This is a brilliant store cupboard salad as it requires a limited number of fresh ingredients – and it’s also fab if you have guests and your fridge is full to bursting as you don’t need to loads of chilled produce! I love this salad […]
Seeds are so often overlooked but are such an amazing source of B vitamins, omega fatty acids and trace minerals – including the immunity boosting zinc which is handy at this time of year. They also add a depth of flavour and delicious crunch to a multitude of dishes and I love using them in salads. Together with the vitamin C packed sweet potato, this Sweet Potato, Seed and Tahini Salad is a fabulous winter salad to help stave off coughs and colds while hearty enough to feel comforting and filling in the colder weather.
As seeds need to provide everything a new plant needs to grown and thrive, it’s no wonder they are such a complete food. Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds so boosts the seed content and also brings another flavour to the mix. I like to roast up a load of sweet potatoes when this is in the oven to add to other dishes later such as stews, soups and curries. Sweet potatoes are classed as a vegetable rather than a starch so great to include in our diets as much as possible. As they are high in fibre they make a salad more filling and a ‘real’ meal.
You can eat this salad warm or cold, just use the sweet potato and shallot mix straight from the oven or allow it to cool. Feel free to change up the leaves too for your favourites. Watercress is a lovely seasonal change and baby spinach works well too. You can leave out the cheese and add another protein instead if you would prefer. Because of the creamy dressing, this salad looks best served on a platter with the dressing drizzled over.
Sweet Potato, Seed and Tahini Salad
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 5 shallots, peels and cut into quarters length ways
- a little olive oil
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 70g rocket
- 1 large handful of parsley, finely chopped
- 120g soft but firm goats cheese (the one without rind which can be crumbled)
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 4 tablespoons natural yoghurt
- 2 small cloves (or one large) garlic, crushed
- juice of 1 small lemon
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 180°c fan / 200°c / 350°f / Gas 4. Place the cubed sweet potato and shallots on a baking tray so they are not on top of each other and drizzle with a little oil, mix together and bake in the oven for 25-30min until the vegetables are soft and starting to brown.
- Step 2 While they are cooking prep the rest of the salad. Toast the seeds in a dry frying pan for a few minutes until they start to turn golden. Place to one side.
- Step 3 Make the sauce by vigriously stirring together the tahini and yoghurt so it’s completely mixed, add the lemon a little at a time and the garlic. Add black pepper to taste.
- Step 4 Lay the the rocket on a large platter, scatter over the sweet potato and shallots, the seeds, then crumble the goats cheese over, the parsley and finally drizzle with around half the dressing.
- Step 5 Serve with extra dressing on the side for people to add.
I’m not sure what kids party tea and lunchboxes comprised of before hummous or hommous or hummus – however you like to spell it! – was a staple of childhood. There’s no doubt it’s a brilliant go to for the whole family, whether as a […]
A friend of mine asked how she could better use the premade mixes of vegetables and dried grains and pulses which are available in shops while also saving cash and eating healthily. As she’s a fan of a big salad which will last a few days, I have made this Pomegranate and Herb Salad with her favourites in mind.
As its base, to keep you full for longer thanks to the mix of complex slow release carbs and plant protein, is a Waitrose Quick Cook Italian Five Grain Mix. It’s really great value, including spelt, barley, durum wheat, rice and oats and saves having to buy all the individual bags of grain and needing to store them. As an alternative you could use a grain of your choice such as freekah, couscous, barley, brown rice or quinoa.
Pomegranates are just so full of flavour and juice at the moment it’s great to be able to use them in a dish where they really bring something to the party! But we don’t want their gorgeous juice to colour the rest of the salad too much so make sure they are added last and the salad not tossed too much afterwards so they stay in-tact. If you want to you could always layer the rest of the mixed salad with the pomegranates on a serving platter. This is also why you should prepare the pomegranate on a separate plate and then scatter just the seeds so excess juice isn’t added.
