I Love Salads!!

Lunch, Salad

As most of you know by now, I love salads!! Favourites are always hard to choose but time and time again I find myself coming back to these two recipes so obviously I had to share them.

The bitter tang of feta with the smooth crunch of toasted hazelnuts make a simple broccoli and tomato salad sing for me. My second salad recipe offers you a taste of the Middle East with the addition of a simple tahini sauce to enliven a simple red cabbage slaw.

Both recipes will keep well in the fridge for at least 3-4 days once stored in a resealable container. I would regularly make these at the start of the week and refill my lunchbox daily from these along some simple salad greens and a protein source. Check out my food prep guide for more simple mealtime ideas.

Salads, Delalicious

Broccoli, Tomato, Feta & Hazelnut

Serves 4 as a side.

Broccoli, Tomato, Feta & Hazelnut Salad, Delalicious

  • 1/2 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 50g Feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey/maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, remove from the heat and add the broccoli florets. Cover with the lid and allow to blanch for 8-10 minutes (you want the broccoli to still have a bite but not rock hard).
  2. Strain the broccoli and rinse under cold running water until fully cooled. Continue to strain any excess water until ready to use.
  3. Toast the hazelnuts on a frying pan or in a medium heat oven until the skin begins to loosen, remove from the pan/oven and allow to cool.
  4. Once the hazelnuts are cooled, chop in half.
  5. Whisk together the olive oil, honey, sesame oil,  apple cider vinegar and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  6. Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well.

Middle Eastern Style Red Cabbage Slaw

Serves 5 as a side.

Middle Eastern Style Red Cabbage Slaw, Delalicious

  • 200g red cabbage
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 3 tsp tahini paste
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil plus 1 tsp
  • 3 tbsp water
  1. Finely slice the red cabbage and spring onion. Julienne (or finely slice) the carrots.
  2. Place all the vegetables and seeds in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir through 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp of olive oil.
  4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and water until you get a runny sauce (depending on the consistency of your tahini, your sauce may still be too thick or too thin – if so, just add more tahini to make it thicker and more water to make it thinner).
  5. Serve the salad in a large bowl with a drizzle of the sauce over the top.

Summer Salad Jar

Lunch, Salad

Sun, sea and salad – just a few of my favourite things about summer!!

Salad is one of the easiest things to make at home, you can create a really tasty meal super fast and with very few ingredients.

Transporting salads can be notoriously difficult and can end in a sad, soggy mess. Using a jar is not only great for the environment but also the ideal way to create a simple layered salad. So next time, keep a big one aside for your next salad feast.

When using a jar or lunchbox, the key is how you layer the ingredients. I prefer to put the messy ingredients – yes I’m looking at you tomatoes or beetroot at the bottom. Add a layer of grain on top followed by your remaining ingredients. Finish with the delicate leafy greens on top. Keep dressings separate in a small jar or tub and add when you are ready to eat .

Serves 1.

Salad, Lunch, Couscous, Delalicious

  • 1/2 large tomato
  • sea salt
  • 2 tbsp Curried Apricot & Raisin Couscous
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • black pepper
  • 50g smoked mackerel
  • 1 large fistful baby leaf spinach
  1. Dice the tomato and mix through a pinch of sea salt.
  2. Spoon the tomato into the bottom of the jar followed by the couscous.Couscous, Summer, Salad, Delalicious
  3. Create carrot ribbons using a vegetable peeler or mandolin.
  4. Add the vinegar and a pinch of black pepper to the carrots and mix well.
  5. Place the carrot ribbons on top of the couscous, followed by the mackerel and top it all with the spinach.
  6. Place in the fridge until ready to eat.

Grated Carrot, Courgette & Pumpkin Slaw

Salad

If you haven’t figured it out already, I love salads!! It’s not just because they are healthy but I love the texture of salads, the crunch of cabbage, the burst of flavour that fresh herbs add and the juicy sweetness of sun-ripened tomatoes. This recipe is a very colourful slaw that combines lots of vegetables, seeds and a simple vinagerette that will add a serious burst of colour to your plate.

  • 200g red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 medium courgette, coarsely grated
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley or coriander, roughly chopped

Dressing:

  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  1. Place all the vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the seeds and combine well.
  3. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together until well combined.
  4. Combine the dressing, lemon juice and freshly chopped herbs to the vegetables and stir together until well coated using a fork.

Roast Pumpkin & Kale Salad

Dinner, Salad

Fuss-free dishes are my favourites; roasting vegetables is one of the easiest things to quickly add bucket loads of flavour and produce tender, melt in your mouth grub in no time!

