Italian Coleslaw

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Just wonderful; creamy thanks to the parmesan; hot thanks to the chilli oil.

Italian Coleslaw

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a really sophisticated little number I pulled from Gourmet Traveller.

It speaks of the thinly sliced, super-fresh vegetables and herbs you throw in and with the parmesan, chilli oil and some seasoning, wow.

We had it with a glazed pork chop and some braised beans it was wonderful; it is hot, fresh, soaked up the rest of the plate and stood its own as a side. The next lunch served with a rare BBQed eye fillet and some hand-cut chips, it got even better.

Slaw is always good and this is a wonderful version of it.

Ingredients

180gm peas (de-thawed peas are fine or if using podded peas, start with 500gm )
¼ white cabbage, thinly sliced
Fennel bulb, thinly sliced
½ Spanish Onion, thinly sliced
3 radishes, thinly sliced
½ cup each (loosely packed) basil, mint and flat-leaf parsley, coarsely torn
¼ cup (firmly packed) watercress sprigs
1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed
40gm parmesan, finely grated
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp chilli oil
2 tbsp lemon juice

Method

  1. If using podded peas, blanch peas in boiling salted water until tender (1 – 2 minutes), fresh and drain. If using frozen, de-thaw completely.
  2. Combine in a large bowl with cabbage, fennel, onion, radish, herbs, watercress, capers and parmesan and toss to combine.
  3. Just before serving, add oils and juice, season to taste and toss lightly to combine.

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

Serves: 4 – 6

I’ve said it before, though nobody can not like potato salad. Right?

And this quite simple, German Potato Salad is no different. No frills, sure, though simple is its key and ‘potato salad’ is its clincher.

With some grilled pork chops and a glass of chilled red, seriously?

You don’t need much more complex than this.

Ingredients

3 cups, peeled, diced potatoes
4 slices bacon
1 small red onion, diced
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
⅛ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chives

Method

  1. Boil the potatoes until they are tender and easily pierced with a fork. Drain and allow to cool.
  2. In a pan over a medium heat, cool the bacon until browned and crisp, turning as needed. Remove from the heat, allow to cool a little and crumble.
  3. Add the onion to the pan that had the bacon and cook over medium heat until browned. Add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper to the pan. Bring to the boil and then add the potatoes and parsley.
  4. Add the crumbled bacon and serve either warm or cold.

(Simple) Greek Chicken Gyros

(Simple) Greek Chicken Gyros

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a great lunch, so simple, fresh and healthy.

Marinate the chicken overnight and heat up the grill; a glass of cold white and a bowl of the salad on the side. By the pool, the boys loved it; everyone loved it.

A totally no-complaints lunch.

In fact, whatever the opposite of no-complaints is.

Ingredients

1 kg chicken breast fillets cut into strips
(Toasted) pita bread

Marinade

3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp low fat Greek yoghurt
1 ½ tbsp dried oregano

Tzatziki

2 Lebanese cucumbers
2 cups low fat Greek yoghurt
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salad

3 tomatoes diced
3 Lebanese cucumbers, diced
½ red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves roughly chopped

Method

  1. Mix the marinade in a bowl, combine with the chicken in a ziplock bag and marinate for 2 – 24 hours.
  2. Heat your grill/BBQ over a high heat, thread the chicken on skewers, drizzle with a little oil and grill-until cooked.
    Toast the pita bread on the grill, basted with some oil.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the tzatziki ingredients in a bowl and the salad ingredients in another bowl.
  4. To serve, place chicken and salad in the center of the pita bread, top with the tzatziki and roll up tightly.

Warmed Red Cabbage Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Goats Cheese

Warmed Red Cabbage Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Goats Cheese

Serves: 6

This is a really great salad.

Really, really great.

The melting goat cheese, the toasted walnuts, the apple, the balsamic vinegar. It’s warm, crunchy, rich and sweet.

This is a real treat.

Serve with lamb koftas, beef or chicken kebabs, BBQed pork tenderloin.

Ingredients

1 small head, red cabbage, cored and sliced into strips
1 small apple, cored and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 – 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
200gm goats cheese
½ cup walnuts, toasted
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. In a frypan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the garlic and cook until fragrant though not browned. Add the onion and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and cook for a minute.
  2. Add cabbage and stir well; cook for 5 minutes or so until slightly wilted and softened though still bright coloured.
  3. Add apple, walnuts, season and stir well. Add the goats cheese and stir to gently incorporate. Taste for seasoning and add additional balsamic vinegar if it needs some acidity.
  4. Serve immediately.

