As I am sat here, munching my tasty lunch, with the sun streaming through the windows I thought I would share with you the vinaigrette that my mum taught me to make when I went off to Uni (10 years ago!!)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp rock salt
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 7 tbsp olive oil
- Pepper for seasoning
1. Crush the garlic
2. Pound the garlic with the salt until you get a smooth paste - at my mums I use a pestel and mortar to do this. At home I don't have one, so I tend to chop the garlic up and crush on the chopping board with the back of a teaspoon!
3. Put the paste, mustard powder and balsamic vinegar into a screw top jar. Season with pepper and give it a stir to make sure all the powder is dissolved
4. Add the olive oil. screw on the lid and shake away!
5. Unscrew the lid and taste; add more oil/vinegar depending on your taste buds if required
et volia - zingy, garlicky salad dressing.
Oh - if you are feeling lazy then use the pre-minced garlic from a jar -I don't bother to crush this with salt I just chuck it all in the screwtop jar and give it a quick shake!
This will keep in the fridge for about 5 days - great for the working week to take to work, I tend to find its even better on the second day as the garlic really infuses into the dressing! Always give it a good shake before serving!
Hurray summers here and cooking goes out of the window and in comes the Salad. I am a great fan of Salads and gone are the days when this means a little lettuce, bit of tomatoes and some cucumber!
I have below shared a couple of my favourite salads at the moment both are packed with flavour but are not unhealthy.
This salad is heavy on the Greek influence with a bit of French thrown in a really filling salad
Take half a bag of mixed baby leaf salad
Add some quartered tomatoes
Add chopped cucumber
Slice some red onion (add as much as you wish)
Hard boil an egg and add
Two new potatoes sliced
40g of feta cheese chopped and sprinkled
This salad is really flavoursome very easy to make and fairly healthy 5 or 6 weightwatcher points you can also add some tuna if you wish.
Roasted Mediterian Vegetable Salad:
I again start with a bag of mixed leaf salad but you can use any salad that contains Rocket:
Roast 1 Red onion, one courgette, one Aubergine and a red pepper (you can add more veg as you wish) drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 20 mins
Add one can of Tuna and toss all the ingredients together delicious simple and tasty summer salads
Hope you enjoy
As I have posted many recipes recently I thought I many as well carry on the theme. I love cooking, baking and preparing meals, trying out new things is great fun.
This time of year many people tend to start diets and sadly fail in there attempt, the main reason I find is because diet foods are bland and boring!
Here are a two healthy salads that will keep your taste buds entertained so hopefully keeping you on track without getting bored, sticking to your healthy eating longer meaning better results for your body.
Mediterranean vegetable and walnut salad
(Serve 6, and keeps well in the fridge)
3oz Walnuts, chopped
3 fl oz Olive vinaigrette (Will also give details how to male)
1 tbsp Pitted olives
Can of Chickpeas (400g/130z)
1 Red pepper (sliced how ever you like, I tend to cut into cubes)
1 Large carrot (Cut how you like, I normally cut into matchsticks)
1 Small red onion, thinly sliced
2 Large handfuls of baby spinach
2 Large handfuls of green salad leaves
1 - Add the walnuts to a dry pan over medium heat for 1 - 2 minutes until slightly toasted.
2 - Whisk together the olive vinaigrette and olives in a small bowl. Mix together the pepper, carrot, onion and chickpeas in a bowl adding 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette.
3 - Toss the salad leaves and spinach with the remaining vinaigrette, transfer into a large serving bowl pouring on top the vegetables, then sprinkling the walnuts over.
Great salad that is bursting with flavours. Walnuts are a rich plant source of omega 3, a handful of walnuts provides as much omega 3 as a portion of salmon!
4 fl oz Balsamic vinegar
4 fl oz Lime juice
2 Cloves of garlic, crushed
3 Black olives, pitted
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of sugar
1 - Add all the ingredients to a screw-top jar then replace the lid and shake well. Very simple vinaigrette can make this in less than 5 minutes, makes ½ pint and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Just give it a good shake before each use.
