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BBQ Beef & Peanut Salad


Ready to eat in 12 minutes, this was a creation I made using left over BBQ steak after a big family BBQ. You can also reproduce this dish using leftover roast meats.


 

Servings 2


Ingredients

2 small marinated BBQ steaks, finely sliced 

2 cups of baby spinach

4 slices of beetroot, finely chopped

1 carrot, cut into small pieces

1/4 of a red onion finely diced

1/4 cup of peanuts

Olive oil


Method 

Pour olive oil into fry pan and heat. Stir fry finely sliced BBQ steaks. Once turning golden, add peanut and stir for an additional 2 minutes.

Divide the baby spinach, chopped beetroot, carrot pieces, finely chopped onion into two bowls. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Top with half the beef strips and peanuts.

# Tip - This recipe can be made with strips of any meat, marinaded with a sweeter flavour, or satay would work well too. The recipe photographed had a BBQ marinade. 

You can also use leftover roast meat, cut into strips and marinaded for a minimum of 20 mins, although better overnight. The frying time will be slightly reduced when using leftover meat.

 

Watermelon, Olive, Mint & Feta Salad

This is a lovely salad, with refreshing mint and explosions of both salty and sweet. You can also blitz watermelon and mint together for a refreshing drink.

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Servings 2

Ingredients

2 large pieces of watermelon, cut into cubes

14 pitted kalmata olives 

4 sprigs of mint, lightly chopped

30g feta 


Method 

Divide the watermelon into 2 bowls. Add half the olives, mint and feta to each bowl and gently toss.

# Tip - This recipe also tastes great with a light swirl of balsamic glaze.

 
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Sweet Potato, Beetroot & Pomegranate Salad

A super tasty, sweet summery salad. You could easily add some nuts, chickpeas or quinoa to make this a whole meal.

 

Servings 2

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato, cut into small cubes

4 cups of rocket, or baby spinach

8 slices of beetroot, cut into small pieces

1/4 of a red onion finely diced

Seeds from 1 pomegranate

100g feta

Season with salt, pepper and chilli flake grinder

Olive oil

Method 

Simmer, or roast the sweet potato pieces until soft. Meanwhile, divide the rocket, chopped beetroot, red onion and pomegranate seeds into 4 bowls. Add the cooked sweet potato, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes grinder. Top with crumbled pieces of feta.

# Tip - Make you own salt, pepper and chilli flake grinder. Mix together 3/4 sea salt, 1/8 black peppercorns. 1/8 red chilli flakes and put into a grinder.

 

Quinoa Bruschetta

I call this quinoa bruschetta, as it is one of the ways I create a similar taste without the bread. I often use less quinoa than is pictured here and drizzle with balsamic glaze and a light sprinkle of a sharp cheddar to serve.

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Servings 4

Ingredients

1/2 cup of quinoa

1 cup water

Pinch of salt 

2 - 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

Method 

Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander. Place quinoa, water and salt in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered until the quinoa has absorbed all the water, roughly 10-15mins, reducing the heat to maintain simmer throughout this process. Remove from the heat and cover, allowing to steam for 5 mins.

Put quinoa into a bowl and add the tomato and onion, mix and season well.

# Tip - This recipe also tastes great with a light swirl of balsamic glaze and sharp cheddar, or feta.

- add fresh, or dried herbs for extra flavour eg: oregano, parsley, basil, thyme

 
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Cauliflower Salad with Chickpeas and Lemon Dressing

Zingy and zesty, this yummy salad is super tasty, requires no cooking, taking minutes to prepare and stores well in the fridge for days.

 

Servings 4

Ingredients

1 medium head of cauliflower

1 tin of chickpeas

Salt and pepper

4-5 slices of pickled jalapeño, finely diced

1 lemon

Olive oil


Method

Break the cauliflower into florets and place into a salad bowl. 

Season well with salt and pepper and toss well.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add to the cauliflower florets. 

Add the finely diced jalapeño.

Grate 1/2 the rind of a lemon over the cauliflower and chickpeas and toss well.

