Smoked Mackerel Breakfast Salad

Fast and easy to prepare, this salad will provide everything one might need for a good start of the day, including plenty of protein.

Fast and easy to prepare, this salad will provide everything one might need for a good start of the day, including plenty of protein.For years our morning meal has contained a single item… a coffee. Well, we both aren’t morning eaters and the very idea of solid foods in the earlier hours of the day just isn’t very appealing to us, normally but things can change… Lately, we have swopped sitting in the office in front of the PC for more physical work like gardening or woodworking. This change has forced us to reevaluate our eating habits. We are now much more inclined to have a proper, high protein breakfast which will keep us going till lunch or maybe dinner time, depending on how busy we are. We have started to experiment with different food combos and this salad is just a perfect result from this experiment. Who would have thought that fish and a white cheese could go so well together? I know it might sound a bit off but don’t diss it before you try it. The smoky taste from the fish rounded out by the creamy white cheese, the mildest hint of mayo zinged to the heavens when a piece of spring onion is bit a truly wondrous combo.

Ingredients:

  • 500g smoked mackerel
  • 150g soft white cheese*
  • 3 eggs
  • 2tbsp mayonnaise
  • Handful of chopped spring onions
  • Fresh cracked black pepper; to taste

*if you are in the UK you could check your local supermarkets’ Foods Of the World fridge section and see if they stock a Polish white cheese called twaróg  – it will work perfectly 🙂

Method:

Put a pan of water and 3 eggs on to boil, when done remove from the heat and allow to cool.

De-bone and flake the fish, then place it in a bowl. With a fork, mash it up a bit to reduce in size any large clumps of fish.

Add the white cheese and mash some more.

Once cooled and peeled, roughly chop the eggs and add to the bowl of fish and cheese. Sprinkle the spring onion over the top, add the mayonnaise and finally crack some black pepper and stir gently till everything is just combined.

Serve as a salad or even as a sandwich filling, it works perfectly both ways. And if you have any leftovers after breakfast time, pop it into the fridge and use as a dip for some crackers come evening time.

Enjoy!

Fast and easy to prepare, this salad will provide everything one might need for a good start of the day, including plenty of protein.

12 Delicious Winter Salads

12-delicious-winter-saladsAre you fed up with all those heavy cold-weather meals? Fancy something a little lighter after the Xmas feasting, that is still super tasty and yet easy to prepare? Well, look no further… today I want to share with you a round-up of 12 delicious winter salads, based on seasonal ingredients, which will definitely help to lighten things up.

baby-kale-and-roasted-cauliflower-salad-with-pomegranatesBaby kale and roasted cauliflower salad with pomegranates

chickpeas-pomegranate-salad-with-lime-dressingChickpeas & Pomegranate Salad with Lime Dressing

hearty-radicchio-salad-with-roasted-potatoesHearty Radicchio Salad with Roasted Potatoes

kale-and-clementine-winter-saladKale and Clementine Winter Salad

lemon-garlic-roasted-brussel-sprouts-with-zucchini-and-pomegranateLemon Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts + Zucchini + Pomegranate

roast-beetroot-salad-with-lentils-fennel-and-blood-orange-in-a-blood-orange-dressingRoast Beetroot Salad with Lentils, Fennel and Blood Orange in a Blood Orange Dressing

shaved-brussels-sprout-and-cranberry-saladShaved Brussels Sprout and Cranberry Salad

vegetarian-olivier-salad-salada-russaVegetarian Olivier salad (Salada Russa)

watermelon-radish-and-spinach-salad-with-barleyWatermelon Radish and Spinach Salad with Barley

winter-kale-beet-saladWinter Kale Beet Salad

winter-salad-with-brown-butter-dressingWinter Salad with Brown “Butter” Dressing

winter-sweet-citrus-salad-with-pomegranate-pistachiosWinter Sweet Citrus Salad with Pomegranate & Pistachios

 

I hope this small selection will get you inspired. Yes, salads are more of a summer dish but who said we can’t eat them in winter too, especially as they use proper seasonal produce?

What’s your favourite winter salad?

Are you fed up with all those heavy cold-weather meals? Fancy something a little lighter after the Xmas feasting, that is still super tasty and yet easy to prepare? Well, look no further… today I want to share with you a round-up of 12 delicious winter salads, based on seasonal ingredients, which will definitely help to lighten things up.

