Tag Archives: Salad

Summer Salad of Mixed Sprouts & Vegetables

Summer Salad of Mixed Sprouts & Vegetables

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Summer Salad of Mixed Sprouts & Vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s another salad that can be put together in a jiffy.  The beauty of this recipe lies in its flexibility.

The salad can be enjoyed warm or cold; you can use whichever vegetables you have on hand and you can also substitute canned beans for mixed sprouts.

It is a main meal salad which doesn’t need any accompaniment (except, perhaps, a glass of wine!).

 simple yet delicious cool salad for a warm summer evening

Ingredients

1/2 Cup mixed sprouts OR canned/boiled beans of your choice

50 Grams sweetcorn kernel

100 Grams french beans

1 Large, chunky, carrot

2 White onion

1 Yellow or green courgette

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon strong mustard

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

Juice of one lime or lemon

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Peel, wash and thinly slice the onion in half moon shape. Put it in a salad bowl. If you are using canned/boiled beans, you can add them to the onion at this stage. Cover and set aside.
  2. Top and tail the french beans and wash them.
  3. Wash the sweetcorn kernel.
  4. Wash and slice the courgette in chunks.
  5. Wash and slice the carrot in chunks.
  6. Place the french beans, sweetcorn, courgette and carrot in a steamer basket.
  7. Add mixed sprouts if using.
  8. Steam the sprouts and vegetables for 7 to 8 minutes till they become tender but retain a bite.
  9. While the steamer is working away, prepare the salad dressing.
  10. In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, cider vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Check for taste and add a bit more of whatever you fancy.
  11. Once the vegetables and sprouts are cooked, add them to the bowl in which the onions are sitting.
  12. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss well.
  13. You can either enjoy the salad while it is still warm or refrigerate till you are ready to eat.

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Guilt Free Pasta Salad

Guilt Free Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Guilt Free Pasta Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that summer is upon us, my mind and stomach are turning towards luscious mangoes, juicy watermelon and cooling, fuss-free salads.

Here’s a pasta salad I made for last night’s dinner.

impromptu, good-for-you, balanced recipe of carbs, protein, dairy and vegetables

A little bit of pasta can go a long way if you load it up with vegetables. By this, I mean that you get the satisfaction of having had pasta while bulking it with all the good stuff.

You can use penne, farfale or any other chunky pasta of your choice.

Ingredients

1/2 Cup uncooked pasta

1 Chicken or vegetable stock cube

2-3 Tablespoons low fat, mild yoghurt

2-3 Cloves garlic

1 Teaspoon smooth mustard

1 Tablespoon hot sauce

1 Tablespoon olive oil

100 Grams broccoli

1/2 Cup mixed sprout

7-8 Cherry tomato

1 Yellow pepper

1 Small cucumber

1 Small bunch spring onion

Salt to taste

1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

1/2 Cup fresh parsley

Method

  1. Boil the pasta with a pinch of salt and the stock cube according to instructions on the packet. Drain and put in a big bowl.
  2. Peel and grate the garlic.
  3. To make the salad dressing, whisk together yoghurt, mustard, hot sauce, grated garlic, olive oil and salt to taste. Refrigerate till ready to use.
  4. Wash and finely chop the spring onion. Add it to the pasta bowl.
  5. Wash and halve the cherry tomato and throw them in the pasta bowl.
  6. Char-grill the pepper on the burner and let it cool down. Cover and keep aside, the steam helps loosen the skin.
  7.  Once the pepper has cooled, remove the charred bits. Cut in half, remove the core and the stem and slice it. Add to the pasta bowl.
  8. Wash and dice the cucumber and add to the pasta bowl.
  9. Wash and chop the broccoli.
  10. Wash the sprouts.
  11. Steam the broccoli and sprouts till tender but still with a bite (approximately 7 to 8 minutes). Add to the pasta bowl.
  12. Wash and chop the parsley and add to the pasta bowl.
  13. Now toss everything together, add the salad dressing and toss once again.
  14. Drizzle with the cider vinegar, mix well and serve.

