Spring Salad

Spring Salad
Spring Salad
Spring Salad
Spring Salad

A pinch and a punch for the first of the month! What's even better is that it's the first of spring! I had to celebrate with something fresh and delicious! The blossoms are out and the sun is shining which means it is time to start having long boozy outdoor lunches with friends while enjoying gorgeous platters of food! (Not that winter stopped me) This salad is perfect for the occasion and has a fresh crunch that is oh-so-perfect with a crisp Sauvignon blanc! 


Serves 6, cook time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams asparagus, halved 
  • Olive oil
  • 50 grams toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen peas
  • ½ cup Edamame beans
  • 6 radishes thinly sliced
  • 2 medium zucchini, made into ribbons with a vegetable peeler 
  • 30 grams of rocket 
  • A handful of baby leaves chopped bite size
  • 80 grams Chevin Goats cheese
  • Zest of one lemon 
  • Half a cup of toasted walnuts 

Dressing:

  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 3-4 tablespoons Olive Oil 
  • 2 teaspoons tahini 
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic 
  • Salt and pepper 

Instructions:

Add a dash of olive oil to a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the asparagus for 2-3 minutes until the raw flavour is gone but they still have some crunch. Remove from heat and set aside. In the same frying pan turn up the heat to a medium/high heat and toast the walnuts for 5 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown. 

Add the peas and edamame beans to individual bowls. Top up with boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes. Remove the water and set aside the peas and beans. 

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. 

On a large salad plate start to assemble the salad. This salad is great in layers then topped with the dressing. 

Start with the lettuce, zucchini, rocket, beans, peas and asparagus then add the radishes, goats cheese, lemon zest and walnuts! 

Top the salad with the dressing and serve! 

-Melissa

 

Source: www.thetrufflejournal.com/spring-salad

Roasted cauliflower and chickpea soup

Roasted cauliflower and chickpea soup
Roasted cauliflower and chickpea soup

I am going through a major chickpea phase at the moment. MAJOR.

Lately, I have spent a great deal of time playing with this delightful little legume also known as the garbanzo bean. 

Admittedly, I have never given it its due credit.  Chickpea's are packed with protein and are high in fiber. 

You can add them to all sorts of meals or simply have on their own as a snack. 

Over the past few weeks, I have roasted them, blended them, fried them, and well, eaten them fresh. What a treat!

The kitchen has been covered with hummus curries and all things chickpea so much so that I even started considering chickpeas as the holy grail of legumes. Thankfully, I'm an equal opportunist when it comes to pulses and legumes so there is a lot of love to go around.

I recently partnered up with Woolworths to share this incredible (and hearty) soup that was born out of the chaos of my kitchen. 

This soup is unashamedly the love child of a roasted cauliflower and (roasted) chickpea and it is nothing short of perfection.

At the risk of sounding like a tag line for a coffee creamer commercial from the 80's, It boasts roasted chickpeas both inside and on top of it. 

Say goodbye to the stock standard croutons of yesteryear and welcome the roasted chickpea of tomorrow! 

Not only does the chickpea have better health benefits; they are able to replace less than ideal snacks and accompanyments with just as much flavour.

You can eat them solo with some grated Parmesan on! (I recommend a 3 year aged Parmesan), spice up the mundane nut bowl in your life or you can include them in salads and soups! 

I feel like this blog post should come with a warning sign.

WARNING: Chickpeas are slightly addictive.


Serves 6, cook time: 1h 30m

Ingredients:

  • 2 tins of chickpeas
  • 2 cauliflower heads
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ an onion, chopped
  • 3 potatoes peeled and chopped.
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 liter vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup of Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius 

Rinse and dry your chickpeas. Keep the tins separate as you are going to roast them separately. 

Separate your cauliflower heads into florets. 

Put your cauliflower and 1 tin of chickpeas onto a roasting tray. Drizzle with Olive oil and toss. Make sure you don’t over do the oil. 

Sprinkle your cumin and paprika over and roast for 30 minutes. Tossing the tray at the 15 minutes mark. 

In a large pot over a medium heat add a tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic and onion and fry until soft. Add your potatoes and fry for a further 5-10 minutes stirring often. 

