Only so named because the friend who joined us for dinner needed a dose of Destiny's Child (Independent Woman), and perhaps because making it came after She and I had done our first proper training run for the marathon ... an endeavour which is gradually becoming a symbol of our friendship, and cheesily, our independence.
Healthy hearty food for three was in order. I hadn't intended there to be so many ingredients, but I was pottering, chatting and cooking so in it all went.
Salmon and vegetable stir fry
3 fillets of salmon
1/3 head of broccoli
red onion, halved and sliced
3 medium carrots sliced
3 big mild chillis sliced
3 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
150ml teriyaki sauce
3 handfuls spinach
1 tsp chinese five spice
2 heaped tsp cornflour
Marinate the salmon in the teriyaki sauce, a teaspoon of the ginger and the chilli for as long as you can
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C, then when it's hot, take the salmon out the marinade (keep the marinate to the side), and bake in the top of the oven
Fry the onion in a tablespoon of vegetable oil, add the sliced chillis, honey and five spice and soften for a moment, then add the salmon marinade, carrot slices and cook for a few minutes.
Mix the cornflour with a little cold water*, add the mix to the pan, simmer in and then add the broccoli. As the broccoli cooks, add more water to the stir-fry as needed so it doesn't become too gloopy
Add the pepper and cook for two minutes, then add cooked noodles, and stir in the fresh spinach to wilt.
We served this with the salmon fillets balanced on the top. Though I didn't have it, a squeeze of lemon would have made this perfect.
*we all have things in our kitchens which evoke memories or feelings. My mother mixes cornflour and water in a little pyrex tea cup ... my vessel of choice is a small glass - it's as close as I can get to hers, and we had a similar one at home growing up. It makes me smile to feel that little link between us as I copy her, mixing the white powder with a teaspoon chinking against the glass.