Chicken, Blueberry and Avocado Salad (4)

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A lovely light salad – good for lunch – served on a bed of arugula with a lemon dressing. If you want to cheat you can buy a pre-cooked chicken.

1 chicken breast – poached or equivalent amount of pre-cooked chicken

Arugula – enough to use as a bed to put the chicken

Juice of 1 lemon and 2 tbsp.  olive oil – if poaching

1 avocado – diced

4 oz. blueberries

If poaching chicken, place chicken on a piece of aluminum foil and pour over juice of 1 lemon and the oil. Wrap chicken into a parcel and place in over at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or so until chicken is cooked through.

Line a serving dish with arugula.

Cut chicken breast into small pieces and arrange on  bed of arugula.

Scatter avocado over chicken pieces, then sprinkle with blueberries.

Toss with lemon dressing or serve dressing on the side.

Lemon Dressing

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp. olive oil

Whisk together the mustard and lemon juice until smooth then add the oil and continue whisking until amalgamated or shake mixture in a small screw top jar.

 

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Roasted Beetroot with Pickled Red Onions Sprinkled with Halloumi and Feta Cheese (4 as an appetizer)

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Have you noticed pickled red onions cropping up as a condiment these days? They are so easy to make and add a tangy crunch to a dish. Because I used apple cider vinegar there was no need for any sugar in this recipe. You will have more than enough pickled onions than needed for this dish and they can be used for other purposes. They go well with the other ingredients in this dish – diced beetroot and the diced cheeses (I can tolerate halloumi and feta cheese as they aren’t derived from cow’s milk).

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

PICKLED ONIONS

Boiling water

1 largish red onion – halved and cut into fine slices then separate the pieces

3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

Boil the water while chopping the onion then place onion pieces in a pan, pour over boiling water until pieces are covered, leave to stand for 3 minutes and drain.

Pour the apple cider vinegar into a bowl and add the salt.

Tip onions into this bowl and stir.

Leave to stand for a couple of hours before serving, stirring occasionally.

BEETROOT

3 medium beetroot

Place beetroot in a dish and roast in the oven for about an hour and a half until tender to the touch.

Let cook, then chop into cubes.

CHEESES

1 good ounce each of Halloumi and Feta cheese

Cut cheeses into small cubes

ASSEMBLY

Top beetroot with the cheeses and surround beetroot with pickled onions

 

 

 

 

Tuna and Cannellini Bean Salad with Red Onion and Caper Garnish (4)

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One of my favorite salads – very simple, very tasty. I use the tuna that comes in a jar with oil or water as it has a better flavor than regular canned tuna (and fresh grilled tuna would be the ultimate). The basic recipe is tuna, cannellini beans, and red onion slices nestled on a bed of shredded lettuce garnished with capers and served with an apple cider vinaigrette.

Romaine lettuce – shredded

1 x 7 oz jar of tuna – drained and broken into small pieces

1 x 15 oz can of cannellini beans – rinse and drained

Several slices of red onion – depending on how much you like it

2 tsp capers for garnishing (optional)

Place the lettuce on a platter and put the beans and tuna on top, sprinkle with red onion and top with olives. Toss with dressing or let people serve themselves.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix mustard and vinegar until they make a smooth liquid.

Add the oil and season with salt and pepper and whisk together (for the best results place in an old jar with a lid and give the ingredients a good shake – this will emulsify the dressing).

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Herby Bean Salad (4)

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Beans, particularly cannellini, beans, are a staple in my kitchen cupboard. They are so versatile, can be served in both cold and hot dishes, are filling and are also good for you. This recipe is just a simple cold dish and uses a great blend of fresh herbs – mint, parsley and cilantro – and a little red onion. It is best left for half an hour or so before serving to let the flavors develop.

1 can of cannellini beans – rinsed and drained

1 heaped tbsp. red onion – finely chopped

1 heaped tbsp. each of fresh parsley, cilantro, mint – finely chopped

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl place beans, red onion and herbs and mix together.

Then add the vinegar, oil and seasoning and mix again.

Leave to stand for some 30 minutes before serving.

 

 

Tomato-Based Salad (4)

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This is a no-lettuce salad and is literally a selection of green vegetables mixed with some cold, cooked chicken heaped on a base of slices of a ripe, beefsteak tomato.  If you buy a pre-cooked chicken this dish takes no time at all and if you omit the chicken you have a vegetarian/vegan meal. Very easy to transport either as a lunch or to assemble for a picnic.

1 large, ripe beefsteak tomato

4 oz. frozen peas

4 oz. edamame beans

4 oz. asparagus (take the tips and an equal amount of the asparagus stem)

1 cooked chicken breast

Cut the tomato into 4 slices and place on a serving dish.

Place peas, edamame beans and asparagus in a pan and pour over boiling water. Bring to boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain veg. and place in a bowl of iced water to prevent further cooking.

Cut cooked chicken breast into small pieces.

Place veg. and chicken in a mixing bowl. Pour apple cider vinaigrette (see below) over and mix well together.

Place a good serving of veg/chicken mixture on each slice of tomato

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

Whisk mustard and apple cider vinegar together until smooth.

Whisk in the olive oil until mixture is emulsified

 

 

 

Crab Salad (4)

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A perfect summer salad – lump crabmeat

with avocado, celery and romaine lettuce tossed in  mayonnaise diluted with freshly squeezed lemon juice and sprinkled with cayenne pepper.

1 head of romaine lettuce – finely chopped

1 avocado – diced

2 sticks of celery – diced

8 oz lump crabmeat

2 tbsp. mayonniase

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 pinches of cayenne pepper

Place lettuce, avocado, celery and crabmeat in a large bowl.

Whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper together, then pour over the salad ingredients and toss well.

Sprinkle cayenne pepper over the top.

 

Bean, Avocado and Radish Salad (4)

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I love this so much I have eaten it for lunch 3 days in a row! It is simple and quick to make and quite substantial. I toss it in an apple cider vinaigrette and sprinkle microgreens over the top.

1 X 15 oz can of cannellini beans

1 avocado – diced

1 largish red radish

1 tbsp. red onion – finely chopped (or more, if you like)

Small handful of microgreens

Place first four ingredients in a bowl, toss with apple cider vinaigrette (1 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar – dissolve mustard in the vinegar – and 3 tbsp. olive oil).

Sprinkle microgreens over the top.