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Veg-centric

Eat Green celebrates the pleasure of really good food anyone can cook and everyone can savour.

Melissa's down-to-earth approach to joyful eating encourages us to cook healthy food from scratch while being mindful of life's pressures and time constraints.

Simple swaps mean that meat and fish can be added in or taken away, so everyone can enjoy a delicious meal, whether they are vegan, vegetarian, enjoying a meat-free Monday or something in between.

The book includes plenty of:

' easy swaps to use up food you have to hand and reinvent your leftovers

' batch0cooking advice and meals to stock up your freezer

' quick 30-minute midweek dinners and one-pot meals

' make-ahead packed lunches for work or weekend trips

' family-friendly dishes and healthy spins on comfort food favourites

' ideas for using up odds and ends that you might usually throw away

Cambodian-Inspired Coconut and Cabbage Noodle Salad with Lime Pepper Dressing

Feeds 6, takes 30 mins

“Noodle salads are one of the easiest ways to eat lots of veg,” says Melissa.

“I usually make a giant one once a week as they are even tastier the next day. Veg wise, go for colour and crunch, and swap whatever you have in or out — carrots, red peppers, broccoli etc. would all work perfectly here. This salad is inspired by a chef I cooked with on a trip to Cambodia. I loved pomelo when I was there so replaced it here with a grapefruit but you could use an orange or some chopped cherry tomatoes as an alternative juicy fruit. The dressing is peppery and citrusy and would work beautifully on grilled meat, fish or aubergines.”

INGREDIENTS:

1 big handful of coconut flakes, desiccated coconut, nuts or seeds 6 bundles of noodles (I like soba noodles) ½ large red cabbage (400g), finely chopped or shredded 1 bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced, or 1 red onion, very thinly sliced 1 pink grapefruit, cut into segments 300g green beans, topped but not tailed 3 handfuls of frozen peas 3 big handfuls of a mix of chopped fresh mint, coriander and basil

LIME PEPPER DRESSING:

1 tbsp ground Kampot pepper or regular black or white pepper (use 1½ tsp fresh peppercorns to get 1 tbsp ground) 7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Juice of 3–4 limes or 1½–2 lemons and 1 tbsp zest 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated 5cm piece of ginger, finely grated 2½ tbsp tamari 1 tbsp fish sauce or extra tamari 1 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup Chilli flakes or chopped fresh chilli, to taste

METHOD:

' Start with the dressing. Grind the peppercorns and, in a large saucepan, toast them for 1 minute to bring out the flavour, then transfer to a large bowl that you can also use to serve from. Whisk the rest of the dressing ingredients together in the bowl and season. It should be peppery, salty, tangy and slightly sweet and spicy too.

' Put the pan back on the heat and toast the coconut, nuts or seeds for a few minutes until golden, shaking the pan halfway through, then set aside.

' Fill the pan with boiling water and cook the noodles following the label instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water, then drain again well so there's no excess water. Add to the big bowl with two thirds of the dressing and toss (if you don't toss them soon after cooking, they might start to stick together).

' Add the cabbage to the noodles with the spring onion and grapefruit.

' Add the green beans to the same pan you used for the noodles with a pinch of sea salt and just enough boiling water to cover them and pop the lid on. After 4 minutes, when the green beans are tender, add the peas for a further minute, then drain any excess liquid and add them to the noodles.

' Toss everything together with most of the herbs and the coconut, then serve with the rest of the herbs and coconut on top and the leftover dressing on the side.

' Extracted from Eat Green by Melissa Hemsley Published by Random House UK RRP $50 Photography © Philippa Langley 2020
Cambodian-inspired coconut and cabbage noodle salad with lime pepper dressing.