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Along my journey to find better health I am always looking out for sweet treat recipes to try out.
I am acutely aware that I have this tiny person who is soon to embark on her own eating adventure and whilst I’m hopeful she won’t grow up on tons of processed crap I do want her to feel vaguely normal when it comes to things like having a cake for her birthday.
So I am doing my homework now trying to find recipes that taste as good as cakes made with standard ingredients such as white flour and white sugar, but contain more wholesome less bad ingredients such as coconut flour and honey or maple syrup for sweetness.
I’ve made chopped salads before and love the simplicity of the concept – chop a whole load of salad ingredients together with a splash of dressing. Yup, that’s it. It appeals to me when I’m working at home and want a quick but healthy sort of lunch.
It may seem daft to sort of mush up all those lovely ingredients into one pile of finely chopped salad, but I think it actually does something to the flavour. By chopping things together the flavours begin to mingle to create something new and wonderful.
For this green salad, I started by chopping together lettuce (a crisp crunchy lettuce like cos or baby gem work best – soft leaved lettuce will just disappear into nothing), cucumber, spring onions, and parsley (but you could use herbs and a mixture would be lovely).
Then I chopped up an avocado and mixed everything together in a bowl. Next, I made a hollow in the salad and added my dressing ingredients – a place of mustard (I used Dijon), vinegar (I used red wine vinegar), extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Then give everything a really good mix together so that all the ingredients and flavours can start to mingle.
At this point taste it and adjust the dressing flavourings to taste. You can also add in other bits and pieces – I crumbled in some Cheddar cheese.
Finally, I mounded it into my bowl and topped with a generous sprinkle of crumbled Cheddar. A fantastic way to eat a lot of vegetables – in this case a lot of green ones – and a different take on the salad.
What do you put into your chopped salad? Pieces of crispy bacon appeal to me.
The weather in the UK is positively balmy, and what we really want to eat lots of is salad. Most other food just seems too much in this heat. So here is a healthy but most importantly delicious salad, with tomatoes, beans and new potatoes and a zingy citrus and chilli dressing.
Zingy tomato and bean salad
Feeds 2-4 people
1 x tin haricot beans, drained and rinsed
200g new potatoes
200g cherry tomatoes
2 spring onions
Bunch of flat leaf parsley
1/2 red chilli
A couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper
Cook the new potatoes, drain and cut into chunks. While the potatoes are cooking, slice up the cherry tomatoes and spring onions.
Mix the potatoes, beans and tomatoes together in a serving bowl.
Roughly chop the parsley and pop into a separate bowl. Finely chop the chilli and add it to the parsley. Tip in the sliced spring onions, olive oil, zest and juice of the lemon. Give it a good mix and add a bit more oil if you want it a bit runnier. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the potatoes, beans and tomatoes and mix well. The potatoes gently start to melt and the dressing will seep into them and the beans and this is just scrumptious.
Eat on its own, or with some grilled chicken or fish.