Once your cauliflower and chickpeas are roasted add them to your pot. 

Add your last tin of chickpeas to the roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes, tossing them every 10 minutes or so. 

Add the vegetable stock to the pot and top up with boiling water.

Let simmer for 30 minutes. Blend the soup using an immersion blender.

Add your Parmesan and stir. 

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the chickpeas from the oven. You can grate Parmesan over them and have them as a snack and serve the rest of them as a crunch to your soup. 

Serve soup hot topped with chickpeas, Parmesan and black pepper. 

-Melissa

*This blog post is sponsored by Woolworths all opinions are my own

Citrus, Fennel and Avo salad

Citrus, Fennel and Avo salad
Citrus, Fennel and Avo salad
Citrus, Fennel and Avo salad
Citrus, Fennel and Avo salad
Citrus, Fennel and Avo salad
Citrus, Fennel and Avo salad

I am not a big believer in taking artificial vitamins. In fact I don’t take them at all. When it comes to vitamins I believe in turning to real food. Food can have amazing medicinal properties in its purest form! Why not opt for fresh fruit that is packed with healthy vitamins rather than swallowing a pharmaceutical (the size of a horse tranquilizer) that claims to have all the supplements your body needs?

Mmmm I’m not convinced. With winter banging down the door and our bodies needing extra support, this dish is one for the whole family to keep their bodies strong. 

One of the most effective cold and flu fighters is Vitamin C. 
I paired up with Woolworths on an exciting dish that is packed with this winter warrior and bursts with the fresh flavour that so many of us crave after weeks of consuming bowls of stew brimming with meat and potatoes. 
Woolies have such a great variety of fresh citrus in store. This salad pairs perfectly with a delicious fresh piece of fish, which will offer you protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.


Ingredients:

Dehydrated Orange:

  • 1 orange halved and thinly sliced, about 4mm

Salad:

  • 4 oranges, peeled
  • 2 grapefruit, peeled
  • 75 grams pomegranate seeds
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced (do not use the leaves)
  • 3 avocado
  • 6 sprigs of mint

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 small lemon, juiced 

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 100 degrees Celsius.

Place the thinly sliced oranges on a cooling rack and pop them in the oven for 1 hour. Keep an eye on them as this can vary due to slice thickness and oven accuracy. You want them to still be tacky but crisp!  

Using a sharp knife segment your oranges and grapefruit. Remove the membrane from each individual piece. Put the segments in a bowl. Don’t be too rough with them, as all the juice will escape!

For this recipe I used the Woolworths pomegranate seeds (A lovely cheat!)

If you bought your pomegranate whole, cut the top off and score 2cm down the side. Get a big bowl of water and crack the pomegranate open under the water. This will help with the mess. Release the seeds from the compartments. Once done, the seeds will sink and the husk will float! Set the seeds aside.

Peel and slice your avocados. Drizzle with lemon to prevent browning.

On a large platter you are going to layer your salad.

This salad does not do well tossed, as it will become too soggy. Layer your citrus and your fennel with your avocado and pomegranate and top with your mint leaves and dehydrated citrus chips for decoration!

For the dressing, mix all the ingredients together and drizzle just before serving!   

Serve with a prefect piece of fresh fish!

-Melissa 

*This blog post was sponsored by Woolworths. All opinions are my own.

Source: www.thetrufflejournal.com/citrus-fennel-and-avo-salad

tea poached asian chicken salad

This salad embodies two of my favourite things, crunch and Asian flavours. It’s fresh and healthy and the poached chicken its just so juicy! I've always wondered how patient a chef is to julienne vegetables but to be honest, with the invention of a peeler that julienne’s that fascination has disappeared. I can how ever confirm that it is a lot of fun grabbing your veg and slicing them into tiny perfect strips for this salad. 

