Friday, March 5, 2010

Let's Do Lunch

I used to love my leftovers for lunch… and I still do, with one, slight difference – I now freeze my leftovers and eat them the following week. In fact, I freeze practically everything: my dips, the bread I buy from Fresh Earth, cooked sweetcorn on the cob, cooked beetroot, roasted chickpeas… It makes life way easier especially in those situations where you get home late and the absolute last thing you feel like doing is cooking; and it saves cooking the next week too! Freezing also prevents wastage - if you're like me and never quite get around to using that last sweetcorn or carrot in the fridge - cooking everything and then freezing is brilliant - there is no wastage and the food is ready to go whenever you are, give or take a little chill time.

I also enjoy eating, and making, a variety of salads as they are quick and very tasty.

Some of my favourites are:

Peppered Mackerel Salad
    • For this salad, I like to buy the Peppered Mackerel from Woolies
    • I shred the fish with my fingers and add it to chopped cucumber, mint and chives
    • I then add salt and pepper (being careful as the Mackerel is already salty and peppery) and a dash of squeezed lime to taste
Three Bean Salmon Salad
    • This salad can be made with any beans
    • I like to use borlotti, sugar and quickly-blanched green beans (to prevent over-cooking, run the green beans under cold water as soon as they are tender, but still crunchy) 
    • I finely chop a red onion and add it to the beans
    • I then like to add watercress along with some poppy seeds or linseed, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper
    • I then add a tin of salmon (high in omega 3 fatty acids, which your body needs to function optimally) to complete the meal
Tuna Salad
    • I mix together a tin of tuna with half a tin of kidney beans
    • I then finely chop a red onion and add it to the mixture along with rocket, avo oil, lime juice and paprika salt
Mediterranean Tuna Bean Salad
    • This is another tuna salad I like eating
    • I use green beans, kidney beans and soya beans and mix them with a tin of tuna, lemon juice, lemon infused olive oil (Willowcreek makes delicious oils - they also make a basil infused olive oil which is perfect on a caprese salad, chicken breasts, in pestos, marinades for lamb chops, etc), salt and pepper
Chicken, Sweetcorn and Beetroot Salad
    • I buy uncooked whole baby beetroot from Woolies
    • I then cut the bottoms off of the beetroot so that they don't wobble around when cooking
    • Add them to a baking pan along with a drop of water, grape seed oil, a sprig or two of fresh thyme and then roast in the oven until cooked - this takes at least 40 minutes until they are tender. Keep topping up with a little water as it does evaporate (because it takes pretty long to cook the beetroot, I recommend cooking the whole packet and then freezing the excess to use the following week)
    • Rub the raw chicken breasts with a little grape seed oil and sprinkle with fresh thyme, dried chilli, and salt and grill in the oven for about 10 minutes until cooked, but still moist (make sure the thyme and chilli are coated with the oil so that they don't burn)
    • Cook a sweetcorn or two and then cut the corn off the cob
    • Cut the chicken breasts into pieces, slice the beetroot and add it to the corn
    • Add a little more oil to moisten the dish, some more thyme, chilli and salt and sprinkle over with poppy seeds
    • (Sometimes I use dry tarragon instead of the thyme - you can use any herbs of your choice as well as any healthy oil)
Baby Potato and Crispy Bacon Salad
    • Boil some baby potatoes, wait until cooled and then chop into four pieces
    • Crisp up a few strips of back bacon in the oven (bacon has enough of its own fat, I prefer not to fry it in a pan - grilling is healthier) and then crumble the bacon into bits
    • Add half a tin of cannellini beans to the chopped potato and bacon
    • Make a dressing of lemon juice, lemon infused olive oil, salt, pepper, dried thyme and oreganum and add it to the salad
Spicy Beef Salad
    • Marinade beef strips in avo oil, paprika, soya sauce, lime and dried chilli
    • Fry the strips in a little avo oil
    • Make a dressing of avo oil, paprika, soya sauce, lime, dried chilli and a little fructose or castor sugar (half a teaspoon) 
    • Build a salad of rocket, red pepper, avo and pine nuts
    • Add the beef strips and the dressing and toss
Coleslaw with a Twist
    • Because I can't eat mayonnaise I have had to find my way around it. I find that I don't actually miss the mayo in this recipe
    • Grate carrot and chop up some baby cabbage
    • Make a dressing of lime, honey, pecan nuts, lemon infused olive oil, salt and pepper - wiz up in a blender until creamy
    • Add to the grated carrot and cabbage
    • Serve with cold roast chicken or eat it on its own
Salads are so versatile. I love mixing and matching ingredients until I find a salad that tastes good to me. The excitement is in the creation.

So, why not mix and match your own ingredients to create your very own mouthwatering masterpieces and as always, please share them?


  1. Your salad recipes are inspiring! I think it's a honey glazed chicken breast salad for me today. yum!

  2. I'm glad that you are inspired Kirst - cooking healthy food doesn't have to mean boring and tasteless food! Flavour is extremely important because you must enjoy what you eat. Please let me know how your salad went :)

  3. Tuna salad - I really thought I was going to miss the mayo but I didnt at all - it was just such a nice combination.

  4. I felt the same way about the mayo - but the kidney beans add a bit of creaminess and the lemon rounds it off nicely and provides the tang that mayo has