Showing posts with label 3. Salads and Vegetables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 3. Salads and Vegetables. Show all posts

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

prawn sushi salad with wasabi dressing

As I sit here on a true autumn, gloomy day reminiscing about the warmth of summer and the great one we've just had....(aaaah).  I'm drawn to those in the southern hemisphere, you lucky fish, you've got it all to come...This recipe is for you all and by far one of my favourites' of this summer.
I found this recipe in the Sainsbury's magazine which I have to say is my fix for Taste Magazine in South Africa.  It's packed with delicious recipes that are fool proof and turn out every time.  I would have never thought to use soy sauce over a salad but it works and it works damn well.  Try it.  The wasabi adds a real kick (which I love) but sensitive folk may need to add slightly less.  The original recipe had sushi rice and cut up seaweed sheets in which also sound divine if you were after more of a meal.


You will need:
  • 1 packed ready cooked and peeled prawns (not shrimps)
  • 1 Avo
  • 1 bag of mixed leaves
  • 1/2 cucumber sliced
  • 5 radishes, sliced with skin on
  • sprinkling of sesame seeds (black and white)
  • 1 large carrot, finely grated
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 3 spring onions, sliced at an angle

For the dressing:
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil (or olive oil)

1) Prepare all the salad ingredients on a platter on the bed of leaves/lettuce.
2) Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together and pour over the salad.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

tomato and marinated fennel salad

This came about by pure luck.  I was raiding the fridge for some lunch inspiration today.  I had intended on making a tuna salad when I came across these beautiful heirloom tomatoes.  I didn't buy them so it was a lovely surprise.  They obviously found their way back after a weekend away with friends where we each took turns cooking a meal.  Somehow they were packed in my bags.  I love the fact they were.  They were so pretty I had to get out my camera.  I sliced them up and mixed them with a fennel bulb which I marinated in vinegar.  It was a combination perfect for summer.  I wanted to add another element of colour so grated some radishes with little pink tufts of flavour.  The radish and the fennel are a match made in heaven. 



  • Assorted tomatoes
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 3 spring onions
  • 4 grated radishes
  • feta cheese
  • white wine vinegar
  • olive oil
1) Slice the fennel and pour vinegar over so that it just covers the fennel, season with salt and pepper and leave for 30 mins.
2) Slice the tomatoes, spring onions, and sprinkle over the crumbled feta and radishes.  Add  the fennel.
3)  Season with olive oil and the remaining vinegar from the fennel.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

rainbow beetroot salad with honey sesame seed yoghurt dressing

Pink and Golden Beetroots tossed with bulgur wheat & toasted pumpkin seeds  

I made it.  I love it.  Its delicious.  But not really sure what else to say about it... other than its much prettier in real life. My pics just don't do it justice.  Definitely one to keep up your sleeve when entertaining.
I got my hands on some beautiful rainbow beets from the local village market.  I love it when I find 'artisan' veg.  I get such a kick out of using extraordinary things.  These pink stripy beets are much prettier raw (and I have a killer raw beet salad for another day), and the golden ones well they just throw your taste buds out as so easily mistaken for something else.  Roasting them is best, I just wrap them in foil, skin and all and roast in oven till soft (approx. 45 mins). 
The honeyed sesame  seed yoghurt dressing and lots of fresh lemon juice takes this salad to the next level but its the roasted pumpkin seeds that give it a real wow factor.  Its really good!

You will need

4 - 5 assorted beetroots (2 golden, 2 pink and 1 dark red)
6 radishes finely sliced
1 cup bulgur wheat
1 cup water
few leaves of rocket
few sprigs coriander
handful of pumpkin seeds

For the dressing:
1 1/2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
3 tbsp low fat yoghurt
lemon juice
garlic clove crushed
1 tsp runny honey
a little water to thin it out


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

three summer salads with feta

What's not to love about summer and alfresco dining... crisp fresh ingredients tossed together with crumbs of feta, dressed with fresh lemon and olive oil, served and enjoyed outdoors - this for me is summer on a plate.  These three ideas are all extremely simple to prepare and very pretty to eat.  As they all use a hint of feta, I wouldn't necessarily serve them together but rather mix and match them to different meals or BBQ's. 
I couldn't resist dressing the table with a few hand picked herbal blooms straight from the garden, a little bouquet of Lavender, Chamomile, and Pea shoots add a delicate touch to your table.

