Miso Ginger Slaw

 

When the weather is hot like it is now I crave light but delicious food. This salad fits the bill. Perfect as a side to a summer BBQ or piled onto a burger, it’s just delicious.No only does this dressing taste great in this slaw (if I do say so myself), it tastes great tossed in with a simple green salad or used as a dip for crudites. If you’ve never had miso, or only know it as a soup, then you need to try this.

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White miso is a little bit trickier to get your hands on than brown miso but trust me, it’s worth every effort. I actually buy mine off amazon (in bulk!) which saves some time and effort.  

Miso Ginger Slaw

Ingredients

½  small head Red Cabbage

½  small head White Cabbage

2 large Carrots

Dressing:

3 tablespoons White Miso

3 tablespoons Lemon Juice

1 tablespoon Maple Syrup

1 teaspoon freshly grated Ginger

1 Garlic clove, crushed

Few drops of Sesame Oil

½ teaspoon of Black Pepper

½ tablespoon Sesame Seeds, to garnish

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Method

  • Slice the cabbage and carrots into very thin slices. You can use a food processor for this stage but I personally prefer a crunchier texture so stick with slicing by hand.
  • Place all the vegetables in a bowl and get on with the salad dressing.
  • In a separate bowl  add in all of the dressing ingredients  and stir together until smooth. Taste and season to your own preference.
  • Toss the dressing in on top of the vegetables and get your hands it there and mix it around until all the vegetables are coated.
  • Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle over the  sesame seeds.

Serve and enjoy!  x

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Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower is having a revival, and boy did it need it. I don’t think there is anything worse than being served boiled cauliflower? Possibly boiled cabbage, it’s a close call. As much as I am enjoying cauliflowers increasing popularity there are places where I will draw the line. These include using it in baking of any kind, adding it to breakfast oats and making into cauliflower “pizza”. I’m all about making healthier options but the cauliflower pizza thing is just nonsense, just go have an actual pizza and enjoy it. Anyway enough of what I don’t like and onto what I do like. Roasted Cauliflower.

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Seasoning and roasting the cauliflower just takes it to next level deliciousness. You could of course just have the cauliflower roasted as it is but I like to make it into a salad, if anything just so that I can have leftovers. There’s nothing too overly fancy here. If you can’t get your hands on a decent pomegranate use raisins or chopped dried apricots, something sweet to contrast the savouriness of the cauliflower. I wouldn’t have this as a stand alone salad but served out with a few other favourites to make a salad lovers buffet heaven.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Ingredients:

800g Cauliflower (approximately 2 x heads), cut into bite size florets.

2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 Garlic Clove, crushed

1 teaspoon of Turmeric

½ teaspoon of Cumin Seeds

¼ teaspoon of Sea Salt

¼ cup Pomegranate Seeds

2 tablespoons of Lemon Juice

2 tablespoons of Parsley, chopped

1 Tablespoon of Mint, chopped

¼ Cup of Flaked Almonds

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven 200 ℃
  • Place the cauliflower florets into a large baking sheet.
  • In a bowl mix the oil, garlic, turmeric cumin seeds and salt together. The pour this mixture over the cauliflower. Get your hands in there and give everything a good mix until all the florets are coated with the golden dressing.
  • Place the cauliflower in the oven for 20-30 minutes, tossing halfway through the cooking,  until it is golden and cooked through.
  • Once ready remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • While the cauliflower is cooling toast the almonds. I do this by putting them in a  frying pan over low flame, stirring every couple of minute until they become lightly golden around the edges.
  • Once cooled tip the cauliflower into a mixing bowl adding in the remainder of the ingredients. Give everything a good mix until everything is mixed through evenly.
  • Place onto a serving dish, sprinkle with a bit more parsley and tuck in.

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I like to eat this at room temperature though sometimes I’ll admit I haven’t the patience. As always I would love to know if you make this and of course welcome any feedback!

Kale, Pear and Goat’s Cheese Salad

Kale is everywhere at the moment. I’m not complaining, it’s never been so easy to get my hands on a bunch of this green goodness. Maybe it’s being overdone a little , adding it into brownies is a little wild even for me, but it’s seriously delicious.  It’s a pretty impressive brassica.  Taste aside,  it’s  super source of Vitamin C, A  and K. I’m not saying you should eat kale because of its nutritional profile and I’m certainly not promoting the idea of “superfoods” (that’s another story),but it’s not the worst thing to add into your diet.

