Mango Noodle Salad

I moved to New Westminster this past weekend and I now live 5 minutes away from one of my closest friends, which means she’s going to be at my house more often. It’s great news because I love having someone to cook for. Last night she popped over with a bottle of cold white wine and very kindly made sure my glass didn’t run empty while I made dinner. True friendship.

Anyways, with the nice warm weather we’ve been having it seemed like a good night for something light, and mango’s were on sale the other day so that kind of made the decision for me. Mango’s are amazing so I was more than happy to fight with mango pits. I always thought by now I’d be able to figure out how to cut around the pit properly, but I still end up leaving meat on the mango or somehow just hacking it up. HOWEVER I did learn this super cool trick to peel a mango – and I’m sure you’ve all seen it on the internet by now – BUT you take your slice of mango and using a glass you hold the mango against the lip of the glass in between the flesh and the peel, drag it down with your hand and the drinking glass peels the mango! I feel like I didn’t do a good job explaining it so here’s a link to a video so you can see it for yourself! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F9-Nkj3Bb4

How cool is that? Super easy and a lot less messy (I think). Now you can peel sweet delicious fruit in seconds!

I really do love mango’s though. It makes anything you put it on taste tropical, sweet, and colourful. They’re also full of vitamins so even if you blend them with rum and coconut (my personal favourite use for mango), it’s still technically healthy.

Okay – but this salad is pretty delicious. It makes a perfect light, summer dinner, or a nice light lunch. The dressing is refreshing, the noodles are filling, and it’s full of crunchy veggies and sweet, juicy mango. Kayli likes chicken, so I did cook up some soy ginger chicken to top it with, but if you don’t put the chicken on then this could easily be a great vegan or vegetarian dinner!

It’s also wonderful because it’s served cold, so you can make it ahead of time – perfect for busy nights or when it’s too warm out to eat something hot! And you can use whatever veggies you have handy – peppers, cucumbers, celery – if you have it, include it! The dressing could also double as a marinade for meat or grilled veggies in the summer time. Double duty dressings are where it’s at. One more thing, I used capellini noodles, but use whatever long, thin noodles you have in your pantry! Rice noodles, vermicelli, angel hair, or soba noodles would work well here.

This pairs perfectly with crisp white wine, which isn’t included in my recipe below, but it’s kind of just an unofficial ingredient.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is mango no. 5! *cue Lou Bega music*

Mango Noodle Salad

Dressing

1/2 cup chopped mango
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
t tbsp honey or maple syrup

Salad

2 cups mango, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup radishes, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups cucumber, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup basil
15 – 20 ounces, long thin noodles (cavetelli, soba, angel hair etc)

To make the dressing, put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Put in fridge to chill while you prep the salad.

Cook noodles as per package directions (this is a no brainer, just boil em up for a few minutes until they’re al dente, pretty boiler plate stuff here). Drain and let cool. Oh hey, guys don’t rinse your noodles, please. When you do that it rinses off the starch which means the dressing (or sauce in other cases) won’t stick to the noddles and it will be a mess. Just leave them to cool on their own in the colander- promise me, okay?

Chop mango, radishes, cucumber, carrot, green onion, cilantro and basil. Toss with dressing and cooled noodles (that you didn’t rinse). Chill in fridge until you’re ready to serve. Serve as a main if you’re doing no meat, or serve as a side.

I’m pretty sure this will feed like 4-6 people, easily! Keep leftovers for lunch!


Chicken Provencal

I don’t have a lot to say about this dish except that it was friggen delicious, but I’m gonna write a long ass post about it anyways because I LOVE talking about cooking.

I’m not sure if it was mashed potatoes that I loaded with Boursin Cheese and butter (the BEST way to season mashed potatoes in my opinion) that made it better, because that’s what potatoes do, but the chicken was soooooo yummy. The chicken was falling off the bone,  you could taste the fresh herbs and the red wine in the tomato sauce, and it was nice and hot right from the oven. This is exactly what winter comfort food is about; hot, cozy, comforting, and best served with wine! 

It’s a great make ahead dish. If I had a pot big enough I would have left it in the pot to stew on the stove, but I was feeding 5 people and my dutch oven isn’t big enough, so I transferred everything to a 9 x 13 pan and let it simmer and get all those flavours cozy in the oven, which worked out really well. I made it in the early afternoon and turned the oven on a couple hours before I wanted us to eat. Having that time in the oven gave us a chance to eat a crap ton of cheese and enjoy some wine.  You already have the bottle of red open to make the sauce, so you may as well enjoy the rest of the bottle, right?

The only change I would’ve made is to take the skin off the chicken thighs, but if you like chicken skin then it’s not necessary. I used chicken thighs, because let’s be honest, they’re cheaper, but they also always stay super moist and they make perfect serving sizes. 

In case you were curious, Herbes de Provence is made with Savoury, Marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano and Lavendar. This dish, as you can probably guess, is from the Provence region of France. The French definitely know what they’re doing with food. 

I served this to my family over mashed potatoes seasoned with Boursin Cheese and butter, green beans that I quickly cooked with butter and garlic until they were just tender but still crunchy and bright, a spinach salad lightly tossed with balsamic, oil and goat cheese, and…wait for it…LOTS of crusty baguette. That last one is SUPER DUPER necessary. You can’t eat this without baguette. You need it to soak up all the saucy goodness on your plate. If you take anything away from this post is that this recipe BEGS and PLEADS to be served with crusty baguette. Wine too, of course. 

Chicken Provencal 

  • Olive Oil 
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of flour, mixed with salt and pepper 
  • Chicken Thighs, about 3 to 3 1/2 pounds (skinless, or skin on, whichever you prefer)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red wine, plus an extra splash 
  • 2 – 796 ml cans of crushed or diced tomatoes, with juice 
  • 2 tbsp. herbes de provence
  • 2 – 3 sprigs of Rosemary (more or less, to taste)
  • 2 – 3 sprigs of Thyme (more or less, to taste)
  • Sprinkling of black olives, I like Kalamatas ~

Coat dutch oven or deep frying pan with olive oil and heat up 

Meanwhile, mix flour, salt and pepper in ziploc baggy. Put a couple chicken thighs at a time in the baggy, and shake to coat chicken. 

Brown chicken in oil until both sides are crispy and golden. 

Once chicken is brown and crispy, remove from pan onto a separate plate. 

In the same pan, cook onions and garlic until soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add wine, and stir to pick up all the goodies stuck on the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer until thick and reduced, by about half. 

Add tomatoes, herbs and fresh sprigs of rosemary and Thyme. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes until sauce is hot and bubbling, and has thickened slightly. 

Add chicken back to pan into the sauce, sprinkle with olives and let simmer on stove for about 20-30 minutes until everything has had time to get friendly and the chicken is cooked through. 

If you want to make ahead, you can put the chicken back in the sauce,put it in the fridge and then take it out and let it simmer and get hot just before you’re ready to eat. 

If you’re making a large batch of this, or don’t have a pot big enough, brown the chicken, and lay in a 9 x 13 baking dish, pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with olives. Let simmer in the oven at 300 for 30 minutes or longer (make sure the chicken is cooked through), until you’re ready to eat. I let it simmer in the oven for just over an hour last night while we had appetizers. Also can be made ahead and put in the oven about an hour before you’re ready to eat. 

Serve over your favourite mashed potatoes and crusty baguette! 

Saluti!