Tag Archives: summer salads

Warm Lamb Salad with Baby Beets, Labneh and Candied Walnuts

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IMG_3If you are looking to whip up some tasty salads this spring but are in need of some foodie inspiration then its time to jump on
the Beet train! Fast becoming one of the most fashionable vegetables of 2014 it’s not hard to see why the humble old beetroot is making a comeback. With a seriously impressive nutrient profile, beets offer a range of health benefits to keep you looking a feeling your best. Available just about all year round these colourful little flavour bombs are the perfect accompaniment to just about any dish. If you want to find out what all the fuss is about, give this recipe a go, it will not disappoint!

Warm Lamb and Veggie Salad with Baby Beets, Labneh and Candied Walnuts

(Serves 2 people)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh baby beetroots, peeled and trimmed
  • 200g pumpkin, cut into 1cm thick slicesIMG_2
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1cm thick slices
  • ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1x red onion, quartered
  • 100g baby spinach leaves, washed
  • 250g lamb loin (backstrap), trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 100g marinated labneh or fetta cheese
  • fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

What to do…

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.IMG_5

Place the lamb in a bowl and rub with olive oil and the crushed garlic. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Top and tail and then peel the beets. Slice them in half and then add to a lined baking dish along with the sliced eggplant, pumpkin, red onion and cherry tomatoes.

Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with some fresh thyme leaves and place in the oven to cook for approximately 45mins or until the veggies are soft and slightly browned.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick fry pan over a medium-high heat. Add the walnuts, maple syrup and a light sprinkling of sea salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until syrup is caramelized and nuts are toasted, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

When almost ready to serve, place a non-stick fry pan over med-high heat and cook the lamb. Approximately 3 minutes each side for medium rare. Once cooked to your liking remove from the heat and set aside to rest for 4-5mins before slicing.

Meanwhile, layer the baby spinach leaves over a large serving platter and then top with the roasted vegetables. Finally add the sliced lamb and sprinkle over the candied walnuts and labneh.

Enjoy!

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Red Rice and Quinoa Salad

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quinoa + red rice saladWith a delicious whole baked coral trout on the menu last night I decided that this salad would make the perfect accompaniment..and being the food fanatic that I am decided to make an extra big salad so we could all eat leftovers the next day…turns out the salad was just a little too moreish as there wasn’t a grain left in the bowl by the time we left the table!

Loaded with fibre, heart healthy fats and essential nutrients this is not only the perfect accompaniment for just about any type of fish, meat or chicken dish, but it would also be a perfectly balanced meal just its own!

This dish serves 4 people.

What you need….

– 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

– 1/2 cup red rice (or can use a mixture of red & brown rice like I did for a little extra texture contrast!)

– 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

– 1 small lebanese cucumber, sliced into quarters

– 1 red onion, thinly sliced

– 1 clove garlic, crushedfish and salad

– rind and juice of 1 orange

– juice of 1 lemon

– 2 tbsp preserved lemon, finely sliced

– 1/3 cup currants

– 1/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

– 1 tbsp pepitas (optional extra)

– 1/2 punnet rocquette or spinach leaves

– 1/2 cup mint leaves

– olive oil

-salt and pepper

What to do….

Firstly, cook your rice in one saucepan and the quinoa in a seperate saucepan as per packet instructions. Rinse, drain and set aside to cool. This can even be done ahead of time, just make sure you bring the rice and quinoa back to room temperature before assembling the salad.

Meanwhile, heat a small non-stick frypan and add a dash of oil to the pan before adding the red onion and sauteing til soft and slightly translucent. Set aside to cool.

Next add the juice of an orange, 1.5 tsp of orange rind, the juice of one lemon, about 2 tbsp olive oil and the crushed garlic to a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Then throw in the rice, quinoa, rocquette leaves, cucumber, tomatoes, mint leaves, currants, preserved lemons and toss to combine.

