leftovers

Sep 252016
 

Roast Chicken, Beetroot and Fig Salad

 

 

This is a wonderful salad to make when you want to turn some leftover roast chicken into a delicious and healthy meal. I love roasting my chicken with lemons, garlic, bell peppers, fresh thyme, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, so these flavours come through in my salad. Use your favourite roast chicken recipe or buy some good quality ready-roasted chicken from your supermarket or deli.

 

Beetroots can be conveniently roasted in the oven at the same time as your chicken. Simply trim the stems (without cutting into the beetroots), wrap the beetroots in some aluminium foil, and roast in an oven-proof dish at 200°C/400°F for approximately 30-60 minutes (depending on the size of the beetroot). The beetroots are ready when they can be easily pierced with a skewer. Allow the beetroots to cool to room temperature and then pinch off their skins. They are now ready to eat. Beetroots can also be bought ready-cooked and vacuum-packed in a bag. If you decide to buy ready-cooked beetroots, make sure they are not the pickled type. (NB: If your beetroots have fresh-looking stems and leaves, you can chop and sauté them for another dish).

 

Figs bring an important taste component to this salad but are not always in season. Figs have two seasons – a short season in early summer and then a longer season from late summer until autumn. If you can’t get fresh figs, you can use dried figs or dried apricots.

 

 

ROAST CHICKEN, BEETROOT and FIG SALAD

(Makes 2 main course salads)

 

Ingredients:

1-2 cups roasted chicken, roughly chopped

3-4 heads of Baby Gem lettuce

2 medium-sized beetroots

4 small figs

4 Tbsp Pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds

4-5 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar

Sea salt (to taste)

 

Directions:

  1. This recipe assumes that you have already cooked your roast chicken and beetroots. You can use any recipe for roast chicken which you like or buy some good quality ready-roasted chicken from your supermarket or deli. Beetroots can be roasted at the same time as the chicken. Simply trim the stems (without cutting into the beetroots), wrap the beetroots in some aluminium foil, and roast in an oven-proof dish at 200°C/400°F for approximately 30-60 minutes (depending on the size of the beetroot). The beetroots are ready when they can be easily pierced with a skewer. Allow the beetroots to cool to room temperature and then pinch off their skins. They are now ready to eat. Beetroots can also be bought ready-cooked and vacuum-packed in a bag. If you decide to buy ready-cooked beetroots, make sure they are not the pickled type. (NB: If your beetroots have fresh-looking stems and leaves, you can chop and sauté them for another dish).
  2. Prepare your balsamic vinaigrette by combining the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt in a small jar. Taste and adjust as necessary. Set aside.
  3. Remove the outer leaves of the Baby Gem lettuce heads. Wash and dry the lettuce and then chop into bite-size pieces. Divide between two main course salad bowls or plates.
  4. Cut the beetroot into wedges and scatter on top of the lettuce.
  5. Wash and quarter the figs and scatter them around the salad
  6. Roughly chop the chicken into large bite-size pieces (it is upto you if you want to include the skin or not). Loosely place in the centre of the salad.
  7. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds on top.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for upto 12 hours.
  9. Pour the dressing on the two salads just prior to serving.

 

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Jan 262016
 

Salmon and Puy Lentil Salad Bowl

 

Two of the big food trends predicted for 2016 which I’m really excited about are:

  • Increasing the effort to reduce food waste, and
  • The rise of the ‘bowl’

 

Wasted food is a huge problem and it’s great to see it being increasingly acknowledged. Recipes which use up leftovers are a big help in reducing food wastage and I’d like to do my part by showing you some of the salads which I make at home using leftovers. Up until now, these salads have not quite made it onto my blog – mostly because there is no real recipe (just pulling together leftovers). But they are utterly satisfying, delicious and super easy to make.

 

Using a bowl for these salads rather than a plate has several advantages:

  • it’s easier to toss a mixed salad in a bowl than in a plate
  • when eating a chopped salad, bowls are easier to use because you can use the sides to pack in the ingredients into your fork or spoon
  • bowls take up less table space than plates, which is a big plus if you eat at your desk
  • bowls give a cosy and homely feeling – whatever you eat from a bowl becomes comfort food!

 

When making my Salad Bowls, I try to stick to the following rules (remember to chop up the ingredients fairly small):

  • one grain (leftover quinoa, puy lentils, brown rice, couscous, etc…)
  • one protein (leftover cooked chicken, fish, seafood, meat, beans, and/or cheese)
  • one cooked vegetable (leftover)
  • two raw fresh vegetables (I always keep a stash of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots or bell peppers in the fridge, washed and ready to cut)
  • one dollop of anything I have in the fridge (yogurt, cottage cheese, hummus, guacamole, tahini, etc…)
  • any micro-greens, nuts or seeds to be sprinkled on top of the aforementioned ‘dollop’
  • depending on how much seasoning there is in the leftovers, you may or may not need some dressing. I find that a glug of extra virgin olive oil and a mini-glug of balsamic vinegar does the job.

 

 

PUY LENTIL and SALMON SALAD BOWL

 

All ingredients should be cut into bite-size pieces.

Quantities depend on what you have in the house.

Make ingredient substitutions as you see fit.

 

Salad Ingredients: 

 

Salmon fillet, cooked and flaked with a fork

Green beans, cooked and chopped

Puy lentils, cooked

Lettuce (raw), washed and finely slices

Cherry tomatoes (raw), washed and cut into sixths

Greek yogurt, a good dollop per serving

Mustard cress, washed

 

Dressing Ingredients:

Extra virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Sea salt

 

Directions:

  1. Use a single-serving bowl per person.
  2. In each bowl, put an equal amount of each of the following: salmon, green beans, puy lentils, lettuce and tomatoes.
  3. Put a dollop of yogurt in the centre of the bowl.
  4. Scatter mustard dress on top of the yogurt.
  5. Add a glug of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sea salt, if necessary.
  6. For the best presentation, I like to serve the bowl like this (with all the ingredients separate.)
  7. To eat, mix all the ingredients together in the bowl and start chomping!

 

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