This week, the Blue Mountains Phoenix will be focussing on healthy options that we actually want to eat. No more boring, plain options for your workday lunch, let’s spice things up!

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Spicy tuna and green papaya salad

Ingredients

• 2 tsp coriander seeds
• 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 2 long green chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped
• 1 tbs caster sugar
• 1/3 cup (80ml) fish sauce
• Juice of 2 limes
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 1 tbs sunflower oil
• 500g sashimi-grade tuna, cut into 1cm cubes
• Pinch of ground white pepper
• 1 tbs toasted sesame seeds
• 2 pink grapefruit or 1 pomelo, peeled, broken into segments 1 green papaya, finely shredded
• 11/2 cups mint leaves
• 2 eschalots, finely chopped
• 1/3 cup (50g) roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Steps

1. Place coriander seeds in a small frypan over medium heat and cook, swirling pan regularly, for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

2. Transfer warm seeds to a mortar and pestle and roughly crush. Add lime leaves, garlic, chilli and sugar, and roughly crush.

3. Add fish sauce, lime juice, sesame oil and sunflower oil, and stir to combine.

4. Place tuna in a bowl and toss with 1/3 cup (80ml) dressing.

5. Add white pepper and sesame seeds, and toss to coat.

6. Arrange grapefruit, papaya, mint and eschalot on a serving platter.

7. Top with tuna, scatter with peanuts, and serve with remaining dressing alongside.

We credit this creative recipe to Phoebe Wood

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Miso chicken and cold noodle salad

Ingredients

• ¼ cup (60ml) each mirin & sake
• ½ cup (135g) red miso paste
• 2 tbs caster sugar
• 800g skinless chicken thigh fillets, trimmed
• 400g soba noodles
• 70ml sunflower oil
• 100g frozen shelled edamame beans, thawed
• ¼ red cabbage, thinly sliced
• 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
• 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves, plus extra to serve 1/3 cup (80ml) light soy sauce
• ¼ cup (60ml) rice wine vinegar
• 2 tbs tahini
• 2 tsp finely grated ginger

Steps

1. Whisk mirin, sake, miso and sugar in a large bowl to combine. Add chicken, toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes (or longer if time allows) to marinate

2. Cook noodles according to packet instructions. Drain and cool under cold running water. Place noodles in a large bowl with 2 tsp oil and toss to coat. Add edamame, cabbage, spring onion and mint.

3. To make dressing, whisk together remaining oil, soy sauce, vinegar, tahini and ginger in a bowl.

4. Heat barbecue to high and grill chicken, turning often, for 6-8 minutes until slightly charred and cooked through. Cover loosely with foil, rest for 5 minutes and thickly slice.

5. When ready to serve, add dressing and chicken to the noodle mixture and toss to combine. Place on a platter and scatter with extra mint leaves and crispy shallots.

We credit this delicious recipe to Matt Moran.

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