A friend of mine, Alison, has just started a new business called The Little Grocery Service.  The philosophy behind The Little Grocery Service is that once a week (on a Friday) she visits the markets and selects the best seasonal fruit and vegetables she can find (conventional and organic when she can).  She provides enough fruit and vegetables to feed a family with 2 or 3 children and in addition provides a bunch of beautiful flowers, a home-made jam or preserve (which she herself makes) and/or a baked good.

When in season she looks for interesting items to add to the regular selection and in order to help you get the best use from the produce from her box  and to encourage you to try new foods she also includes recipes and cooking tips.

Alison wanted me to try her service to see what I thought, so last Friday I arrived home to this beautiful sight:

box

Needless to say I was delighted!!!  At first I was a bit sceptical of the idea of somebody else choosing my weekly produce but I found that in addition to the usual staples that I would buy anyway there was an abundance of seasonal items that I now felt compelled (and happily so) to use.  The box contained so much stuff!  In addition to the fresh fruit and veggies which we are still happily working our way through, there was a jar of chilli sauce with garlic and ginger (that Alison herself made), a beautifully wrapped bunch of mixed herbs …  and as a special treat there was the added pleasure of putting a huge bunch of amazing dahlias into a vase and enjoying them all weekend!

It’s a great service and one that will encourage you and your family to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and encourage you to step outside of the comfort zone and try new things!

The recipe included in this week’s box was for a fresh corn salad with prawns, red onion and crème fraiche which inspired me to make this delicious chicken and corn salad below.  All of the fresh produce I used was provided in the box apart from the chicken, soba noodles, greek yoghurt and lemon (which I already had).  It made for a lazy Saturday morning cooking something a little bit different for lunch for hubby and I  (but so yummy we were fighting over the leftovers).

Poached Chicken and Corn Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing

What you will need:

  • 2 cobs sweet corn, husks removed
  • 375g organic soba noodles (I actually only used 2/3 of the packet which is 375g)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 poached/steamed chicken breast chopped into chunks. (I usually poach a few chicken breasts a couple of times a week – it makes such an easy protein source for salads, sandwiches or even on its own as a mid morning/afternoon meal)
  • ¼ red onion finely sliced
  • 1 lebanese cucumber quartered and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons greek yoghurt
  • 3 shallots peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves shredded finely
  • 2 tablespoons coriander shredded finely
  • A couple of handfuls baby spinach

How to pull it together

Fill a saucepan with 1 ½ litres of water (I used filtered as I intended to use the water for stock later), add the corn and some salt and bring it to the boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  Once cooked, turn off the heat and allow the corn to cool in the liquid.  When cool, shave the kernels from the core using a sharp knife, and  place in a large bowl.  You can hold onto the water to make a stock (see note).

Cook the soba noodles in rapidly boiling water for 4 minutes.  Drain, then rinse well with cold water and drain again.

Add the onion, cucumber, yoghurt, chicken, spinach,  lemon juice, soba noodles, herbs, spring onion to a bowl and mix together thoroughly.  Season with sea salt and cracked pepper to taste.  I found this was perfect for 4 servings.

NOTE:  To make the veggie stock, add the corn cores back to the water and simmer for 10 minutes.  Now you have a delicious vegetarian stock to use in soups or purees.

If you are interested in speaking to Alison about her service you can either visit her website www.thelittlegroceryservice.com.au or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Little-Grocery-Service/383614048377833?fref=ts

Enjoy your salad!

XXX

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