Noodle Salad with an Asian Sesame Dressing

img_3397This noodle salad is so perfect for the holiday season. Yes, it’s the perfect time to eat everything in sight (including ALL the cookies and roast potatoes) but sometimes I feel like something a bit lighter.

This is such a quick and easy meal, taking 15 minutes (if that!) in total. Super easy for a packed lunch or just to make a huge bowl to share amongst friends. It’s delicious with some baked tofu or avocado stirred through as well.

The best part of it all has to be the dressing, packed with punchy flavours of savoury, smoky and sweet. Toasted sesame, one of my favourite ingredients gives a deep flavour whilst the Comvita Manuka honey gives a subtle sweetness.
(Also, just as a little tip, this honey and slices of ginger steeped in hot water is the best sore throat cute, definitely neccessary after a few too many nights out!)

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Noodle Salad with an Asian Sesame Dressing dairy free, gluten free
Serves 2

This noodle salad is a quick meal full of fresh flavours. Elevate it by adding herbs like coriander and make it more filling by adding protein of your choice! The dressing also works perfectly on char grilled broccoli to make a nice side salad.

2 nests of thin rice noodles
1/4 English cucumber, sliced thinly or with a mandolin
Handful of dried wakame seaweed
Green vegetables e.g. sugarsnap peas, broccolli
Sesame seeds, for garnishing
Optional: herbs such as coriander and mint

4 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp honey (start with one and adjust to liking)
Grated fresh ginger, to taste
Pinch of chilli flakes

Boil  water in a kettle and put noodles in a pan. Cover the noodles with hot water and set aside for 10 minutes. (You do not need to cook them by turning on the stove, you just need to let them soak.)

While the noodles are soaking, also soak the wakame seaweed.

Prepare the rest of the vegetables by slicing them to manageable size.

Once noodles and wakame have soaked, drain them and rinse them with cold water.

Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl and stir as much dressing as needed.

Serve immediately.
If making in advance, keep all the ingredients separate and mix when serving.

This post was kindly sponsored by Comvita Manuka honey. I’ve always been a big fan of their products and I’m so happy I got to partner with them. All opinions are my own.

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Mushroom, Shiitake & Spinach Dumplings

 I’m here with a super simple but super delicious recipe today of some dumplings!
Dumplings have always been a favourite of mine as they’re so easy to make a big batch of and freeze them for a later date (perfect for any university students who need some meal prep inspiration).

These are packed with vegetables but feel free to add some extra firm tofu into them to make them more hearty and filling.

I flavoured mine with ginger and sesame oil to give a true asian feel to the recipe, but if you can’t find these ingredients – not to worry! You can just season with salt and pepper and serve with soy sauce.


Mushroom, Shiitake & Spinach Dumplings vegan, dairy free
Makes 12-15 dumplings dumplings

These dumplings are simple but full of flavour. For the skins, you can make your own or they’re easy to buy from any super market these days (you’ll find them under the name ‘gyoza wrappers’ or ‘dumpling wrappers’). To cook, you can either steam them or pan fry them, resulting in a crispy base.
If freezing, make the dumplings and put them in a zip lock bag (don’t cook them)!

5 chestnut mushrooms, diced
2-3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water to rehydrate
3 handfuls of spinach
1/2 white onion, diced
Small knob of ginger, grated
Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion and a pinch of salt, letting it cook for about 4 minutes until translucent.

Add the ginger and chestnut mushrooms, season, and cook for about 5 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated.

Add the spinach and sliced shiitake to the pan and stir around for 30 seconds until the spinach has wilted. Turn the heat off and add the sesame oil.

Add the filling into the dumplings and wrap.

To steam, put the dumplings in a bamboo steamer and cook for around 4 minutes, until the wrappers and soft and the filling is steaming.

Summer Nectarine, Apple & Raspberry Crumble

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So it’s been a while… again.

*lengthy essay coming up, so feel free to skip this bit and head to the bottom for the recipe!*

I’ve been away for a month in Tokyo where I really enjoyed myself and it was so lovely to not think about anything apart from relaxing and having a good time. Not thinking about any work and really letting myself take a rest. I think that break really benefitted me. It wasn’t that I wasn’t inspired before but there was a time in the midst of exams where I made such simple and basic meals that I didn’t feel like they were ‘worthy’ of sharing.
I’m sure anyone else who blogs or is a content creator understands this feeling of creating things that ‘aren’t good enough’. I put these in inverted commas because I feel like it’s all to easy to be so hard on yourself and sometimes it’s hard to remember that you’re your own worst critic.
Now that I’m back and well rested I feel so inspired and I’m excited to get into the kitchen and try and make something delicious. I craved that feeling for a while, of being passionate about creating and I feel like I’m back in the gist of it all.

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Anyway, back to the recipe!

I adore crumbles so much and my favourite has to be rhubarb – I love the tartness and sweetness that contrast against the crumbly oaty topping. However, rhubarb season is all over and I thought it would be best to work with available fruits like nectarines which are so sweet at this time of year. The apple in the crumble has a bit of bite which adds a nice texture and the raspberries add the tartness that provides a wonderful contrast.

The crumble is delicious too and packed with goodness like desiccated coconut, cashew butter and cacao nibs as well as oats to keep it traditional.
The oats also make it acceptable to eat this for breakfast, right? 😉

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Summer Nectarine, Apple & Raspberry Crumble vegan, gluten free, dairy free
Serves 4 small portions

This summer crumble is a wonderful ode to the ripe and sweet summer fruits that are readily available. Feel free to swap the fruit to suit what you like, maybe switching the berries. In autumn, pears and cinnamon would make a delicious filling, and would work equally as wonderfully with the ‘buttery’ oaty topping.
I also want to mention that you can substitute coconut sugar for regular brown sugar with great results.

For the topping:
100g rolled oats
2 tbsp cashew butter
2 tbsp coconut oil, softened/ melted
2 tbsp coconut sugar (you can use less or more depending on how sweet you want it)
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)

For the filling:
1 nectarine (you could also use a peach), cored and diced
1 pink lady apple, cored and diced
Handful of raspberries
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp coconut sugar

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Mix all of the topping ingredients apart from the oats in a large bowl.
Add the oats slowly, starting with 50g and adding them until you think the texture is perfect. The topping should be crumbly but there should be some chunks.

Put the nectarine and apple in a pan with the water and sugar and let it simmer for around 5 minutes until the fruit is hot but the apples have a bit of texture to them. Add more water if needed.

Place the fruit in the bottom of oven safe jars and top with fresh raspberries.

Place the crumble on top and place in the oven for 15 minutes until piping hot.

Serve as they are or top with oat cream (my personal favourite), coconut yoghurt, or a dairy free cream alternative.