Chickpeas & Pomegranate Salad with Lime Dressing

Super quick and easy, this colourful and delicious summer salad will surprise you with its flavour combinations – juicy pomegranate, crunchy peppers and soft chickpeas combine with sour lime, sharp mustard and sweet honey… and this is only the beginning…

Super quick and easy, this colourful and delicious summer salad will surprise you with its flavour combinations – juicy pomegranate, crunchy peppers and soft chickpeas combine with sour lime, sharp mustard and sweet honey… and this is only the beginning…Ingredients:

For the salad

  • 6 sweet colourful baby peppers
  • 1 tin unsalted chickpeas
  • 1 tin black beans
  • 1 large pomegranate
  • Handful of fresh curly parsley

For the dressing

  • 2 limes; juiced / ~40ml lime juice
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tbsp raw runny honey

Method:

First let’s prepare the dressing.

Pop all ingredients into salad dressing shaker and mix well.

Put aside and let it “marinate” for a bit.

Super quick and easy, this colourful and delicious summer salad will surprise you with its flavour combinations – juicy pomegranate, crunchy peppers and soft chickpeas combine with sour lime, sharp mustard and sweet honey… and this is only the beginning…

Now, for the salad itself.

Open both the chickpeas and black beans and drain whatever liquid is in the tin, wash the beans well and then drain again to reduce liquids added to the salad.

Peel and deseed the pomegranate. Pop its fruits into the bowl you intend to mix the salad up in.

Wash and finely slice the baby peppers leaving them in rings.

Finely chop the handful of parsley stalks.

Finally add the drained beans.

Gently mix or toss all ingredients, add dressing to taste and enjoy!

If you are quick enough when dealing with the pomegranate this light meal shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to prepare! Lately I am finding that I am going totally mad for pomegranates but I am still searching for the perfect way to peel and de-seed them.

Just in case you are wondering, I didn’t forget about adding salt, pepper or any other spices; it’s just that they simply aren’t needed here. The ingredients and the dressing work together so perfectly that there really isn’t any need for additional flavours.

Super quick and easy, this colourful and delicious summer salad will surprise you with its flavour combinations – juicy pomegranate, crunchy peppers and soft chickpeas combine with sour lime, sharp mustard and sweet honey… and this is only the beginning…

Broccoli, Mushroom & Sesame Salad

This broccoli, mushroom and sesame salad is like a journey: crunchy broccoli meets soft and buttery mushrooms, then the nuttiness of the sesame hits you which paired with a slight tartness from the vinegar provides a perfect combo, all of this is to be finished off by a slight tingling on your tongue thanks to the chillies…

This broccoli, mushroom and sesame salad is like a journey: crunchy broccoli meets soft and buttery mushrooms, then the nuttiness of the sesame hits you which paired with a slight tartness from the vinegar provides a perfect combo, then all of this is to be finished off by a slight tingling on your tongue thanks to the chillies…The salad works well either slightly warm, straight after preparing or cold at some later time. It will make a perfect starter or a side dish when paired with grilled meats for example. It’s easy to prepare, it doesn’t require any unusual ingredients as most of them should be in your stock cupboard anyway and it can be on your table within 15 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • 2 small or 1 large broccoli; separated into florets
  • 6 medium size button mushrooms; thinly sliced
  • 3 spring onions; sliced at an angle
  • 2tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 2tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1 clove of garlic; minced
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2tsp chilli flakes – more if you like heat
  • 1/4tsp sea salt

This broccoli, mushroom and sesame salad is like a journey: crunchy broccoli meets soft and buttery mushrooms, then the nuttiness of the sesame hits you which paired with a slight tartness from the vinegar provides a perfect combo, then all of this is to be finished off by a slight tingling on your tongue thanks to the chillies…Method:

Prepare a large pot of salted water, big enough to take all the broccoli and bring it to boil.

Heat up a large frying pan, add the olive oil and butter and allow to melt.

Add the broccoli into the boiling pot of water, turn the heat up high to bring back to the boil and then down to medium until the cooking time of 5 minutes is complete (count 5 minutes from the moment you added the broccoli, not from the moment it came back to a boil), then shock it under cold water or better yet an ice bath and then drain well. The cold bath will stop the cooking process which is necessary in order for the broccoli to maintain a slight crunch.

