Salad therapy – Kerala dry chicken with coconut & yogurt dressing

We had a relative visit us over the weekend and had prepared some of Anna’s mum’s dry roast chicken curry as a snack.  We had some left over and this has formed the inspiration for this salad.  The dressing is simple to make and probably could work well with any Indian grilled/baked chicken dish (ie. tandoori chicken or chicken tikka masala).   The recipe for the chicken  (Chicken Ularthiyathu) was posted in an earlier blog – link below.

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The Dressing

What do I need to make it?

  • 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • Handful of fresh coriander and mint
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

100-150 ml

How do I make it?

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a fine paste.   Place warmed left over chicken pieces over salad leaves of choice and drizzle the dressing over.   Enjoy.

Related Links:

Chicken Ularthiyathu –  http://wp.me/p3oBch-M

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Salad therapy – Anna’s Surprise

My niece Nikhita was in town for a couple of days and I was keen to get her to like this salad as she is not too fond of fruits.  The first time I made this salad I threw in the remaining fruit in my fruit bowl and was surprised at how well it went with the dressing.   A few tweaks later I’ve rechristened it Anna’s Surprise to dedicate it to my better half (surprised her and others with the combination).   Having served this to Nikhi I think I have succeeded in getting her to eat fruit beyond bananas as she appreciated the salad.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 big bag of mixed salad leaves
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 pear  (the firmer the better – gives a bit of a bite to the salad)
  • 1 firm ripe mango
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 large cucumber de-seeded and cubed
  • 1 large mozzarella ball cubed
  • 5 artichoke hearts quartered (used the tinned variety)
  • 6-8 sun dried tomatoes in oil chopped
  • Handful of green and black olives
  • Handful of pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make?

Chop all the fruit, veg and cheese into bite size pieces.   Wash and drain the salad leaves and place in a large bowl.   Add the fruit, vegetables, cheese and olives and season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the salad and toss gently.  Transfer into dishes and enjoy.

Salad therapy – figs & honey

I absolutely love figs both the fresh and dried variety and this is my humble tribute to the wonderful fruit.  There are some combinations that seem to be made for one another and figs and honey is one of them.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 bag of salad leaves
  • 2 figs quartered
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 baby cucumber
  • 100 gms feta cheese

For the vinaigrette

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Greek honey
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp English mustard (adds a bit of heat to the vinaigrette)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side salad

How do I make it?

For the vinaigrette – mix the mustard and honey first and then add the oil.  Whisk with lemon juice, salt & pepper till you get a nice creamy vinaigrette.  Place the remaining ingredients in a large salad bowl – dress with vinaigrette and toss gently.   Transfer into serving dishes and enjoy.

Salad therapy – Mediterranean flavours

Had a lovely salad tonight using the last of our garden cherry tomatoes and an Apache chillie in the vinaigrette.   The vinaigrette was a bit of an experiment but I think the flavours work really well together.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 bag of mixed salad leaves
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 baby cucumber deseeded and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 100 gms of feta cheese cubed

For the vinaigrette

  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 green chillie de-seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp of capers chopped
  • Lemon rind and juice of half the lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • Handful pomegranate seeds
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 2 big portions or 4 side salads

How do I make it?

Prepare the vinaigrette by add the oil to the chopped ingredients and then whisking in the lemon juice.  Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl and dress the salad with the vinaigrette.   Transfer into salad bowls and enjoy.

Garden fresh – tomato salad

Our garden pots of tomatoes are in full bloom and we have managed to pluck enough to use in our daily cooking and salads and some.  This evening’s salad was predominantly garden fresh cherry tomatoes with cucumber, salad leaves and feta cheese.  It was dressed with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette and then finished off with some fresh figs and toasted walnuts.  All in all both of us enjoyed the fruits of our labour and look forward to experimenting with new dressings to compliment our garden fresh tomatoes.

 

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Honey/mustard vinaigrette

What do I need to make it?

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp candied orange and lemon peels
  • Salt & pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Enough to dress 4 side portions of salad

How do I make it?

Mix the mustard and oil first and then add the lemon zest and juice – give it a good whisk.   Add the honey and adjust the seasoning.  Finish off with the candied orange and lemon peels and keep vinaigrette aside.  Place salad leaves, tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese in a large bowl and mix in the dressing.   Serve the salad in bowl and garnish with toasted walnuts and fresh figs.

Garden fresh – roasted butter nut squash salad with rosemary and lemon thyme

Anna has planted a lot of herbs in our garden and it has afforded us numerous opportunities to boost the flavours of our dishes with fresh herbs.  We had a roasted butter nut squash salad the other night which was straightforward to make and used fresh rosemary and lemon thyme from the herb patch.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 butter nut squash
  • 2-3 sprigs of rosemary
  • Small handful of lemon thyme
  • Bag of mixed salad leaves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Split the butter nut squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil and rub through the squash before dressing with rosemary and lemon thyme.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper and bake in a 180 degree pre heated oven for 40-45 minutes.  Check on the squash with a skewer and ensure it is cooked through (needs to still be firm and not mushy).  Place leaves in a salad bowl and drizzle remaining olive oil, sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Remove squash from oven and peel the skin away and chop into bite size cubes.   Place leaves in serving dish and add a generous portion of the squash.

Pantry essentials

Our predominantly Indian pantry is normally well stocked with both whole and ground spices.  On one of our many shopping trips to Costco we found large bottles of herbs and rubs on offer at a very reasonable price.  One of things we picked up to add to our pantry is now an absolute must have if you love all things spicy – Schwartz Blackened Cajun Seasoning – WARNING for the faint at heart this mix carries a punch.

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Here’s a simple recipe (very Paleo friendly) for a delicious salad option:

What do I need to make it?

  • 30-40  deveined shelled prawns washed and dried
  • 2  tbsp Schwartz Blackened Cajun seasoning (more if you want it spicy)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 ripe mango (Brazilian variety – firm and sweet)
  • Salad onions/basil (optional)
  • 1 packet salad greens of your choice

How do I make it?

Mix the prawns with oil and spice and refrigerate for a couple of hours (the longer the better to allow marinade to penetrate the prawns).  Heat pan and cook prawn on both sides till done (should not take more than 10 minutes).  Garnish with chopped salad onions and basil (optional).

Divi up the salad greens into two bowls and spread chopped mangoes around the bowl.  Place equal portions of cooked prawns in the middle and serve hot.

Alternatively try the salad with cherry tomatoes and ripe avocado instead o f the mangoes.

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