Posts Tagged ‘salad’

Lime and coriander salsa

Behold: the colours of nature!!

When health professionals advise us to eat a “rainbow” of fresh produce every day, it really is possible, and is a truly sensory experience. So gorgeous!! I have a special love for purple coloured veggies as I mentioned in a previous post (here). The original recipe for this salsa (which comes from my mexican friend) is made with white cabbage and white onion, but my fridge was happily endowed with their purple siblings. So, purple salsa it was!  This salsa is DELICIOUS heaped over rice and bean dishes, and I ate mine with the leftover Jamaican rice. I will eat some more again today with the leftover rice and chickpeas from last night. I am still reeling that my girls ate it without a fuss, Amelia even picked out the chickpeas with her fingers and popped them into her mouth like sweeties.

Like I say: reeling…. (Couldn’t even bear to call her up for table manners. Don’t judge me)

No quantities. Simply chop and dress!

  • Cabbage (white or red)
  • Onion (white or red)
  • Garlic (1-3 cloves, chop rather than press for a less intense flavour)
  • Flavoursome tomatoes
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Plenty of chopped coriander leaf (cilantro)
  • A bit of extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt to taste

Leave it to sit for at least a few hours. The longer the better. Mmmmmm!! If you hate coriander, I am sure this would be great with other fresh herbs.

Every time I eat this I am transported back to Ecuador where lime and coriander is everywhere. Like I said, this is SO delicious over rice/beans, and combines wonderfully with fish and seafood aswell. Bon appetit friends…or should I say, buen provecho!  Don’t forget to thank for colourful vegetables  🙂

Beautiful Cruciferous Slaw!

I purposefully kept back some of the “Ideal for Halloween” spooky trees so I could make a colourful salad the next day for lunch. Lunch is when I can try out wierd and wonderful things on myself and my ever-compliant, even enthusiastic son. Not that this salad is wierd…and it is definitely wonderful!

Before the dressing, it looked more beautiful. And it's categorised- hooray!










You need:

  • As many colourful cruiferous veg as you can lay your hands on: Broccoli, white cauliflower, purple cauliflower, romanesco broccoli, cabbage, purple cabbage, even some purple kale.
  • Grated carrot
  • Red onion, chopped (optional)
  • Handful of raisins

Dressing: I had some cashew cream in the fridge- all was well.

I used one cup of cashew cream which is roughly equivalent to:

  • 1 cup of cashews, soaked for a few hours, and drained.
  • 2/3 cup water (160 mls) or a tad more

…blended in the liquidiser into a smooth creamy “sauce”.

To this I added:

  • 3 T apple cider vinegar (white wine vinegar/rice vinegar etc)
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 2 T nutritional yeast powder (optional..but not for me 🙂 )
  • 1/4 t salt (I wanted to add more…trying to cut down a bit)
  • 1/4 t cumin (ground)

Taste test, and tweak to your personal taste.

This is a very filling kind of salad and could definitely just be lunch, or, serve atop a jacket potato, or (if you have chopped it well enough) inside a wholewheat wrap? I don’t know about your children, if you have them, but I would never get this past my girls, but Isaac is still at the eat-everything-without-question age, so, hooray, we shared! And there was some spare for my eat-almost-anything-without-question husband!

They say to try and eat some cruciferous veg every day, so I reckon if you eat this, you are good till Tuesday  🙂

Sweet kale salad with pear and tahini dressing

Been eating a lot of tahini toffee lately, so it’s nice to package some tahini in a different way, more in keeping with the green backdrop on this site. But mainly, this was born because I opened the fridge and all I could see for a salad, which is what I fancied, was 3 handfuls of curly kale and  2 spring onions. It must be the Friday dearth again.

I chopped, not knowing how it would all end up. I threw in some raisins, because I love them in salads (I could never do that food combining malarkey. I love fruit in salads!) and suddenly, noticing my mountain of pears, I knew what needed to be done.

Pear and Tahini dressing

The only equipment that is (ever?) required is a mini chopper.

  • 1 ripe pear 
  • 1/2 tablespoon of tahini
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 1/2 a small avocado (See Rule #1: An Avocado Is never Out Of Place in a Salad)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sucanat (I was out of honey, and I cannot eat tahini unless it is combined with quite a lot of sweetness. I just put sugar on my brassica leaves. Is that right?  🙂  )

Blitz until smooth. Pour over your kale leaves and chopped spring onion, and raisins, and just to further offend the School of Never-eat-Fruit-with-other-Food-Groups, I chopped up another pear onto the salad, and a fig. Those 66 figs won’t eat themselves you know.

Mix well, slightly smushing the fruit into the salad as you mix. Ihere is no photo, my camera was dead. Imagine a bowl of curly kale with fruit all over, and a creamy green dressing. It was seriously delicious.

Isaac ate this with me. I mean, even the kale. All is well.