Finally, sprinkle over your pepitas and toasted almonds just prior to serving and there you have super light summer salad that will be sure to please even the toughest crowd! Oh and did i mention its gluten free for all those with gluten sensitive tummies!

Here is sneak peak at the delicious whole baked coral trout that was served up last night with the salad! Yum yum yummm!

 

fresh fishbbq'd trout

Happy Sunday Everyone!

A

Christmas Highlights Part 2: Prawn, Mango & Avocado Salad with Raspberry Sauce

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Nothing conjures fond memories of big family Christmas banquets gone past like the traditional Aussie inspired Prawn, Mango and Avocado Salad! Thanks to the 40 PLUS degree heat us Queenslanders seem to be blessed with at Christmas each year, the thought of the old traditional roast meat and veggies with all the trimmings really doesn’t seem to fit! Hence why this delicious, nutritious and light summer salad makes an appearance on our Christmas table year after year!

Just to spice things up a bit and add a bit of Christmas colour to this Aussie icon dish my creative minded sister suggested a raspberry reduction sauce to replace the traditional creamy based one…creating a culinary masterpiece both aesthetically and taste wise! Recipe as follows…

What you need… (Salad will serve 6-8 people)

– 2x QLD Bowen Mangoes, sliced

– 1 extra large Avocado, sliced

– 200g mixed leavesphoto

– 200g baby rocket or spinach

– 1/2 cup lightly toasted macadamias

– 2kg cooked Mooloolaba Prawns

For the Raspberry Reduction sauce:

– 1 cup frozen raspberries

– 1/4 cup water

– 1 tsp caster sugar

– balsamic vinegar

What to do…

For the sauce, place the raspberries, sugar and water into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Allow to simmer for 5-10mins, adding a touch more water if necessary. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before straining into a small jug. Add a dash to balsamic vinegar and taste. Add more vinegar if necessary. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Peel the prawns and place in an ice slurry until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, grab a big serving platter and toss the lettuce and rocket leaves across the base. Slice up the mango and avocado into long strips and arrange over the platter. Drain the prawns and add to the salad. Scatter over the toasted macadamias and then pour over the raspberry sauce and you have one seriously delicious fresh summer salad ready for any occasion in less than 30 mins! Yummm!

Enjoy!

A

My take on the traditional Nicoise Salad

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salmon niscoiseHi everyone! Has been awhile but I’m back and man do I have something for you! Now that the weather is warming up again I am happy to say the soups are just about out and the salads are coming back in avengeance! With a hankering for salmon I decided to combine the two and create my own take on the traditional salmon (or more traditionally tuna) Nicoise Salad! Tried and tested on my other half earlier this evening this dish is a winner all round. Packed full of flavour, complementing textures, healthy fats and a tonne of fresh, crunchy salad veggies to up your vitamin and mineral intake there is really nothing not to like about this dish!

As a bit of an experimenter in the kitchen, I decided to mix things up a  bit and swapped the traditional steamed spuds for roasted sweet potato, swapped the boiled eggs for poached and added a sprinkling of lightly toasted almonds for an extra crunch!

Not only did the sweet potato add a tonne of flavour to the dish but from a nutritional perspective, using this lovely starchy vege instead of plain old potatoes helped to lower the overall GI (glycemic index) of the dish ever so slightly! Sweet potato also contains betacarotene which is a precursor for vitamin A (a vitamin essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, skin integrity and eyes). Furthermore, not only did adding the crunchy almonds create a textural party in your mouth but they are also a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats…Great for your general health AND lowering your cholesterol! As are the omega 3 fats found in the salmon… Winning!! The boiled eggs on the other hand were really just there for show, but I have to say, they were delicious, as they just oozed over the salad to create a lovely creamy textured sauce for the dish!

