Archive for the ‘Salad’ Category

I’ve finally bought a good, old fashioned griddle pan in cast iron, and am having loads of fun with it. The fire alarm is tested weekly to its limit and my hair often smell of charcoal, but who cares – the vegetables are great!
Based on a recipe from the Foodnetwork.

This serves 3-4 people as a side dish.
Prep time is about 15 minutes, and 25 minutes for cooking.




1 red & 1 yellow pepper, both seeded and sliced

1 courgette, sliced in rounds or lengthwise

1 aubergine, sliced in rounds or lengthwise

12 mushrooms

4 spring onions

Small bunch of asparagus, when in season

2 fresh figs, sliced


60 ml, plus 2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp fresh basil, chopped

1/2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped




1. Place a griddle pan over medium-high heat or prepare the barbecue to medium-high heat. Brush the vegetables with 60ml of the oil to coat lightly. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper.

2. Working in batches, griddle the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over, about 8 to 10 minutes for the peppers, 7 minutes for the courgette, aubergine, and mushrooms, 4 minutes for the asparagus and spring onions. Arrange the vegetables on a platter. The key to getting those great grill marks is to not shift the vegetables too frequently once they’ve been placed on the hot griddle.

3. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tbsp of oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary in a small bowl to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the herb mixture over the vegetables. Crumble in the feta cheese. Add the sliced fresh figs, then serve the vegetables, warm or at room temperature.

The vegetable salad goes really well with roast lamb shoulder. Massive flavours, perfect for autumn.





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I’ve decided to go Mediterranean with my eating, and have not had butter nor bread since last Sunday. Not having bread isn’t an issue, but I’m a butter girl, and butter goes so well with bread! Now I have ryvita with avocado and lemon instead. Tonight’s dinner is a two bean and potato salad with a yoghurt, garlic and spring onion dressing, peppered smoked mackerel fillet, with a side salad of tomato, rocket and black olive. Strawberries and melon for after.

I aim to post a weekly food diary on. There’s no easy fix to lose the extra kilos, so I’ll be patient and consistent. Wish me luck!

Pictured is the beginning of my bean/potato salad, and the side salad + the finished meal.

Love, Natasja

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Last week was a stressful, mind boggling, exciting one which left me dead to my feet when Friday finally arrived. Cooking was very basic the whole week. I mean, what do you cook when your life is about to change completely, on a professional level? I hasten to add that this change is good and I am excited about the future.

Bucket-loads of coffee was drunk last week, and not enough water – so in addition to being edgy and stressed I was also extremely dehydrated. Clean, fresh and nutritious food on the menu for the coming week.

In 2001 I bought a cookery book “The Detox Cook” which ‘presents an easy and positive approach to detoxing, explaining how eating in harmony with your body can produce real benefits of health and wellbeing’. It contains a number of simple and tasty recipes, and I’ll share with you not one but two of my favourite salads from the book.

Prawn, potato and basil salad

Serves 2

450g new potatoes, diced
2 tablespoons basil leaves torn
50g radishes, sliced
1 spring onion (scallion) chopped
225g peeled prawns

Juice of 1/2 lime
150 plain yogurt
Freshly ground pepper

A few lettuce leaves, to serve.

1. Boil the potatoes until Tedder, drain and leave to cool.
2. Place the basil, radishes and spring onion in a bowl withy the potatoes and mix well.
3. Gently mix in the prawns
4. Mix the lime juice and yogurt together and pour over the salad.
5. Arrange the lettuce on a plate and place the prawn salad on top with freshly ground pepper.

Avocado and strawberry salad

Serves 2

1 ripe avocado, halved, stoned, peeled and cut into cubes
6 strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground pepper

1. Place the avocado and strawberries in a bowl
2. Mix the lemon juice and vinegar and pour gently over the salad.
3. Season and serve

Beautiful, flavoursome and simple salads to enjoy in the sunshine!


Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
Dr. Seuss

The Detox Cook


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Big bunch of flat parsley, finely chopped
Large handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
Two shallot onions, or one small red onion, finely chopped
Five or so tender celery stalks, finely chopped
A few cloves of garlic
A tin of chickpeas


Olive oil
Lemon juice

Mix the vegetables and herbs in a bowl, add the olive oil and a squeeze of lemon, salt, sugar and freshly ground pepper to taste.



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Gary Bainbridge

A Website By The Above-named Writer

The Mediterranean Diet Unplugged

A blog on living healthier to lose weight, lower cholesterol, and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and other diseases.

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