Bulgar with Pomegranate Salad

Bulgar with Pomegranate Salad

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a recipe I pulled from the Weekend Australian Magazine by David Herbert and it is really quite good. I’ve been more hit than miss with his stuff in the past, though as far as a clean, healthy, spring salad goes, this is a winner.

If you haven’t cooked with bulgar, it is worth the effort to find it in your local organics shop.

It is less abrasive than quinoa, healthy, packed full of protein and fibre, and filling. Add the fresh herbs and vegetables and you have a salad that looks great, tastes great and is easy to prepare.

Try it with steak or lamb and you’ll be pleased you did.

Ingredients

150gm bulgar
¾ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup roughly chopped fresh mint
200gm cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
Seeds 1 pomegranate
3 spring onions, chopped
Juice, 1 lemon
2 – 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Place bulgar in a bowl and cover with 500ml boiling water. Soak for 30 minutes and then drain well, removing all excess water.
  2. Combine cooled bulgar, parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, pomegranate, spring onions and lemon juice in a large bowl. Season well with the salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour over olive oil and toss well.

Quinoa, Broccolini and Asparagus Salad

Serves: 4 as a side

An unusual salad to write up on the coldest day in Sydney this year, though the house is warm and for a healthy Monday evening, there isn’t much not to love.

Let’s start with healthy: 217 calories a serve.

Taste? Fresh, clean, green and wholesome.

Ease? Way up there.

The quinoa is a bit of a star adding weight and nourishment, though it all pulls together and makes you feel like you are eating your way through a green garden.

And with plenty left for tomorrow‘s lunch – with the smoky barbequed salmon we also cooked tonight, flaked on top – as long as the office is warm, this is an awesome, filling meal the next day.

From Tobie and Georgia Puttock’s book, The Chef gets Healthy.

Ingredients

2 heaped tbps low fat plain Greek-style yoghurt
Sea salt and cracked pepper
2 small handfuls of mint leaves
2 pinches ground cumin
¾ cup (150gm) quinoa
1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed and cut into 3cm lengths
1 bunch asparagus, end trimmed and cut into 3cm lengths
1 bulb baby fennel
1 tbsp salted baby capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 small handful of dill, chopped
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Method

  1. Place the yoghurt in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Finely chop half the mint leaves and mix into the yoghurt. Sprinkle with a pinch of cumin, cover and place in the fridge until needed.
  2. Toast the quinoa in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, stirring continuously for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups (500ml) water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and hold at a simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes to allow the quinoa to absorb any remaining liquid. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and place in the fridge covered for about 10 minutes to cool.
  3. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch the broccolini and asparagus for 1 minute; drain and refresh under cold water. Set aside.
  4. Remove the stalks from the fennel bulb. Reserve the fronds and discard the stalks. Cut the fennel in half lengthways, then slice into thin strips. Place in a bowl of ice water to keep fresh and crisp.
  5. Remove the cooled quinoa from the fridge. Add the broccolini, asparagus, fennel, capers, dill, lemon zest and juice, remaining mint leaves and a pinch of cumin, reserved fennel fronds and a good drizzle of olive oil. Mix carefully by hand and season.
  6. Serve with a dollop of the yoghurt mixture on top.

Adam Liaw’s Walnut and Watercress Salad

Serves: 4

This is a really wonderful salad. So good in fact, that Nat wants to bottle the dressing for friends.

The nuttiness of the walnut with the freshness of the watercress and mint is special.

Even the boys hoovered it up.

Sophisticated, clean, healthy and fresh.

A must do.

Ingredients

½ cup peeled walnuts*
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 anchovy fillets (or ½ tsp salt)
1 bunch watercress, picked and washed
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves

Method

  1. Place half the walnuts in a small food processor with the vinegar, olive oil, honey, mustard and anchovies (or salt), and process to a smooth dressing.
  2. Toss the watercress, mint leaves and remaining walnuts in the dressing.

* Toast the walnuts – either in the oven or in a pan – until darkened and the skins are starting to flake. In a kitchen towel, rub the nuts together until the skins separate and then in a colander, shake to separate the skins from the nuts.