Roasted sweet potato, beetroot and feta salad


  • Serves 2/4
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, sliced or cubed
  • 5 medium sized roasted beetroots
  • 1/2 slab of feta
  • lettuce leaves
1) Place sweet potatoes in a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil and roast in a preheated oven of 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until crispy but still soft.  If your beetroots are fresh, cover each one with foil and place in the oven together with the sweet potatoes but leave in for at least an hour till soft, remove from foil and peel the skin off.  Alternatively use pre-packed already cooked beets.
2) Toss all together with crumbed feta, place on the lettuce leaves and drizzle with olive oil and little balsamic vinegar.


Courgette, mint, chilli and feta salad

  • Serves 2/4
  • 3 raw courgettes, peeled length ways with a peeler
  • 1/2 medium heat red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/4 slab of feta, crumbed
  • few sprigs of mint
1) Toss all together in a bowl and dress with olive oil and fresh lemon juice.  Note this is best when the courgettes have been marinated in the dressing for at least half an hour, they go all soft but still maintain a slight crunch.

Rosemary roasted butternut and feta salad

  • Serves 2/4
  • 1 butternut, peeled and sliced into chunks
  • few sprigs of rosemary
  • 1/2 slab of feta, crumbed
  • 1 tsp chicken spice
1) Sprinkle the chicken spice over the butternut together with the sprigs of fresh rosemary, roast in preheated oven of 180 degrees for 20 mins.
2) Toss together with the feta and dress with olive oil.

Monday, 1 July 2013

butternut, cauliflower & chickpea curry

Honestly this came about from being all I could find in the fridge and pantry.  I always have a tin of chickpeas handy for whatever reason be it salads, houmous or stews and I had a very big butternut begging to be chopped.  I'd also noticed half a cauliflower in the fridge, who knows how long it had been there and the first thing that came to mind was a mild coconuty curry.
There used to be quite a famous advert in South Africa for crackers where the toppings started out very fancy e.g. smoked salmon and cream cheese, then just cream cheese and by the end of the month there was nothing but the plain cracker, they referred to it as the end of the month salticrax.
This dish is my end of the month curry for your lovie ;)

Serves 4
You'll need:
  • 1/2 a butternut, diced
  • 1/2 a cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tin of tomatoes
  • 1/2 tin of coconut milk
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • juice from half a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • plain yoghurt to serve
1) Fry the onion in a pan.  Add the spices and all the vegetables.  Mix well to ensure the spices coat all the veggies
2) Add the coconut milk and tinned tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer for approx. 20mins or till tender.
3) Serve with a dollop of plain yoghurt and toasted pita breads or naan.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

cherry tomato, lentil & feta salad

Now here is a quick and delicious salad that is not only refreshing and simple to make, but also quite filling.  Lentils are a great source of fibre and work really well in the salad together with the crunch of the sweet red onion, they add a wonderful texture to this salad.  I love serving it as a side for a BBQ or even in a wrap as an ideal lunch.

I have to say this was my favourite salad of last year and seeing as the sun decided to make its guest appearance today I thought it was a perfect day to share this with you.


You'll need:

1 packet of cherry tomatoes
1 tin of brown lentils
1 red onion, sliced very thinly
1 block of feta
1 handful of parsley, coarsely chopped
1 Tbs good quality olive oil
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar


1) Slice the tomatoes, and mix in a bowl with the lentils, onions, parsley and crumble the feta over and season with salt, pepper and dressing (olive oil and balsamic vinegar).

Note: Feel free to add more tomatoes if you are making a bigger salad.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

quinoa with fennel roasted veg

Those who know me know I am all about colour.  I can't get enough of it, be it in my wardrobe or on a plate.  I am also all about making things look pretty and nothing pleases me more than a well presented plate of food.

I have recently been inspired by the beautiful colours and photography on LaTartineGourmande

I'm very lucky to have a husband who's ultimate weakness is food, and will eat pretty much whatever I put in front of him (even if it contains only veggies and an earthy grain/seed).  This dish is one of our mid-week staples - a real favourite when detoxing, and with quinoa being the super food of all super foods, it's truly nutritious and need I say, delicious. 

It's high protein properties make this a meal on its own, but it would also be good served as a side to either a roast chicken or baked salmon.

