Smoked salmon, new potato and shallot salad

I’m not the biggest fan of smoked salmon in the world. It’s too much like raw salmon (in my mind) and I can usually enjoy one or two bites and then that’s me done.

Same with sushi, maki and sashimi. I can’t say I’m the bravest eater.

But in this salad? Mamma mia, it’s simply delicious. I’ll eat all the salmon you want in this salad. Especially during the summer, with a cool glass of rosé wine with grapefruit.

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Smoked salmon, new potato and shallot salad

Serves 1

25g smoked salmon

2-3 new potatoes

1/4 to 1/2 avocado

1/2 shallot

1 egg

A few handfuls of the salad of your choosing (I went for lamb’s lettuce, frisée lettuce and radicchio)

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Fill a pot with water and bring to the boil. When boiling, add new potatoes and boil for  about ten minutes.

2. While these cook, prepare the remaining ingredients. Finely chop the shallot, cube the avocado, and toss them in a salad bowl with the salad leaves. Cut the smoked salmon into smaller pieces and add to the mix.

3. Take your potatoes out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon and place on chopping board. Place your egg in the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile,  chop the potatoes into cubes and add to the salad.

4. In a smaller bowl on the side, make a balsamic vinaigrette – 3/5 olive oil to 2/5 balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix vinaigrette in with the rest of the salad mix.

5. When your egg is done, peel off the shell and place into your salad.

6. Enjoy!

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Finished in minutes 😉


Note: instead of using balsamic vinaigrette, you can also use crème fraiche, dill, salt and pepper to make a dressing.

Salad season!

I’ve started to realise that I use the word favourite a lot.

“That’s my favourite.”

“This is my favourite.”

“Wait, no, actually, THAT’s definitely my favourite!”

Right, so I get a little overexcited about things.

 – Sorry, not sorry, that’s just me –

And right now, I am overexcited about SALADS.

Yup, salads.

I very rarely eat salads during autumn or winter – I’d rather have something hot to warm me up – but during spring and summer, I could have nothing but.

Delicious salads, every day.

Quinoa, roasted sweet potato and onion salad

Not only are they delicious, but it’s so much fun inventing new salad recipes with whatever I’ve got in the fridge or the pantry.

Latest creation: freshly picked iceberg lettuce from the allotment, a few baby plums, crumbled feta cheese, crispy pancetta cubes and homemade croutons made from homemade pumpkin seed and sunflower seed bread.

YUM.

Baby plum tomato, feta, crispy lardons and crouton salad

So, please, pretty please, if you guys have good salad recipes/ideas lying around, comment and tell me. I am dying to try new things and am going to exhaust my own salad recipes pretty quickly at this rate!

Baked halloumi and red pepper salad

I’ve been seeing a lot of halloumi and roasted red peppers lately – in toasties at Prêt, in wraps, inside one another (think halloumi stuffed peppers), and as halloumi is one of my food crushes of the moment, I decided to give it a whirl.

I kept it simple and baked them before tossing them with a fresh salad, with a little lemon and thyme as a personal twist.

A great option as a starter – you’d have to serve it with something more consistent to have it as a main – and definitely tasting of summer!

How do you eat your halloumi?

*

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/2 block of halloumi, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, roasted and skin peeled off

1/2 lemon, sliced

A few sprigs of thyme

1/2 clove of garlic, crushed and chopped

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/3 cucumber, thinly sliced

A few baby plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

1 sweet pepper, thinly sliced

A handful of salad leaves

1. Preheat oven to 200° C. In an oven-proof dish, place halloumi and roasted pepper slices.

2. Mix thyme, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Pour over the halloumi and red peppers. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, until cheese is soft and golden.

3. While the cheese cooks, plate salad leaves, cucumber, tomato and sweet pepper slices. When the cheese is done, place with red pepper on top of salad with some of the cooking juices.

4. Enjoy!

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Roasted red pepper butterbean salad

The English weather, true to itself, keeps going from amazingly warm, sunny and AWESOME days to raining, pouring, old man snoring-type of days.

Hence, I’ve decided to will the sun out by eating delicious, summer salads all day, every day.

Well, for lunch.

And dinner.

Not breakfast.

Don’t think I could manage breakfast.

Attempt n°1

(It seems to have worked as the rain has temporarily stopped here in the Midlands):

Roasted red pepper butter bean salad

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 red pepper

80g pancetta cubes

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 tin of butter beans, drained and rinsed

Apple cider vinegar (or red wine if you have it)

Two handfuls of rocket

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 200°. On a baking tray, place your red pepper, deseeded and sliced into four sides. Place in oven until the skin is burnt. Then, put the pepper into a sealed plastic bag and leave to cool. Once it is cool to the touch, peel off the skin, slice into strips and set aside.

2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, fry the pancetta cubes (no need to add any oil or fats) until golden. Then, add chopped shallots until soft.

3. Tip in strips of roasted pepper and butterbeans, as well as a dash a vinegar and stir until heated through. Season to taste.

4. Plate with the rocket and serve with warm, crusty bread.

5. Enjoy!

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Ps. I bought some bread in store today because I didn’t have time to make my own. It was delicious spicy corn bread and I LOVED it. Definitely going to try making some at home ^^

Lentil, courgette and carrot salad

Spending the weekend in Bordeaux with one of my best friends, another healthy Frenchie, was one of the most restful experiences I’ve had in a while. It definitely helps that I’m on holiday for the next few weeks (score!), but I think another reason is that my friend Laurène did almost all the cooking.

Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking, but it was nice to eat to someone else’s food for a while and take a step back from the stove. Especially when that someone else is as interested in healthy cooking and living as you are and prepares the most delicious recipes. This salad is mainly her creation, and came at exactly the right moment.

