Coronation Chicken Salad

This Coronation Chicken Salad is a stalwart recipe. It comes with me to every picnic or gathering where I am required to bring food. I never grow tired of it as it’s light, fresh and full of flavour thanks to the curried roasted chicken thighs which are simply out of this world.

Coronation Chicken Salad

This post is a week late which pretty much sums up the kind of life I’m living right now. If I appear to be on time for anything then it’s probably because my watch has stopped meaning something else for me to add to the never ending to do list.

Coronation Chicken Salad

Coronation Chicken Salad

I can’t complain though because it’s been a fantastic week, full of cake, balloons, party hats and bubbles. Yes, the Queen celebrated her 90th birthday at the weekend but in the Hartley household there was another more meaningful birthday this week as Cole turned a full 1 year old. With that I break down into floods of nostalgic tears for little newborn tootsies, tightly curled fingers, sleepy little yawns and without question the endless days where I held onto him contentedly on the sofa, surrounded by cushions, digestive biscuits and binge watching my Gilmore Girls DVDs.

Coronation Chicken Salad

So I haven’t watched a DVD since 2015 and these days Cole pretty much refuses to be held at all, shooting off my lap or out of the pram or out of the car seat as he practices using his wobbly little legs, inching closer and closer to walking. My life mostly involves careening about the house rescuing him from whatever danger he seems to be courting next. I also had to buy him his first pair of shoes as well this week to protect his feet which were getting filthy from London terrain. So it’s milestone after milestone and I’m struggling to keep up.

Coronation Chicken Salad

We celebrated his birthday by taking a hoard of North London mummies and babies to London Zoo along with a giant picnic and we had such an excellent day, even if he did nap through most of the animals. It was a truly British summer day and I made this Coronation Chicken Salad for us all to share. Actually it was a lazy choice of salad as it’s the one I bring to every large picnic gathering and I’ve been meaning to blog about for ages. It’s easy to make, so delicious and good with or without the rice to bulk it out. Even though it’s a mildly spiced coronation chicken, meaning that it’s suitable for adults and babies alike, it is certainly not lacking in flavour due to the freshly ground spices and tangy with lime and yoghurt to make up the dressing along with the usual mayo.

So happy birthday to Her Royal Highness but more importantly to My Royal Highness. It’s been an amazing, non-stop, emotional rollercoaster of a year but one I really don’t want to disembark from.

Print Recipe
Coronation Chicken Salad
Light fresh and modern take on Coronation Chicken. There's a reason it's a classic.
Coronation Chicken Salad
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
8-10 people
Ingredients
Curry Paste:
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Salad
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 300 ml natural yoghurt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 225 g wholegrain basmati and wild rice mix cooked according to packet instructions, then cooled
  • 8 dried apricots finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli seeds removed and finely sliced
  • two large handfuls of mixed baby leaves
  • large handful of coriander leaves
  • 50 g flaked almonds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds black or white
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
8-10 people
Ingredients
Curry Paste:
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Salad
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 300 ml natural yoghurt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 225 g wholegrain basmati and wild rice mix cooked according to packet instructions, then cooled
  • 8 dried apricots finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli seeds removed and finely sliced
  • two large handfuls of mixed baby leaves
  • large handful of coriander leaves
  • 50 g flaked almonds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds black or white
Coronation Chicken Salad
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C
  2. First make the curry paste by grinding together the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and cardamom seeds until fine using a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar. Tip into a large bowl and add the turmeric, ginger, garlic powder, salt and mix well. Remove 1 tablespoon of the spices and set aside in a small bowl for later.
  3. Stir the coconut oil into the rest of the spice mix until a thick paste has been formed.
  4. Rub the paste all over the chicken thighs until they are evenly covered. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and scatter over the sesame seeds, place back into the oven, turn the heat up to 220°C and roast for a further 15 minutes. Remove and leave the chicken until cool enough to handle then shred the meat and crisp skin from the bones. Place in a bowl whilst you prepare the dressing.
  5. To make the dressing whisk together the mayonnaise, yoghurt, lime juice and almond butter with the reserved tablespoon of the spice mix.
  6. Mix the chicken, the cooked rice, the chopped apricots, spring onions and chilli in with dressing until completely covered.
  7. Toss the baby leaves and coriander leaves together in a large bowl then add in the coronation chicken, mixing lightly so the leaves don’t get too heavy with the dressing.
  8. To serve, scatter over the flaked almonds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.