Note:

  1. You can use any hot sauce of your choice.
  2. Use a strong mustard for a bit of zing.
  3. You can peel the cucumber if you wish, I prefer it with the skin on.
  4. If you like garlicky dressing, increase the number of garlic cloves.
  5. I have a double-decker steamer so saved time by boiling the pasta and steaming the broccoli and sprouts simultaneously.

Warm Salad of Barley, Beans & Vegetables in Garlicky Dressing

Warm Salad of Barley, Beans and Vegetables in Garlicky Dressing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

today’s salad is very comforting and flexible

Barley, beans and vegetables enveloped in a garlicky tahini and yoghurt dressing provides a very comforting one pot meal.

Ingredients for Warm Salad of Barley, Beans and Vegetables in Garlicky DressingFlexibility is offered by way of additions, deductions and substitutions.

My recipe involves unhulled barley, kidney beans, broccoli, yellow pepper, cherry tomatoes and onions.

You can use chickpea, broad bean, cannellini or any other variety of beans you have handy. I used raw kidney beans which were soaked and cooked before being added. You can use canned beans if it is easier.

Similarly, you can use hulled, pot or pearl barley. Even quinoa or other grains would work well.

As for vegetables, the possibilities are endless. Use whatever is seasonal, fresh and cheap. Most vegetables would make a suitable match for the dressing.

Ingredients for the Garlicky Dressing

100 Grams plain yoghurt

1 Tablespoon tahini

1 Pod garlic

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Peel and crush the garlic.
  2. Whisk the yoghurt and tahini till they are blended.
  3. Add the crushed garlic and salt to the yoghurt and tahini mixture.
  4. Mix well and refrigerate.

Ingredients for the Salad

250 Grams brocolli

10 Cherry tomatoes

1 Yellow pepper

3 small onions

3 – 4 tablespoons cooked beans

2 – 3 tablespoons cooked barley

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Juice of 2 limes or lemons

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and chop the broccoli into medium size pieces.
  2. Wash, de-seed, de-core and chop the pepper into medium size pieces.
  3. Wash the cherry tomatoes.
  4. Peel, wash and halve the onions.
  5. Put all the vegetables, beans and barley in a container which has tight fitting lid.
  6. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pour this marinade over the vegetable-bean mixture.
  7. Mix well, cover and let this sit for 4 to 5 hours.
  8. When you are ready to cook, heat a wide based non-stick frying pan.
  9. When it is hot, add the vegetable-bean mixture along with marinade juices.
  10. Cook on high heat for 7 to 10 minutes till the vegetables are cooked through.
  11. Take off the heat and after about 5 minutes, add the garlicky dressing.
  12. Mix well ensuring that the dressing coats all the vegetables, beans and barley.
  13. Serve while it is still warm.

I had soaked and boiled the unhulled barley in a pressure cooker. Drank the barley water!

Cooked Unhulled Barley  Barley Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The garlicky dressing is very simple to make and would make a yummy dip.

Garlicky Dressing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warm Couscous Salad the Kooky Way

Couscous the Kooky Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s post is the result of a homemade salad dressing which I wanted to finish. Was trying to think of ways in which it could be used to create a warm dish and this couscous salad is the result.

couscous recipe
couscous recipe (Photo credit: ukcider)

The salad dressing recipe is my sister’s, the kidney beans give this dish a Mexican touch and the vegetable base and seasoning are Mediterranean.

a bit of a kooky recipe with multiple influences

You can adapt this warm salad to whatever you have lying around in terms of vegetables, protein (beans or poultry) and dressing; it is totally flexible.

Ingredients for my Sister’s Signature Salad Dressing

1 Tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon prepared mustard (I used Colman’s original English mustard)

Juice of one lime or lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients in a screw top glass jar.
  2. Shake well till amalgamated.
  3. Will stay good in a refrigerator or in a cool environment for up to a week.

