Beetroot, Feta, Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad

I’ve gone a bit mad for this salad over the past few days, knocking up versions of it for sides on a bbq or as a quick healthy lunch.  I’ve always been a bit funny about beetroot, I didn’t like it, I still grimace a little when I see it pickled or rather smell the pickling liquor.  My mum and dad seemed to religiously eat this in cheese salad sandwiches on a Saturday lunchtime and I used to hover round my dad as he made sandwiches making sure mine went no where near the stuff.  My partner loves the stuff too, gobbling up the pickled stuff straight from the jar as a midnight snack, bleurghhh.  Anyway my tastes have matured and as I often see the stuff finely shredded in salads you can buy in the shops and rather enjoying said salads I thought it was high time I got over my fear and grated this heavenly super food into my salads.  It’s a bit of a revelation of taste, it’s sweet  and crunchy and that purpley pink dye is rather charming when mingled with other salad veg and the salty, fresh feta.

So here it goes…

mmm beetroot...

Serves 2 as a lunch

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato, washed and unpeeled, cut into square dice (about 1 and 1/2 cm)
  • 1 beetroot, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • A large handful of baby spinach
  • a 3rd of a bar of Feta

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • half a teaspoon of agave syrup or honey or sugar
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Heat an oven to about 220 degrees.  Chuck your sweet potato chinks in a tray, drizzle with oil, season generously and toss together to coat.  Cook your sweet potatoes for about 20 min until tender and slightly browned.  Set aside.

Combine your grated veg, spring onions, spinach.  Add warm sweet potatoes. Mix dressing and pour over and toss.  Crumble in feta.  Toss lightly.  Serve.

This is so delicious, I had it again today with out the sweet potato and was thinking about mixing in some fried chorizo chinks for a more meaty treat another time.  If you are afraid of beetroot, try this, it’s really not half as bad as you think, promise.

 

Puy Lentil and Roasted Vegetable Salad

I knocked this up for dinner last night and packed some into a lunch box for work today.  It is delicious, full of flavour and pretty darn healthy.  If you want a veggie option then forget the chorizo but I’m a bit of a chorizo fiend at the moment.  Puy lentils are a recent addition to my cupboard, I wasn’t sure what to do with them before but now I have worked them out they are in more and more of my concoctions.  They are a nice, firm lentil with a good bite that absorb dressings and flavour yet still hold their shape.  Anyways, enough guff onto the recipe!

Serves 2 

Ingredients:

  • 2 big handfuls of puy lentils
  • Half a large courgette
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • Half a large sweet potato
  • 2 inches of chorizo, chopped into rough cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 1/3 block of feta
  • A handful of basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Heat the oven to about 220 degrees.  Chop the veg into 1/2cm cubes (ish).  Chuck veg in a big baking tray with the chorizo, drizzle with oil, season and toss together.  Put into hot oven for 20/25 min. 

Rinse the puy lentils and boil for about 20/25 min.  

Mix the dressing together then once the lentils are cooked mix in the dressing.  Add the roasted veg and chorizo to the lentil mix and throw in your basil.  Toss together and plate up.  Top with crumbled feta and serve. 

This works great as a warm salad or cold the next day for lunch.

Chorizo, Sweet Potato and Feta Pasty

Chorizo, Sweet Potato and Feta Pasty
 
Sweet potato, Feta and and chorizo are wonderful bedfellows.  I made the filling for this pasty first and ended up just eating spoonfuls and spoonfuls of it straight from the pan, I even took a tub of it in for lunch at work the next day. 
 
Ingredients:
1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut in to small cubes
1 onion, sliced
2 inches of chorizo, cut into small cubes
1 red pepper, sliced
a handful of spinach, roughly chopped
Half a block of feta
A block of shortcrust pastry (i used some ready made gf stuff, not quite convinced yet but i’m sure this would work great with a decent pastry)
 
Method:
 
Boil the sweet potato cubes for  a few minutes until tender.  Drain and set aside.
Soften the onion then fry with the chorizo until golden and crispy.
Add the peppers and fry for a minute or so.
Add the spinach and wilt slightly then take off the heat, crumble in the feta and season to taste.
 
Preheat the oven to about 200 degrees.
Roll out your pastry and cut into circles, I used an upturned pasta bowl as a template.
Spoon in some of the filling and fold over and pinch the edges pasty styley.
Brush with beaten egg or milk and put into the oven for about 20minutes.
Serve with a nice green salad.
 
 
 
 

Sunshine Soup

This is a super quick  supper dish, sweet potatoes spiced with Carribean curry and tempered with creamy coconut milk.  Just as yummy on a bright sunny day like today as in the deep dark winter.  It’s really simple to make, have a go…

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1cm ish cubes

1 onion, chopped

A dessert spoon of Carribean or Jamaican curry powder

Half a tin of coconut milk ( i used half fat)

2 teaspoons of veg bouillon or a veg stock cube

About 1/2 a pint of boiling water, add more to thin if needed

Salt and pepper

Method:

Soften the onions.  Add curry powder and fry for a min then add chopped sweet potato.  Pour in coconut milk and boiling water to cover, add bouillon or stock cube and simmer for 10 min or until the sweet potato is tender.  Whizz with a hand blender, season genourously and add extra water to thin to desired consistency. Maybe a little cheeky swirl of cream seeing as I was so healthy using the half fat cocounut milk and all and done!

Sweet Potato Pancakes

In preparation for pancake day I decided to have a go at the recipe Hugh Fearley-Whittingstall wrote in the Guardian on Saturday.  You can find the recipe and article here:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/mar/05/pancakes-yorkshire-pudding-dosa-recipes

I had to alter it to make it gluten free and sadly they had no orange sweet potatoes (which i think is what this recipe really calls for) in the greengrocers so I bought one of those purple ones with the white flesh and tried it with this. The result was a very dense pancake, lovely, but don’t try to to eat more than two, if you make it my way, as I feel like my stomach is stuffed!  So I changed the plain flour to Doves Gluten Free Plain Flour and had to add some extra milk because my potato was very dry ( i think the orange ones have a higher water content).  I served mine sweet with agave syrup, squeezed clementine juice and some sliced banana but I think the idea of bacon that Hugh suggest sounds lush. 

I hope to post again about more things pancake later in the week but if I don’t see you before, Happy Pancake Day!!!

Sweet Potato Wedges

Fairly healthy snack, very yummy too!

Ingredients:
Sweet potatoes
Oil ( I use olive or if feeling v healthy that spray stuff)
A sprinkle of paprika
Salt
Creme fraiche and sweet chilli sauce to dunk into

Method:
Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges.
Place in a tray and drizzle with oil.
Shake on some paprika and salt.
Mix about a bit making sure all the wedges are coated in the oil.
Bake in a hot oven (220degrees) for about twenty five min.
Keep checking and turning to ensure even cooking and crispyness.
Serve with creme fraiche and sweet chilli sauce. Yum, yum….