Roast Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

This salad was borne from a desire to use up leftover roast chicken but was such a treat that I made a huge batch of it again the next day, this time roasting up a couple of chicken breasts especially for the event.

Now, I’m not one for do-ahead salads. For starters I don’t like cold salads, they need to be brought up to room temperature first so by the time you’ve decided you’re hungry you might as well have knocked it together there and then rather than twiddling your fingers for half an hour whilst the chill is knocked off your lunch.

Pre-dressed salads are also usually a problem, as heavy dressings render delicate leaves a soggy mulch, or worse if there’s garlic involved create a pungency to the whole affair which detracts from the light bright flavours you began with. My Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt encountered no such issues though and after having made a fair amount to last for a few days I popped it, dressing and all, into the fridge until I was ready to eat it over the next few days.

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

This salad holds no leaves to wilt or garlic to intoxify so the fresh flavours are kept intact. In fact, they are improved upon as the feta simply soaks up flavour so over the next couple of days it took on more depth from the lemon and mint. There is also no oil in the dressing so there is no chance of the dressing weighing down the other ingredients.

Okay, so I did have to take my salad out of the fridge for a bit so the flavours could re-ignite in room temperature but after about 15 minutes of impatience I dove in and found I hadn’t lost anything in its preservation.

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Now you must be fussy when gathering ingredients for this salad, not only should you insist upon the best tomatoes you can find and of course organic free-range chicken, bone intact and skin on so it retains moisture during its roasting, but this salad also benefits hugely from the inclusion of extremely good feta. Supermarket feta is so hit and miss, more often than not a bit dry and crumbly and until you’ve overdosed on the good stuff in Greece you may not even know how much you like it. I am lucky though to be within spitting distance of Ally Pally farmers’ market on a Sunday where there is an excellent producer eager to offload his wonderful olives, pickled garlic and sundried tomato antipasti. It’s his feta that is the star of the show though, tangy, dense and sublimely creamy, although you have to get to the market early as he always sells out.

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Roast Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Serves 2

2 chicken breasts on the bone
2 teaspoons olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
150g cucumber, halved and de-seeded
200g tomato, roughly chopped
3 celery sticks, sliced thinly
½ red onion, halved and sliced thinly
120g feta

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon yoghurt
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
good handful of fresh mint leaves, diced finely
juice of ½ lemon
1/8 teaspoon salt
pepper

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Mix the olive oil and lemon juice with some seasoning then rub all over the chicken breasts.
  3. Place in a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, basting halfway through.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and leave to rest whilst you prepare the rest of the salad.
  5. Toss the cucumber, tomatoes, celery and red onion in a large bowl and crumble over the feta.
  6. In a separate small bowl whisk together all your dressing ingredients and pour most of it evenly over the salad.
  7. Toss it all together and heap into bowls.
  8. Remove the chicken from the bone, then slice and serve over the salad, drizzling over a final bit of dressing.

Fennel and Chicory Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

Fennel and Chicory Salad with Mango Vinaigrette
Mango vinaigrette was the first salad dressing I really took note of. Before then I just thought that dressing was a bit of oil and vinegar and there you go. I was still at school and for a treat our form teacher invited the eight of us in her form for lunch after Saturday morning school at her house. Although I’m not sure how much of a treat we thought it was at the time. She meant well but I’m sure she regretted it instantly as we probably took great advantage of her hospitality being bratty teenagers. There is one residing memory I have of this lunch though and that is the homemade mango vinaigrette she served with the salad. The vibrancy of the fruit standing up to the mustardy undertones and tang of white wine vinegar has always resonated with me every time that I have re-created this dressing in my adulthood.

Mango Vinaigrette

Mango is to me a winter fruit. It’s this time of year that I make my mango chutney and lately I’ve been blitzing up the fruit to dash into sparkling water as an alternative to my sorely missed evening gin and tonics. The bright orange flesh and tropicality seem to stick two fingers up at the drizzly weather, bringing sunshine into my grey kitchen.