Baked Beetroot, Spinach and Orange Salad
1lb Raw whole beetroots (even in size if you can)
2 Garlic cloves
Handful of oregano leaves
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
7 oz Baby spinach
2 Oranges, segmented
5 tbsp olive vinaigrette
Ground black pepper
Chopped oregano (For garnish)
1 - To bake your beetroot place the whole beetroots on a piece of foil large enough to enclose loosely with the garlic and oregano. Season to taste with the pepper and drizzle over the oil and vinegar.
2 - Seal the top of the foil, place on a baking tray in a preheated oven 190c for 1hr 30 minutes (depends on the size of your beetroot) until tender.
3 - Remove from the over and leave to cool. Once it has cooled enough peel and slice your beetroot discard your garlic (or save it and mash it in with your potatoes)
4 - Add the spinach in a layer at the bottom of a large salad bowl, followed by alternate layers beetroot and orange.
5 - Drizzle over the vinaigrette, season to taste with black pepper and garnish with chopped oregano.
This salad is very healthy in so many ways; on the unusual side I know but all elements of this dish I found work extremely well together. Beetroot is important for a healthy heart it contains high amounts of antioxidants which is indicated by its vibrant colour. Also containing other very beneficial vitamins and minerals including beta-carotene, vitamins b6 and C, folic acid, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorous all very good for your heart!
Beetroot is sweet tasting but surprisingly low in calories, weight for weight it contains fewer calories than an apple! Great for you weight-watchers out there.
Hope these two recipes give you some ideas how to make salad more appealing, and showing you that you can have as much fun with salads as you can with over dishes too.
Thanks for reading
I first discovered this salad when visiting my aunts who are incredible cooks and always seem to have something on the table that I have never tried before (chicken in coke being one of them - I kid you not! it tasted amazing in case you are wondering!).
Not for my aunts was a normal green salad, but a gigantic bowl of beetroot and carrot salad.
I love sweet, unpickled beetroot and its so good for you - check out this list of benefits!:
Since Roman times its been considered an aphrodisiac. They also used it to treat fever and constipation although how medically accurate that is Im not sure!
It has recently been discovered that beetroot can help inhibit tumour growth and has a wealth of antioxidants. It has also been suggested that it can aid digestion and nullify garlic breath!
Finally it is rumoured to have properties that lift your mood - happy food if you will.
That little list should encourage everyone to eat their beets, and here is a tasty way to do so:
2 large Grated beetroot balls (not pickled the one that comes vaccum packed)
1 large Grated carrot
Juice of a lemon
Add if you wish:
Small diced cucumber, peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced black or green olives.
All you do is mix the lot together in a bowl and serve - sometimes if I want it as a main, I will add leftover roast chicken or some diced haloumi cheese or tuna.
I also add the basics to a sandwich sometimes.
It's nice if I fancy a change to regular green salad and a good thing to take in a tupperware to work again, if you want an alternative to a green salad.
Finally, it's also a great way to increase your five a day and fat free too :)
An Italian twist to the good old favourite
I love this salad but for some reason I only make it in the summer, when I think I overdo it and then need to wait 8 months till I fancy it again. My mum used to make something similar when I was younger without the salami but I later saw this on UKTV food with the salami and was converted!
Ive asked for potato salad on occassions when out and get boiled potato smothered in salad cream - whats that all about ?!
You will need
500g small new potatoes
150g green beans
8 Spring onions, diagonally sliced
200g black olives, pitted
100g thinly sliced salami, cut into quarters
and for the dressing
6 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp Mint, chopped (personal taste)
2/3 tsp wholegrain Mustard (again personal taste)
salt and black pepper ...
Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes.
Whilst these are cooking you can make the dressing by mixing together the oil, vinegar, mint and mustard; season to personal taste. (I find this easier to mix up by making it in an old jam jar and giving it a good old shake)
After the potatoes have been on for 15 mins, add the beans and cook for a further 3 minutes until beans are tender but still al dente.
Cool under running cold water and drain.
Cut the potatoes into chunks and toss gently in a serving bowl with the salad onions, olives and salami.
Pour over the dressing and lightly toss together.
