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New Beginnings and Mason Jar Salad with Peanut Dressing

BOOM SHAKALAKA!!! Guess what friends…. I’ve got a new job #fistbumps #highfives #happydancing in a gorgeous swanky resort overlooking the Coral Sea, and I can’t tell you how amazingly wonderful it is to be back in the world of hospitality just 5 short weeks since good ol’ Debbie roughed us up and changed our lives so dramatically.

‘Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet’

Being part of a community with such an awesome approach to the devastation that surrounded us after the cyclone has been truly inspirational to experience first hand. We Aussies have a reputation for being tough and having a die-hard, roll your sleeves up and get on with it approach to disasters!  But honestly, this little shenANNAgator has never actually seen an entire community jump in and fix everything that broke with such energy, determination and good cheer, it’s been incredible.

Seems I’m not the only one that LOVES this climate. Post cyclone gardening is such a rewarding and soon to be VERY fruitful experience.

It’s true that ‘attitude is everything’ and makes it so much easier to get back up, dust yourself off and start all over again, especially when an entire like minded community surrounds you at times like this. It inspires you to step up and want to be a winner just like them!  We threw ourselves into tasks with all the downtime, lots of bush walks and cooking,  healthy exercise, DIY projects with gardening and restoring some second hand furniture and of course, getting the CV out there with such great results.

Cedar Creek Falls – A tick for the Whitsunday bucket list.

Determined to keep up with all the healthy exercise and eating plans, I’ve decided to whip up some yummy lunches to eat at work rather than rely on staffies now that I’m back in the swing of things in hospitality.  Check out how easy it is to zing some leftovers, and whip up a delicious and oh so trendy Mason Jar Salad with Peanut Dressing, and still stick with my plan of ‘healthy lunches’.

Peanut Dressing

  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 250 gram chicken breast, poached and finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup lettuce
  • 1 cup rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup snow peas, julienned
  • 1/4 cup corn, blanched (I had left over BBQ corn)
  • 1/4 cup red cabbage, julienned
  • 1/4 cup carrot, julienned
  • 1/4 cup red capsicum, julienned
  • 1/4 cup broccoli, blanched
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon fried onion/eschallot

Good Food = Good Mood!

  1. Place seasoned water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Add chicken. Return to the boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through. Remove from heat. Stand chicken in liquid for 5 minutes. Remove chicken and allow to cool.
  3. Prepare rice noodles according to packaging.
  4. Meanwhile, make the dressing: Place all of the ingredients in a blender except for the olive oil. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the blender in a steady stream.
  5. Julienne vegetables and slice the poached chicken into fine strips.
  6. To assemble the salads: Divide and layer the remaining salad ingredients into 2 large mason jars or bowls in the order they are listed. Leave 1 inch of space at the top of the jar for a small container of peanut dressing.
  7. Garnish each with about 1 tablespoon of fried onions/eschallot, refrigerate until ready to enjoy. When ready to enjoy, shake the jar vigorously to mix the ingredients and dressing.

I’d love to know, what fabulousness has been happening in your world? 

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