To use the mango as a dressing ingredient the salad must be comprised of bitter leaves to balance the sweetness. Fennel and Chicory are perfect as their firmness are not overwhelmed by the heavy dressing which might be a failure of a more droopy leaf.

Although I love the mango at the moment I make variations of this salad all year round. It pairs beautifully with a seared tuna steak, with shredded roasted pheasant and when the season comes around again I will probably make huge bowls of it for our summer barbecues.

Fennel and Chicory Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

Like any salad it’s quick to throw together, save a bit of chopping. It’s imperative, and I cannot stress this enough, that you take the time over the slicing of the veg so that the fennel, chicory and onion are as thin as humanly possible. I can get a little bit overbearing about this in the kitchen but it is important so that you do not render the raw fennel and chicory indigestible. The salad should be a joy to eat and if the vegetables are too thick then it could be a bit of a chore.

With most salads I dress them moments before it hits the table but with this one I feel it benefits from half an hour to let the dressing soften the vegetables.

Fennel and Chicory Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

Fennel and Chicory Salad with Mango Vinaigrette
Serves 4-6

1 fennel bulb
2 red chicory
1 red onion, peeled and halved
2 large handfuls rocket
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 mango, pureed (4 tablespoons needed)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water

  1. Slice the fennel, chicory and onion extremely finely then toss them together in a large salad bowl with the rocket.
  2. Pour in the white wine vinegar and salt and pepper into a screw-top jar then screw the lid back on and shake well until the salt has dissolved.
  3. Add the Dijon mustard into the jar and shake again until combined.
  4. Add the honey and shake once more until combined.
  5. Add the pureed mango and shake again. The mixture will be quite thick.
  6. Pour in the olive oil and shake well.
  7. Finally add the water to thin the dressing down a little and give a final good shake so everything has fully combined.
  8. Drizzle the dressing over the salad until all the leaves are just coated, you probably won’t need all of it, saving some for another day.

The Best Homemade Coleslaw

I turn to this traditional coleslaw time and time again and have to admit that for my money it really is the Best Homemade Coleslaw.

The Best Homemade Coleslaw

I had been perfecting the recipe throughout November, tweaking it here and there, mixing up the veg, switching out the type of mustard but then this particular recipe culminated on Christmas Eve when I prepared a huge bowlful to be served alongside our Glazed Spiced Ham and the cheeseboard I usually lay out for all the family who drop in. My mother and my sister were the test as they are also both keen fans of The Slaw and they both decreed this version an absolute winner. I heartily concur and from now on will make all my coleslaws in this way evermore. Until I get bored and need to ring in some changes around March.

Coleslaw or just ‘slaw’ if you’re being ultra casj (don’t whatever you do get sucked down a half hour rabbit hole like I just did about how you should spell the abbreviation of casual – the outcome was that the internet has no ruddy idea) can be eaten with anything. It’s a plain fact. Barbecues: check. Jacket potato: check. Chicken and chips: check. And I cannot abide pizza without a hearty dollop of slaw smothering the whole affair, no matter the provenance of said pizza.

The Best Homemade Coleslaw

You many encounter many chefs advocating how you can stick any veg whatsoever into your slaw and it’ll be grand but this is simply not the case. I have been burned by trying to substitute the compulsory cabbage with a bit of savoy and my gut regretted that decision for the rest of the day. If you must substitute your white cabbage then chinese leaf or green cabbage are okay but lack the crunch.

I am a big fan of Leon, the overpriced fast food chain that seems to dominate Soho. Their Chargrilled Chicken Aioli Hotbox is a brilliant lunch and one I am happy to eat regularly when I’m in town. Except for one fatal flaw. For the love of God, they put peas in their slaw. What the hell is that about? If we ignore the fact that I think peas are evil rabbit droppings anyway, their icky flavour is far too dominating and the pop of pea completely disarming when you think you are getting a nice mouthful of crunchy slaw. Unacceptable.