Add mushrooms into hot frying pan, add garlic powder and salt then fry on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until just soft and slightly brown.

Whilst your broccoli is cooking and mushrooms are frying, it’s time to mix the sauce.

This broccoli, mushroom and sesame salad is like a journey: crunchy broccoli meets soft and buttery mushrooms, then the nuttiness of the sesame hits you which paired with a slight tartness from the vinegar provides a perfect combo, then all of this is to be finished off by a slight tingling on your tongue thanks to the chillies…Into a salad dressing shaker or a jam jar or even a bowl add the toasted sesame oil, dark soy sauce, cider vinegar, minced garlic, chilli flakes and half of the sesame seeds. Mix well until all ingredients are fully combined.

In a large bowl mix the broccoli, mushrooms, spring onions and remaining sesame seeds, add dressing and gently toss around to coat completely.

Serve and enjoy!

This broccoli, mushroom and sesame salad is like a journey: crunchy broccoli meets soft and buttery mushrooms, then the nuttiness of the sesame hits you which paired with a slight tartness from the vinegar provides a perfect combo, then all of this is to be finished off by a slight tingling on your tongue thanks to the chillies…This broccoli, mushroom and sesame salad is like a journey: crunchy broccoli meets soft and buttery mushrooms, then the nuttiness of the sesame hits you which paired with a slight tartness from the vinegar provides a perfect combo, then all of this is to be finished off by a slight tingling on your tongue thanks to the chillies…

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Honey & Mustard Chicken Couscous Salad

Yesterday I was indirectly challenged by Marks boss. Sounds a little weird, doesn’t it? Well he was summoned to work almost three hours earlier than expected, for yet another life and death meeting, which meant I had just 30 minutes in which to cook and pack some sort of dinner for him to take to work.

Now originally I wasn’t planning any sort of quick dinner but as it turned out I was left with no choice… I had to improvise. After a rummage through the fridge and pantry I came up with an idea, Honey & Mustard Chicken Couscous Salad. It ended up being extremely tasty so I have decided to share it with you.

Honey & Mustard Chicken Couscous SaladIngredients:

For the couscous salad:

  • 2 cups couscous
  • 1 small tin of pineapple
  • 1 small tin of garden peas
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn
  • 150g cherry tomatoes
  • Handful of cashews nuts
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander

For the chicken:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 Knorr chicken stock cube
  • 1 Knorr 3 peppercorns flavour pot
  • 3tbsp of sesame oil
  • Pineapple juice
  • 2tsp honey
  • 2tsp Dijon mustard

You might feel the need to comment when you notice my total lack of spices. Well as I used a pre-spiced version of couscous there was no need for anything extra. If you only have plain couscous you might want to add a good pinch of salt, some fresh cracked pepper and maybe some sweet paprika.

Method:

In a small bowl mix 2tbsp of sesame oil, chicken stock cube and flavour pot until you achieve a smooth texture.

Wash and cube the chicken breasts.

Add the chicken into your earlier prepared flavour mixture and make sure each piece is fully coated properly.

Set it aside for 5 minutes or more to marinate and make a start on your couscous.

Prepare your couscous as per the packaging instructions. My one took only 10 minutes to “develop”.

Heat up a heavy bottomed pan, as you know I like to use cast iron, add the remaining 1tbsp of sesame oil and once hot pop your chicken in. Fry it for about 10 minutes, stirring or tossing from time to time to make sure all pieces are evenly cook.

Open and drain the peas and sweetcorn.

Open but do not drain the pineapple, save the juice as we will need it.

Chop the pineapple into smaller chunks if required or use them as they come if you have already bought them in chunks, roughly chop the nuts so they aren’t too big, quarter your cherry tomatoes and finely chop the coriander ready to go into your couscous.

Now for the sauce; in a small bowl mix the pineapple juice, honey and mustard; stir until all ingredients are combined.

Once your chicken is cooked (it should not take more than about 10 minutes) add the sauce and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

Use a fork to fluff your couscous, add all the earlier chopped ingredients plus the peas and sweetcorn and once you ready add chicken, sauce included.

Mix it well and serve immediately… or like in my case put some into a lunch box ready to be munched later.

Honey and Mustard Chicken Couscous SaladMy Honey & Mustard Chicken Couscous SaladDo you like couscous?

What’s your favourite way of serving it?

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