Prepare the dressing in a separate bowl: squeeze the juice of the lemon into a bowl and add an equal amount of olive and stir. Pour over the cauliflower and chickpea salad and toss well.

# Tip - This recipe stores well in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Recipe ideas:

  • Add a handful of chopped mint, or parsley

  • add nuts such as toasted pine nuts, walnuts, slivered almonds

  • swap the pickled jalapeño, for chilli flakes, or half a tsp of cumin

  • Swap chickpeas for lentils, or cannelloni beans

 

Watermelon, Red Onion, Mint and Feta Salad

Similar to my other watermelon salad with olives, the red onion adds a bit of heat to this refreshing dish.

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Servings 2


Ingredients

2 large pieces of watermelon, cut into cubes

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

4 sprigs of mint, lightly chopped

30g feta 


Method 

Divide the watermelon into 2 bowls. Add half the red onion, mint and feta to each bowl and gently toss.

# Tip - This recipe also tastes great with a light swirl of balsamic glaze.

 
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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This is a tasty side dish, that you could easily make into a meal by adding a boiled egg, chicken and avocado, or cheese and nuts.

 

Servings 4


Ingredients

1 cup of quinoa

2 cup water

Pinch of salt 

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 carrot, cut into thin strips

1 cucumber, chopped into small pieces

2 cups of rocket or spinach

12 pitted kalamata olives

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Method

Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander. Place quinoa, water and salt in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered until the quinoa has absorbed all the water, roughly 10-15mins, reducing the heat to maintain simmer throughout this process. Remove from the heat and cover, allowing to steam for 5 mins.

Place the quinoa, cherry tomatoes, carrot strips, cucumber, rocket and olives into a serving bowl.

In a separate container mix the olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk together, and drizzle over the quinoa mix. Gently toss until well coated.

 

Parmesan, Walnut and Mandarin Salad

I first had a salad with mandarin whilst visiting the Mornington Peninsula. Served as a bed for salt and pepper squid, I was immediately a fan and have been experimenting with my own combinations.

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Servings 2


Ingredients

2 cups of green leaves, such as spinach and rocket

1 mandarin, divided into segments

1/4 cup of walnuts

40g of shaved Parmesan cheese

Balsamic glaze


Method 

Divide the green leaves into 2 bowls. Add half the mandarin segments and walnuts. Drizzle was balsamic glaze and finely shaved parmesan.

# Tip - This salad is especially nice with seafood, such as calamari, salt and pepper squid, or flathead tails.

 
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Green Beans, Garlic, Chilli, Walnuts & Feta Salad

There are so many ways to serve veggies jazzed up with nuts and dressings. This recipe works well with other vegetables also, such as asparagus, brocolli, or snow peas.

 

Servings 4

Ingredients

500g green beans

grinder

1 tbsp olive oil

1 garlic Clove

Season with salt, pepper and chilli flake 80g walnuts

80g feta

Method

Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 1 minute.

Drain and plunge into cold water immediately. Crush the garlic clove into the olive oil.

Drain the beans and place in a serving bowl. Coat with the olive oil and garlic. Season well with salt, pepper and chilli flake grinder. Sprinkle with walnuts and feta.

# Tip - This recipe stores well in the fridge for 2-3 days.

 

Taco Salad

Whilst this salad doesn't look visually all that appealing, it tastes amazing and the smell used to drive all the staff at work crazy with envy.

I came up with this idea years ago after picking at the contents of a taco that feel apart on my plate. It's very filling, great for weight loss and easy to prepare days in advance.

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Servings 4

Ingredients

500g minced meat

1 sachet of taco seasoning (Old El Paso)

1 iceberg lettuce, washed and shredded

2 large carrots, grated

1 red onion, diced

1/2 cup of grated tasty cheese

4 tbsp of taco sauce

1 small packet of corn chips 60g 


Method 

Heat a large frypan on medium heat. Add the mince meat and brown. Add the taco seasoning and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring to mix through thoroughly. Allow to cool whilst preparing the salad bowls.

Using 4 large open salad bowls, divide the salad ingredients amongst the four bowls. Layer with iceberg lettuce, followed by carrot, red onion, cheese. Place small dollops of taco sauce over the top. 