Serves 4.

  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 large handfuls kale, de-stalked
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  1. Preheat an oven to 180°C.
  2. Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Slice the pumpkin into half moon shaped wedges.
  3. Wash the seeds in a fine sieve, place in a separate roasting tray and roast in the oven until crisp.
  4. Stir the honey, oil and cinnamon together in the bottom of a roasting tray before adding the pumpkin.
  5. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Whilst the pumpkin is roasting cook the bulgur wheat: place the bulgur, water and stock in a saucepan, cover with the lid and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer on the lowest heat until all the water is absorbed. Allow to cool.
  7. Roughly tear the kale with your hands and massage in the salt.
  8. To serve: mix the kale and bulgur wheat together in a serving dish, add the roasted pumpkin on top and scatter over the pumpkin and pomegranate seeds.

Roasted Cauliflower with Carrot Ribbons & Salsa Verde

Dinner, Salad

I know what your thinking…cauliflower… it’s not that tasty, I hate it, ugh how could you eat it?? Well I promise you, it’s not any of the above. Blanching and slow roasting, allows it to tenderise and burst with flavour. I learnt this cooking method whilst attending a course recently with the Dublin Cookery School and it’s been a constant on my weekly menu since! The cauliflower is perfect on it’s own as a side dish or add some salsa verde, carrot ribbons and sauteed cauliflower leaves for some colour and texture as a main dish. It also works great with a big juicy steak or roast beef.

  • 1/2 whole cauliflower
  • 8 inner cauliflower leaves
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp salsa verde
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and pre-heat an oven to 180°C.
  2. Peel the leaves off the cauliflower, roughly chop the inner paler coloured leaves for later. Divide the cauliflower into florets or wedges.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add the cauliflower wedges and blanch for 2 mins. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
  4. Add 1 tsp coconut oil to a large baking tray and melt in the oven. Add the blanched wedges onto the tray with the peeled garlic cloves and thyme. Stir to combine.
  5. Place the tray in the oven and allow the cauliflower to roast for 20-30 mins until soft through.
  6. Prepare the salsa verde. For the carrots, use a vegetable peeler to create long thin carrot ribbons, stir through the olive oil and apple cider vinegar until lightly dressed. Place both in the fridge until required.
  7. Once the cauliflower has roasted, remove from the oven and cover with tinfoil to keep warm. Place a pan on a medium heat and lightly sauté the roughly chopped cauliflower leaves.
  8. To serve: place a layer of cauliflower leaves, top with the cauliflower wedges/florets, spoon over the salsa verde and add the carrot ribbons to finish.

Veggie Prawns in a Garlic, Tomato & Cashew Sauce

Dinner, Fish

Love when I’m rustling around the bottom of the fridge & these kind of magical accidents happen! Kale, spinach or any leafy green can be used instead of the cabbage or bulk it up a bit more with sweet potato instead of carrot. The sauce would work great through pasta or simply as a dip.

Serves 2.

  • 3 tbsp raw cashews
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 100ml water
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/4 courgette
  • 30g sugar snap green beans
  • 1/2 head Savoy cabbage
  • 100g frozen pre-cooked prawns
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  1. In a bowl, cover the cashews with water & allow to soak for at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat an oven to 180C and melt 1 tsp coconut oil in a roasting tray. Add the whole cherry tomatoes and peeled garlic cloves. Roast for 20-30 mins until the tomato skins have blistered.
  3. Defrost the prawns by placing in a bowl of water.
  4. Chop the carrot, courgette and sugar snaps into bite size pieces. Steam gently until the carrots are cooked through.
  5. Melt the remaining coconut oil in a large frying pan. Finely slice the cabbage and sauté in the pan for about 5 mins, add the strained and rinsed defrosted prawns and continue to cook until warm through.
  6. For the sauce: strain and rinse the cashews, add the roasted garlic and tomatoes with 100ml of water to the nuts and blitz with a hand blender until a thick sauce consistency is formed.
  7. Add the steamed veg and sauce to the frying pan and stir together until well coated over a low heat.

Loaded Sweet Potato Crisps

Lunch, Snack

These guys are the ultimate answer for those moments when you don’t know what you want to eat but you want it now!! The microwave is your best friend here to bake the sweet potato in less than 5 mins, to ensure you keep the hunger at bay. My favourite toppings are: cottage cheese with sliced beetroot, avocado or smoked salmon and hummus with grated carrot.

Serves 1.

