Tarragon & Grape Salad

tarragon salad

Growing up my mom used to make a chicken dish with a tarragon cream sauce, using dried tarragon. It was one of my favourites, so tarragon is a familiar flavour to me. But I’ll never forget the first time I tasted fresh tarragon – it was at Angela Hartnett’s London restaurant, Murano. It took me a good few minutes to identify the salad ingredient as fresh tarragon… I couldn’t believe the intensity of the flavour which, while obviously similar to dried tarragon, had a unique note all of its own. It was a feeling of dèja vu.

I don’t often find fresh tarragon in Joburg, but much to my joy, the Organic Emporium gets in a delivery of organic fresh tarragon every now and then. The slightly liquorice flavour pairs very well with sweet, white grapes, of which we have an abundance in South Africa right now.

I had this salad with a fillet of hot-smoked salmon. A perfect hot summer’s day lunch.

Ingredients (to serve 1)

a handful of fresh tarragon
a handful of wild rocket
a few leaves of fresh basil, torn
a handful of white grapes
a handful of cocktail tomatoes, sliced in half
2 spring onions, finely sliced
a handful of sugar snap peas, sliced
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
extra virgin olive oil
pomegranate concentrate (or organic red wine vinegar, or fresh lemon juice)

Method

Combine all the ingredients. Dress with a drizzle of olive oil and pomegranate concentrate. Season to taste with himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Colourful Quinoa Salad

Quinoa salad 2

Yes yes, another quinoa salad. I can’t help it! It’s just so easy to make, delicious and is pure protein so amazing as a post-workout meal. And guess what, I didn’t even make this, my husband did! The biggest meat eater you’ll ever find, has realised how amazing quinoa is and now prefers it as his post-workout meal so he made this after the gym. You really can use whatever vegetables you like but I’ll take you through what we used here…

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
1 and quarter cups water
Half tsp bouillon
Himalayan salt
Ground black pepper
2 Cooked beetroot, chopped
3 romaine lettuce leaves
2 tomatoes
Half a fennel bulb
Quarter cucumber
2 spring onions
Handful or parsley

Method

Put the quinoa in a saucepan and cover with water. Turn down heat once it starts bubbling then put the lid on. Stir every few minutes until ready, about 7 minutes. While it’s cooking, chop up your veggies.

Once ready, mix all in a bowl and season with a drizzle of lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Ready to go!

Love,
Lauren

Tri-colour Roasted Pepper Salad

roast pepper salad

My mom used to make something similar to this when I was growing up and it was one of my favourite salads. Roasting the peppers and then removing the skin gives them a lovely silky texture. This makes a great accompaniment to a big family Sunday lunch, or is filling enough as a meal on its own.

Ingredients (enough for a table salad, or serves 2 as a meal)

2 red bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
1 green bell pepper
1 tin organic chickpeas, rinsed well
about 20 olives (I used Blue Sky Organics chilli-stuffed olives for an extra kick, available at Organic Emporium)
2 tbsp of the liquid from the olives
2 tbsp capers
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
a small handful of fresh basil, torn
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp himalayan salt
juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 2 tbsp)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

Preheat the grill in your oven and then place the peppers about 10 – 15cm under the grill. Allow the skin to bubble and blacken (takes about 10 minutes) and then turn them to do the next side. Continue until the all the peppers have been blackened on all sides. If the skin has not at least bubbled and browned you will not be able to remove it. It needs to look like this:

IMG_0174

Place the cooked peppers in a glass bowl and cover tightly with clingfilm. Leave them to sweat (which separates the skin from the flesh) and cool down enough for you to work with them. Once cooled, peel all the skin off. You just want to remove the very thin outer layer, not any of the flesh.

IMG_0179

Remove the seeds and stem and cut the peppers into strips about 5 cm wide. Cut the olives in half. Combine all the ingredients and taste for seasoning. You can either eat immediately, or leave to marinate for a few hours. Best served at room temperature, not cold from the fridge, so I would suggest taking it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to serving. I ate this as an easy dinner with some gluten-free flat bread. I’m still working on the recipe but will share it as soon as I’m happy with it 😉

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Mung Bean Sprout & Corn Salad, with Asian Dressing

mung bean sprout & corn salad

On Wednesday evenings I do an ashtanga yoga class, so I need to have a lunch with enough protein and carbs to keep me going, but still light enough not to weigh me down. This delicious salad delivers exactly that!
Protein from the mung bean sprouts, seeds and nuts; healthy carbs from the corn and brown rice; and the dressing has a beautiful nutty flavour from the sesame oil.

Ingredients

2 cups organic baby salad leaves and/or herbs
2 handfuls mung bean sprouts
1 cob of corn, boiled in water and kernels cut off the cob
1/2 cup cooked brown basmati
small handful fresh coriander, chopped
2 Israeli or “mini” cucumbers, sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp raw sesame seeds
handful raw cashew nuts

Method

Toss all the ingredients together with my Asian Dressing

Love,
Raine

Asian Salad Dressing

asian dressing

It may seem strange to use olive oil in an asian dressing but olive oil (along with coconut, which cannot be used for dressings) is the healthiest oil. The amount of oil in ratio to the other ingredients is small enough that it shouldn’t affect the taste but you could use another oil if preferred.
Tamari is the healthier version of soy sauce, made in the traditional manner. Today’s commercial soy sauces have unhealthy additives and are very high in sodium. An organic tamari will be naturally fermented, lower in sodium and free of unnecessary additives.

Sesame oil gives this dressing its distinctive nutty flavour. Makes enough for one large single serving of salad, or a medium table salad.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil or other cold-pressed oil such as grapeseed
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 1/2 tbsp organic white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp organic tamari
1 1/2 tsp raw honey or organic maple syrup

Method

I like to make my salad dressings in a bowl with a small whisk, but another easy method is to put everything in a jar and shake it until emulsified.

Love,
Raine

Easy Peasy Quinoa Salad

Basic Quinoa saladI do love a quinoa salad, I really, really do. What more could you want from an ingredient? It’s pure protein, easy to make and tastes good with pretty much anything! I will be posting different variations as time goes on but right now I wanted to post my really easy, go-to, basic quinoa salad recipe.

Ingredients

200g quinoa (this will make enough for 3 or 4 servings)
1 tsp Bouillon
1 carrot, shaved into ribbons
6 or 7 cherry or picolo tomatoes, chopped
Half a cucumber, chopped into small pieces
1 Avocado, cut into small pieces
Handful of chives, chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Start by cooking the quinoa. Put it in a saucepan and cover with water, then add the bouillon and stir well. Once it has started boiling, turn heat down and put on the lid. Keep stirring every few minutes – it WILL stick to the bottom and you don’t want this.

While it’s cooking chop all your veggies.

Once it’s ready, spoon it all into a medium sized bowl and add all the veggies. Then add the lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve!

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren