Garden Fresh Crunchy Marrow/Zucchini/Courgette Salad

Say hello to crunchy salad !!! Say hello to this amazing, light summer salad I threw together for lunch! I really had no clue how this was going to turn out, it was a matter of using what I had in the fridge (yeah, I do that a lot) and …I surprised myself! This is the perfect summer salad for all those lucky people out there enjoying the warmth of summer.  And, of course those that aren’t (me)….. just pretend the sun is shining and the day is good !

This is a super easy salad, and could work well just as a side salad or as a main. I am just loving the spiralized marrows, it just makes this salad so pretty :-). Just one thing, if you do make this salad, and you are wanting to make it ahead of time, don’t cut your tomatoes until you are ready to serve, otherwise your salad will become quite watery.

Garden Fresh Crunchy Marrow/Zucchini/Courgette Salad

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Serves 2 *

Ingredients:

2 cups spiralized marrows

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup fresh basil leaves

2 cups baby spinach leaves

2 cups exotic tomatoes, chopped/halved (or cherry tomatoes)

salt and pepper to taste

Olive Oil for drizzling

Nutritional Yeast for sprinkling on the top (optional)

Instructions:

Throw spiralized marrows, chopped celery, basil and baby spinach into a bowl.

Add tomatoes.

Season.

Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Enjoy 🙂

 

  • This recipe can easily be halved or doubled, depending on how many people or if you are wanting it as a main or side.  I also, used Nutritional Yeast so it is vegan, but this can be subbed with feta or any cheese of your choice if you don’t want the vegan option.
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Raw Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

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Salad anyone?  Well, today it is good ol’ Quinoa ! Man, I love this stuff. Okay, I don’t mean ‘stuff’ in a bad way, I just love quinoa.  The other day I brought out a fair-sized bowl (actually quite large), and loaded it up with a few cups of cooked quinoa, and then topped it up with mountains of raw vegetables and fresh herbs.  I then dug a tablespoon into this mountain of delicious vegetables and sunk the spoon down into the quinoa.  I then tossed and mixed this amazingly delicious concoction all together, and I am not going to lie, I was VERY tempted to take that spoon and dump a huge mouthful of all that deliciousness into my mouth….but I held myself back, took a deep breath, collected my thoughts, counted backwards from ten…. and dished some up on a plate for myself.

When the hubby came home, he opened the fridge and saw this massive bowl of quinoa salad, and by the look on his face I think he thought it would be his food for the week…but fear not, I am not that cruel…although the thought did enter my brain….The salad did not last 24 hours, thanks to my continual snacking on it every time I opened the fridge door !  And man…it was so good, it was like I just could not get enough.  🙂 Haha Quinoa obsession !!!

For me, this salad is just the best.  It is totally versatile.  Use whatever veggies float your boat, and if you decide to have corn, do yourself a favour, don’t cook it, have it raw, enjoy that crunch…..it is Cra-zy good !!!

The recipe below is enough for 2 people, but feel free to double up or quadruple the recipe as I did.

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Raw Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  15 minutes

Total time:  35 minutes

Makes for 2 people

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa, cooked

1 cup black-eyed peas, cooked and roasted with salt, pepper and origanum

1 corn on the cob, kernels cut off

20/30 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 – 1/2 cup thinly shredded purple baby chinese cabbage

3 sliced spring onions, green parts as well

1/2 large red pepper, sliced or diced

1/2 large yellow pepper, sliced or diced

2/3 jalapeno’s, sliced finely

60 grams sugar snap peas, uncooked and chopped finely

a handful of herbs, I used mint and basil leaves and chopped chives.

Instructions:

Quinoa – cook as per packet instructions.

Black Eyed Peas – cook as per packet instructions, then place on a baking tray, with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and dried origanum.  Allow to roast in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 15/20 minutes or until crispy.

Once all the veggies are sliced and prepared.  Place in a dish and serve.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  This can be a salad to have on the side or as a main meal.

 

 

 

 

Broccoli Salad with Bacon

 

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This is by far one of my favourite salads.  I could literally eat a bowl of this and not feel a pang of guilt.  Oh, and by the way, this salad is equally as nice without the bacon, so it can be vegetarian friendly too…just saying 🙂 .

Raw broccoli never excited me up until these last few years.  It was this very recipe that changed my perception of raw broccoli.