Ingredients for Couscous Salad

1/2 cup boiled kidney beans

1/2 cup cooked couscous*

2 Onions, finely chopped

1 Courgette

1 Yellow pepper

3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds, toasted

One tablespoon anchovies in olive oil*

One tablespoon Laura Santini Taste #5 Umami Paste (optional)*

One tablespoon crumbly, piquant cheese (I used Manchego)

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First, we need to “marinade” the salad base. Add salad dressing to the boiled kidney beans and finely chopped onions. Cover tightly and keep for 4 to 5 hours. Do this in advance so that the flavours develop.
  2. When you are ready to prepare the salad, wash and chop the courgette and yellow pepper in medium sized chunks.
  3. Heat oil, add the courgette and pepper chunks along with a bit of salt, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Throw in the chopped parsley and seasoning of choice. Mix well, cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. By the end of this cooking time, the vegetables should be cooked but still have a bite to them. You don’t want them too soft or mushy.
  5. Leave them covered while you prepare the couscous according to instructions on the packet.
  6. Now add the vegetables, couscous, toasted seeds and crumbly cheese to the onion and kidney bean mixture.
  7. Mix well and serve.

Note:

  1. Cook the couscous according to packet instructions. You can add a stock cube to the boiling water for a bit of flavour if you like. I didn’t because I had boiled the kidney beans in chicken stock.
  2. You can use plain olive oil or flavoured oil to cook the vegetables.
  3. The choice of seasoning is entirely yours. I used umami paste since I thought it would go well with the other Mediterranean flavours.

a few drops of hot sauce over the salad takes it to another level

Multicoloured Salad

Balanced Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hadn’t prepared anything for last night’s dinner because I was supposedly going for a Thanksgiving dinner. Turns out I had got my dates mixed up – doh!!! So had to come up with something quick to cook yet healthy and this is the end result.

Think of it as a balanced meal: balance of colours (white, purple, orange, yellow, red and green) and balance of carbs, protein and vegetables.

This salad is very easy to make and you can substitute with whatever is fresh, available or you have in your refrigerator.

have it as soon as it is cooked to enjoy a warm winter salad or chill and serve during summer months

Ingredients

3-4 potatoes

8-10 Cherry tomatoes

0.5 cup Sweetcorn kernels

1.5 cups French beans

2 Carrots

A couple of handfuls of salad leaves (I used amaranth, hence purple)

1 Tablespoon mayonnaise (I used the diet kind)

1 Tablespoon prepared mustard (I used Colemans)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Juice of half lemon or lime

1-2 Teaspoons freshly ground black peppercorns

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash the potatoes and steam them for 15 minutes or till soft. Once done, cut them in two. I had left the skin on, you can peel them if you like.
  2. Wash the french beans, snap them in half and steam them. Wash sweetcorn kernels. Steam the corn and beans together for 10 minutes or till just tender. I have a double decker steamer so I had put potatoes in one deck and french beans and sweetcorn in another and steamed them all together in one go.
  3. Wash and dry the salad leaves.
  4. Wash and coarsely grate the carrots.
  5. Wash the cherry tomatoes.
  6. Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  7. Put the salad leaves on a serving plate.
  8. Mix together the potatoes, french beans, sweet corn, carrots and cherry tomatoes along with the dressing.
  9. Put this salad on top of the leaves and enjoy.

serve with a glass of full-bodied red wine

 

Courgette/Zucchini Steak with Bean Salad & Avocado dressing on a bed of spinach

Courgette Steak

For dinner last night, I fancied only vegetables. At the same time, I wanted to make something warm since the weather’s getting cold.

A ripe avocado (given by the same friend who had given me the hass one) was urging me

use me

There is no recipe as such but the following is how I put together a healthy, cosy but what looks like a sumptuous meal.

Courgette Steaks

Courgette jaune
Courgette jaune (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Washed and cut in half (along its length) a yellow courgette. Then, I marinated it in some umami paste along with lemon juice and olive oil. Just before cooking, I put everything in a hot pan. Cooked courgette for 10 minutes each on both sides. The end result was a lovely steak like vegetable. The reason I used yellow courgette was because they tend to have thicker skin which works well for such cooking method.