This would actually serve two to three on its own as a meal or four to six as a side salad. I like to serve this with a piece of white steamed fish but indeed it would be lovely with any fish or even indeed a meat.
Alternatively omit the salami for a tasty veggie dish or indeed add a favourite of your own to bump out this dish. Personally im quite partial to small chunks of chiorizo and a finely cut red onion.
If serving on its own as a meal why not add a quatered boiled egg, Ive done this before when suprised by the arrival of guests at lunchtime and serve with crusty fresh bread.
Ive also added a tin of tuna if I dont have any salami in. You really can adapt this dish to suit your taste, your wallet and your kitchen cupboards!
Its coming into that time of year, when the traditional side dish to a meal of potatoes is replaced by a lighter salad, well in our household anyhow. I have to admit that I for a quick salad I usually bung together lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and a dressing, however when I have the time, or just fancy a change, I make this fruity salad, a great side dish with chicken or even white fish.
These ingredients would make a salad helping for 4 people:
Juice of 1 orange (or a tablespoon of orange juice from a carton if in a hurry)
2 large tomatoes chopped
1 green pepper chopped
175g long grain rice
50 g dried mix of chopped dates, cranberries and sultanas.
410g can of chickpeas (drained)
3 tbsp fresh coriander (though I often just use the dried coriander if I don't have time)
1. Cook the rice in the pan according to the packet instructions. Ensure all the water has been absorbed.
2. Pour the orange juice over the rice and stir in well. Then allow this to cool by putting it into a large salad bowl.
3. Add in the dried fruit, chickpeas, tomatoes, pepper, and coriander amd mix well.
I sometimes add in diced cucumber as well, or to replace the green pepper, and even some tinned peaches (chopped into little pieces) to add more fruit.
This is a great healthly side dish which tastes great, and there is often enough left to use for lunch the next day as well. In fact, I think I'll make it tonight, now that I am imagining the taste mmmmm.....
As we head into April, the thoughts of long hot summer evenings sat on the decking enjoying candlelit dinners, and drinks beneath the stars all still seem a distant dream.
A taste of summer can however be created at anytime of the year. An this delicious Italian Salad is my favourite. It looks elaborate, tastes fantastic, and is surprisngly very filling. In fact so much so, I would recommend serving this as a meal in itself, rather than accompanying something else.
Loosely and admittedly this recipe is very similar to a French Nicoise salad (minus the tuna), it is however Italian in origin. I particularly enjoy the contrast of flavours, from the bitter endive and salty anchovy fillets, to the sweetness of the fresh peas, its a lovely mouthful.
The Ingredients for 4 persons.
1 Cos Lettuce torn into pieces, or a Romaine heart.
1/2 Bitter Endive torn into pieces (optional if you don't like it)
5 On the vine cherry or Italian Plum tomatoes halved.
5 Anchovy Fillets
100g French Beans
50g Broad Beans (shelled and raw)
50g Fresh Shelled Peas (or defrosted frozen ones)
1 Mozarella Ball, torn into pieces. (Buffalo's milk one,is recommended)
6 new potatoes.
5-6 slices of Salami (not a cheap one)
5-6 Leaves of Fresh Basil
8 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of White wine Vinegar
1/2 Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
1 garlic clove crushed,
Salt and Pepper to season.
Parmesan Cheese (enough to get shavings).
How to make it, well it's surprisingly easy given the long list!
-Start to boil the new potatoes, add the whole eggs at the same time. While this is going on, add the Olive oil, mustard, wine vinegar, garlic and seasonings into a Jam jar, or Salad dressing container, and shake or whisk briskly.
-After about 6-8 minutes of a rolling boil, remove the hard boil eggs, and drop into COLD water and leave.
-Once the potatoes are cooked through, drain, remove from heat, slice quite thinly and add back to the pan, into this add just over half of the made-up salad dressing.
-Shell the (by now cooled) eggs, and slice into quarters.
- In a suitable flat large plate, add the salad leaves, peas, beans and french beans as a base. Once this is done, then neatly arrange with the remaining ingredients over the top (don't forget those new sliced potatoes in the pan!!!). Now using a potato peeler, shave some parmesan over the top.