  • 1 sweet potato
  • toppings of choice
  1. Slice the sweet potato into 1 inch thick rounds (peel the sweet potato if you like, I personally like the skin left on). 
  2. Place all the slices on a microwaveable plate and cook at the highest heat setting for 3 mins. Check the slices, if cooked through remove, if not soft in the centre, cook for another minute and repeat the check.   
  3. Layer with your favourite toppings and enjoy!

Almond & Basil Pesto Chicken with Veg Spaghetti

Dinner

This is the possibly the quickest dinner to russle up that delivers on taste, nourishment and style! Making your own pesto is an added extra but shop-bought works fine too. Prepare the chicken marinade the night before so all you have to do is pop it into the oven when you arrive in the door starving from the day. The pesto should keep fresh for at least 5 days in an jar in the fridge.

Serves 1.

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 1 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1/2 courgette
  • 1 medium carrot

Almond & Basil Pesto:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves & stalks
  • squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • thumb length piece of Parmesan
  1. For the pesto: roast the almonds for about 20 mins at 180°C until the colour darkens but doesn’t burn! Add the roasted almonds, basil, garlic, lemon juice and 2 tbsp oil to a food processor and blitz until the almonds have broken down considerably, slowly adding the remaining oil. Grate in the Parmesan and continue to blitz until smooth. Add more oil if it is too dry. 
  2. To marinade the chicken, simply place the pesto and natural yoghurt into a resealable bag, add the chicken, close the bag and mush it around until the chicken is well covered. If the night before, leave the chicken in the bag in the fridge. 
  3. Otherwise, pour the chicken and contents into an ovenproof dish. Bake in the oven at 180°C for about 20 mins until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Using a spiraliser/Julienne peeler/edgy knife, create thin long strands of the courgette and carrot. 
  5. Place a large frying pan over a high heat, ensure the pan is hot enough by adding one veg strand and it should hiss once it hits the pan. Add the remaining veg and continuously toss ensuring they don’t stick. 
  6. Reduce the heat and stir through some of the pesto juices from the chicken. Add more pesto and natural yoghurt if you want a more creamy sauce. 
  7. To serve: slice the chicken into generous slices and serve on a bed of vegetables.

Roast Carrot & Garlic Hummus

Lunch, Snack

Hummus is a great snack at any time of day; serve with some celery sticks, layer on top of oat/rice cakes, a slice of sourdough or simply eat straight off a spoon! Any leftover roast vegetables could also be used instead of carrots. I tend to portion the hummus into little containers & freeze.

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 4 large carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Preheat an oven to 180C. Melt the coconut oil in a large roasting tray.
  2. Peel & cube the carrots, top & tail the garlic leaving the outer skin on. Add the carrots & garlic to the oil with the spices. Thoroughly mix together & roast in the oven for 20 mins until soft through. 
  3. Drain & rinse the chickpeas. Add to a food processor or blender with the tahini, lemon juice with the roasted vegetables (squeeze the inner garlic clove out of the skin). 
  4. Blend together with 2 tbsp of the oil. Continue to blend slowly adding the remaining oil until it forms a smooth consistency (add more oil or water if you feel it needs it).

Quinoa & Bulgur Salad

Lunch, Salad

This salad is perfect for your lunchbox, a quick lunch or dinner served with some salmon, shredded chicken or simply on its own. It’s great for using up any leftover roasted veg too. The tahini dressing also works great instead of mayonnaise in coleslaw.

Serves 4-6.

  • 100g quinoa/bulgur wheat
  • 500ml water
  • 1 pre-cooked beetroot
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1/2 small sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin/sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 celery stalks

Tahini Dressing:

  • 3 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp cottage cheese
  • 4 tbsp water
  1. Rinse the quinoa & bulgur in a fine sieve whilst you bring the 500ml water to the boil. Once the water begins to boil, add the rinsed grains, place the lid on the saucepan, reduce to a simmer and cook until all the water is absorbed about 20mins. Take off the heat, remove the lid and allow to cool.
  2. Preheat an oven to 200C. Melt 2 tsp coconut oil in a roasting tray. Peel the carrots and sweet potato and cut into cubes with the beetroot. Mix the veg thoroughly with the coconut oil and roast in the oven for 20 mins. Once cooked, set aside to cool. 
  3. Place the seeds & cranberries into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Strain just before adding to the salad.
  4. Finely slice the spring onions. Slice the celery stalks into rounds. Slice the cucumber in half and remove the soft centre before cutting into rounds.
  5. For the dressing: stir all the ingredients together until they are smooth. 
  6. To assemble: place the cooled quinoa & bulgur into a large mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients and dressing. Stir to combine.