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I love love love kale as a salad. I’ve had it in salads where it was just chucked in raw, which lead to so much chewing I had pains in my jaw and eventually had to give up.  The  key to kale my friends is to massage it. You might laugh at the notion of massaging kale but trust me on this one, it makes  a world of difference.  You must know by now I love my salty sweet combos so what better way to get that flavour sensation than with creamy goats cheese and juicy pears.

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Kale, Pear and Goat’s Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

1 x 200g bag of Kale, thick stalks removed

2 small of 1 large Pear

75g of Soft Goats Cheese

⅓ Cup of Walnuts, crushed

Dressing:

1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard

1 tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar

3 tablespoon of Olive Oil

½ teaspoon of Salt

¼ of Black Pepper

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Method:

Start of with making the dressing. Place all the ingredients into a jar and shake it up until everything it emulsified and you have a relatively thick dressing.

  • Place the kale in a bowl and pour over the dressing. Now get your hands in there and get massaging. Rub the kale between your hands, really scrunch it up to break down the leaves until they become nice and soft. Set aside to marinate.
  • Chop the pears in lengthways into quarters and remove the core. Then chop each quarter widthways, each piece about 1cm thick.
  • Add the pear slices and crushed walnuts into the kale. Crumble over the goats cheese.
  • Toss everything together. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed and serve.

This is great as a stand alone dish but also makes a great starter or side. If you aren’t already a kale convert try this and it might just bring you over to the dark side.

Spelt and Chickpeas with Sundried Tomato Pesto

This sundried tomato pesto is everything. A tub on standby in the fridge will perk up those sad mid week dinners when eggs on toast seems like the best thing you can muster up. Toss it through just about any grain, add in some protein, some greens and you have yourself a winning meal.  I use it as a sauce, dip, marinade and salad dressing. I’ll also great eaten off a spoon,  I try to reserve that for when I’m alone.

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Here I’ve mixed it with some ready cooked spelt, chickpeas and wilted spinach for the speediest mid week dinner. The leftovers make the perfect packed lunch too.

Spelt and Chickpeas with Sundried tomato Pesto

Ingredients

1 can of Chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 pack of ready cooked Spelt, I use Merchant Gourmet. If you cook your own it’s approximately 1.5 Cups

4 big handfuls of Baby Spinach

1/3 Cup of Sundried Tomato Pesto (recipe below)

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Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

1/4 Cup of Almonds

1 Cup of Sundried Tomatoes (I used the jared variety packed in oil, oil drained off)

1 Cup of Basil (1 small supermarket packet-25g)

2 Large Cloves of Garlic,crushed

1 Teaspoon of Chilli Flakes

1 tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Cup of Olive Oil

1/3 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese (omit for a dairy free/ vegan version)

1/2 teaspoon of Salt

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground Black Pepper

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Method

For the pesto:

  • Place the almonds in a food processor and blend until they form coarse powder
  • Place the rest of the ingredients into the processor and pulse until everything is smooth and combined. Taste and season as you like.

To assemble the dish:

  • Heat a small non stick frying pan.
  • Add in the spinach and cook until it is just wilted, remove from the heat and drain any excess water off.
  • To a saucepan add in your chickpeas, spelt and pesto. Heat through. If your pesto is quite dry at this point you can always add in an extra bit of olive oil to prevent everything sticking to the pan.
  • Add the reserved spinach into the saucepan and mix through.
  • Pop everything onto a serving plate and top with a little (or a lot) of extra grated parmesan.

What could be easier! Have a great week all x

Buckwheat Noodle Salad

This is one for all you fellow peanut butter lovers. Peanut butter makes a regular appearance in my breakfast bowl, putting it on my porridge was the ultimate game changer for me. I usually eat PB sweet but I decided to mix things up and give my beloved a savoury makeover.

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This peanut dressing is super creamy and packs a punch.The recipe can easily multiplied if you’re feeding a gang or if you just want  a little extra to have on standby.  Here I’ve paired it with buckwheat noodles and crunchy veg for a satisfying stand alone dish but it makes a great side dish. Any type of noodles would work here, you could even try “zoodles” which are all the rage these days.

