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

 

 

 

Greens and New Potatoes (4)

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Why serve one or two vegetables when you can a whole lot of veg. that complement each other nicely –  green vegetables with potatoes added into the mix and raw chopped shallot to add a bit of a bite with lemon butter mixed in. When I say butter I don’t mean the real thing as it contains lactose but there is a good vegan alternative – Earth Balance brand – which I have recently discovered. It is best to cook all the vegetables until just ‘al dente’. This dish goes equally well with meat or fish and would also be a good vegetarian/vegan meal.

8 oz. new potatoes – halved or quartered depending on size of potatoes

8 oz. thin asparagus – cut into 2″ pieces

8 oz. broccoli florets

8 oz. frozen edamame beans

8 oz. peas – fresh if possible, otherwise frozen

1 shallot – finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon – Meyer variety if possible (less acidic)

1 good tbsp. butter alternative

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook all vegetables individually in the order given, draining each one and placing in a warmed serving dish, then cooking the next vegetable in the retained water, etc, etc. until all the veg. are cooked.

Add the chopped shallot.

Pour over the lemon/butter alternative and mix well until butter alternative is melted.

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.

Tuna, Edamame and Avocado Salad (serves 4)

Tuna, Edamame and Avocado Salad (serves 4)

Inspiration came from opening freezer and finding edamame beans/broad beans staring me in the face. I got busy thinking what I could do with said edamame beans. Result, this recipe to which I added tomatoes and scallions/spring onions and a proper French vinaigrette taught to me when I was an au pair in France (1 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 good teasp. Dijon Mustard, salt and freshly ground black pepper). Mix vinegar and mustard together until runny, add oil and shake in a jar (I keep an old Dijon mustard jar or Bonne Maman jam jar for this purpose).

1 x 6.7oz jar of tuna in olive oil or 1 can of tuna

5oz cooked edamame beans

8 cherry tomatoes – halved of quartered

1 avocado – diced

1 bunch of scallions – finely chopped

Mix all together in a serving dish and pour over vinaigrette

Flaked Salmon Salad on a Bed of Watercress (serves 4)

Flaked Salmon Salad on a Bed of Watercress (serves 4)

Cold salmon embodies summer (think whole poached salmon with cucumber slices down the middle – a memory from childhood celebrations). Peas – fresh from the pod – are a summer treat if you can get them. Also in the salad are shelled edamame, but if you have baby broad beans you could substitute those. Then there is some English cucumber and some finely chopped scallions. Served on a bed of super healthy watercress and tossed in a lemon vinaigrette (special ingredient to vinaigrette is juice from cooked salmon).Add some new potatoes or else quantities are for a ladies’ lunch. Vegan or vegetarian if you omit salmon.

2 oz watercress – torn into little pieces

1 x good size piece of salmon

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/8 cup of water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place salmon on a piece of tin foil big enough to wrap around salmon.

Pour over lemon juice and water and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Cook in oven for 20 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and then let cool.

Retain juice.

Place 1/2 cup peas and 1/2 cup edamame beans in pan with boiling water and cook for 3 minutes or so, then drain.

1 bunch scallions/spring onions – finely chopped

1/2 English cucumber (English because no seeds) – chopped into small chunks

1/2 lemon juice freshly squeezed

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Poach salmon in aluminum foil in an oven proof dish with the lemon juice, water and seasoning – make a kind of parcel.

Cook for 20 minutes or so in oven until salmon is cooked. Then let cool.

At same time cook peas and edamame beans/baby broad beans in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse.

Place torn up watercress in bottom of serving bowl and add scallions/spring onions and chopped cucumber.

Add cooled pea/edamame mixture

Add flaked salmon

Vinaigrette – juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper AND lemon/water juice from poaching the salmon (makes all the difference).

Chicken Thighs with Artichokes, Edamame Beans and Peas (serves 4)

recipe photo 18Chicken thighs are dark meat and more flavorsome than chicken breast, so good for this recipe. I used skinless, bone-in thighs. Everything goes in one pot and it takes only 30 minutes to cook. Artichokes were canned, peas and edamame beans (shelled) were frozen and I confess I used pre-sliced onions, so this recipe involves hardly any preparation. I am serving this dish with sweet potato rosti to soak up the juices.

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 x chicken thighs (skinless and bone-in)
1 large onion – chopped
2 cloves of garlic – minced
1 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
1 x 14oz can of quartered artichokes (Reese brand)
4 oz frozen peas
4 oz frozen shelled edamame beans

Heat seasoned oil in a cast iron casserole dish.
When sizzling add chicken thighs and sear until a little browned on either side, then remove to a plate.
Add onions to casserole dish and when beginning to soften add garlic.
Next, pour in the vegetable broth and stir to loosen any lovely brown bits at the bottom of the pan.
Place chicken back in the pot, then add artichokes.
Bring to a boil and then simmer for 25 minutes.
Then add peas and edamame beans and cook for a further 5 minutes.