- Once done, drizzle the remaining dressing over the whole lot.
- Serve and enjoy!
The "chaat" dish originates from South East Asia and is sold on the streets as a tasty snack. I often serve it as an alternative to a salad when I'm making Asian food but it's a great fridge-snack for emergencies!
This makes a great alternative salad using yoghurt as it's base. It's flexible to allow you to make use of anything you may have in the kitchen- throw it all in here! I have inclued some optional ingredients but if you make it using my basic ingredients I assure you it will be delicious!
Enough for three people
You will need:-
Greek style Yoghurt- Half a tub
Sliced red onions- 2 small ones
Butter beans-cooked- half a tin
Lettuce- shredded, a handful
Cherry tomatoes-Sliced, a handful
Cucumber- Sliced, about half of one
Chickpeas- Drained, half a tin
Red pepper- Sliced, one
Chopped potato-cooked, 3 small new potatos but any will do
Green and Yellow peppers optional- Prepared in the same way as the red pepper above
Sliced green chillies optional
Mint leaves optional
Lime/lemon juice to taste
Mix all of the above ingredients and place in a tub in the fridge. The green chillies will give it a hot kick if you like that otherwise it's filling and tasty without them. Another traditional way of making chaat is to use ground red chillies but it becomes more spicy so be warned!
This is a lovely and unusual dish but very healthy as it mainly consists of vegetables, beans and chickpeas.
If you don't have Greek style yoghurt (available from Tescos and most supermarkets but not actual Greek yoghurt which is a bit thick for this recipe) then try Live Yoghurt instead which is less tasty but does the same job.
Yes, it's that time of the year again. New year, new resolutions and, of course, the lovely resolution of losing weight. Winter is coming to an end, pounds have piled up over the holidays and spring, summer, short skirts and bikinis on the beach are looming over us!
So I have dusted off my diet and decided to start again my quest to a slim me. I have a diet who was made by a nutritionist for me. So, it's balanced and has all the good, healthy stuff one should eat when trying to lose weight. The biggest problem, however, is that my nutritionist doesn't really believe in eating meat. That's something her and I don't really agree on, since I don't feel I have eaten yet if I don't see a little piece of meat on my plate. So, lately most of my dinners consisted in a selection of either soup and salad, cottage cheese and salad, fruit and salad and so on. Now, anyone who was ever on a diet knows that salads are not exactly the tastiest or the most filling meal. So, I have set myself on a quest to find the perfect ingredients which will make my salads a little more eatable. Now, a salad it's a salad. No matter how you look at it, there isn't much you can add to it if you're dieting. The option I had, really, was playing with the condiments, trying to come up with the best combination. After many trials and errors, I have come up with a combination that I truly enjoy and makes eating salad less of a char. It may not satisfy any taste, but it's worth a try.
1 medium cucumber
1 onion (sliced thinly)
1 large carrot (shredded)
1 pinch of oregano (by pinch I mean the quantity you can take between your fingertips)
1 pinch of dry basil
1 pinch of sweet chili powder
1 pinch of dry thyme
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper
This makes 2 servings or a salad for two. If you want to make it for more people, multiply accordingly.
Well, making it it's pretty simple and it shouldn't take more than 5 minutes, 10 if you are really slow, as I am lol
Cut lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and carrot to you liking and mix well. Add the condiments, mix and let it sit for at least 10 minutes, so the juices can penetrate the vegetables and kick up the flavor. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If you are not on a strict diet, you can could add some feta cheese (either shredded or small cubes) and some olives. Should you do so, double the amount of oregano you put in, as this condiment really enchases the flavor of the feta cheese.
Whenever you make your own recipe, it is very hard to know the calories and nutritional information. However, you can use online programs to calculate it. I use www.fitday.com everytime I am curious and information about foods. You simply add the ingredients you are using from their database and you can calculate the total. I don't know how accurate it is, but here it is:
Proteins: (g): 7
Main vitamins and minerals: Vitamin A, B6, C, E, Calcium, Copper, Manganese, Potassium, Thiamin, Zinc.