To recreate this dish here is what you will need for 2 people:

For the salad:

x2 Salmon fillets

olive oil

paprika

handful of green beans, halved

small handful of kalamata olives

1/2 bag of mixed leaves

1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes

1 small sweet potato, chopped into bite sized chunks

2 tbsp toasted slivered almonds

2 eggs

For the dressing:

1 tbsp olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp seeded mustard

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 tsp minced garlic

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees fan forced.

Place the chopped sweet potato on a lined baking tray, spray with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of paprika. Cook in a moderate oven for 20-25mins or until soft and slightly browned around the edges.

Begin constructing the salad by adding the mixed leaves, olives and the chopped cherry tomatoes. Then steam the green beans and once cool add them to the salad.

For the dressing, add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and mix well. Set aside until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, boil some water in a saucepan and allow to simmer on low heat until you are ready to poach your eggs.
While your water is simmering away, place a non-stick frypan over moderate heat on the stove and spray with oil. Pat dry your salmon fillet and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place your salmon to the pan skin down and leave for 4-5mins before turning. Leave facedown for a further 2 mins (or until cooked to your liking) before removing from the heat.

Leave the salmon to rest while you quickly poach your eggs which should only take 2-3 mins. (Make sure the water is only simmering when you drop your eggs in otherwise the whites will go everywhere! ) Once cooked to your liking remove the eggs from the water and set aside while you assemble the rest of the salad.

To finish off the salad, gently break the salmon into large chunky flakes or pieces and scatter over the salad along with the roasted sweet potato before dividing the salad amongst your serving bowls.

Finally top each salad bowl with a poached egg, a sprinkling of toasted almonds and a drizzle of the homemade salad dressing!

Delish!

And a point to note, if you wanted to jazz up this salad a little further you could always add in some avocado or a sprinkling of marianted fetta cheese for a little extra indulgence!

Hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!

A

xx

My Quick Greek Feast!

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greek feastHave I ever said how much I love Greek food? Wellll now you know! I just love the combination of flavours and the tantalising mix of juicy, perfectly cooked meats, fresh salads, delicious dips and soft, fluffy flatbreads….mmm yum I am getting hungry again just thinking about it!

So, to cure my cravings for all things Greek, last night Mark and I whipped up a delicious, healthy Greek feast and I thought it was probably only fair that I shared it all with you! Loaded with fresh salad veggies, home grown lamb backstrap grilled to perfection on the barby and some tastey home made tzatziki, this Mediterranean inspired meal is not only delicious but it is super nutritious and heart healthy as well! Oh and did I mention it only takes about 20mins to prepare?? Healthy Fast Food at it’s best!

What you need…

1 lamb back strap

2 cloves garlic

fresh or dried oregano

olive oil

1 lemon

1-2 large roma tomatoesgreek salad

1/2 lebanese cucumber

handful of pitted kalamata olives

half a red onion

crumbled low fat fetta

handful of roquet

1/3 cup fat free natural yoghurt

store bought tabbouleh (from the deli section… OR if you have time you can make your own! All you need is some cooked burghul wheat or quinoa, a HEAP of chopped parsley, diced tomatoes, red onion, olive oil and some fresh lemon juice!)

What to do…

Crush your garlic and add most of it to a bowl with a handful of chopped fresh oregano (or good sprinkle of dried oregano), a squeeze of lemon juice, a good splash of olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Cut your lamb into thick slices and add to the bowl of marinade, mixing well. Set aside until ready to cook. Don’t forget to turn on your BBQ at least 10-15mins before you’re ready to cook!

Cut your tomatoes, cucumber and onion into bite sized chunks and throw into a serving bowl along with the roquet leaves, a splash of olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Tzatziki mix your yoghurt with the remaining garlic and a small handful of diced cucumber. Feel free to throw in some fresh herbs too! I used parsely but you could use mint or coriander instead.

To cook your lamb, rub some olive oil over the hot plate and then cook the meat for about 1-2 mins on each side, or until cooked to your liking!

And you’re done! Delish!

A

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