The Best Homemade Coleslaw

The triumvirate of a classic coleslaw is cabbage, carrot and onion. I’m not an advocate of red cabbage (see savoy above) and beetroot is nice but makes it go an unsavoury pink. I do quite like though, a bit of fennel in mine but only if it’s going to be sliced as wafer thin thin thin as you possibly can. Recently, however, I have been throwing caution to the wind and shredding some green pepper into the mix. Now, green pepper may not be to everyone’s taste as it can be a little sour but that is why I think it contrasts so perfectly with the creamy dressing, cutting through the richness of the mayo and adding piquancy to the finished result. If you don’t like green pepper then just leave it out, but by no means substitute it with red or yellow or orange as they would lend an unnecessary sweetness. Carrot is there for that.

To prepare the carrot there is one key instrument that you definitely need at your disposal and that is the julienne grater. By all means mess around with the attachment on your food mixer or your mandolin but this grater is so easy to whip out of the drawer and grate away in moments. It invokes minimal mess and is very easy to dash under the water for a quick clean afterwards. They are inexpensive to buy and I have found mine invaluable, using it almost everyday to julienne one bit of veg or another.

The Best Homemade Coleslaw

The final component is the onion. Now you might be tempted to bung any old eye shredding white onion which has been languishing in your veg box all week but step away my friend as that baby is far too pungent. Instead I go for a milder red onion. Now this is a job that under no circumstances do I give to my husband who despite my instructions will insist of cutting the onion up into finger sized wedges, which only leads me to picking it all out when it gets to my plate. If you are too heavy handed with the onion then the whole thing is ruined. The onion should be sliced so that it barely resembles a piece of onion at all but rather a delightfully transparent spider web. This way it can be mixed more thoroughly into the coleslaw so that each bite has a hint of onion tang instead of smacking us around the face with it. If you must substitute the red onion for spring onion then so be it but do make sure you slice into ribbons lengthways. I am a stickler for all of the veg being uniformly cut.

The dressing of one’s coleslaw also requires a bit of thought. Traditionally you might choose to slather the vegetable ensemble with copious amounts of Hellman’s. However, I think that is a mistake as it weighs the ingredients down. Other slaw recipes might just add a bit of and oil and vinegar dressing but I am like Hannah Montana and also like the best of both worlds. I mix up a small amount of mustard, oil and vinegar into a thick emulsion then spoon in not just a tablespoon of mayonnaise but also a tablespoon of sour cream. Just because sour cream is the best thing in the world and lightens the mayo no end. I have also used greek yoghurt for the same effect and it is just as good but it’s not sour cream so by default it didn’t make the cut.

The Best Homemade Coleslaw

Now, the controversial part which my Mum was a little unsure about when I went to use it – the mustard used in the dressing. I could see her Britishness struggle for air inside when I reached for the Frenchie’s yellow mustard. In her words, she sees it as a mere burger mustard, only to be brought out at barbecues and used with irony. She is right that it doesn’t have the sophistication of Dijon or the pomposity of Coleman’s English Mustard but it does have a unique tang which isn’t dominating or too heady on the nose. Here it happily bunks down with the other ingredients to achieve the lightness and flavour we are aiming for.

So once all our ingredients are ready then there’s nothing more to do than mix them all up into one gloriously creamy mess. I’d recommend leaving the coleslaw for about an hour after you’ve tossed it as it just gives the vegetables time to take on each other’s flavour and become more of a cohesive whole than a ragtag assembly.

The Best Homemade Coleslaw

This makes a whole bunch of coleslaw, suitable for at least 8-10 if you’re having it as an small accompaniment, but I quite often am happy to have a bowlful of coleslaw with some grilled chicken arranged artfully on top and this version is light enough that you can do that and if so then it will serve 4.