Taste: Well, it's obviously still a salad, but the condiments add a lot of flavor. If I had to describe the taste I would say it's a powerful sweet-sour combination. If you don't like the sour taste, add only a tbsp of balsamic vinegar instead of two.
So there you have it, my attempt in creating a more tasteful salad for dieting in style. I hope that you will try it and enjoy it!
Here are a few carrot salads I have picked up in my travels.
Cooked carrot salad.
This is delicious and very often served as part of the 'cover' in Portuguese restaurants.
Finely slice and boil 3 good sized carrots. Boil until the carrots are al dente. Remove from the boiling water, strain and allow to cool.
Try to shake any excess water off them.
Put into a bowl and pour on enough good olive oil to cover them.
Finely slice two cloves of garlic and stir into the carrots.
Add a level teaspoon of mixed herbs.
Chill for at least an hour to allow the flavours to mingle.
Serve as a starter with some crusty bread to dip in the oil.
Simple and very delicious.
Any left overs will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week.
Carrot in orange.
I picked this up on a kibbutz.
Grate a couple of peeled carrots, try to save any juice that comes off them.
Grate the zest of a jaffa orange and juice the rest of it. I use two because I love the fresh juice.
Chop some almonds or use sliced almonds. Use as many as you think you will like.
Stir all the ingredients together including any carrot juice you saved.
Put in a pretty dish and mill some fresh black pepper on the top.
This is a really tangy salad and goes well with tuna.
Carrot and tomato salad.
This is one of many fabulous Belarussian salads.
Finely slice and boil two large carrots.
As in the first salad, remove and cool them when they are still slightly firm.
Layer on a flat plate alternating with slices of tomatoes. (It looks really pretty!)
Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Use balsamic if you have it in the cupboard.
Tear up some fresh basil leaves to decorate or use a sprinkle of dried basil if there is no fresh available.
Serve at room temperature.
This is more subtle and has a delicious mix of flavours.
I hope you enjoy these slightly less usual uses for the humble carrot.
One of my all time favorite salad is pea salad. It is super easy to make and does not really cost a lot either. It goes great with hamburgers, steaks, lunch meat sandwiches, pizza, chicken. You name it and it will go with it.
First of all you want to boil some water and add a 10 ounce package of pasta. You can use any pasta shape you like- elbow, spiral, shell, wagon wheels. Bring the noodles to a full boil and cook until tender. Then you will want to drain and rinse well in cold water until cool to the touch.
Open a can of peas and drain them very well. Once to noodles are cool, add the can of peas. Mix in about a tablespoon of yellow mustard and about a cup of mayonnaise. This may not be enough mayo, but judge accordinly. I like mine full of mayo so it is not dry. I also add about a tablespoon or two of milk to keep it moist.
Add one cup of shredded cheddar cheese and a squirt of sweet pickle relish. Mix it up well and chill for a few hours.
I have always seen this on menus when I've been out and about, but have never ordered it for some reason. But when I was browsing for something a little different to make for a light summer salad I came across this recipe on the Sainsburys website and I think it is really quick and tasty. It is now a firm favorite if I'm pushed for time and fancy something a little more healthy than beans on toast! You can make it a little more substantial if you serve it with new potatoes.
For the salad:
- lettuce leaves
- 175g French beans, halved and cooked
- 198g can tuna, drained and flaked
- 2 tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 8 pitted black olives
- 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 8 anchovy fillets
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
How to make it:
- Place the lettuce leaves on a large serving plate.
- Arrange the beans, tuna, tomatoes, olives, celery and anchovies on top.
- Blend together the remaining ingredients to make a dressing, then spoon it over the salad and serve immediately with French bread or hot new potatoes.
Potato Salad with Ham
This is a fairly simple recipe similar to Potato salad but with the addition of Ham. It can be eaten on it's own or I prefer it just with a good quality crusty baguette on the side.
400g Potatoes - about 4/5,
1 whole cucumber,
Half of a salad onion,
3 slices of cooked ham,
6-8 tablespoons mayonnaise,
Salt and Pepper,
All spice or salad seasoning (optional).
1. First make your mashed potatoes, you can use the normal pan method of your choice or use the easy microwave method here.
