Vietnamese chicken noodle salad recipe

Vietnamese food is probably my favourite regional cuisine. I find it so fresh, green, healthy and also (a lot of the time) gluten free. Therefore the region’s salads or soups are a staple go-to in my kitchen.

I made this Vietnamese-style chicken noodle salad for everyone at work, it’s fairly quick to make in a big batch and also super filling and healthy. Sarah, a friend from uni (and super talented illustrator!) requested I share the recipe after I instagrammed this bad boy, so I thought i’d put it up here incase anyone else is interested.

I whipped this up for about 8-10 people, but I’ll give the recipe for 2 because I doubt anyone reading this wants to do it for 10! If you want to make it for more, just double everything per two people.

WHAT YOU NEED

For the chicken & marinade

2 x chicken breasts
A pinch of grated fresh ginger
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of Sriracha hot sauce
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
1 x fresh lime squeezed
1 tablespoon of olive oil
A pinch of salt and pepper (to your taste)

For the salad

Green salad:
2 x Romaine lettuce
1 x cucumber
A bunch of spring onions
1 x fresh red chilli
1 x freshly squeezed lime
Colourful salad:
3 x carrots – grated with a julienne peeler
A handful of radishes, sliced

To serve

Rice noodles (you can buy these fresh from most supermarkets, or dried if you can’t find fresh ones – both are fine)
A bunch of fresh mint leaves – finely chopped
Fresh lime slices
Soy sauce – (Kikkoman is my favourite – they also do a gluten free one)
Sriracha hot sauce (for me there is no better chilli sauce than Sriracha!)

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A photo every hour – Monday 12th October

bedroomwakeup
I’ve never hated Mondays. I always thought Tuesday the worst day, less enthusiasm for the beginning of a new week but so long until the weekend! I wanted to try and do this photo every hour on a work day, so here is an average weekday. Monday style.

Above: 8am: I woke up and my server had decided to revert this blog back to 4 days previous – had to save everything from the cache in a panic. I also woke up on top of a dead spider. Still, it was quite bright and I can never wake up and be sad when I look at this Moomin poster.
shoreditchgrind
9am: Walking to work, which is near Old Street. I work in a tech company as an online Community Manager.
breakfast
10.30am: First cup of tea of the day and some breakfast. Gluten free fruit bread with honey and a banana. I never eat at home as 1. I am not a morning person and 2. my stomach doesn’t wake up and I feel sick in the mornings so can’t face eating until later on.
waitrose
12.30pm: A trip on my lunch break to Waitrose to grab some groceries for dinner. Also got a piece of roast chicken for my lunch.
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Lush Oxford Street haul – Early Autumn

lush
lushhaul

Like many humans on the internet I am rather fond of a bit (ok, a lot) of Lush.

When they opened their new giant Oxford Street store a couple of months ago I was down there like a shot. I’ve probably spent a lot of money there since, but this was one ‘bag’ of stuff I got a month or two ago so I thought i’d do a little review as there were a couple of new things I tried. I’ve repurchased a few of these items since too.

What I picked up

(From L-R on 2nd picture starting at the pill! The shampoo bar is the middle item)

Cyanide Pill Bath Bomb – I think this was an Oxford Street only release when the shop opened, I can’t find it online and not sure if it was there when I went again the other week. But I actually really liked this bath bomb! It was super glittery inside and smelt very ‘almond’ like with a touch of sweetness. I’m not a huge ‘bath bomb’ person and I definitely prefer the bubble bars but I’d buy this one again if it was there for sure. I also am a bit of a sucker for novelty shaped things…

Butterball Bath Bomb – Butterball is one of the cheaper bath bombs at £2.65 so I usually pick up one or two every visit. I love the smell of Butterball and I wish they’d use it for more products – please let me know if they already do? I know there is butter bear but not sure what else. The cocoa butter makes it pretty moisturizing too, for a bath bomb.

Big Blue Bath Bomb – I’d never tried this bath bomb until recently, as I for some reason thought it might be quite drying. I suddenly decided I really liked the smell of it though. It’s quite salty with a tad of lemon, really refreshing and feels a bit like you’re bathing in the sea! It also has bits of seaweed in it for an added sea experience if you’re into that.

Rockstar Soap – Rockstar soap is one of my favourite Lush scents of all time as I love vanilla. But I can’t say I’m a huge soap person – only in the bath on occasion. Still, I can’t help but pick it up every now and again just for the smell. It also lasts for ages.

Seanik Shampoo Bar – I never tried any of the Lush shampoo bars until Seanik and I have been converted. I thought a bar on your head would be weird, but they foam up so well and last forever. Seanik is a sea salty and lemon scent which is for ‘bigger hair’ and as someone with rather flat hair, I think it does actually work pretty well. I’ve repurchased and will continue to use it so that’s saying something.