Print Recipe
The Best Homemade Coleslaw
A light and creamy traditional coleslaw
The Best Homemade Coleslaw
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings
8 people
Ingredients
  • ½ small white cabbage sliced very very thinly
  • 2 carrots julienned
  • 1 red onion sliced very very thinly
  • 1 green pepper sliced very very thinly
  • 1 teaspoon Frenchie’s mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • pomegranate seeds optional
  • small handful parsley leaves chopped roughly (optional)
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings
8 people
Ingredients
  • ½ small white cabbage sliced very very thinly
  • 2 carrots julienned
  • 1 red onion sliced very very thinly
  • 1 green pepper sliced very very thinly
  • 1 teaspoon Frenchie’s mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • pomegranate seeds optional
  • small handful parsley leaves chopped roughly (optional)
The Best Homemade Coleslaw
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl toss together the sliced cabbage, onion, green pepper and julienned carrot and set aside whilst you prepare the dressing.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the mustard, white wine vinegar and seasoning until thoroughly combined and the salt has dissolved.
  3. Drizzle in gradually the olive oil, whisking all the while until it has reached a thick emulsion.
  4. Add the mayonnaise and sour cream and again whisk in until completely combined.
  5. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss together until the dressing is evenly dispersed throughout.
  6. Serve with a scattering of pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.

SHOP THE RECIPE

The julienne peeler which I have had in my kitchen for years is the Lakeland Sharp Peel Julienne Y Peeler (Perfect for Coleslaw & Stir Fries). As I said above, it’s quick and easy to use without messing around with bigger equipment like graters, mandolins or attachments on food processors.The link above is an affiliate link which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. It’s just a way for me to fund the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!!

Cajun Grilled Chicken Salad with Sour Avocado Dressing

Cajun Grilled Chicken with Sour Avocado Dressing
My last recipe before Halloween and it’s not a bit on theme, except that it’s a very green salad so in theory you could serve it up at your bash, or am I trying too hard? The truth is, this is the salad I’m eating today and I wanted to tell you about it right now.

Cajun Grilled Chicken with Sour Avocado Dressing

In fact I was going to post about something totally different today but I still needed to take the photos and I was hungry so I thought, I know I’ll have lunch first and then I won’t be tempted to eat the subject during the photoshoot. Then before I knew it I was photographing making my lunch and then it looked and tasted so yummy that I thought it only fair that I photograph the finished dish, and then as I was taking the photos and my stomach I was rumbling I suddenly remembered what the point of making lunch first was. So that’s why you’re getting a salad instead of the pumpkin soup that I had actually intended.

I include a lot of salads in my newsletter as I eat one most days for lunch but I rarely blog about them as they can be a bit of a thrown together affair without much of a recipe. Today though, I knew exactly what I wanted. A creamy sour dressing lathered over chunky vegetables and spiced juicy chicken.

Claiming to want a sour dressing rather than just screwing it up may seem a bit odd but this is for the days when you want a very vegetably salad. Some dressings which are drenched with honey or smattered with sugar can drown the taste of the individual vegetables a bit and I wanted something so savoury but also perfectly balanced. Here, I deliberately wanted to abstain from any sweetness but if you taste the dressing and feel the need then by all means add a pinch of sugar.

Cajun Grilled Chicken with Sour Avocado Dressing

The sour avocado dressing is bolstered by my use of green pepper. Green peppers are unfairly maligned in my opinion, I think they are the jewel of the bag of mixed peppers you buy from the supermarket and I’m always looking for the bags with more green peppers than red. Green peppers add a lovely counterpoint to the salad as there is no mistaking their grumpy presence. They have none of the overpowering sweetness of the red or yellow pepper and instead add a peppery flavour. Green peppers are used a lot in cajun and creole cooking as part of the holy trinity along with onion and celery which is their version of the mirepoix. That’s why it goes so well with the grilled cajun chicken that beds down on the greenery.

Cajun Grilled Chicken with Sour Avocado Dressing

Cajun Grilled Chicken Salad with Sour Avocado Dressing
Serves 2

2 Chicken breasts
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning (see below for the recipe)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 little gem lettuce, shredded
½ cucumber, seeds removed and batoned
2 celery sticks, batoned
1 green pepper, seeds removed and sliced thinly
1 avocado, peeled and stone removed
75ml sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon English mustard
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

  1. Pre-heat the grill to the highest setting.
  2. Using a mallet, bash out your chicken breasts until they are of even thickness. Rub the cajun seasoning, olive oil and some salt and pepper on the chicken breasts and place under the hot grill. Grill for about 4 minutes each side until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile prepare your salad by placing the lettuce, cucumber, celery and green pepper in a bowl and tossing together. Set aside.
  4. To make the dressing place the avocado, sour cream, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, paprika and seasoning in a blender and whizz up until smooth.
  5. When the chicken is cooked, slice thinly, toss with your salad and then drizzle with the sour avocado dressing.

