This salad is a stunner and it’s delicious and easy to make. Everything can be made ahead of time too so it’s great for entertaining. Each ingredient in this salad works together: the toasted walnuts give a great crunch and nuttiness, the basil is bright and fragrant, the feta is salty, and the beets are sweet. I drizzled a little garlic infused olive oil to finish it off but regular will work too. It’s so good – you can’t beat this one as a light salad or start to a meal (sorry, couldn’t help myself!).
1 large golden beet
Small handful of toasted walnuts
Olive oil (I used garlic infused but regular is delicious too)
Maldon sea salt
Roast the beet in a 400F oven for an hour or until you can easily insert a knife. Allow for it to cool while you prep the other ingredients.
Toast walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat until they turn golden brown.
1 Large bunch basil (4 handfuls of leaves), washed clean and dry off excess water
1 large clove garlic
1/4 toasted pine nuts
Juice of 1/2 lemon
In a dry pan over medium heat toast pine nuts until they start to turn golden brown.
In a food processor add the basil, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice and mix it while adding the olive oil in a stream until it comes together into a paste/thick sauce consistency. Add salt/pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, back to the golden beet. Once cool – peel the outer skin and then slice using a mandolin if you have one or cut very thin with a knife. Arrange slices on a plate in a single layer slightly overlapping. Using your artistry dollop pesto to your liking then sprinkle crumbled feta, toasted walnuts, and Maldon sea salt flakes, and lastly drizzle with olive oil.
It pains me to throw away food so I do whatever I can not to let anything go to waste. This habit usually serves me well as I come up with recipes that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of on my own. Here is one such recipe. I had leftover roast chicken and leftover curry yogurt sauce from my last post featuring parsnip fries. This was a perfect base for chicken salad. I served the chicken salad in beautiful little Bibb Lettuce leaves. They were refreshing and tasty and nothing went to waste!
Yogurt curry sauce (see here for recipe)
Cooked chicken (you can use roasted, rotisserie, grilled, whatever you have on hand – cut or shred to small pieces)
1 stalk of celery, chopped
Bibb Lettuce leaves
Sliced almonds (optional)
Add chicken, yogurt sauce, and celery in a bowl and mix together. Add salt to taste. Serve in lettuce leaves and garnish with sliced almonds.
I absolutely love parsnips and had a bunch in the fridge that I normally would have added to my assorted roasted vegetables but was trying to think of something new to do with them. I am pleased to report that this experiment is well worth repeating. Who knew parsnips would work so perfectly as fries? They even look just like them too. These tasted deliciously indulgent and I already know how to use up my left over curry sauce. I’ll share that next.
Baked Parsnip Fries
Parsnips, peeled and cut into evenly sized strips (4-5 parsnips for 2 people)
A few tablespoons of olive oil
A few pinches of Sea salt
Preheat oven to 425F. Place parsnips on one layer on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt making sure they are evenly coated and not crowded together so they’ll brown nicely. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until nicely golden checking half way thru – stir with a baking spoon to allow other sides to brown.
Curry Dipping Sauce
1/2 Cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp turmeric
pinch of sea salt
pinch of cayenne (optional if you like a little heat)
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. I recommend making an hour or more ahead of time so the flavors have more time to blend together.
Steamed broccoli gets super tasty with a simple lemon tahini dressing. This makes a great side dish or you could add some roasted or grilled chicken or fish for a helping of protein.
1 head of broccoli cut into even sizes (I love the stalks too – cut into the same size as florets for even cooking)
1-2 Tbsp of tahini
1 Tbsp of water
Juice of half a lemon
Few pinches of Malton sea salt
Few pinches of red pepper flakes (optional)
Steam broccoli in whatever contraption you have until the broccoli is cooked thru but still has some bite to it.
To make the dressing – mix tahini, water, and lemon juice together and season with the salt and red pepper flakes.
Some of my favorite meals have come transforming leftovers into a completely new dish. The spiced roasted carrots and cauliflower from the last post are great in a salad, added to an omelette, or in this case blended into a creamy soup. I love my low sodium vegetable bouillon cubes and with a cup of boiling water and my immersion blender I had everything I needed to make this delicious bowl. You can control the consistency by adding as much or as little broth as you like. The spices from the vegetables were the perfect amount of seasoning but you can adjust salt and pepper if needed.
I love Bobby Flay’s restaurant Gato and this recipe is inspired by his roasted carrot dish. I simplified the method and slightly altered the ingredients but it still has that Spanish flavor from the spices and makes for an amazing side dish that would pair perfectly with a roast chicken, grilled fish, or simply on its own.
For the yogurt dressing:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tsp harissa
1 tsp olive oil
few pinches of lemon zest
few pinches of Maldon sea salt
Mix all ingredients together and allow to sit in the fridge so the flavors develop.
For the roasted spiced vegetables:
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into coins
3 parsnips peeled and chopped into coins
1/2 head of cauliflower chopped into florets
A few garlic cloves, smashed
Olive oil (a few tablespoons)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground mustard seed
1/4 tsp ground fennel seed
Few pinches Maldon sea salt
Preheat oven to 425F. Place cut veggies and garlic on a baking sheet (one large or split between 2 small – you don’t want the veggies to be crowded as they bake). Drizzle a little olive oil over the veggies – just enough so they are all lightly coated and won’t stick to the baking sheet. Then in a bowl measure out all of the spices and a few pinches of the sea salt. Throw in all of the veggies into the bowl with the spices and mix until evenly coated. Place veggies in the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until they are nicely browned and cooked through. I recommend checking on them halfway thru and mixing them around with a spoon on the baking sheet to ensure even cooking.
Serve with a dollop of harissa yogurt sauce.
This tuna salad is dressed with leftovers from my ranch dip. It makes the most delicious tuna salad that is great on it’s own, on a bed of arugula, in a sandwich, on toast…you get the idea. Try it – this is so delicious!
See recipe for the ranch dip here.
I used one can of tuna and a few spoonfuls of the ranch dip. You can control the ratio of dip/tuna depending on your preferences. Season with salt/pepper as needed.