I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Two Great Salads

A meal is never set in concrete until it actually hits the table here! Take last night for example, I had planned to make sweet and sour pork chops, with the associated trimmings, that was until I received the phone call from DH at the 11th hour telling me that he was going to play tennis that evening.  He was playing, then he wasn't, and now of course because I had a meal organised it was back on again!!!!

That then cast an entirely different view on the meal. Had to be quick and light, and prepared early (which given that we had just turned back the clocks to end daylight savings was not a problem. Is it just me, or do you get yourself out of kilter for a couple of days when the clocks change?).

Normally I wouldn't blog about side dishes, but these two were punchy little numbers that deserve some attention. With the Easter holidays coming up, and many people entertaining these would make a great addition to any table.

The first one is a new take on the old Thermomix Beetroot salad. Everyone who has been to a Thermomix demo will have tasted their version of a fresh Beetroot salad. This recipe was given to me by a customer, so I am unsure exactly of its origins. The flavours in this salad are amazing. It combines the freshness of the raw beetroot and carrot with a punchy little dressing of pomegranate molasses and orange juice. Wow! Try it - you have to!

Beetroot Salad
Adapted from a recipe found in a book I believe is called Ripe Recipes, possibly of NZ origin

500g fresh Beetroot, peeled
600g carrot
1/2 bunch fresh mint
30g Sunflower seeds, toasted
30g pumpkin seeds, toasted
80g raisins

2 tbs Pomegranate molasses
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup Olive oil
1 tbs honey
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Now this recipe says to have the carrot and beetroot grated, and the mint chopped. What I did was make it the same way as I make the Thermomix version. I bunged the mint, carrots and beetroot in the bowl and gave them a chop on speed 5. Just make sure that you move it around with the spatula, as there is quite a lot of veggies in the bowl!

To make the dressing, simply place all the ingredients in a screw top jar. Shake to combine.

Place beetroot, carrot, mint, pumpkin seeds, raisins and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Toss through the dressing. Make sure you toss again prior to serving so you get all those lovely flavours mixed through.

The next salad combines two of my favorites - haloumi cheese and quinoa. I just love quinoa, and like to use it now in place of couscous. It's one of natures super foods, low in GI, high in protein and with a great flavour to boot!

Warm Quinoa Salad with Haloumi
Recipe from Good Food Magazine April edition

2 tbs olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
270g jar chargrilled red capsicum, thickly sliced
200g quinoa, rinsed, drained
2 cups vegetable stock *
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 tsp sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
250g haloumi, sliced

* I used 1 tbs concentrated tm vegetable stock, and 2 cups of water

Heat 1 tbs of the oil in a medium saucepan, on medium high heat. Cook the onion and capsicum, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion softens. Add the quinoa and cook for 3 minutes. Add the stock, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa has softened and all of the liquid is absorbed. Stir through half of the parsley.
Mix the sugar, lemon zest and juice with the remaining oil and parsey.
Heat a frypan over medium high heat. Cook the haloumi slices 3-4 minutes each side, or until golden and crisp.

Toss the dressing and the haloumi through the quinoa.

 I apologise for the photos - I am experimenting with the iphone camera so that I can use it when I am blogging on the run in Italy!!


  1. These are great salads. I love to cook my own beetroot and make a fresh salad with it. I also love quinoa and like to cook with it because like you say, it is a super-food with so many important qualities. I haven't paired it with haloumi - I would like to give this a try xx

  2. gosh both those salads sound awesome, definitely worth blogging!

  3. Ooh not long now until Italy right! I can't wait to see your posts! :D