciously healthy Bank Holiday lunch. And you can have it on the table within 15 minutes.

Grilled salmon salad with an almond and ginger dressing

If you’ve read my previous blogs, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of salmon. It’s so versatile; you can use it in a range of dishes and it’s used widely across different cuisines, it’s not too pricey to buy, easy to cook, good for you and really tasty.

The base of this salad is a simple mix of my favourite salad leaves: spinach, rocket and watercress. The spinach and watercress ground the dish with subtle, earthy flavours and the rocket adds a peppery taste and jagged texture.

The dressing is based on a satay sauce I use for pad thai, but using almonds instead of peanuts. The almondy taste is a bit sweeter than peanut and more subtle. Combined with Asian flavours of soy sauce, ginger, chilli and honey, it adds a spicy kick to the salad and brings it to life.


  • Low fat cooking spray
  • One salmon fillet, chilled
  • 60g mixed salad leaves
  • ¼ slice of lemon

For the dressing

  • 1½ tbsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp rice wine
  • A small handful of almonds (roughly six or seven)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ginger (I used Sainsbury’s frozen chopped ginger)
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 12-14 minutes
Serves one


1. Put the grill on to a medium to high heat. Place the salmon fillet on a rectangle of foil and fold up the edges. Spray a few squirts of cooking spray on the fillet and pop it under the grill for 12-14 minutes, checking it half way through cooking.
2. Meanwhile, put all of the dressing ingredients into a bowl with high edges. Use a hand blender to crunch up the almonds and mix the ingredients together. If you have a food processor, you may wish to opt to use that instead as the almonds can be a little tough to crush, but if like me, you’ve only got a hand blender, then persevere with it and you’ll get there with them! When the almonds are crushed, mix them in with the other dressing ingredients with a metal spoon.
3. Put a small saucepan on a low to medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and add the dressing to it. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Rinse the salad leaves and scatter them across a large pasta bowl or a plate.
5. When the salmon is ready, lay it on top of the salad. Drizzle the dressing over the fish and the salad leaves. Cut the lemon quarter in half and pop that on the side as a garnish.


Creamy asparagus, leek and prawn orzo

Winter is officially here, and as the nights are drawing in and the weather starts to turn chilly, the best way to spend a dark Monday night is with some rich and tasty comfort food.

I conjured up this dish with what was left in the fridge. The flavours compliment each other well: the sweet and indulgent creamy sauce is offset by the inclusion of green vegetables for a little bit of a naughty, but nice, autumnal pasta dish.

I first tried orzo while I was volunteering at a homeless shelter a couple of years ago as it was donated by the vatful. I couldn’t believe this gigantic looking rice was in fact pasta: ‘liney pasta’ I like to call it. It’s so easy to prepare and makes a nice change to everyday pasta shapes, for a risotto-like presentation.

For a veggie friendly version, simply leave out the prawns.



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 150ml double cream
  • A handful of frozen prawns, defrosted (or use fresh ones if you have them)
  • 1 small leek
  • 100g orzo
  • 3 asparagus spears
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp gruyere cheese (or parmesan)
  • 5 drops bottled lemon juice
  • 2 garlic gloves, crushed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Serves 1 (easily doubled, tripled and so on)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes


1. Chop the asparagus spears into thirds and put them on a baking tray. Place them under the grill on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, rotating every now and again so they cook evenly.

2. Put the kettle on to boil. While it’s boiling, place a medium to large frying pan on the hob on a medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and leave to heat up. When the kettle’s boiled, pour it into a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil on the hob.

3. Meanwhile, slice the leek into 3-4 centimetre rounds. Using your hands, push the individual ribbons out of each slice and wash under the tap. Lift the frying pan up and tilt it in a circular motion to distribute the oil evenly. Add the leeks and fry until soft, stirring occasionally.

4. When the water is boiling, add the orzo and cook on a high heat for 10-12 minutes, or until shiny and soft.

5. Pour the cream into the frying pan and reduce the heat slightly, mixing the liquid in with the leek. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently. When the cream has thinned slightly, add the prawns and lemon juice and cook for a further five minutes.

6. When the asparagus has softened, take it out of the grill and add to the creamy mixture.

7. Grate the cheese finely and add it to the frying pan, holding a little bit back for decoration.

8. When the orzo is ready, drain it and add it to the creamy mixture. Stir the ingredients in together well and cook for a couple of minutes, until they are well combined.

9. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve in a bowl with a sprinkling of cheese on top.