I personally love quinoa or 'keenwa' as its pronounced and ever since our time in Peru can't get enough. 

Serves 4

 You'll need:
  • 1 red onion, sliced into wedges
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped with skin on
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, with skin on
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 courgette, sliced at an angle
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 5 sweet bell peppers (or 2 regular peppers)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup boiling water
  • salt and pepper to taste

1) Put water in a pan and bring to boil.  Add quinoa and boil for approx 15 mins or until it loosens
2) Put all the veggies, chopped up on a baking tray with the olive oil and seasoning and bake in a pre-heated oven of 180 degrees for approx 25-30 minutes.  Keep checking them so they don't burn and shake to turn the veggies around to cook evenly throughout.
3) Serve the veggies on a bed of quinoa and enjoy.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

warm chicken salad with sweet potato chips

This salad together with the sweet potato chips has become my new favourite meal.  I love serving it as a quick and casual lunch with friends.  I highly recommend it for it's simplicity and gorgeous flavours.

I'm sure Theo Paphitis from Dragons Den would agree that the return of taste & enjoyment you get out of this meal, far out ways the time and effort put into it. 

In order to appreciate the full range of flavours this salad has to offer, one needs to taste it, so do yourself a favour, try it - its worth it.


Warm Chicken Salad

Serves 4

You'll need:
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 large chili (optional)
  • 1 packet mixed salad leaves
  • few cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 spring onion
For the salad dressing;
  • 1 small red onion (or shallot), very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2cm fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce


1) Marinate the chicken strips.  Put garlic, cumin, lemon juice, 1 Tbs olive oil, chili, 1 tsp soy sauce in a bowl with the chicken and leave to stand for a few minutes (the longer the better).
2) Gently fry the chicken in a pan.
3) Arrange the salad leaves in a bowl or platter, add the tomatoes, spring onions and place the cooked chicken on top.
4) For the salad dressing, add the ketchup, vinegar, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp olive oil, ginger, the finely chopped onion, mix well and pour over the salad.


Sweet potato chips

You'll need
  • 6 sweet potatoes, sliced in strips with skin on
  • 2 Tbs olive oil


1) Arrange potatoes on a baking tray and pour over the olive oil
2) Bake in preheated oven of 180 degrees for approx 30 minutes or until golden.
3) Season with salt and pepper and enjoy with the salad

Monday, 15 October 2012

pasta primavera

I found these pretty pasta swirls in Tuscany and have been saving them for something special.  I wanted to make something tasty yet still maintain their beauty...this is what came to mind.  A refreshing pasta primavera served cool with my take on a Spanish Caprese salad.

I love this meal for its simplicity and fresh flavours.

The original idea uses fresh basil however when I came to making it, I realised I didn't have any, and had no choice but to go with what I had - fresh coriander.  I loved this change and it has now become my recommended version.

This dish works best using sweet vine ripened tomatoes.

Pasta Primavera
Serves 4

You'll need:
  • 400g pasta shapes (you can use whatever shapes you like, fusilli, shells, tubes)
  • vine ripened tomatoes (about 12-14 depending on how much sauce you prefer) 
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped  (you can use basil if you prefer)
  • grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tbs olive oil, good quality
  • salt & pepper to taste

1) Bring the pasta to boil in a pan and cook until al dente, remove and rinse with cool water.
2) In a separate bowl, finely chop the tomatoes making sure to pour all the tomato juices in the bowl.  Add the grated garlic and chopped coriander, mix and leave till all the juices are mixed.
3)  When the pasta is ready add the pasta to the tomatoes and mix with a good swig of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and grate fresh Parmesan over and serve

~ ~ ~

I love serving this pasta with a Spanish inspired tomato salad.   I know what you thinking, a slight case of tomato overload but trust me these two dishes work very well together with the flavours all marrying up deliciously.

Now I can't take all the credit for this salad.  It's an adaption of a Jamie Oliver creation.

You'll need:

  • 10 ripe vine ripened tomatoes
  • half a length of chorizo
  • 1 mozzarella ball
  • small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

1) Slice the chorizo and fry gently in a pan until it starts to crisp.
2) Roughly chop the tomatoes.  I like it quite chunky not too refined.  Add the sliced mozzarella.
3) Add the chorizo and pour the oil from the pan over the salad.  Add the chopped mozzarella.
4)  Pour over the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.