Smoked Tofu Salad

I am feeling particularly in the mood for spring after the sunny weather and visiting the Orangerie museum in Paris which houses many of Monet’s famous waterlilies. I was very much looking forward to seeing them after my attempt to reproduce a Monet in an art class. I highly recommend this museum, it’s amazing to see the full sized works of Monet and how what doesn’t look like much detail close up really makes the scene as a whole. I do think that Monet had the right idea just painting his garden everyday though unlike Monet, I hate gardening so I think I would have to get a house next to the sea or just paint cityscapes. Smoked tofu is just the best and this salad from the Hairy Dieters Go Veggie pairs it with orange, avocado, spinach and quinoa.

Serves 4 as lunch or 2 for dinner

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 oranges
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 200g smoked tofu
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

Method

1.) Simmer the quinoa in some water until cooked. Drain and set aside.

2.) Peel the oranges and cut out the segments away from the pith.

3.) Slice the oranges up thinly and push the segments and the juice into a large mixing bowl.

4.) Add the spinach to the bowl.

5.) Slice up the spring onions and add these.

6.) Make the dressing by whisking up the mustard, olive oil, juice of 1/2 of the lemon and some salt and pepper.

7.) Peel the avocado and slice this up and add to the bowl.

8.) Add the quinoa. Pour over the dressing and mix everything up. Serve.

Bhel Puri Salad

It’s a salad but a salad with puffed rice (Rice Krispies), Poppadoms and Bombay Mix. Salad doesn’t get much better than this. You only need 50g of delicious Bombay Mix, a delicious Indian snack with dried noodles and peas, peanuts and spices but unfortunately I could only find it in a big 500g bag and it’s ridiculously moreish and unhealthy. The recipe was in Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’ and went down pretty well in my household.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cm ginger
  • 2 tsp tamarind chutney
  • oil
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 lemon
  • 50g peanuts
  • 100g rice krispies
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 10 radishes
  • 1 chilli
  • 15g mint
  • 15g coriander
  • 2 poppadoms
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 50g Bombay Mix

Method

1.) Peel and grate the ginger. add the chutney and 1 tbsp oil. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon and mix. Tip this into a salad bowl.

2.) Toast the peanuts and rice in a frying pan until lightly golden then set aside.

3.) Peel and dice the onion. Chop up the cucumber (I get rid of the seeds as they’re very watery). Quarter the tomatoes and slice up the radishes. Finely chop the chillis and the herbs. Add the vegetables with the salad dressing.

4.) Chop the pomegranate in half and bash out the seeds into the bowl.

5.) Add the garam masala and bombay mix and stir everything together.

6.) Crush up the poppadoms and sprinkle over the top before dishing up.

Thai Salad

writing up this recipe is making me hungry as I’m going for Thai food tonight before a Monet painting class. The recipe was actually Green Papaya Salad in Gordan Ramsey’s ‘Ultimate Cookery Course’ but I couldn’t get papaya so I subbed it out with some mango and cantaloupe melon which worked pretty well. I served the salad with some pan fried sea bass and had a tasty cantaloupe breakfast the day after,

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 chillis
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 mango
  • 1/3 cantaloupe melon
  • 1 shallot
  • 10g coriander leaves
  • 10g basil leaves
  • 6 tbsp peanuts

Method

1.) Make a paste with the garlic, chilli, sugar, tamarind, fish sauce and lime.

2.) Chop the mango and melon into sticks and add to a large bowl with the dressing. Peel and finely chop the shallot and peel and add this too.

3.) Crush the peanuts and toast in a pan for a couple of minutes.

4.) Chop up the basil and coriander leaves. Add the nuts and herbs to the salad and give everything a mix.

Double Corn Salad

I was only going to post on the blog until half time was over but as ever, my team are making it a painful experience. Cristiano Ronaldo is the only redeeming feature these days. It’s even dimmed my love of football somewhat though I’m still considering taking a week off work in November to watch some of the World Cup. I have to say I was a little bit sceptical when I saw this recipe for a salad containing popcorn in Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’ but he’s been right about everything else in that book and I was very pleasantly surprised. The dressing is also really good. I love a tangy dressing. Only thing is I don’t know if it’s just my English mustard or English mustard in general but its very hot and probably 1 tsp of that stuff is enough. The recipe also makes a lot of dressing so you could make some and have it with a lunch salad all week. You can also serve with some toasted ciabatta croutons.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 50g popping corn (ok Jamie pops his own from kernels which is definitely the cost-effective way but I was lazy so I got the microwave stuff)
  • 2 corn on the cobs
  • 1 iceberg lettuce
  • 4 spring onions
  • 30g mature cheddar
  • 30g blue cheese
  • 6 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp English mustard (or 1 if it’s very hot)
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 10g coriander leaves

Method

1.) Put your popcorn in the microwave or heat in a pan with 1 tbsp oil and a lid until popped.