The dressing for this salad takes me straight to Thailand. I can picture myself standing in the street food markets in Kopanghan dunking my chicken satay into the sauce. Some of the best memories of my life were had in Thai food markets. Perhaps that’s why this salad has such a special place in my recipe heart. We hired a scooter and whenever we wanted, nipped to different parts of the island we were on. After feeding an elephant a few bananas we stumbled across this amazing little food court, out in the open, where all the locals got their fill. From fresh sushi, chicken satay’s and fruit shakes this place was like mecca. I'm very open to the fact that I might of ate myself into a food coma that day but I can assure you that it was worth every. Single. Bite. 


serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • lapsang suchong tea
  • 2 chicken fillets
  • 1 carrot, finely sliced on the length
  • small handful of fine green beans
  • 1 cup red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds, roasted
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds

Asian dressing:

  • 3 tblsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • ½ tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 2 tblsp honey
  • 1 tblsp mint, finely chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil or sesame oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

Bring 500ml water with tea to the boil in a saucepan. I usually use a small strainer and fill that with the tealeaves, and just put in straight into the water. Add your chicken fillets and simmer for 12mins. You can turn the chicken around at the 6-minute mark. Remove and let cool.  Once cool slice chicken and toss with the rest of the ingredients (that you have julienned by knife or by slicer) and dressing, season with salt and pepper and plate.

Asian dressing:

Blend all the ingredients together and season to taste. 

Serve on a hot summers day with some fresh infused waters

-Melissa 

 

 

 

Source: www.thetrufflejournal.com

quinoa salad

This is one of my all time favourite party tricks. Yes, this salad. For those of you who are not that familiar with quinoa, it is a grain that is very high in protein, simply delicious and easy to make. It has a marvelous nutty flavour to it and it is tastier than most rice’s and healthier to serve. 

This salad is my go to salad when I have my vegetarian friends come over. When I make this salad I more often than not don't make meat, although you can serve it with pan-fried moist chicken breasts if you want. It’s beyond filling and decked out with so many flavours that it will leave you wanting more. It’s the salad I take with to a braai (South African barbecue) and impress everyone with, or it’s a great salad to make for lunch, work or to nibble on at home.

The amazing thing with this salad is that once you get the hang of it and its ingredients you can start playing around with what you add to it, making it your own symphony of flavours. 

Here is my version of this healthy, delicious and colourful salad! 


Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 butternut, medium, peeled and sliced
  • half a head of broccoli 
  • 1 red onion 
  • 1 baby red cabbage
  • 50g pine nuts 
  • 100g rocket 
  • 100ml balsamic vinegar
  • 100ml water 
  • olive oil to dress the salad 
  • 40g parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 180℃

Place your peeled and sliced butternut on a roasting tray and drizzle it with olive oil. Making sure all the pieces are covered. If you do not want them to char, cover with foil (shiny side down) and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork. 

While your butternut is roasting slice your red onion into rings. If you find it easier you can also slice it in half and slice half rings from there. Put the water and balsamic into a pot over a low heat. Put the onions in and let them simmer and reduce. It should take about half an hour depending on your heat for them to become sticky and be fully reduced. Once the onions have reduced set them aside. 

In another pot put your one-cup of quinoa to two cups boiling water and a pinch of salt. Make sure the water is boiled before adding it. Cook over a low to medium heat for 30 minutes. If the water disappears before 30 minutes just turn the heat off and put the lid of the pot on. The moisture and residual heat will continue to cook the quinoa. Don’t add more water. Keep an eye on it so that the bottom doesn't burn. At the 25-minute mark just lightly fluff the quinoa with a fork. If you give the quinoa a taste it should still have some crunch but not be too hard-al dente one could say. Once ready set aside. 

In a large bowl grate the broccoli head (tree top bits), the Parmesan cheese and the baby red cabbage. Once they are all in add the rocket to mixture. 

Place your pine nuts in a small pan and over a low heat. Make sure you tend to them and watch them. When roasting nuts they can go from zero to burnt in two seconds. just keep turning them until they are golden brown and toasted. 

Grab your butternut out of the oven and add to your salad bowl. Add your quinoa and balsamic onions. Salt and pepper the salad to taste. Give the salad a good mix and drizzle with a great olive oil. My favourite is Rio Largo olive oil and you can shop it here. Once everything is mixed in and the salad is dressed, sprinkle the pine nuts on top.

This salad is great served hot but just as delicious cold! 

-Melissa