OPTIONAL: a good handful of toasted pine nuts/walnuts
Peel the beetroot and then grate it and the carrots – food processor is easiest. Or you can do them julienne style with a mandolin.
Chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces.
Place all of the veg into a large bowl, add in the avocado dressing and toss through until well coated.
Top with a sprinkling of pine nuts or walnuts if you are able (toast them on a baking tray under the grill for just a few minutes – watch them carefully and toss part way through to get even browning).
Serve as a side salad at a bbq, with the protein at your main meal, or even top it with a tin of salmon as a delicious lunch.
Salad dressings are bit of a challenge when you are dealing with food allergies, or if you want healthier options! The store bought variety are mostly loaded with sugars plus stabilisers and emulsifiers that we tend to avoid when possible.
As such, we have just mostly avoided dressings – when I do use them, a vinaigrette of some description is my normal ‘go-to’, but occasionally the mood strikes for something a bit different and creamy!
This super simple dressing is amazing! Creamy and rich, it holds beautifully to salads that you toss through it and it’s delightful drizzled on salmon or chicken … maybe even lamb or beef, but I haven’t tried that yet!
the flesh of one avocado, very ripe
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp fresh chopped dill
a good pinch pink salt flakes
a few grinds of black pepper
Optional: If you want a more liquid version of the dressing, add in 1 tbsp of Aquafaba (liquid drained from a can of chick peas)
Place all ingredients into your blender/processor/bullet/thermal cooker and process until smooth. (Speed 5, 8 seconds, scrape down and repeat).
Tonight we tossed a good tablespoon of the dressing through a raw broccoli and beetroot salad and then topped our baked salmon with some more! Divine!
This quantity of dressing is probably enough for 5-6 people, and lasts a couple of days in an airtight container in the fridge.
When we lived in Roxby Downs (a tiny mining community in the middle of South Australia), options for going out to dinner were fairly limited, and things I could eat on the menu were limited even further still by our diet.
There was one place we went to fairly regularly as a family, Chives, and their menu had two items I could choose from; steak and veggies or a warm chicken salad. Although very basic, that salad was really tasty and I always looked forward to it!
Since we’ve been back in Perth it is something I have made regularly on our warm weather menu. It feels a bit wrong for adding a ‘recipe’ for something so very simple but I love that it shows that you can have fresh, healthy, tasty, filling and simple meals that are allergy friendly.
2 cups baby spinach
a dozen cherry tomatoes
a couple of preserved baby beets
1 avocado (quite ripe and soft)
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Divide the spinach between 2 bowls.
Very finely julienne the carrot and cucumber (I did this with a sharp toothed peeler) then place on top of spinach.
Halve the tomatoes and dice the beets then add to bowls.
Warm the chicken (use the amount you desire – we did about 120g per bowl) and add to the salad.
Top with sliced avocado.
Mix together the oil, vinegar and salt then pour half over the top of each salad.
You know me … always on the look out for all things quinoa – so I was quite pleased when this was so well received by my family – and my parents … who aren’t quite accustomed to all of the weird ingredients currently in their pantry and my ‘alternative cooking’!
I got the base of this recipe from my clever sister-in-law then made some additions.
5 large chicken thighs, fat removed and cut into strips
Rice bran oil for cooking
1 tsp Massel chicken stock powder
2.5 cups quinoa (I would normally use white but could only buy red today – tasted just as yummy but didn’t look quite as pretty)
80g slivered almonds (optional – but gives a great texture if your diet allows)
handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1.5tbsp olive oil
1.5tbsp lemon juice
the seeds from 3 pomegranates
In a large pot, set the quinoa to soak in plenty of water (ideally for at least an hour).
Optional step: Toast the almonds over a gentle heat, in a frying pan with a small amount of rice bran oil. Watch them carefully – they burn quickly! Then set them aside to cool.
Seed the pomegranates. This was a first for me and boy did it make a mess! There are apparently all sort of tricks you can use for getting them out more easily – but I have also heard that you can buy jar of the seeds … so I may just investigate this option for next time 😉 Set the seeds aside.
Heat another 2 tsp of rice bran oil in the frying pan and add the chicken, sprinkling with the stock powder then allowing to cook until golden brown. Set aside.
Drain and rise the quinoa then cover in 9-10 cups of water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Drain the quinoa and add the olive oil and lemon juice. Stir well. Then add the pomegranate seeds.
Just before serving stir through the mint.
Top with the chicken (and sprinkle with the almonds if your diet permits).
This made a lot! Enough for 4 hungry adults and 3 kids, plus 2 generous left overs for lunch. It won’t freeze well but you could just freeze the plain, cooked quinoa to defrost for next time.
We ate this warm because it is cold here at the moment, but you could also leave out the chicken and almonds and serve cold as a yummy Summer side salad.
I recently made the 2 and a half hour drive from Roxby Downs to Port Augusta. One of the highlights of the trip, for this desert dweller, was being near the water … and therefore fresh seafood, again!!
So I stocked up on some beautiful king prawns, and made my ‘happy salad’ when I got home! So many of my favourite foods in one place 🙂
It is a very quick, super easy and healthy summer meal … I particularly enjoyed mine with half a glass of pear cider 🙂
6-8 king prawns, cooked, peeled and cut in to 1 cm lengths
1 avocado, cut into small chunks
1 orange, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 tbsp Thousand Island dressing (I used the Praise fat-free one as it’s made with a maize thickener)
2 finely chopped mint leaves
4 large iceberg lettuce leaves
Mix together the prawns, avocado, orange, mint and dressing, spoon mixture in to the lettuce leaves and then roll. Too easy!
The only way this gets better in my book is when it’s mango season and I can swap the orange for fresh mango!!
This one is best made and eaten straight away. If you leave it too long the lettuce goes soggy and tends to tear.