The art of the salad

Recently I’ve really come to appreciate a good salad. Salad is one of those things you pooh-pooh when you’re young, when you can chow down half a Domino’s pizza at lunch without any thought for the consequences, when a salad is considered boring rabbit food, when “why bother to make a salad when it’s easy to put ham and cheese in between two slices of bread and be done with it?”. But once you creep into your late 20’s, you start to worry about that day your metabolism starts going backwards. As part of my diet revamp I vowed to eat less bread at lunch (especially the sort where you don’t know what it was baked with), and more alternative high fibre, low GI carbs – cue the wild rice, sweet potato, quinoa and so on.

The key to a good salad, I’ve realised, is the yin yang thing. Contrast your flavours, textures and colours; juxtapose gooey with crunchy, cooked with raw, sweet with spicy. And of course, take an interest in nutrition and play the food doctor, mixing and matching ingredients to address your ailments. Here are four of my rejuvenating salads that I created for Farmison recently:

Mixed Beetroot Salad – try this if you’re anaemic and tired.

Kale and Cous Cous Salad – we all know kale is amazing – it has more iron gram for gram than beef – plus this salad is packed with all kinds of antioxidant goodness.

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Rose Veal – if you need a protein fix, try veal which is naturally lower in fat than beef. Plus soba noodles are made from saintly buckwheat flour (low GI, high in protein, gluten free).

Grilled Radicchio, Apricot and Goat’s Cheese Salad – if you’re trying to eat less, try this salad. The full flavours of the bitter radicchio, caramelised apricot and creamy goat’s cheese will satisfy your appetite quickly.

 

Three smoothies + a lifestyle update

ABC-smoothie

With the fantastic weather in the UK, I must admit I haven’t been very keen to be stuck indoors, cooking in my tiny, sweltering flat. Plus, a transformation has been taking place over the last couple of months. Perhaps it’s because the prospect of my 30s really aren’t far off; so I’ve had a holistic revamp through a renewed attitude to exercise and what I eat. Continue reading

Superwoman salad

A rare meat-free blog post coincides with what I call Project 13. Starting today, I will have 13 days to get my bikini body in shape for THAILAND! Can she do it?! Probably not, but I did march purposefully around the supermarket today, stuffing my basket with vegetables and resisting the crisp aisle. A diet high in vegetables and lean protein and low in refined carbohydrates and sugars should at least keep the bloat at bay. Continue reading

Buffalo ricotta hotcakes – an Ottolenghi recipe

It’s nice to be able to share a vegetarian recipe on my blog. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t eat a lot of meat, all the time! In fact I try and have two or three vegetarian days per week. This month I got some ricotta in my Laverstoke Park Farm meat box, made from their buffalo milk – apparently this is the winner of a two star Gold Award at the Taste 2010 Awards (the Oscars of the food industry). Continue reading