Not that these salads can only be eaten in the summer, but on hot summer days, they’re not heavy but are still healthy and nourishing.
This is a favourite of mine that my mum makes at home. Eating out I have often eaten a Salade Niçoise but never a warm one quite like this, with a big tasty tuna steak on top. It’s a well balanced meal of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein, and of course omega 3’s from the tuna.
Washed, spun and torn lettuce leaves
A few sprigs of parsley
Tuna steaks (look in the frozen section of the supermarket and they often have some reasonably priced tuna in there)
Wedges of lemon
Anything else you might like to add
Olive oil 2-3 tbs
Balsamic Vinegar 2-3 tsp
Get the potatoes on to boil as well as the eggs, beans (we often just buy tinned green beans for this salad, but fresh ones are probably better) and any extras such as the asparagus. Steaming beans and any other vegetables is great, too. Meanwhile get a pan nice and hot with a bit of oil (mum has a really nice griddle pan that leaves the lines across the steak, but a frying pan will do). For the dressing we put a bit of olive oil in a small bowl with some balsamic vinegar and give it a whisk. We then add a little mustard and whisk it again. Last time I made the salad I added some lemon juice, too. Once the pan is hot, whack the tuna steaks on and leave them to cook for a few minutes on each side. Drain the potatoes, eggs and other vegetables. Pour cold water over the eggs so you can peel them. The cold water also stops them becoming too hard boiled. Start assembling the salad together on plates. First place the salad leaves and any tomatoes on the plate, and then layer the salad up with a few olives, the anchovies, green beans and potatoes. Quarter or half the eggs and put the pieces round the plate. Place the steaks on top, and drizzle the dressing over the entire the salad. Finish the plate off with a sprig of parsley and the lemon wedges. Bon apetit!
Bulgur Wheat Salad
Again inspired by my lovely mother, this salad has fuelled Kim and me for our Tupperware lunches. I’ve been making a big batch at the weekend, to which we can then add anything for our lunches throughout the week. Bulgur wheat is a wholegrain carbohydrate source that is high in fibre, B vitamins and iron.
A pack of bulgur wheat – 500g
A couple of lemons
Parsley (they do packets of frozen herbs in Aldi – handy!)
Soak the whole packet of bulgur wheat in water for about 20 minutes. This bulgur wheat is quite chewy so the usual 10 minutes needed to be doubled. Rinse and drain. Add the juice of the two lemons and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Vary the quantities depending on how you like it. I love lemons so put a bit more juice in rather than olive oil. Finely chop the spring onion and add it to the bulgur wheat. Likewise for the mint and parsley (unless it’s out of the packet). Give it a good stir and then put some cling film or foil over it and pop it into the fridge for it soften further and absorb the flavours.
Here are a couple of ways I’ve eaten it for lunch.
Lentil and roasted vegetable salad
I love lentils and find them a filling substitute if I am having meat free meal. You can read all about how good they are for you here. Combined with good fats and protein from the feta and avocado, and a whole load of vegetables including some filling starchy ones (read about the benefits of starchy vegetables here) such as courgettes and sweet potatoes, this salad will keep you feeling fuller for longer. It’s a good recovery meal to feed your aching muscles, and it tastes pretty good, too.
Green lentils (read the packet, but cook for roughly 20 mins in water)
Roasted vegetables (carrots, aubergine, courgettes, peppers, sweet potato, onion, garlic – chop them up into chunks and drizzle with olive oil. Put them in the oven at 180 degrees for 40 mins/until they are soft)
Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard
Add all the ingredients into a big bowl and give it a mix. Make the dressing up in a separate bowl, as for the Salade Niçoise, and pour it over the salad. Done!
There you have some really simple salad ideas that are healthy and nutritious. On Instagram I posted a photograph of a watermelon, feta, rocket and nut salad. Apparently adding mint too, adds a tasty kick.
I hope you enjoy testing some of these out and making your own adaptations.