Raw Cauliflower salad, thanks to Ellie

Ellie and Amelia have a friend, and one day he arrived to play, chewing on a whole raw cauliflower head. I know. I was shocked too. Kind of cool though! I offered him strawberries and he said “no thanks, I’ll have my cauliflower first”.

Me and his Mum, my good friend, were chatting about it, and ever since then, Ellie had been bothering me to buy some cauliflower.I was a bit “yeah yeah” , as nobody in the house goes wild for it, and I thought she was just copying her friend  Jaxon, and that I would end up with a big head of cauliflower that I didn’t want that much.

Then one day at the tills in Tesco, she is whining at full volume “Muuuum! WHEN are you going to buy me some raw cauliflower, you NEVER do!”

Seriously. How do you say no to that? Even with the whine.

So anyway (after she had modified her tone) I grabbed a  head of cauliflower, and she said “Can I eat it RIGHT NOW?”  “Sure beautiful, let the lady scan it first.” The cashier was highly amused and I was pretty curious as to how this would pan out.

So she grabs the cauli, and starts razing the tops of the florets off with her teeth while letting out little noises of satisfaction. I wish I could have bottled that moment. The cashiers face was a picture. It was a great moment for a plant-loving mother.

Then her moans of delight turned to disgust as she tried the leaf. Thus ended her love affair with raw cauliflower. At least, for now. Whether she was traumatised by her leaf experience, or perhaps just the fickleness of her tender 4 years, she politely returned it to me and said she never wanted to eat it again, thank you for buying it though Mum.

And so it was that I had a big head of cauliflower (minus about 6 bites) in my fridge, which I never normally buy. And it sat there till my fridge had various endie-bits of veg, and I decided to give it a crack in a raw salad. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be very great eaten raw, but I like a challenge.

Here it is. And it was so good that we made another one the next day!

And with the rest, I did a curry with red lentils, cauliflower and broccoli, and plenty of extra cumin. (It was a big cauliflower head.)

Both the salad and the curry were inspired by recipes on the website Choosing Raw (Here is her original salad recipe, and here are her gorgeous looking curry wraps)

There are no precise measurements in this recipe. It IS after all, a bowl of raw veg, so you cannot go wrong.The orange makes it!

  • 2 big handfuls of chopped cauliflower florets
  • 1-2 handfuls of small broccoli florets
  • a very small grated carrot
  • a small avocado chopped. Generally always a good idea  🙂
  • small handful of pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds
  • Small handful of raisins
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 an orange  (or a whole one if your salad is bigger) You can also use a fork to tease out as much pulp as you can get, without getting the outer segment skins.
  • A big glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • A good splash of apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste

My eyes have been opened to raw cauliflower. Thank you Ellie!

Wilted Kale and Avocado salad

You know how they say you should try to eat one of the cruciferous veggies every day? They have been shown to be some of the richest in potent cancer-fighting compounds of all the veggies!

I used to think “How on earth?” I mean, who likes those mean dark green leafy things? And cabbage is nice smothered in mayo I guess, and broccoli is okay, but you cannot eat it every day….”  I don’t actually consciously try to eat these every day…..but since I totally fell in love with eating mainly plants, I eat them a lot more often than I did…and when you up your intake of leaves and vegetables,  and learn different ways to love them, you will probably find you do eat some cruciferous veggies most days.

Kale actually binds with bile acids and accompanies “bad” cholesterol out of the body. That’s what I have been told in several places, and I believe it, because leafy greens are so kick-butt-fantastic! Kale possesses this ability whether raw or cooked, though it seems that when steamed, it binds with the acids in greater quantity. Having said that, when raw, none of the active anti-oxidant compounds or enzymes have been dminished or destroyed by the cooking. In short, balance is good. Eat it both ways, if you wish 🙂 But honestly, it is so good like this!

Okay, I’ll try to be quick. A wilted kale salad is raw kale that has had a nice salty/acidic marinade massaged into it, and left. The leaves wilt down and become more tender.  The acidic element can be vinegar or lemon juice…Don’t forget some salt. It helps the softening of the cell walls.

My favourite Kale and Avocado Salad Ever (one version of it, anyway)

  • 2 very big handfuls of curly kale (thick stems removed)

Massage in, with clean hands:  A good splash of balsamic vinegar, and the juice of a small flavoursome orange. Sea salt, a couple of good pinches. Then add:

  • 2-3 sundried tomatoes, snipped into pieces
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes, chopped into pieces
  • red onion, diced

Leave to wilt down, though really, it’s not necessary as such. If you are in a hurry, make sure your kale is finely chopped, and your marinade well massaged in, and you are good to go. Your final piece, to be added just before serving (so it doesn’t go a horrible, unappetising brown) is:

  • A small avocado, diced (or mashed)





Oh my goodness, this is so delicious.

Of course, this is just a salad, so substitute, add or take away whatever you like….but make sure you have an acidic/salty element for your kale leaves, and may I suggest that the avocado is Not Optional, just because it’s so darned tasty, and so good for you. But mainly because it’s tasty.

