•  Superfoods

    A Week of Salads

  • –  Travel Food & Wine

    At Travel Food & Wine we are constantly trying to develop recipes (or telling some pro chefs to give us a few) that are easy to make at home and wont let you feel deprived of any of the flavor or technique or style that one finds in restaurant food.

    Innovative ideas that can give your chopped veggies and torn leaves piled on a plate that you call salad a whole new makeover. Its sooo important that healthy food tastes delicious and our goal is just that … these salad are a great side or a meal on their own, try them as you like. But be ready to get so addicted to healthy eating that the junk might not please you any more!

    A lot of people actually relate to salad as lunch food wherein we feel that they are just as good at dinnertime too (dinnertime being not later than 8pm). One of the cardinal rules of eating healthy is not loading up carbohydrates just before bedtime and these salads allow you to just that without depriving you of any of the protein or good fats and moderately less carbs that you need to call a square meal.  Now for all those who fret the fruit at dinnertime  – a few slices of apple or pear at dinnertime never made any one fat, did it?

    Spiced Chickpeas with coconut bacon and avocado dressing 

    Serves: 2-3

    You will need

    Coconut Bacon

    • 2 Cups coconut flakes (not shredded)
    • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 2TbsSoy sauce
    • 1½ Tbsp Sriracha
    • 2 Tsp Maple Syrup

    1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

    Chickpeas

    • 1 Can Chickpeas (or 1½ cups cooked)
    • Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • ½ Tsp Salt
    • ½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
    • ½ Tsp Chili Powder
    • ⅛ Tsp Cumin
    • 1½ Tsp Sriracha

    Avocado Dressing

    • 1 Avocado
    • Juice from 1 Lime
    • ½ Jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
    • Handful of Cilantro (about ⅓ cup packed)
    • ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • ¼ Cup Water
    • ¼ Tsp Salt
    • ¼ Tsp Pepper
    • More water to thin, if needed

    The Salad

    • Baby Kale or Mixed Greens
    • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

    Instructions

    Coconut Bacon

    • Preheat oven to 170 c.
    • In a bowl, combine coconut flakes, olive oil, soy sauce, sriracha, maple syrup, and smoked paprika, and stir well. For a richer flavor, let coconut flakes marinate for a few minutes.
    • Place coconut flakes on a tray lined with parchment paper. Try to evenly space out the coconut flakes as best you can – aim for the least amount of overlap possible.
    • Once oven is at 350, bake coconut bacon for 5 minutes.
    • After five minutes, take coconut bacon out and stir well. Once coconut bacon is evenly spaced again, put the tray back in the oven.
    • After the previous step has completed, keep baking coconut bacon FOR TWO MINUTE INTERVALS, STIRRING AT EVERY INTERVAL. This step is crucial! It prevents the coconut bacon from cooking unevenly.
    • In total, your coconut bacon should bake from anywhere between 10-15 minutes (including the first five minute bake). However, this time may vary based on your oven. Be sure to always take the coconut bacon out and stir EVERY TWO MINUTES. And be careful – it can burn easily!

    Chickpeas

    • Once the coconut bacon is done, crank up the oven to 220 degrees C.
    • Rinse and drain chickpeas, then pat dry with a towel. In a bowl, combine all chickpea ingredients and mix until everything is evenly combined.
    • On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake chickpeas for about 20 minutes, or until slightly browned.

    Avocado Dressing

    • In a blender, combine all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more water to thin if necessary.

    Putting it All Together

    Fill your bowls with a layer of greens, then add on chickpeas and coconut bacon. Drizzle everything with the avocado dressing, and top it off with fresh cracked pepper.

    Aubergine & herb salad with garlic yogurt dressing

    You will need

    • 3 medium aubergines, sliced into 2.5cm (1 inch) thick rounds
    • ¾ cup olive oil
    • 8 large or 16 small black garlic cloves (alternatively use regular garlic)
    • 1 cup greek yoghurt
    • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
    • 7 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 3 red chilies, finely sliced on the diagonal into rounds
    • 1 handful of dill, washed and leaves picked
    • 1 handful of tarragon, washed and leaves picked
    • 1 handful of basil, washed and leaves picked
    • black pepper
    • sea salt

    Instructions

    • Preheat your oven to 250°C  or to its highest setting.
    • Measure out ¼ cup of olive oil and pour in a large flat bottomed dish. Season generously with salt and pepper, then briefly dip each slice of aubergine into the oil to cover both sides (make sure you do this quickly because aubergines are like sponges, so you want to leave enough oil for each slice).
    • Line two large trays with baking paper and spread out the aubergine slices between them.
    • Roast in the oven until golden-brown and completely soft – about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
    • Place the black garlic cloves in the small bowl of a food processor with a pinch of salt, the lemon juice and a couple of tablespoons of the yoghurt.
    • Blitz for a minute to form a rough paste and then transfer to a medium bowl.  Mix through the rest of the yoghurt and keep in the fridge until needed.
    • Heat the remaining olive oil in a small saucepan over high heat.  Add the garlic and chilli slices, then reduce the heat to medium.
    • Fry for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking, until the garlic is golden-brown and the chilli is crispy.
    • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic and chilli on to a plate lined with paper towel.  Reserve the chilli oil.
    • When ready to serve, arrange and overlap the aubergine slices on a platter.  Spoon over dollops of the yoghurt sauce and sprinkle over the fried chilli and garlic.  Scatter with the fresh herbs and lightly drizzle with some of the chilli oil.