Bean Salad

Washed, soaked and boiled a cup of kidney beans with a pinch of salt. Rinsed them in cold water and doused them with a tablespoon of white wine vinegar and salt. Added two very finely chopped onions and let the salad sit for some 8 hours for the flavours to blend. Before eating, added some steamed sweetcorn kernels.

Avocado Dressing

Whipped 3 tablespoons plain, mild yoghurt with Coleman’s mustard and a couple of cloves of minced garlic. Added diced avocados. Left this outside for a couple of hours so that I could have it at room temperature.

Spinach

Washed a bunch of spinach and put it in a saucepan with a lid. Cooked it with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes.

Bringing it all together

The spinach was sat on a plate on which came the courgette steaks along with the bean salad and avocado dressing.

A delicious, healthy, low-fat dinner.

Layered Sweet Potato, Mushroom and Avocado Salad

Image

Last night, I had one of the best meals I have ever cooked even if I say so myself!

without further ado

Let’s get on with this yummy salad which came about as a result of my very good friend Meher who got me a haas avocado

this one is dead simple and the best part is that you can adapt the basic premise of this salad to suit your taste

Layer One (bottom layer)

Ingredients

  • A handful of amaranth leaves is what I used but you can use any salad leaves you fancy such as iceberg lettuce, kale, spinach, watercress or even a mixture of leaves and fresh herbs.

Preparation

  1. Wash the leaves (and herbs, if using).
  2. Pat dry with kitchen towel or put in a salad spinner. The idea is to get all the moisture out.
  3. Do this a couple of hours beforehand so that the leaves are water free when you transfer them to your dinner plate.

Layer Two (sitting above the leaves)

Ingredients

  • 1-2 sweet potatoes (depending on size and appetite)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Seasoning of your choice (I used garlic pepper seasoning from my pantry)
  • Salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Wash and clean the sweet potatoes.
  2. Slice them in half vertically and either leave them intact or cut them in two depending on their size.
  3. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, seasoning and salt in a non-reactive bowl.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes, mix them well with the marinade, cover and leave till the time you are ready to eat.

Layer three (sits above the sweet potatoes)

Ingredients

  • 250 gms your choice of mushrooms (I used the plain white variety)
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (any type of wine or sherry vinegar will also work well)

Preparation

  1. Wash or wipe the mushrooms.
  2. If small, you can leave them whole or split them in half or quarter depending on their size.

Layer four (the top of the salad)

Ingredients

  • One ripe avocado
  • A spoonful of prepared mustard 9I used Colemans)
  • 3-4 tablespoons mild yoghurt (Greek yoghurt works well here)
  • one grated cucumber (optional)

Preparation

  1. Whisk the yoghurt.
  2. Add cucumber (if using) and mustard.

Cooking and Assembling

  1. Heat a frying pan. When hot, add the sweet potatoes and all the marinade.
  2. Make sure they sit in a single layer, cut side down.
  3. Cover, turn down the heat to minimum and set the timer for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, uncover and flip over the potatoes.
  5. Once again, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, place them on top of the leaves and herbs which form the base on your plate.
  7. Add the vinegar to the pan to deglaze it along with a couple of spoonfuls of water and the mushrooms.
  8. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. While the mushrooms are cooking, peel and chop the avocado and immediately add it to the yoghurt mixture.
  10. Once the mushrooms are cooked, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on top of the sweet potatoes.
  11. Add any liquid from the pan to the yoghurt avocado mixture, give it a good stir and pour this over the mushrooms.
  12. Voila – your layered salad is ready!

substitute, improvise, replace!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, you can use whatever you fancy. Chicken or boiled eggs instead of avocados. Broccoli instead of mushrooms. Salad leaves of your choice. Use whatever is available, seasonal, cheap and fresh.

Just follow these steps for layering:

leaves followed by carbs followed by vegetables followed by protein

If you try this out, let me know how you get on and which ingredients you substitute!