How did you go with your chocolate consumption over the weekend? I didn't over indulge in the chocolate department but I may have had my fair share of homemade hot cross buns. They were just too irresistible for me.
If you're anything like me and need to get back on the healthy eating wagon after a weekend fuelled by junk food and chocolate a healthy but simple salad generally is the best way to start things off.
This simple salad is made up of a number of seasonal ingredients that I had on hand at the time of preparation. I didn’t go out and buy anything special to prepare it. That being said if you want to make this salad and you are missing an ingredient don’t despair. Simply replace it with something else you have in your pantry. Replacing the pear with an apple, or maybe pecans or almonds instead of walnuts, salmon instead of tuna or chickpeas instead of lentils. You get the gist of where I am going with this. Just make do with what you have in your cupboard but if you so desire to make it to the exact recipe go out and get the ingredients that you need.
I don’t love autumn as much as spring in regards to the seasonal produce that it brings. However I cannot deny my love for fresh figs and I am glad they are in season at the moment. I also picked up these beautiful “sensational” pears at our local stall at the markets we attend every weekend. Both types of roasted beetroot (golden and red) were picked from our vegetable patch that morning and roasted to sweet perfection. I generally roast a big batch of beetroot up and keep in the fridge to toss through salads for lunch and dinner. I also pickle the beetroot for safe keeping in the long term. I also make up a big batch of lentils every week or so and keep them in a container in the fridge. They make a great salad filler when your stuck for something to bulk up your salad a bit. I recommend adding a pinch of bicarb soda to the cooking water when cooking these to help reduce the unwanted gas-eous effects they give! :-)
A good, satisfying, exciting salad is bursting full of many textures, colours and flavours and that is what my kind of salad is about. I cannot stand a boring salad of wilting lettuce, hard, bland tomatoes and cucumber. When I eat a salad I want to get something back from it. A sense of fulfilment and excitement wondering what the next mouthful will taste like. A good salad has to been full of different contrasting colours such as the heirloom yellow & red roasted beetroot and the creamy, green avocado playing off against the golden red tones of the fresh fig and the gorgeous red skin of the pear. You may not consciously notice these things but when dressed and put together it looks thoroughly pleasing to eye and appealing to the stomach.
Then texture comes into play adding avocado's brings creaminess, a handful of nuts adds crunch, a spoonful of puy lentils adds some good fibre and toothiness and a lovely garlic tahini dressing drizzled over the whole thing combines it together and brings the finishing flourish to the dish. This salad is bursting full of goodness, fibre and protein. It’s really simple to make and you will feel a thousand times better after eating it knowing you have started your journey back onto the road of healthy eating... until you are faced with another chocolate egg or hot cross bun. Hmmm.
The tahini dressing that I used in this recipe is great on any type of salad. I keep a bottle of it made up in my fridge and drizzle a little bit on top of my lunch time salads. Is is delicious and creamy with a bit of a kick from the apple cider vinegar and is finished off nicely with a bit of tang from the mustard's. For those who have not dabbled with tahini before it is paste made from grinding up sesame seeds. It is used a lot in Mediterranean cuisine as the basis for dips (hummous) or dressing and can be used on its own to drizzle over food.
A Simple Autumn Salad
Prep Time: 20min
Cook Time: 5 min
Keywords: salad main dairy free fall
Ingredients (serves 1 -2)
- 1 x 90g tin tuna, in springwater, drained
- 2 cups , diced, roasted beetroot
- 1 x pear, cored and sliced into thin wedges
- 1 x avocado, flesh cut into fine slices
- 1/3 cup walnuts, lightly roasted
- 1/3 cup cooked puy lentils (or tinned)
- 2 x fresh figs, cut into wedges
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce/or rocket
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 x clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon seeded mustard
- 1 teaspoon rice malt syrup (maple or honey)
In a large bowl place all the salad ingredients leaving aside the beetroot.
In a large jar or blender place all the dressing ingredients and shake/blend to combine. Place into a container to store and pour over salad later.
Toss the salad ingredients lightly together and serve on a plate. Sprinkle over the beetroot to avoid staining the rest of the salad.
Lightly drizzle over the tahini dressing and sprinkle with a few extra walnuts and a scattering of fresh coriander.
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Happy salad eating .......