Sometimes all you need is a great dressing and to take a boring meal to a delicious one…. I have rounded up some of my favourites, most of which can be made year round. Click the links below.
Another nice and easy salad that you can use which ever vegetables and protein you like. This one is all about the dressing! I just took a bit of the dressing out before I added the chilli sauce for the kids and they dipped their vegetables etc into it. Everything could probably be done in advance for a super quick meal.
Your favourite noodles - I used 270g packet of soba noodles - any will work
3 carrots, peeled into ribbons
4 large handfuls of baby spinach
1 broccoli blanched
toasted sesame seeds
Ginger shiitakes - below - optional
Peanut miso chilli dressing - below
Extra lemon wedges to serve.
Protein of your choice - I used roast chicken.
Cook the noodles to packet instructions, rinse in cold water and drain well. Tip into a bowl and drizzle with some sesame oil, lemon juice and soy sauce just to stop sticking and give them a little flavour.
Blanch the broccoli and sort your other vegetables.
Make the dressing.
Serve everything on a big platter and let everyone make their own salad. Top each salad generously with the dressing.
Peanut miso chilli dressing
4 T quality peanut butter like Pics, Fix and Fogg
2 T white miso
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 T Japanese soy sauce
1 T maple
1 tsp sesame oil
1 T crispy chilli sauce - see photo for what I’m talking about
1 T lemon juice
2 T water to thin it out
Mix all together.
It may work with another chilli sauce, you might just need to adjust to taste.
100g fresh shiitakes, sliced
1/2 cup dried shiitakes, re-hydrated in boiling water
2 T oil and a little butter
1 T freshly grated ginger
2-3 tsp soy sauce
Heat the butter/oil in a pan and add the ginger and sizzle for about 10 seconds. Add the fresh mushrooms and stir fry until brown and 3/4 cooked, add the re-hydrated mushrooms and stir fry until the mushrooms hot and then add the soy sauce.
Shakshuka is something we have often, especially when there isn’t much in the fridge. We sometimes just have it with eggs or just have 1 egg each and add legumes to the tomato mix or sometimes both. You can gently cook the eggs on the stove top or I find that if you are cooking more than 4 the oven works well. There is plenty of tomato mix for 8 eggs and it doesn’t need to be that deep.
We ate this with the spinach and yoghurt flatbreads and some sprouted broccoli and baby spinach.
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic
2 T olive oil
1 tsp each of cumin, coriander seeds and smoked paprika
1 jar passata plus 1/4-1/2 cup water to rinse out the bottle
zest of a lemon
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper
1 tin of beans or lentils, rinsed and drained or 4 extra eggs
Heat the oil in pan and add the carrot, onion and garlic and cook on a medium heat until soft. Add in the spices and cook out and then add the passata, water, lemon zest and season. Bring to the simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. If it is too thick add some more water. If cooking the eggs on the stove top, make 4 little wells and crack an egg into each well. Season each egg and cover and simmer gently until the whites are set.
If you are cooking the eggs in the oven, transfer the tomato mix into an oven proof dish and make 4-8 wells, cracking the eggs into the holes. Season each egg and cover with baking paper or foil and bake for 10-15 minutes at 170, checking after 10 minutes as all ovens are different.
When the eggs are set or nearly set as the residual heat will cook them a little too, dollop over the yoghurt and herbs and feta if using. Serve with greens and flatbreads. I ate mine on some baby spinach too which wilted with the residual heat. Serve with the green olive and lemon salsa below if you have time.
Green olive and lemon salsa
This is optional, you could just use a squeeze of lemon and some crumbled feta instead of this, it just adds a nice and salty lemony hit. It is also great with steamed greens.
12 large green olives, stone removed and finely chopped
1 small lemon, skin and pith removed and finely chopped (collect any juice and add in)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
A quick and winter/spring side. I cooked the lentils in the morning while sorting breakfast so it made for a quick dinner. I charred the broccoli but you can blanch it or roast it in a hot oven.
We ate this salad with the pumpkin fritters.
3/4 cup Puy style green lentils
2 T lemon juice
zest of a lemon
1.5-2 T pomegranate molasses
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper
1-2 heads of broccoli
a couple of good handfuls of baby greens, I used baby kale but baby spinach would work too
half cup toasted seeds or nuts
Cook the lentils in boiling water for about 12 minutes or until tender. Drain well and add into a bowl with the lemon juice, zest, pomegranate molasses and olive oil and season well . Get them tasting delicious.
While the lentils are cooking charr the broccoli. To do this I tossed the bite size florets in olive oil and salt and put them on a dry grill plate. You could also roast them in a hot oven for 5 minutes or just blanch them. Search for the blanching video on here if you need to know more.
Add the broccoli, baby greens and seeds to the lentils and mix well.
We ate this with the pumpkin fritters and the tahini yoghurt below
half cup of greek yoghurt
2 heaped tablespoons of tahini or more if you like
a squeeze of lemon
salt and pepper to taste.
Chimichurri is a herby condiment that originated in Argentina. There are many versions and variations. It is usually made with parsley and fresh oregano but I didn’t have any of that so I used coriander and celery leaves which made a delicious combo. You could use any combination of parsley, celery leaves, coriander and oregano. I used dried oregano as that is one dried herb I don’t mind.
We served this spooned over some beautifully cooked sliced rump steak, so good! With crispy roast potatoes and cauliflower (I just added the cauliflower onto the tray for the last 20 minutes) and sauteed greens.
It is also nice, mixed through beans or lentils, spooned over grilled haloumi, roast cauliflower or broccoli would be great too or any roast vegetables. So many uses.
Makes about a cup.
It is best made fresh so it retains the colour. The vinegar does tend to dull the herbs overnight
1/2 cup chopped coriander
1/4 cup chopped celery leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 T red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 red chilli finely chopped, mine was pretty mild so go easy if yours is hot
Chop the coriander, celery leaves and garlic together. You want it nice and fine. Add into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well and season to taste.