Karma Bubble Bar – Karma is my ALL time favourite Lush product. It lasts forever as it’s so big. You can use 1/4 for a bath so it always feels like the most value for money. The scent is also amazing. It’s so nice for a night time relaxing bath. It’s so moisturizing and leaves your body smelling like orange and patchouli. AND it’s glittery, and purple…

Sunnyside Bubble Bar – Like Karma I also adore this bubble bar. I’ve repurchased it a couple of times as it lasts for a couple of baths. It has a really fresh scent which makes it nice for a day time or morning bath.

Have you visited the Lush store in Oxford street? If not you totally should, it’s stupidly big and exciting. Not that I’m an enabler or anything.. x

Book review: Gut – Giulia Enders

gut

I noticed this book in the entrance display of Waterstones and as I’ve been going through the ~ motions ~ with my own digestive system for the past couple of months, naturally I picked it up.

It said it was an international bestseller – I know, an international bestseller about the digestive system!? It must be at least funny, if not educational I thought.

I’ve read before that the gut can have an effect on your emotional well being, and that the sayings ‘butterflies in my tummy’, ‘a gut feeling’, actually have some science behind them. However, I never understood too much about the subject, I just knew from personal experience that when I’m not having a great time mentally, my stomach issues are much worse.

I have also read that serotonin is mainly produced in our gut, which is an important chemical that controls our mood, I’ve always wondered what that meant – in terms of the connections it could mean are there.

There were a couple of things that really interested me in this book, from a perspective of mental illness and digestive issues so I’ll highlight a couple of the things I found most interesting. Moreover, I did find the whole book really charmingly written, I liked the way she wrote it like lots of little stories. I learned a lot about the whole of our digestive system, and it wasn’t boring! Here are a couple of main points that stuck out to me…

Why your tummy doesn’t like stress

When you are stressed, your brain wants to solve the ‘problem’. To do this it needs to borrow energy from our gut. The gut is informed via nerves that we are stressed, and so it decides to save energy on digestion to help with the stress our brain is going through. When this happens it alters the way our gut actually works temporarily. Enders explains how this situation is not ‘designed for long term use’. If our brains think we are in an emergency situation all the time it uses the gut to ‘fund’ this. She goes on to tell us that when the gut has to forgo energy in ‘favour of our brain’ it’s own health suffers and therefore our own. This can cause the gut to become more sensitive in lots of ways – including intolerance to food and basically, poopy problems. It can also mean the ‘bad bacteria’ has more chance of taking over – which can cause illness for us. Even after long term periods of stress or mental illness, the gut can still be negatively effected. Sort of like a ‘pay back’. Which is why you might feel ill even after the initial stressful times you had.

Wheat just wants to survive being eaten by insects! A reason lots of people are intolerant or sensitive to gluten

When wheat is growing in the wild, just hanging out – it doesn’t want to be eaten by predators. It makes it’s seeds slightly poisonous so that insects don’t want to eat it, the gluten has the effect of inhibiting an important digestive enzyme which causes the grasshopper to have an tummy upset. That puts them off doing it again and again.

These seeds are what causes gluten intolerance or sensitivity in humans too. Gluten can pass into parts of our gut in a partially undigested state, Enders tells us. Basically, that means it can end up in places that our body doesn’t want or need it. Some peoples bodies react really badly to this and it causes damage, others find it causes a bit of trouble, and some people are not affected by it at all.

So in simplistic terms, that’s why gluten can be a pain in the butt for some of us, and seemingly fine for others. The book does go into the subject in more detail if you are interested to learn more.

Gut bacteria is a contributing factor to our mood

There have been lots of experiments on mice in terms of depression. A well used experiment involves making the mice swim. This is to see how long they will keep swimming until they give up and die (I know, quite sad). The mice that are less ‘depressive’ will swim for longer before they give up. Scientists test new anti-depressants in this way and it tends to show positive results if they work.

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Interview with The WHITEPEPPER


The WHITEPEPPER interviewed me for their blog feature ‘Customer Of The Month’ which was lovely of them as I adore their clothes – and wear at least one piece a week! Also they have the best sample sales – and lots of them. Winner.

Where do you get style inspiration from?
I’ve always been pretty into the aesthetic of the 60’s mod girls, and the kinderwhore look from the early 90’s – like Kat Bjelland and Courtney Love. Though as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more simplistic with what I wear and try to stick with things that I know suit me. I usually try and look a bit like a smart girl in a uniform. Maybe with a touch of scruffy though!

You can read the rest on their blog here.

And check out their new Autumn collection – it’s pretty fun!

twp