2.) Cook the corn on the cobs in the pan, turning over with a fork when the side a little charred.

3.) Set the corn to one side. Chop up the lettuce and add to a mixing bowl. Finely chop the spring onions and the coriander leaves and add to the bowl.

4.) Make the dressing by adding the cheeses, yoghurt, garlic, mustard and white wine vinegar into a blender. Blitz until smooth.

5.) Cut the corn from the corn in the cob. Hold in place with a fork if the corn is still hot. Add the corn to the salad bowl.

6.) Mix everything in the salad and divide between the plates. Drizzle over the dressing. Sprinkle over some popcorn. Serve.

Thai Papaya & Carrot Salad

Here’s another of Gordon Ramsey’s recipes from ‘Gordon Ramsey’s Ultimate Cookery Course’. I was recently watching Kitchen Nightmares and there’s now a version where it’s basically the same concept: Gordon Ramsey goes to a failing restaurant and shouts at a lot of people and it gets better, except that this time he only has one day to improve it. The show is the same length as the normal one so as a viewer I don’t really see the point of the change. Maybe Gordon just wanted to spend less time at work, I think we can all sympathise with that.

This salad flavour wise is really great but there was a bit too much sauce and next time, I would just mix it in with some rice noodles then I think it would be perfect. Also, it’s more like a starter portion as it is, I think the rice noodles would bulk it out to a light dinner.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 chillies
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 large green papayas
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 carrots
  • 15g coriander
  • 15g Thai basil (or just normal basil)
  • 6 tbsp chopped peanuts

Method

1.) Peel and grate the carrot and shallots. Add them to a large mixing bowl.

2.) Peel the papayas and cut out the seeds. Chop into small chunk and add with the carrots.

3.) Finely chop the herbs and add to the salad.

4.) In a measuring jug, add the sugar, tamarind paste and fish sauce.

5.) Peel and finely chop the garlic and finely slice the chillies. Add them to the measuring jug and give everything a whisk with a fork.

6.) Crush the peanuts and throw in the salad bowl. Pour in the dressing and mix everything. Serve.

Sprout Salad with Roasted Celeriac

I did make this meal just after Christmas where brussels sprouts were still all the rage in the supermarket but I hadn’t got round to posting it. I love sprouts and they’re great in a salad because they don’t go soggy the day after like lettuce. The salad didn’t quite feel like enough on its own despite the richness of the poached egg and manchego cheese deliciousness. I’ve seen whole roasted celeriac around for a while on social media platforms but I’d always been put off making it just because the cooking time is 3 hours. In actuality, it’s a case of bunging it in the oven and really the only problem is making sure you make it on a day you’re in the house and remembering to plan ahead. It’s a nice healthy accompaniment to the salad and also would work pretty well as a jacket potato substitute. Both parts of the recipe come from the ‘Nopi’ cookbook by Yotem Ottolenghi.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large celeriac
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 punnet shitake mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 8 eggs
  • 250g brussels sprouts
  • 20g parsley
  • 60g manchego
  • salt and pepper

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and prepare a roasting tray.

2.) Wash the celeriac and scrub off the hairs.

3.) Rub all over with the olive oil and 2 tsp salt.

4.) Roast in the oven for 3 hours.

5.) About 30 minutes before the celeriac is ready, boil some water, pour in a pan, place in the eggs and cook for 7 minutes. Prepare a mixing bowl with some ice and water. Once the eggs are done, transfer the eggs to the bowl until they’re cool enough to handle.

6.) In the meantime, prepare another baking tray, slice up the mushrooms, spread out on the tray and stick in the oven for 20 minutes.

7.) chop off the bottom of the sprouts, peel off the outer leaves and discard. Finely slice the sprouts and add to a mixing bowl.

8.) Finely chop the parsley and add to the sprouts. Shave the manchego into thin slices with a cheese slice and add to the bowl.

8.) Make the dressing, in a measuring jug, add 60ml olive oil, the juice of half the lemon, the red wine vinegar, the syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper.

9.) Peel and chop the eggs in half.

10.) Take the celeriac and mushrooms out the oven.

11.) Mix the dressing with the sprouts mixture and divide among 4 plates. Divide the mushrooms among the plates and the eggs .

12.) Slice up the celeriac and place on the side.