Indeed, on Sunday afternoon, Laurène and I went to a bikram yoga class (yoga in a room heated to 40°), which was both amazing and a KILLER! Afterwards, we were absolutely starving, hungry for something both filling and healthy. Laurène’s solution? Lentils, raw carrots and courgettes and a tangy, dijon mustard dressing. With, of course, a soft-boiled egg on top. Lentils are a good source of protein, finer and carbohydrates, which we really needed after that session, and keeping the vegetables raw added some much-needed freshness after that boiling class. Not only was it delicious, but it felt like the perfect post-workout meal.

Try it out for yourselves!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

150g tinned green or Puy lentils or 100g dry lentils

1 medium courgette, washed and peeled

2 medium carrot, washed and peeled

2 eggs

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

Olive oil

Apple cider vinegar

Salt

Pepper

1. If using dry lentils, rinse and drain. Over medium high-heat, bring pot of water and lentils to the boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. When tender, take of the heat, strain and set aside.

 2. If using cooked, tinned lentils, drain water, rinse and set aside.

3. Using a vegetable peeler, make thin ribbons out of the courgette and carrots. This may take a little while, depending on how much you’re making, but make sure you keep the ribbons thin. Set aside.

4. In a pot, bring some water to the boil. Turn heat down and softly drop eggs in with a spoon. Set timer to four minutes to make soft-boiled eggs. When the time is up, take eggs out of the water with a slotted spoon and shell them. Set aside.

5. While eggs are cooking, make the dressing by mixing 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.

6. Place lentils into a large salad bowl with courgette and carrot ribbons and mix in the dressing. Plate salad in individual plates and top each portion with a soft-boiled egg.

7. Enjoy as is, or like me, with a slice of bread to soak up the yolk! Yum 🙂

Halloumi and grapefruit salad

Spring is coming, and so is the season for salads!

I have to admit, I’m not a lover of salads during the winter: when it’s cold outside, I love to eat hot, hearty dishes that make you feel cosy and warm, and salads just don’t cut it. However, as soon as the sun comes out to play, I could eat salads every single day. Especially when they’re this healthy and delicious.

I am absolutely loving this new combination: I haven’t known halloumi for long (it can take me a while to try things out, sometimes) but I’m pretty sure it’s on its way to becoming a new kitchen staple at home. It goes very well with the watercress and grapefruit in this salad, as these two ingredients manage to tone down the saltiness of the cheese and bring out its richness.

I got the inspiration for this recipe from The Art of Eating Well, one of my most-used cookbooks at the moment. The Hemsley sisters really do know how to keep healthy food interesting! In this version, however, I make a couple of changes: I use spring onions, instead of red, as I find raw red onions can be unpleasant to eat – or mainly unpleasant after you’ve eaten. I also don’t use any honey in the dressing, as I don’t feel the salad needs the extra fructose kick.

The cookbook also suggests using papaya instead of grapefruit, which is lovely as well, but less my taste. As you might have noticed, I’m starting to have a bit of a thing for citrus fruit in salads; the grapefruit is perfect in this recipe, adding just the right balance of sweetness and acidity. If you’re scared of using fruit in savoury recipes, don’t be! The flavours balance themselves out beautifully. Try it out then get back to me 😉

Serves 2

Ingredients:

100g halloumi slices

1 avocado, pitted and chopped

One handful cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

1 spring onion, finely sliced

Half a handful of pine nuts

1/2 grapefruit

Watercress

Olive oil

Apple cider vinegar

Salt

Pepper

Coconut oil

1. Wash and rinse the watercress. To make it easier to eat, chop the larger leaves into smaller pieces. Put the watercress in a bowl.

2. Add cherry tomatoes, avocado and spring onion to the watercress. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat and, when done, keep aside for now.

3. Slice the peel off the grapefruit and cut into slivers, the same way you would quarter an orange. Cut off any remaining peel with a sharp knife. Add grapefruit to the salad.

4. Heat some coconut oil in the frying pan. When hot, add halloumi slices and cook until starting to brown – be careful not to leave them on too long, however, as they may otherwise get chewy. About 1 to 2 minutes on each side will do.

5. While the halloumi is cooking, make a simple dressing: 2/5 apple cider vinegar, 3/5 olive oil, lightly salted and peppered. Mix into the salad.

6. Place salad into a bowl or a plate and top with toasted pine nuts and halloumi while the cheese is still hot.

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7. Enjoy!

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Scallop, orange and baby leaf salad

Having a dinner party? Want to impress a guest with a fancy starter? Try this salad on for size: easy as pie to make and never fails to make an impression! The orange dressing is zingy and sweet, while the scallops are soft (and delicious) and add a lovely elegant touch to the dish.

This is actually not my recipe: it’s my maternal grandmother’s. Grandparents have so much cooking wisdom to share, don’t they? I’m actually thinking of starting a “Family recipes” page to share some of my family’s cooking secrets. In any case, I discovered this scallop salad when my grandmother served it at a family dinner a few years ago and have been obsessed with it since. Tell me what you think of it if you try it!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 1/2 oranges

10 medium scallops or 20 small scallops

Baby leaf salad

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Coconut oil

1. Grate the first orange and keep the zest in a small bowl. Slice off the peel with a knife and slice the orange into wedges. Put aside. Juice the leftover orange half and strain the juice in with the zest.

2. Add some olive oil, salt and pepper to the orange juice and zest mixture to finish off your dressing.

3. In a pan, melt some extra virgin coconut oil. When hot, fry scallops on both sides until golden.

4. Plate up your salad by layering washed baby leaf salad, orange wedges and fried scallops. Spoon on some dressing and serve.

5. Enjoy!

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