    Beetroot, quinoa & kale salad with pomegranate dressing & feta

    You will need

    • ½ cup quinoa
    • 2 – 3 medium beetroots, scrubbed and trimmed
    • 3 cups kale leaves torn into bite-size pieces and steamed
    • ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
    • ¾ cup finely shredded mint leaves
    • 80g feta, crumbled
    • olive oil
    • sea salt
    • greek yoghurt, to serve

    Pomegranate dressing

    • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 tbsp malt vinegar
    • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled and bruised
    • 1 tsp honey
    • black pepper

    Instructions

    • Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F).
    • Start by making the dressing, as this will allow time for the garlic clove to infuse. I’m a big fan of garlic in salad dressing but too much raw garlic can be a bit harsh (and leave that tell-tale aftertaste). By bruising the clove gently with the heel of your hand and adding the whole piece to the dressing, you can infuse some of that flavour without overdoing it.
    • In a medium-sized glass jar, add all the ingredients and season generously with black pepper. Shake vigorously until the mixture is emulsified. Taste and adjust the flavours if need be, then set aside until ready to use.
    • Place each beetroot on a square of doubled-up aluminium foil, drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Wrap snugly in the foil and bake 45 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
    • I usually cook quinoa using the absorption method (1:1 ½ ratio, quinoa to water) but do whatever works best for you. For the absorption method, bring the quinoa and ¾ cup water to the boil. Immediately turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting and let simmer for 20 minutes without lifting the lid (this is very important).
    • Once cooked, remove from the heat. Stir and separate the quinoa using a rice paddle or wooden spoon before tipping into a large serving bowl or platter. Doing so will allow any residual moisture to escape and evaporate, leaving you with fluffy, light quinoa.
    • Once the beetroot are cool enough to handle, grate the entire lot (skins and all).
    • When you’re ready to assemble the salad, gently toss the quinoa with the remaining salad ingredients. Season with sea salt (be careful though, as the feta is already a salty component). Pour over the dressing and serve portions of salad with a dollop of yoghurt.

    Green bean salad with turmeric roasted walnuts and ginger

    You will need

    For the salad

    • 100g green beans
    • 100g mange tout
    • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
    • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach

    For the walnuts

    • 2 handfuls walnuts
    • 1 tsp turmeric
    • 2 tsp brown sugar
    • 2 tsp olive oil

    For the dressing

    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp soy sauce
    • 1 tsp cider vinegar
    • 2cm piece of ginger, finely grated

    Instructions

    • First, prepare the walnuts. Preheat the oven to 180C. Mix together the turmeric, sugar and olive oil with a tsp water to form a paste. Put the walnuts in a baking dish and stir through the turmeric paste. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until toasted.
    • Bring a pan of water to a simmer, and blanch the vegetables: put the green beans in the water first for about 3 minutes, followed by the mange tout for 1 minute, then half the spinach for 30 seconds. Refresh under cold running water for 30 seconds, to retain the bright green color.
    • Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a glass. To serve, arrange the green veg, adding the rest of the fresh spinach, then top with the walnuts, drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle over the sesame seeds.

    Pear & fennel salad with hazelnuts & goat’s cheese

    You will need

    • 3-4 packham pears, depending on their size
    • 1 medium-sized fennel bulb
    • 2 handfuls of watercress, leaves picked
    • 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, halved
    • 150g semi-soft goat’s cheese

    Vinaigrette

    • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp castor sugar
    • cracked black pepper

    Instructions

    • To make the vinaigrette, place all ingredients in a small glass jar and shake until emulsified and the sugar crystals have dissolved.
    • Taste and add more sugar or oil, depending on your piquancy preference.  It’s best to make the vinaigrette first so that you have it on hand to dress the pears and prevent them from browning.
    • Remove the stalks and fronds from the fennel and cut the bulb into quarters.  Using either a mandolin or a very sharp knife, finely slice the bulb and stalks into a bowl.
    • Using the same method, finely slice the pears into thin rounds from either side of the core, until all you have left is a disk of pear containing the seeds and stalk.
    • Place the pear slices and watercress in the bowl with the fennel, pour over the dressing and using your hands, gently toss everything together.
    • To serve, layer slices of pear, shards of fennel and watercress leaves into small towers on each plate.
    • Crumble the goat’s cheese over the top and scatter with roasted hazelnuts.