We were at a braai (barbecue) and a friend of a friend had made a Brocolli Salad. I think I fell in love that night with the salad …quite sad hey, but it happens. I got the basic recipe from her and have slightly adapted it with regards to ingredients and quantities. This recipe has become a family favourite.  It is just one of those salads that I could never tire from. It is just perfect on its own with nothing else.  It is THAT good !!! It is totally adaptable as well and can easily be increased for a bigger crowd, also if you want more crunch, you can add more toasted sunflower seeds, and basically just play with the flavours and quantities.

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I make this salad with my Homemade Mayonnaise but using a store-bought mayo is equally as good and tasty.  Although this is not a time-consuming salad, time can be cut down even further by toasting the sunflower seeds, prior to doing the salad and by storing them in a sealed container in the refrigerator. I am a sunflower seed freak and love them on my salads, or for a snack attack, so I permanently have a container of toasted sunflower seeds sitting in my refrigerator.  Also, the bacon can be cooked until crispy and kept in the refrigerator until needed. If the seeds and bacon are cooked and stored before-hand, this salad can be made in the blink of an eyelid.

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Broccoli Salad with Bacon

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Refrigeration time:  2 hours

Total time:  2 hours 20 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

250 grams chopped bacon bits

150 grams sunflower seeds

1 head of fresh broccoli

1/4 cup chopped white onion

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1- 2 tablespoons white vinegar (or white wine vinegar)*

1 tablespoon sugar (I used brown sugar)

Instructions:

Cook bacon bits until crisp and set aside.

Toast sunflower seeds, by using a small pan on top of the stove on medium heat. Do not use any oil as the seeds have their own.  Constantly keep turning and moving the seeds around in the pan, to prevent burning.  Once done, set aside to cool.

Cut the broccoli florets into bite size pieces.

Chop and dice the onion into small pieces.

Combine the broccoli florets and the onion in a medium-sized bowl.

Then, in a separate small bowl, add the mayonnaise, vinegar and the sugar (this is where I use only half of the vinegar and half of the sugar, then I taste) and mix together with a tablespoon until it is of a smooth consistency and evenly combined. Taste again at this point, and if you feel you need a bit more vinegar or sugar, add a little extra).

Gradually and cautiously mix the mayonnaise mixture in with the broccoli and onion. The mixture must not be a mayonnaise, creamy, watery mess. It must rather be on the dry side, to play it safe, as remember, as this salad sits, natural juices will form. You may find you have too much mayonnaise for the broccoli (I usually always do), if so, don’t use the balance, rather set it aside and place it back in the fridge.  Once you have the consistency correct, and you are happy, toss the mixture together thoroughly.

If possible at this point, place the salad in the refrigerator for at least two hours.  This helps combine all the flavours together.

After two hours, or best just before serving, add the crisp bacon bits and the toasted sunflower seeds, just for some added crunch.

This salad is divine even a couple of days afterwards, so it is nice to know that this salad can be made in advance if necessary.

Enjoy 🙂

*  Decrease the white vinegar to 1 tablespoon if the mayonnaise you use has vinegar in it.  (I use my Homemade Mayo, where there is no vinegar, so feel it needs that extra)

 

 

 

 

Salad in a Bread Bowl

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Try not to laugh…..

Yes, well I thought I was such a genius when I thought of this, Salad in a Bread Bowl.  It has been on my mind for weeks, but I had to find the perfect bread….and I did…so today, lunch was Salad in a Bread Bowl. With it being so hot here in South Africa, salad is just a must !

Then, after lunch,  I decided I would check to see if anyone else had done a Salad in a Bread Bowl, and …sure enough, they are out there…so I am not so much of a genius after all (lol).  I didn’t actually read the recipes, but I could see from the pictures, that they did all differ,  but it is fine….

I think any salad would do, so you could create your own invention….

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Basically, this whole idea for me was inspired by another meal I do, and LOVE in a bread bowl (and yes, I promise, I will share it with you…you will die of love for this meal…but that will be for another day and another time….) Anyway, this whole idea is so simple, it is ridiculous.  I find it different and it would really be such an awesome change if you are having people around and you are serving a salad.  I mean, how unique is it to serve the salad in a great loaf of fancy bread, instead of the good ol’ salad bowl ? Hmmmmm??? and the bread just makes it look soooo pretty.

You serve it like a normal salad… I mean it IS salad, and then the crusty bread bowl, can be eaten as well, there and then, broken up for added crispy croutons… or just snacked on while you are yacking around the table, I mean, seriously…… this is a no brainer, it just has to happen.  And, even better yet… one less bowl to wash !!! Bonus !!! 🙂

Now I have to admit it seems pretty weird me giving you quantities for the salad.  It all is about the size of the bread that you are wanting to fill.  So buy (or make) the fancy bread and go from there. Oh, and by the way, in my ingredients you will notice me including fresh herbs….Yip, try it !  They make such a Huge difference to the salad 🙂 .

