Summer eating…

I realised that I have only written a couple of posts about food so I thought I’d add another one. I love food – preparing it, cooking, baking, eating and trying new food. Being in the southern hemisphere, my favourite season is approaching – summer! With it, invokes feelings of warmth, sunshine and the anticipation of going to the beach, sunny days, swimming and lighter food for the warmer weather.

I love food eaten in cold weather too – soups, stews/ casseroles, curries, etc, but there is food that I love, especially fruit that I tend to eat predominately in warmer weather. I have two favourite salads that I like to make that are different to the usual green salads that I tend to throw together. I have shared one recipe which was one I adapted from my cousin who shared it when we were staying with her family in Seattle. She had gone to a local store which held cooking demonstrations and learnt this recipe. My cousin made this for us when we were staying with her. I loved it so much I recreated it and shared it with all my friends when I returned home! It is a Kale Salad which keeps well in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

The other salad I love is a pumpkin, quinoa and spinach leaf salad with lemon dressing. Both these salads are nice on their own or as an accompaniment to grilled fish or meat. Eating healthy and tasty food enables us to Laugh, Love, Live! I feel that our food is fuel and nourishment for our bodies and fresh, home-made meals are often made with love. Even when the same meals can be store bought, I feel home-made often tastes better! The recipes for my two favourite salads are below:

Kale Salad

Ingredients:

  • Kale leaves, roughly chopped (half a bunch for 2 people or the whole bunch for up to 6 people)
  • 1 red apple, diced with the skin on
  • Pepita (pumpkin) seeds , sunflower seeds and sultanas (you can also use pine nuts instead of pepita and sunflower seeds)
  • Dried cranberries
  • Mature aged cheddar cheese, diced (you can also use either Gorgonzola or Feta)
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Extra virgin olive oil (approx. 1-2 tablespoons)
  • pinch of salt

Place kale leaves into a large bowl, pour in some olive oil and mix well to cover the leaves. Add a pinch of salt. Put in the diced apple, mix through the leaves then add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and serve – Enjoy!

Pumpkin, Quinoa & Spinach Leaf Salad

Ingredients:

  • Roast pumpkin squares (Butternut or Jap), approx. 1/4 pumpkin cut into small thin squares
  • Spinach leaves – approx. 200g
  • I cup Quinoa, cooked

Lemon dressing:

  • Lemon juice (approx. juice of 1/2 lemon)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dijon mustard (optional)

Make lemon dressing by combining lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and whisk until all combined. Pour over the cooked quinoa.

Place spinach leaves onto plate, layer the roast pumpkin over the spinach leaves and then sprinkle the cooked quinoa over the salad. You may add extra lemon dressing if you prefer a more zesty lemon flavour – serve and enjoy!

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I hope you enjoy preparing and consuming these salads as much as I do. Please play around with quantities and flavours, customising them to your taste. I often cook with approximate quantities as one of my friend’s found out when I was cooking with her one day. I would often say make it ‘to taste’ when she asked how much she needed to add of each ingredient. I find that everyone’s tastes will differ a little and may prefer more or less of something. Experiment and enjoy – Bon appetit!

 

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