Healthy Summer Salad

ImageIf you’re looking for a Summer salad idea then look no further! Here’s a recipe for one that I made almost by accident this week (I had a few ingredients in my fridge that were about to go off so I threw them altogether). This salad is fresh, vibrant, tasty and very very healthy and combines pomegranate, sweet potato and quinoa to make a modern tabouli style salad. It’s really easy to make as its one of those chop it all up and throw it together kind of things! I served it with dukkah crusted chicken (which I just baked in the oven, so no oil required at all) and it was such an amazing, flavoursome dish. Great for BBQ’s too! If you’re unsure about where to buy quinoa, most supermarkets sell it now but it can also be purchased from health food stores. Its similar to couscous but is a grain as opposed to being made from wheat, so is suitable for people on a gluten free diet. It’s very easy to cook, simply bring to the boil in water and simmer away (takes about 15 mins depending on quantities) and can be purchased in a variety of colours, any of which are perfect for this recipe. Give it a go, you might be surprised by the taste!¬†Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!

What You’ll Need:

1 cup cooked Quinoa (Follow packet instructions and then allow to cool)

1 Sweet potato (peeled and diced then bake in the oven until soft)

1 tsp ground Cumin

1 bunch flat leaf Parsley (roughly chopped)

3 Spring onions (finely sliced)

1 can of Chickpeas (rinsed)

1/2 lemon juiced

1 Pomegranate (seeds removed)

Salt and Pepper to taste

What I Did:

1. Combine all your ingredients in a bowl together and toss lightly. Check your seasonings and add more lemon juice/salt/pepper/cumin as you’d like. You can also drizzle with some olive oil for a lovely rich flavour. Serve as a side dish for chicken or red meat or use for your lunches during the week.

You could serve this salad warm but be mindful that your parsley doesn’t wilt (let the quinoa cool slightly before putting it altogether). Tomatoes are a lovely addition and my favourite are the cherry type and pumpkin could also be used if you don’t like sweet potato.

(NB A helpful way to remove the seeds from the pomegranate is to tap it firmly all over the outside before you cut it. Using a wooden spoon is a good idea. This will loosen the seeds so that when you do cut it in half, they should fall out easily when the pomegranate is lightly squeezed. Be careful not to get juice on your clothing though as it will stain very easily. I have read that vinegar helps to get it out)


An Aussie spin on an English Classic

ImageIts Summer where I live, so it’s the perfect time to entertain outdoors in the sunshine. And because it’s so hot, nothing beats ice-cream for dessert!! I recently made this recipe for Christmas lunch but I know that it would be perfect for a weekend BBQ with friends. What’s great about this one is that you make everything in advance and then literarily pop it onto a plate and serve. There’s no time spent in the kitchen prepping anything while your guests are over. Its kid-friendly (they could even help you do it) and suitable for gluten-free diets. On top of that its actually the easiest thing I think I have ever made and tastes delish!

Now you can make this recipe in two ways; the first of which I will give the ingredients for (where you buy everything ready to go and put it altogether), or if your feeling adventurous you can make the individual ingredients yourself and then follow my instructions. Either way you’re in for a treat! So here it is, my version of a class Eton Mess! Enjoy!!

What you’ll need:

2L Good quality Vanilla Ice Cream, softened

1 cup Frozen Raspberries

1/2 cup Raspberry jam

2/3 cup pistachio nuts (roughly chopped)

6 meringue nests (crushed with your hands)

Freezer tin/mould

Cling Wrap

Extra Raspberries to serve

What I did:

Line your freezer mould with cling wrap, this will make it super easy to get out when its time to serve. I’ve used a “bunt tin” which has a hole in the middle but you can use whatever shape you like. For a slightly more gourmet option, make individual serves using a muffin pan. Give your jam a good mix so its a runny consistency and spread along the bottom of your freezer mould.¬†

Put all your ingredients into a separate bowl and give it a good mix together. Spoon it into your freezer mould and make sure the top surface is nice and smooth. Cover with cling wrap and put it in the freezer overnight if possible or for at least 3 hours.

To serve:

Turn the whole cake out onto a serving plate and remove the cling wrap. Top with some more frozen berries and eat immediately!