Pea, Snowpea, Almond and Feta Salad

Serves: 4

What a great salad!

190 calories a serve, really colourful and bursting with flavour.

This is a real win.

From Toby and Georgia Puttock’s book The Chef gets Healthy, this is a great salad. I mean, who doesn’t love peas – and snowpeas – and with the toasted almonds and some feta?!

Try it and you’ll understand why!

(Slightly adapted to our steam/microwave lives.)

Ingredients

150gm snowpeas, ends trimmed
150gm frozen (baby) peas
½ red onion, thinly sliced
50gm reduced fat feta
30gm flaked almonds, toasted
Handful of basil leaves, roughly torn
1 ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Handful of rocket or watercress

Method

  1. Blanch – steam, boil, microwave –the snowpeas and peas until bright green and tender crisp; drain and refresh with cold water. Drain again.
  2. Put the snowpeas, peas, onion, feta, almonds, basil, olive oil and vinegar in a large bowl and toss to combine, Season and carefully toss through the rocket or watercress.
  3. Enjoy.

Glazed Salmon with a Cucumber Sesame Salad

Serves: 4

My fourth Bill Granger dish from his book, Everyday Asian.

And with a ‘great’ recipe strike-rate of three out of four and an easiness factor of ten out of ten, Bill Granger is officially no longer the suspect cook I had him for prior to cooking from this book. Going forward, i’ll trust him at his word and cook his recipes without worrying.

Donna Hay on the other hand…

Anyway, this is another really healthy, really tasty weekday number. The salad is really fun and served with some rice and a glass of white, this is a great couch/dinner/TV dish.

Ingredients

4 tbsp mirin
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 salmon fillets, skin off

Cucumber Sesame Salad

1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Lebanese cucumbers

Method

Salmon

  1. Combine the mirin, soy sauce, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Put the salmon fillets in a shallow dish, pour the mirin mixture over and set aside in the fridge for 15 minutes or more.
  2. Heat a pan on high heat and cook the salmon until nice coloured and pink inside.
  3. Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small pan and heat over a high-heat for 4 minutes until it has reduced to a glaze. Pour over the cooked salmon and serve with the salad.

Salad

  1. Whisk together the mirin, vinegar and sesame oil.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler or mandoline to peel long ribbons from the cucumber.
  3. Toss the cucumber ribbons with the dressing.

Marinated Korean-style barbequed beef with miso slaw

Serves: 6

Another fabulous Bill Granger recipe and so easy. And healthy!

Another weeknight dinner locked in.

It is from his book Everyday Asian and thus far, not only are the dishes simple enough to be done every day, you’ll want them every day.

A few hours of marinating and the steak is so tender and ready for that sort of hot grill BBQing that makes this sort of marinade sing. Luscious.

The slaw is great too – really great – and pairs well with the steak.

It isn’t Rockpool (RIP 2016) though it is easily achievable, fun to make and nobody will complain.

Because if they do…

According to Bill, the kiwifruit is to help tenderise the meat. I guess so: I think it is a bit of a wank though you enjoy cooking and it is a bit out of the ordinary right? Plus people will know you’re a Masterchef inserting such unusual ingredients!

Ingredients

Beef

½ ripe kiwifruit, peeled and mashed
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
3 steaks, 2.5cm thick (about 800gm) (We used scotch, though maybe rump?)
Chinese chilli relish (we used hot sauce)

Miso slaw

200gm white cabbage, shredded
200gm red cabbage, shredded
4 celery sticks, cut into batons
1 red onion, thinly sliced
(Or of course, being the middle of the week, use a bag of raw slaw mix from the supermarket)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp white miso paste

Method

Beef

  1. Put the kiwifruit, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, sugar and vinegar in a small bowl and combine. Place the mixture with the steaks in a ziplock bag and massage the marinade into the steaks. Set aside and marinate in the fridge for 3 hours or more.
  2. Heat the grill to high. Shake the marinade off the steaks and grill for 3 minutes each side.
  3. Rest and then slice on the diagonal.
  4. Serve with the miso slaw and Chinese chilli relish (or hot sauce).

Miso slaw

  1. Place the cabbage, celery and onion in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and miso paste and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Pour over the vegetables, stir to combine and serve with the beef.