Pomegranate and Herb Salad
- 250g bag of mixed grain, or grain of your choice
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 50g flaked almonds
- 50g pine nuts
- 75g sultanas
- 200g feta, chopped into chunks or crumbled
- 1 ripe pomegranate
- 1 lemon
- small packs or a very large handful of coriander, flat leaf parsley and mint, hard stalks removed and roughly chopped
- Step 1 Cook the grain with a vegetable stock cube in the water, according to the pack instructions. The grains should be cooked but not mushy, a little bite is good.
- Step 2 While it is cooking toast the almonds and pine nuts in a dry pan until some are starting to brown on the outside.
- Step 3 Add into a salad bowl with the herbs, sultanas, cold grains, lemon juice and crumbled feta, toss well.
- Step 4 Gently toss through the pomegranate and serve.
Pomegranates are at their best right now and also readily available at a reasonable price – so there’s no reason not to incorporate them in your meals to give them a new fresh feel and a dazzling burst of red. That’s why this Pomegranate Slaw […]
There is nothing quite like a beautifully ripe fig. They have such a unique flavour which really sums up the mellow end of summer and beginning of autumn. I feel the flavour is enhanced and deepened when they are grilled or lightly cooked so their […]
Dried beans generally make people nervous. They look like hard work and in our want-it-now lifestyle they seem like too much forward planning work. Plus you have to boil them for hours don’t you? Erm, well no! And they are a quick and easy way of making something special out of a couple of very simple recipes in this double whammy of a dish. I like to serve it hot one day as a side, almost like a bit of a stew. Then next day it makes a great base for a salad – I just add some finely chopped red onion and a tin of tuna for a completely different take on the dish. The perfect salad. So if you are getting at least two meals out of the dish perhaps it’s worth boiling those beans after all!
The beans I use are called Argentinian Beans, they are slightly bigger than a cannellini but smaller than a butter bean. They are sometimes known as ‘white beans’ which is an accurate description. I usually pick them up from the Mediterranean section of larger supermarkets or in Greek or Turkish supermarkets.
The only prep you need to do is to soak the beans the night before or pop them in cold water first thing. I would let them have pretty much 12 hours but more is fine too. They will really plump up and mean you have to cook them for less time. And don’t be fooled by how simple this dish is, I promise you it is so tasty.
Dried beans are also brilliant to have in your store cupboard as they can be added to soups, stews and salads and take up less space than the canned variety. They also work out very cost effective. The beans in this dish come to a purse friendly 75p and overall the dish can be made for around £1.90 for four portions of the stew. A little more when the tin of tuna and onion is added.
If you feel you need to bulk out the salad the next day you can serve the beans on a bed of green salad or mix in some shredded spinach.
It’s a Double Hitter – Bean Stew and Bean and Tuna Salad
- 200g Argentinian Beans
- 250g new potatoes, cut in half for small ones or quarters if they are a little larger
- 200g carrots, peeled and cut into chunks about the same size as the potatoes
- One stock cube
- handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- For the salad:
- One shallot finely chopped
- One tin or jar of tuna
- Step 1 Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Remove the water the next day and cover with more fresh cold water, so there is double the amount of water over the beans as there are beans (as if the depth was in thirds, one-third beans, two-thirds water) and crumble in the stock cube or bouillon. Bring to the boil and simmer for 25mins.
- Step 2 Add the cut up potatoes to the pot and simmer for another 5mins. Then add the carrots. During the cooking add splashes of water if the water level goes down further than the top of the mixture. You don’t want to add too much as the fluids should recede during the cooking process.
- Step 3 After around 10mins all the vegetables and the beans should be cooked through. There shouldn’t be too much fluid left, if there is spoon some off so you have just a few tablespoons left in with the veg and potatoes. Season to taste.
- Step 4 Add the parsley, lemon and olive oil and serve hot as a stew.
- Step 5 To serve as a salad allow to cool and add the finely chopped shallot and tuna. If you feel you would like to add more lemon and olive oil then do so before serving.
Couscous is no longer the hard to fine, expensive ingredient it used to be and is easily found on most supermarket shelves. It comes in many varieties, I love the wholemeal and giant couscous, both of which you can use to make this Sweet Potato […]