Divide the mince mixture into four serves and scatter over the top. Finish by crumbling corn chips (approximately 5 chips per serve) over the top.

To eat, I like to put a fork deep into the salad and mix and fold all the ingredients together whilst eating.


# Tip - This salad can be made at the start of the week and stores well in separate containers.

I used to cook the mince on the weekend, freeze 2 of the portions in small containers and keep two in the fridge. Prepare all the salad ingredients and store in separate containers. Each morning layer all the ingredients in a bowl for a fresh salad daily.  


Recipe ideas:

  • the corn chips do add crunch and taste, however it is still enjoyable without if you are avoiding carbohydrate or corn.

  • for extra flavour and variety, sometimes I love to add pickled jalapeños, or capsicum

 
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Cauliflower with Cheese & Cashews

My vegetarian sister used to make a pasta dish with cheese and cashews. If you haven't tried this combination, you really should. It's divine! 

This dish is a healthier take on my love of Mac and Cheese. 

A bowl of this is super comforting and totally satisfies my cravings for pasta.

 

Servings 4-8


Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp flour, gluten free, corn, plain flour

1 1/2 cups full fat milk 

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 1/2 cups of grated cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup of cashews


Method 

Preheat oven to 180 °

Separate the cauliflower crowns from the stem and break into very small bite size florets.

Place cauliflower in a saucepan covered with water and bring to the boil. Cook for 5-6 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and reduce the heat to low, stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes, to cook out the flour taste. 

Stir in the milk, increasing to high heat, allowing it to simmer whilst whisking. Once it is thick enough to coat the spoon, turn off the heat. 

Add the Dijon mustard and continue stirring. Slowly add the cheese one handful at a time, stirring until melted, then add the salt.

Put the cauliflower into a shallow baking dish, or slice tin and pour the cheese sauce over the top. Mix until all the cauliflower is completely coated. 

Sprinkle the cashews over the top and bake for 15 -20 minutes, or until bubbly and golden and the cashews are nicely roasted.

# Tip - The servings for this dish I've listed as 4 -8 serves. You can make 8 small vegetable servings from this dish, or alternatively 4 bowls as a large snackish meal on it’s own.


Recipe ideas:

  • change the flavours by replacing the Dijon with a 1/4 tsp of chilli powder, or grate in a small onion, or add 2 crushed cloves of garlic.

  • use a variety of different cheeses to change the flavour, parmesan, cream cheese, brie

 

Herby Potato Bake

This dish is another attempt to find healthier ways to satisfy cravings for creamy, cheesy potato bake.

Super tasty, you will be surprised how creamy this dish becomes, simply using chicken stock.

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Servings 8


Ingredients

8 medium potatoes

2 rashers of bacon, diced into pieces

1 onion, diced into pieces

Mixed herbs (Italian)

Pepper

Chicken stock to cover 3/4 of the potatoes, approximately 1 cup

1/2 cup of grated tasty cheese


* Note - choose a baking pan, or glass dish that holds all your potatoes comfortably. The size doesn’t really matter, however a longer more shallow dish may reduce cooking time. I use a deep glass dish that is 24 x 20 x 8 cm


Method 

Preheat oven to 180 ° 

Lightly fry the onion and bacon to release their flavours.

Whilst the bacon and onion is cooking, slice the potatoes into thin slices, leaving the skin on.

Layer the potatoes, with a sprinkle of bacon and onion mixture, cheese and herbs, 3-4 times, finishing with potatoes. Sprinkle the top more generously with cheese to finish.

Pour chicken stock into the dish, covering about 3/4 of the potato layers. The liquid will bubble up as it cooks and slowly become absorbed into the dish.

Cook until the potatoes are soft, the liquid has completely been absorbed and the top is crisp. In my dish this takes about an hour. Check regularly if using a shallower pan. 

# Tip - If you’re in a hurry, you don’t have to fry off the bacon and onion to enhance the flavours. It still works well when added raw.

   -  stores well in the fridge for 2-3 days


Recipe ideas:

  • you can remove the bacon to make this vegetarian

  • replace bacon with garlic and use different cheeses, such as three cheese blend