Peel and cut the potatoes into 4/6 equal sized pieces, soak them in cold water for about 10 minutes. Next put some kitchen roll into a microwave safe bowl and put the potatoes on top, seal the top of the bowl with cling wrap. Microwave on a medium power for 5-6 minutes.
2. While the potatoes are still hot mash them to your liking, I prefer to have them slightly course in texture. At this stage you can add the all spice or salad seasoning if you wish. Now put the potatoes aside and let them cool down.
3. Slice the cucumber finely and sprinkle with salt, this help to remove the excess water.
4. Peel and slice the onion and then soak in water.
5. Cut the ham slices into quarters then slice each quarter into 1 cm strips.
6. Squeeze the excess water from the salted cucumber slices, this is best done through a kitchen towel.
7. Drain the water from the onion and squeeze out the excess.
8. Combine the cucumber, onion and strips of ham with the mashed potatoes.
9. Add the mayonnaise and mix it all together, I start with 6 tablespoon first to see how it is and add another 1 or 2 tablespoons if needed, add salt and pepper to taste.
10. Place the bowl in the fridge and allow to chill.
although I'm not a vegetarian I do love my veg and this is perfect to serve with a traditional salad for a bit of variety.
it can also be served hot as a side dish or as a healthy snack with some crusty french bread.
this recipe is loosely based on the lovely vegetables I've tasted when on holiday in spain and france but without all the lovely extra olive oil drizzled on top I'm sorry to say!
I think that colourful food is always more tempting to eat so please enjoy this well-tried and tested recipe which can be eaten all year round.
french beans on tomato salad
2tsp corn oil
1 med onion - peeled and chopped
2gloves of garlic - peeled and crushed
1can value tomatoes
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tbsp tomato puree
12 oz french beans - fresh or de-frosted & lightly boiled.
1. gently heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic until softened but not browned
2. Add the tomatoes,herbs and tomato puree and cook over a low heat at a gentle bubble for 15 minutes until it becomes thick
3. Add the salt & pepper to the mixture and toss in the beans
4. Serve cold with a regular salad
If you wanted it to go even further try adding other seasonal or left-over, due- to- be- eaten vegetables - I'm just suggesting green beans because of their bright colour and good texture.
Chicken & Pasta Salad. We all love to sit out in the garden and eat a nice salad for lunch on these hot summer days. So here is a quick easy way to make a great tasting salad. That way you'll have more time to enjoy the great British weather or rather to enjoy the 15 minutes before it starts raining again.
Anyway this salad is enough to serve four people and is great as a side dish if you are having a BBQ. It only takes 20 minutes to make so you don't have to worry about wasting your day.
To make it you are going to need:
6oz (175g) of pasta
6oz (175g) of cooked chicken
6oz (175) of large tomatoes
3oz (85) of mushrooms
Half a cucumber
Some basil leaves
Put the pasta in a pan with just enough water to cover it all
Boil for 10 minutes or until the pasta goes soft
Whilst it is boiling tear the chicken into medium sized chunks
Slice the tomatoes & cucumber up
Peel the mushrooms (some people may also wish to remove the stalks) then shop them up.
Grate the carrots
Chop the basil leaves
When the pasta is cooked put it into your salad bowl and add all the ingredients except for the basil.
Toss them all together
Add the basil on top as an nice effect.
Serve the salad.
This is a great salad for hot summer days as it's easy to make, quite cheap and quick. I prefer home grown tomatoes because they taste the best but seeing as we can't all grow our own store bought ones are just as good. The pasta just seems to look better it it's twists and it sort of locks more of the other ingredients into it rather than let it slide off a flat surfaced pasta such as shells. A sauce can be added if you want but to be honest this salad is already so full of flavours that it isn't necessary.
Salad is a light meal - or part of a larger meal - consisting of mixed vegetables or fruit, often with a dressing or sauce, occasionally nuts and the possibility of meat/fish/cheese on the side. It is usually seen as a healthy meal though this is misleading - often a dressing is full of calories, salt, sugar or fat. The word "salad" comes from the French salade of the same meaning, from the Latin salata, "salty", from sal, "salt".