Cajun Seasoning

1 tbsp onion salt
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp celery seeds
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground black pepper

Mix together thoroughly and store in a small airtight jar.

Tuna Slaw Salad with Basil Lime Aioli: Day 8 of Whole30

Tuna Salad with Basil Lime Aioli
This week I am putting my money where my mouth is and going back to a demanding all day job in the city and coupling it with the Whole30. All of my big talk that you can do this and that and knock it together in moments after work making your life less stressful and your evenings effort free is truly going to be tested.

Salad  |  Stroud Green Larder

It’s going to be even more challenging now I am hitting the second week of Whole30. Gone are the heady days of excitement and trepidation at my new diet, I am now in the crosspatch Week 2 Phase. This is when my body has finally got the message that I won’t be eating sugar, carbs and sipping g&ts anytime soon and it has gone into full scale rebellion. Although in theory I feel good as I am alert, I don’t feel weighted down and my clothes are more comfortable. I have a consistent headache, I am pleading exhaustion and I am craving cake which is leading to the most horrendous monstrous mood. Ask my husband, if he hasn’t sprinted out of the door yet.

Basil Lime Aioli  |  Stroud Green Larder

Basil Lime Aioli  |  Stroud Green Larder

I know once I get through this week I will be fine, this is just the Week 2 Phase of the diet talking. Once I survive my cravings then I’ll settle down again and go back to the only mildly grumpy girl I usually am. However, why I have decided to team my grizzly mood with the world of TV production, edit suites, deadlines, clients and budgets baffles even me.

Tuna Salad with Basil Lime Aioli  |  Stroud Green Larder. This is precisely why I am going to have to rely on some old faithful recipes this week. I will have to take in my lunch each day, as I will be no good if I have to rely on the kindness of the sandwich shops to offer me any Whole30 respite. I am therefore going to hit up my paleo mayo and have protein and a lovely crunchy slaw most days, mixing up my protein and the ingredients of my salad for interest.

Albacore Tuna  |  Stroud Green Larder

Tomorrow, I am going old school with tuna and I’m very excited about it. Tinned Tuna is so hard done by as an ingredient. I might be extra fond of it as it has memories of my youth and the tuna and cucumber sandwich my Dad used to make me for school every morning. It tastes of comfort and packed lunch. These days though I have turned into a bit of a tuna snob. I turn my nose up at John West tinned stuff and reach out instead to the exorbitantly priced jars of albacore tuna. This means that tuna has turned into a bit of a treat. A jar does about 2 meals but since I am pairing it with a very low cost salad then savings are made elsewhere. It’s still cheaper than chicken. Albacore tuna is meatier than the average tin of tuna, it feels like you are eating real food and not cat food, but to be honest it is so incomparable that unfortunately after indulging in it once you will be unable to go back to regular tuna.

Tuna Salad with Basil Lime Aioli  |  Stroud Green Larder.

Tuna Slaw Salad with Basil Lime Aioli
Serves 1

1 carrot, julienned
½ green pepper, sliced very thinly, then halved
1 celery stick, quartered then sliced very thinly
¼ red onion, sliced very thinly
1 tbsp paleo mayo
A pinch of crushed garlic
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp finely chopped basil
1 tsp lime juice
Pinch of salt and pepper
½ jar of albacore tuna

  1. This salad is really just an assembly job. Mix together the carrot, pepper, celery and onion and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk up the mayo, garlic, olive oil, basil, lime juice and salt and pepper until completely combined.
  3. Pour the aioli over the salad and coat them thoroughly in the dressing.
  4. Remove the tuna from the tin, pat with a kitchen towel to remove the excessive oil then add the tuna to the rest of the salad.
  5. Pop in a lunchbox and take to work.