Since the 1st of this year I have been on a health kick – yes I have had to have a few meals off in that time, but choose to keep coming back to nourishing foods with lots of veggies. Healthy is different to everyone and I love to indulge with delicious food all the time but healthy food is also delicious. So I will share with you some of my favourite healthy creations along the way. It’s all about the green smoothies, salads, stir frys, fruits that are not too high in sugar and herbal teas. Already I have been feeling much better for it and my hubby has even been having green smoothies too!!
Layered Salad in a Jar is a fun way to serve salad & you can have so many variations based on your favourite in season salad ingredients. My version was created for a healthy eating workshop & after speaking with the nutritionist who was presenting I put together this yummy nutritious combo.
First make your dressing, I chose to use flaxseed oil & apple cider vinegar, you can use use lemon or lime juice instead of the vinegar or use extra virgin olive oil in place of the flaxseed oil.
Choose your flavours, try fresh herbs or your favourite mustard or even fresh chilli.
I love the zing of fresh ginger & garlic plus I had some gorgeous vibrant fresh turmeric as well!
Blitz 10g each of fresh ginger, garlic & turmeric for 5 secs on speed 7. Add 100g of apple cider vinegar & 100g chosen good quality oil & salt & pepper to taste, mix for 10 secs on speed 5.
Pour in your chosen amount of dressing to your jar or jars.
I like to make a “massaged” kale layer on top of the dressing layer, it really makes the kale taste amazing! After making your dressing leave about a tbs in the TM bowl, remove the stalks from the kale & put the leaves into the TM bowl & chop for 2-3 secs on speed 5 to your desired texture. Season to taste then set the Thermomix for 2-3 mins reverse speed 2. You can use a jam funnel to get your ingredients into the jar without pouring half of them onto the table. Try not to pack your ingredients down too much because you need room to stir them when you are eating the salad.
I like to include a shredded chicken layer, using leftover steamed chicken breasts (from steamed whole chicken) or you can poach them in the simmering basket after cutting them in half & cover with water to the max line cooking for about 20 mins, 100 degrees speed 1. You might like to chop up fresh herbs & garlic before adding water to give the chicken some flavour or use a big tbs of veggie stock paste. Once the chicken is cooked allow to cool & place in the fridge. Place cold chicken breasts into the Thermomix bowl & chop for about 3-4 secs reverse speed 4 until desired consistency is reached.
You can put layers of any of your favourite veggies, just think about vibrant colours to make it more appealing. It is better for any wetter ingredients to go towards the bottom of the jar, especially if you won’t be eating the salad until the next day. I hand chop things like cucumber, tomato or cherry tomatoes. If you are using avocado you will have to squeeze some lemon juice on it to stop it from going brown. I love using red cabbage or fresh beetroot that has been peeled I chop it for 3-5 secs on speed 5. Broccoli is another favourite of mine too. You could even do a boiled egg layer. Hand sliced radish looks & tastes great too.
Finish it off with some freshly chopped chives or other herbs & toasted seeds or nuts for some added texture.
If you want to ditch the jar, this salad is still delicious in a salad bowl! 😀
I remember when a salad used to be quite mundane, maybe some iceberg lettuce, tomato, cucumber & carrot with a bit of dressing, which is till an ok side salad for a quick meat & salad meal. Salads can be just so exciting, start with the freshest ingredients & think colours, textures; with toasted nuts or seeds, flavour combos, roasted veg, fresh herbs, in season veggies or salad greens & delicious dressings, even adding in amazing protein can lift a salad. Even consider using leftovers from a meal cold grilled or steamed meats or meatballs. You don’t really need a recipe for a great salad but sometimes it’s so good you want to be able to recreate that amazing combo. Here are a few of my favourites in no particular order that I will be continuing to update.
Roast lamb salad (marinade made in the Thermomix) with some roasted veg feta & other salad ingredients.
I used Eloise Emmett’s recipe to pickle my octopus & then serve with either a greek style or green salad – also yummy with a creamy potato salad too.
Guess what? Some salads are better made without the Thermomix you might only make the dressing in the Thermomix – this is a favourite of mine Fennel Salad I love to serve it with confit or steamed salmon. (The recipe is from a great book that includes French style recipes – Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard.)
