Cucumber Salad with Chilli & Lime

Today I have a basic cucumber salad recipe for you. Don't let the word 'basic' put you off, as it's very, very good - tasty, crunchy and quite delicious, plus it doesn't go soggy in the fridge overnight, so I often make a big bowl-full and use it to supplement my meals for a couple of days.

I've eaten this with a frittata; it's quite delicious for breakfast, piled onto a piece of toast spread with avocado; and I've also stuffed it into rice paper rolls, together with some panfried tofu. I reckon it would go well on top of a bowl of ramen soup, or tossed through some cooked buckwheat noodles and topped with an olive oil fried egg.

Cucumber Salad with Chilli & Lime

Essentially, to make this salad, I thinly slice the cucumbers, season with salt and add a pinch of chilli flakes, some lime juice and sesame oil. That is it. Ingredient quantities and proportions are very loose, so feel free to adjust according to your taste buds. These quantities make about enough for a side salad for two people, although I'd happily eat the whole lot myself.

Ingredients:

3 small cucumbers
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 fresh lime

The ingredients you'll need, together with a pinch of salt.

The ingredients you'll need, together with a pinch of salt.

What to do:

Prep the cucumbers: Thinly slice the cucumbers and place in a bowl - I use a mandolin to slice the cucumber, as it's faster and I like the really thin slices it gives. However, a knife and a tinge more patience would also work.

Add the rest of the ingredients: Add a pinch of salt to the cucumbers, together with the dried chilli flakes and sesame oil. Squeeze over the lime juice and then, using your hands, toss the ingredients together making sure the cucumber slices are thoroughly coated with lime and sesame oil.

Serve immediately or place in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

I love my mandolin for the thin slices it makes.

I love my mandolin for the thin slices it makes.

Cooking Notes:

I do find tossing the salad with my hands makes a difference. There's something about slightly massaging the ingredients into the cucumbers that makes the flavours more delicious.

There are loads of ways to vary this salad. I think some chopped coriander would make a lovely addition, as would a little grating of fresh ginger. A splash of shoyu instead of the pinch of salt would work and you could replace the lime juice with rice wine vinegar.

Nutrition Notes

  • Vegetarian and Vegan friendly.
  • Suitable for gluten intolerants and lactose intolerants.
  • Unfortunately, I think the pinch of salt is important, so I am not sure I'd recommend for those following a low salt diet.
  • Low in FODMAPs.
Using the cucumber salad in rice paper rolls is a  very  good idea.

Using the cucumber salad in rice paper rolls is a very good idea.

Banana, Maple & Ginger LSA Porridge

There's been much talk of “Polar air” on the weather forecast this week. A simple phrase which can't help but make me feel cold, and shivery. 

It's also made me change my normal breakfast routine of muesli or toast, to something warm and nourishing.

I can't remember where I first found the idea for this porridge, made from LSA – ground up linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds – but it's something I've been making for a couple of years now. On a cold morning, when I find myself wanting something hot and hearty for breakfast, this is perfect.

Banana Maple & Ginger LSA Porridge - perfect for a winter's day

Banana Maple & Ginger LSA Porridge - perfect for a winter's day

I make it with many, many variations and I've included some more suggestions below, but this version is my current favourite.

Banana, Maple & Ginger LSA Porridge

LSA and milk cooks into a lovely porridge, in a matter of minutes. You only need a relatively small amount of LSA and it expands and thickens into a hearty and filling breakfast. Ginger spices up the flavour, while the banana and maple add a little sweetness. Serves 2.

Ingredients:

500ml almond, dairy or soy milk
½ cup (125ml) LSA * 
Pinch of ground ginger
1 banana
Maple syrup

What to do:

Make the porridge: Combine the milk, LSA and ginger in a small saucepan. Place over a medium-low heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Stirring regularly, cook for 2 - 3 minutes, until the mixture is thick. 

To serve: Slice up the banana and scatter over the top. Drizzle over the maple syrup and serve immediately.

Cooking Notes

LSA is ground up linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds. It's available from almost all supermarkets, where it's usually found in the health food section. Keep your open packet of LSA in the fridge, to ensure it stays fresh.

I don't have a microwave, but see no reason why this couldn't be cooked in one.

I love this made with maple syrup, but it's expensive stuff. If I've run out and don't have the budget to buy a new bottle, I'll often drizzle over golden syrup or honey. A spoonful of marmalade is also quite delicious.

Feel free to replace the ginger with cinnamon, allspice, mixed spice or a pinch of nutmeg.

If I want more fruit, I often grate half an apple and add it to the cooking porridge. Berries and passionfruit flesh are also delicious.

Nutrition Notes

  • Gluten free – although check the ingredients if you're using non-dairy milk
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • If you use a non-dairy milk, suitable for vegans
  • As long as you use a lactose free milk, this porridge is lactose free
  • Low salt

What's your current breakfast?