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Buckwheat Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

2 sticks of Buckwheat Noodles (165g approximately)

1/2 Red Pepper, finely sliced

1/2 Yellow Pepper, finely sliced

1 Cup Sugarsnap Peas, finely sliced

2 Spring Onions, finely sliced

Handful of Unsalted Peanuts, chopped

For the dressing:

1/4 Cup of Crunchy Peanut Butter

1 teaspoon of Dark Soya Sauce

1 clove of Garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon  of  freshly grated Ginger

1 Chilli, finely chopped (My chillis were very mild so use less depending on the type of chilli you have)

Juice of 1 Lime

1/4 cup of Coconut Milk

Optional garnishes: unsalted peanuts, corriander, spring onions and chilli.

Method:

  • Cook you noodles as per packet instructions. Once cooked drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process and cool the noodles down quickly.
  • Now get on with making the dressing.You could use a blender here but I like to just use a good old fashioned bowl and whisk.  Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smoooth and everything is fully combined. Taste and adjust flavours to your taste.
  • Place the noddles and your chopped vegetables into a large bowl. Pour over the dressing and mix through with a fork until all of the noodles are coated with the dressing.
  • Put the salad onto a large serving plate and sprinkle with the chopped peanuts.

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I really hope you love this salad as much as I do. Have a great weekend x

Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate, Roasted Almonds and Mixed Herbs

The weather is still pretty Baltic outside but that doesn’t stop me enjoying a good salad. I used to think of salad as a horrid tasteless array of mixed vegetables (iceberg lettuce I’m looking at you) I force fed to myself while trying to eat virtuously. Or, worst of all, a lunch box filled with warm soggy limp salad. Gone are those days-no soggy lettuce and tomatoes here. In recent years salads have reached new heights and I just can’t get enough of them.

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I love to make up big bowls of salads at the weekend and have them resting in the fridge for quick and easy lunches through the week. Throw a few together in a lunch box and you’re set to go.

This is one of my favourites. Quinoa is pretty bland all on its owny own but jazz it up with a good dressing and some tasty additions and you have a meal that doesn’t need much else but some diced avocado and a extra squeeze of lime.

The Sumac does give a little something extra but if you can’t find any you can just omit it. It does turn the salad a lovely shade of pink which just adds extra to its beauty.   The measurements for the herbs are to my taste, add less or more as you like.

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Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate, Roasted Almonds and Mixed Herbs

1 cup of Quinoa

3 Cups of Water

1tsp Salt 1 Tsp Black Pepper

4 Scallions, finely chopped

1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Mint

1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley

1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Corriander

1 Pomegranate

1/3 Cup Almonds, lightly toasted

Dressing:

Juice of 2 Lemons (about 6 tablespoons)

2 tblsp  Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp Sumac

1/2-1 tsp Salt + 1 tsp Black pepper

Salt and Pepper

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  • Place the quinoa in a medium size pot with the water and the salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes until the quinoa is cooked. It should still have a bite to it. DO NOT STIR, resist temptations.
  • When the quinoa is cooked set aside and allow to cool.
  • To toast the almonds, place on frying pan over a medium heat until they are lightly golden and warmed through. Move around the pan frequently to prevent them from catching. It takes about 5 minutes.
  • Once they are toasted, set aside to cool.
  • While everything is cooling get along with chopping up your herbs, scallions and the daunting task of removing the pomegranate pips. I’ve read so many methods for this, putting in water, hitting with a wooden spoon and scooping out with a fork-all of which create an almighty mess. I find the best way is to chop the pomegranate in half then turn each side inside out and remove the seeds with your hands.Do this over a separate bowl so you can remove any unwanted bits afterwards.
  • Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk together, pretty simple.
  • Once the quinoa is cooled stir it through with a fork to make it nice and fluffy and break up any lumps.
  • Roughly chop the almonds- I like quite big chunks.
  • Once everything is ready place everything into a big mixing bowl, leaving the dressing until last, and stir well.
  • Give it a taste and add extra salt and pepper as needed.

There you have it. A simple and delicious salad to keep you going through the week. x