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Salad in a Bread Bowl

Ingredients:

1 loaf of a fancy tasty bread to your liking (even go for a Gluten-Free Bread)

a little olive oil for the croutons and for basting the bread.

Dried herbs (I used dried origanum for the croutons)

a mixture of salad leaves

a combined handful of basil, rocket and mint leaves

1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced and cut in half

1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced and cut in half

1/4 cucumber, de-seeded and sliced

a handful of mini cocktail tomatoes

a handful of toasted sunflower seeds or nuts of your choice (optional)

1 – 2 crumbled disc of plain feta cheese

a salad dressing of your choice or freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions:

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut around the top of the bread, a few centimeters in, to create a border. Then, gently take and scoop the middle out, this will be like a lid for the bread… Basically you will be hollowing out the bread, if that makes any sense…

Cut or break that bread ‘lid’ section, into pieces,to form rustic looking bread pieces. Place these onto a baking tray.  Drizzle over olive oil, a scattering of pepper and some dried origanum.  Using your hands mix well, so all the oil captures all sides of the bread.  Place in the preheated oven until a light golden brown and crispy.  Once done, remove from the oven and set aside.

Now, place the ‘bread bowl’ on the baking tray, Brush the inside and outside of the bread with a little olive oil, and place in the oven to crisp up a bit.  It is up to you for how long you want it in for, according to your preference.

Whilst the bread is crisping up, prepare all your salad ingredients.

Once the bread bowl is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Just before serving, assemble all your salad ingredients into the bread bowl and serve with a salad dressing of your taste, separately.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*

  • Do not pour the salad dressing, if using, over the salad once in the bread bowl, as it could seep through and make the bread a bit soggy. Rather serve the salad dressing separately on the side, to drizzle over.
  • Regarding to the tomatoes, I prefer to use the small cocktail tomatoes, that way, the juices of the tomato will not make the salad soggy.
  • I prefer to cut my cucumbers in half lengthways and then scoop out the inner part which holds a fair amount of water. Again, to avoid the actual salad  from becoming soggy.
  • Even doing these few things for a salad going into a normal bowl, prolongs the crispness of the salad.

 

 

 

 

Herb Roasted Chickpeas and Butternut Salad with Nectarines

 

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Well, this is by far my favourite salad right now.  It is super simple and easy to make and can even be easier if the main prep work is done earlier and stored in the refrigerator.

Roasted chickpeas have been my thing for quite some time now. I do not do the tinned chickpeas thing at all.  No tins, no preservatives for me.  I am a do it from scratch kind of girl, so yes, I will take the time and soak the chickpeas and then boil the chickpeas.  Then I like to measure them out, two cups of cooked chickpeas and pre-pack them in sealed containers and freeze them. It works like a dream for the next time they are needed.  The hard work is done !

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I basically put this recipe together about two weeks ago.  I have been obsessed with herb roasted chickpeas for a while. I, of course love roasted butternut, and over quite some time have seen various roasted butternut salad recipes, but nothing excited me.  All they confirmed was that a roasted cold butternut salad was durable and edible !  I skimmed though the Tv channels a couple of weeks back and on passing a food channel, saw some woman doing a salad with tinned chickpeas. I never saw the whole program but for me, that was the sign. I had to create my own salad.  So for starters, it had to include the crunch, so that was the herb roasted chickpeas, I wanted kale in this salad, as kale just is the bomb! and personally I just can’t get enough of it raw.  Roasted herb butternut, was another given.   So there I was massaging the kale, added the kale to a serving plate, included some salad leaves for extra texture and colour, tossed in the already roasted charred butternut and scattered a good scattering of herb roasted chickpeas. Then, it was a matter of what next, as at this point the salad looked a bit boring,  so then feta cheese was just the next obvious decision, I mean, who does not LOVE feta? and I needed that colour against all the obvious green and charred orange.  So, at this point the salad looked great, but I still felt it was missing something, so as a bold statement, reached into my fridge and grabbed some delicious nectarines….Salad done !!!

I really had no clue what this salad would taste like, but….success, happiness and total health…what could be better?