So how about it? A different topping for your jacket potato, or just as is….Eat leaves, and feel the love.

Sprouted wheatberry salad

As my wise sister once said- “A salad is only healthy, when it’s healthy”. What is more, a salad is only filling, when it’s filling.

My salads are all… plantified, as might be expected by now. A healthy salad does not have to be fat-free; on the contrary, a good dose of healthy fat will add to the nutritional value of your lunch and help satiate you. Some vitamins are even better absorbed in the presence of fat. But we are talking healthy fats here, so definitely think avocado rather than bacon bits, and a creamy home-made almond-based dressing rather than a shop-bought sour-cream affair.

As for being filling; obviously leaves and most vegetable-fruits are quite high in water and you need to eat more of them to feel full. Add some denser things like grated root vegetables, crumbled up walnuts/pecans, seeds, an avocado, or make your dressing a bit more satiating than just salt and balsamic. (By satiating I mean fatty!)

The other thing you can do is make a cooked grain salad;  I don’t mean white pasta, I mean a grain, like it grew in the earth; quinoa (Okay, it’s a seed), cooked wheat berries, wholegrain rice or bulgur wheat (okay, okay, bulgur wheat is processed. But it’s similar in taste and texture to couscous but more nutritious, as couscous is white unless otherwise stated) Then balance your cooked grain with lots of raw vegetables for colour, crunch and lovely-jubbly antioxidants and vitamins.

Of course if you are feeling particularly earthy and plant loving, you can make a sprouted grain salad instead of cooked grains. You won’t be able to sprout most shop rices or barleys because they have been blanched, or bulgur wheat (it’s not a whole grain and it’s been partly cooked) Try wheat berries or quinoa, though quinoa, being so tiny, is kind of….crunchy when you sprout it. Almost gritty. Not cool. Wheat berries are chewey, and I really like them now.

For example:

  • 1 cup sprouted wheatberries
  • 1/4 cup of dried apple pieces (Did I mention I love my dehydrator?)
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 cup chopped Romaine or Little Gem lettuce
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot ((optional….as is everything in a salad isn’t it?)





Dress with:

  • 3/4T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1t honey

By the way, I love having a nearly-two-year old. They don’t turn their noses up at anything! Isaac was eating raw kale, wheat sprouts, red onion….it was a beautiful bonding moment.*sigh*….

Wilted kale and apple salad…or… “Raw Cabbage for beginners”

Kale is definitely on my superfood list. There are a lot of acclaimed “superfoods” nowadays; many of them are highly expensive foods in powder form that you probably have never heard of. They may well be really nutritious, but I think people are put off by the price and the fact that it is totally unfamiliar. But your local market/supermarket is full of easily accessible, affordable, Truly Super Foods. So here is one of my favourites- Kale, from the Brassica family.

It contains plenty of carotenoids, sulphoraphane (a potent anti-cancer chemical), vitamin C, Vitamin A in form of beta-carotene, (100 grams of kale leaves=over 500% your RDA of beta carotene) and very high in bio-available calcium. Then, if you chop, macerate, squish, squash or pulverize it, you activate the enzyme myrosinase. (I mentioned this in my broccoli salad recipe– it is in all cruciferous veg)  The enzyme makes another cancer-fighting phytochemical (plant chemical) called Indole-3-carbinol. Kale also happens to be very rich in B vitamins, and minerals essential for bone health, and very high in fibre.

I generally use curly kale because it’s all they sell where I usually shop. It’s kind of  a tough leaf compared to, say, baby spinach or lettuce. You can steam it lightly; while some of it’s benefits are destroyed, you will still be able to enjoy others. But why not eat enjoy it raw, and bag all of the goodness including it’s live enzymes?

The best trick I ever learnt with kale is this: When you massage into the kale leaves, a bit of salt, and some acid (eg apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice), the salt and acid actually start to break down the cell walls and it starts to wilt down. Within a minute it takes on a beautiful bright green, as if it has been steamed.If you leave the leaves in the marinade for a few hours in the fridge, they soften further still. You will not believe you are munching on a big bowl of raw cabbage! It is so delicious! I have lots of versions of this salad; here is one.

Wilted kale and Apple salad (makes enough for 1; adapt as needed)

  • 3-4 handfuls of kale (per person)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt

Remove the tough stalks from the kale is desired (recommended, personally) Pour marinade ingredients over the leaves. With your hands, massage them into the kale. Really squeeze and squish those leaves and work in the salt.

Now add:

  • 2 sundried tomatoes, snipped into small pieces
  • A small chunk of red onion, diced
  • 1 dessert apple

 Leave to sit in the fridge for a few hours, ideally. Just before you eat it, thoroughly mash a small avocado, cubed, and use a fork to incorporate it into the salad. Taste test, and tweak your seasoning as you wish. Enjoy!

Lady who lunches. Alone. No matter.

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