I’m not normally a fan of coleslaw but even using red cabbage & the fresh apple or pear, red capsicum & some fresh dill & try adding some pecans for extra crunch I prefer my coleslaw dressed with lemon juice & olive oil. Of course it is so easy to make your own mayo in the Thermomix too.- Dani Valent had a peanut butter coleslaw recipe in the In the Mix 2 cookbook.
My take on Mum’s Chicken & Mango Salad – Such a versatile salad great to use up left over steamed chicken breast (after steaming a whole chook) or poaching chicken breasts in the Thermomix. You can use any nuts you like either cashews, macadamia or pistachios. Finely chopped celery for the crunch & fresh element, 1 mango sliced, sliced spring onions. Avocado is delicious in it too. I used cucumber because I had some in the fridge & added fresh parsley & mint leaves. Mum dressed it with 1/2 homemade mayo & half natural yoghurt 1 tsp of curry powder & 1 tabs of tomato relish. I used a honey & seeded mustard vinaigrette to dress it, my sister likes to use an Asian style dressing with soy sauce, fresh ginger & garlic.
I love to make Teressa Cutter’s Massaged Kale Salad in the Thermomix – I stir it on reversed instead of massaging it by hand & then I love to add some Thermomix shredded chicken YUM!!
Warm Sweet Potato Salad or use pink eye potatoes instead either with homemade mayo or serve warm with Thermie made Bearnaise sauce with or without crispy bacon!! Of course you can put it in the fridge & serve it cold too 🙂 (Yes you may have noticed there is a sneaky Brussel Sprout in this one so feel free to add any of you other favourite veggies that are in season I steamed the brussel sprout with the sweet potato.)
I love greek salad but serving it with steamed lamb meatballs really makes it into a special delicious meal that is so easy to prepare 🙂
Nico Moretti’s roasted Cauliflower Salad. You will find the recipe in his Delicious Journeys Cookbook – actually it’s on the front cover too!
The classic beetroot salad from your basic cookbook you can jazz up if you want, serve with feta, pistachios, pomegranate seeds, chickpeas or even tuna. Use any fresh herbs you like.
INSPIRING IDEAS: Try serving with fish, chicken or quail. Add some chopped fresh beetroot for even more colour & flavour. (Place beetroot halves into the TM bowl & chop for 3 secs speed 5.5) To remove the pomegranate seeds from the fruit using your Thermomix, simply place two pomegranate quarters into mixing bowl and remove arils 1 sec/speed 4. Discard the skin and pith and set pomegranate seeds aside in serving bowl. Repeat until all pomegranate quarters are used. Set all arils aside in serving bowl.
1 cauliflower head, outer leaves removed
100 g shelled and unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
20 g fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, washed and well dried
20g fresh coriander, leaves and stems, washed and well dried
80g extra virgin olive oil
40g freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp ground allspice
2 pinches salt
2 pinches freshly ground black pepper Additional ingredients to serve:
1 pomegranates, seeds only
pomegranate molasses, to drizzle Sumac, to sprinkle
Fresh coriander, leaves only, roughly chopped to garnish
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped Mint leaves optional
To prepare the cauliflower, first trim the stalks from the core and discard the core.
Cut the very top of the florets off the stalks and set florets aside in a bowl.
Place stalks into mixing bowl and chop 10 sec/speed 7. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula and chop a further 10 sec/speed 7. Set aside in a large salad bowl.
Place half of the reserved cauliflower florets into mixing bowl and chop 2 sec/speed 5, or until slightly courser than the stalks. Set aside in the salad bowl.
Place remaining cauliflower florets and pistachios into mixing bowl and chop 2 sec/speed 5. Set aside in the salad bowl.
Place parsley and coriander into mixing bowl and chop 2 sec/speed 6.
Set aside in the salad bowl.
Place all dressing ingredients into mixing bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 5 and pour over salad
Top with pomegranate seeds then drizzle with pomegranate molasses, sprinkle with sumac, coriander and parsley and lightly toss before serving.