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Herb Roasted Chickpeas and Butternut Salad with Nectarines

Total time:  45 minutes – 60 minutes (excluding soaking time for the chickpeas, but including roasting time)

Serves 4

No exact measurements are necessary.  You can eye-ball a lot depending on how many people you are serving.  Below is just a guide line.

Ingredients:

Kale Leaves, chopped and massaged * (1/2 head of Kale)

Mixed Lettuce leaves, chopped (same quantity as chopped kale)

1 x medium-sized Butternut, chopped, roasted with salt, pepper and herbs

2 cups cooked Chickpeas, roasted with  salt, pepper and herbs

2 x fresh Nectarines, with the skin on, sliced

1 -2 Plain Feta Cheese, crumbled

Instructions:

For the Roasted Chickpeas:  Once chickpeas are cooked, roast with salt and pepper and a good drizzling of extra virgin olive oil. I did mine for about 45 minutes on fan oven at 180 degrees C.  I like mine golden and crisp.

When the chickpeas are in the oven, keep checking and tossing, so that they roast evenly.  Also, check for the texture and crispness you are wanting.  When out of the oven add a healthy and generous amount of dried origanum, or any other herbs you like.  If you have fresh herbs, chop, and then nearing the end of the oven time, add the fresh herbs to the oven and toss amongst the chickpeas. Once done, set aside.

For the Roasted Butternut:  Add the cut cubes of butternut to a roasting tray, add salt and freshly cracked pepper to the butternut, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the butternut around to ensure it is well coated.  Roast in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven) for 30 – 45 minutes (this depends on the size of the diced butternut and how cooked you actually want them.  I quite like mine to be slightly charred on the edges for the salad.  Once done set aside.

Then, it is just a matter of assembling the salad.  Place the chopped kale and lettuce leaves  together on the salad plate.

Top with a generous amount of the roasted butternut.

Add a healthy helping of the roasted chickpeas.

Add the sliced pieces of nectarines and top with the crumbled feta cheese.

Enjoy 🙂

  •  I believe Kale needs to be massaged for a few seconds.  It helps with the  bitterness.  To be honest, I have not gone  into this theory but just do it  anyway.

 

 

 

 

Watermelon and Feta Salad

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I bought this massive watermelon over the weekend.  On opening the boot of my car, this watermelon just came rolling out and fell to the lawn.  Well need I say it split open, so it was pretty much decided there and then that watermelon would be lunch that day!  It actually was the perfect solution to a crazy hot day here in South Africa.

I quickly hauled out my recipe file where I knew I had been storing this watermelon salad recipe.  I have been dying to do this salad for years…in fact I first set my eyes on this recipe in 2005 !!! Yes, it has taken me ten years to finally get my A into G and do this recipe….Okay, lets just not go there as procrastination, clearly is my second name.

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This salad truly is ideal for those summer months, and those hot, scorching days.  It is quick and easy to prepare with not too many ingredients at all.

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I have deviated slightly from the original and have added my personal touch to it.  I have suggested that the recipe below will serve two people.  I did not measure out the chopped watermelon, so just chop accordingly for as many people you are wanting to serve.  I have added almonds which for me are imperative for that extra added crunch.  Also, the recipe did come with a spicy dressing.  I personally did not find the dressing necessary as felt it overpowered the flavours and natural tastes of the salad, so I have not included that.  I also, have added sliced avocado pear as an option to the salad, as watermelon and avocado pear actually compliment each other, but again, this is entirely up to you.  I served the avocado as a side to the salad, which worked quite well.

This salad is different, not your usual run of the mill kind of salad and could quite easily serve as an appetizer or starter as well.

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Watermelon and Feta Salad

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

watermelon

7 small radishes

handful of fresh mint leaves (stalks discarded)

handful of fresh rocket leaves

handful of fresh coriander leaves

100 grams feta cheese, crumbled

handful of raw almonds

couple slices of avocado pear, optional

a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice for the avocado pear, optional

Instructions:

Dry toast the almonds, by adding them to a small pan on a medium heat. Continuously keep stirring around to prevent burning.  Once nicely toasted, remove from the stove top and set aside.

Chop up the watermelon into small pieces and place into a bowl.

With your spiralizer, slice up the radishes into thin threads.  If you do not have a spiralizer, just slice up the radishes as thinly as possible.

Place the spiralized or sliced radishes, mint and coriander in the bowl with the watermelon.

Add the crumbled feta.

Top with the dry toasted almonds and rocket.

Serve with a few slices of avocado pear and a dash of lemon juice (optional)

Enjoy 🙂