Super Spring Salads
As the weather heats up, we’re looking forward to more outdoor dining. Whether it’s a picnic, barbecue or dinner on the balcony, these three quick and easy salads are the perfect side dish or a healthy meal on their own.
Quinoa Mason Jar Salad
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 25 minutes | Serves: 2
Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Gluten Free option
- ¼ butternut pumpkin cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 100g quinoa (½ cup)
- 250ml chicken or vegetable stock (1 cup)
- 3 teaspoons ground harissa
- 1 whole roasted red pepper, sliced (jar)
- ¼ red onion, finely sliced
- 50g prunes, chopped
- 100g corn kernels, drained
- 35g baby spinach leaves (2 handfuls)
- 30g pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tablespoons orange juice (½ orange)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (white condiment)
Preheat oven to 200°C. Coat pumpkin cubes with oil (I like to put them in a plastic bag with the oil so they get coated evenly), place on a roasting tray and sprinkle with cumin. Roast for 15-20 minutes until brown and cooked through.
Heat saucepan and add quinoa to toast for a few minutes until it starts to crackle. Remove, rinse and then place back in the saucepan. Add stock, harissa and bring to the boil. Place a lid on the saucepan, reduce heat to medium–low and simmer for 15 minutes. Don’t lift the lid. When time is up, remove from the heat and stand for a further 5 minutes (without lifting the lid).
Allow to cool slightly.
To make dressing, shake ingredients in a large mason jar until combined. Taste and adjust to your liking. Divide dressing between 2 jars.
Then begin to fill the jars with the salad ingredients. I like to put the pumpkin on top of the dressing, then roasted red peppers, red onion, quinoa, prunes, corn and finally the spinach and pine nuts on the top. Screw on the lids and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, empty the jar into a large bowl and toss to combine. Recipe is easily doubled to serve 4.
Thai Beef Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 0 minutes | Total time: 10 minutes | Serves: 4
Dairy free, Gluten free option
- 4 handfuls baby spinach leaves
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, julienned
- 1 red capsicum, sliced
- 2 handfuls bean sprouts
- 4 spring onions, sliced thinly
- 1 handful mint leaves, chopped
- 1 handful coriander, chopped
- 600g roast beef
- 1 long red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 handful chopped peanuts, roasted (optional)
- 6 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce*
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ¼ tablespoon grated ginger (optional)
Toss spinach leaves, cucumber, capsicum, bean sprouts, spring onion, mint and coriander leaves in a large salad bowl. Slice the meat into strips as thin as possible and scatter across the salad.
To make dressing, shake ingredients in a jar until combined. Taste and adjust to your liking. Pour dressing over salad and toss together. Sprinkle with chopped chilli and peanuts.
*GLUTEN FREE OPTION – make sure the soy sauce is gluten free
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes | Serves: 4
Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Gluten Free option
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tomatoes, finely diced
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed, finely diced
- 1 bunch Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
- ½ bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- salt and pepper
Heat saucepan and add quinoa to toast for a few minutes until it starts to crackle. Remove, rinse and then place back in the saucepan. Add stock and bring to the boil. Place a lid on the saucepan, reduce heat to medium–low and simmer for 15 minutes. Don’t lift the lid. When time is up, remove from the heat and stand for a further 5 minutes without lifting the lid.
Allow to cool. To speed up the process, spread on a plate or tray.
Pat herbs and tomato dry with paper towel before placing them in the bowl. This helps stop the salad from turning soggy. Combine tomato, spring onion, cucumber, parsley, mint and garlic, and mix them in a small salad bowl with salt and pepper.
Zest the lemon, then squeeze the juice and add both to the salad bowl. Finally add the cooked and cooled quinoa and toss together.
This salad is best served immediately. Great with lamb.
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Recipes by Jodie Blight, extract from Summer TABLE - the recipes in Summer TABLE prove you can combine fast, delicious and healthy for the perfect solution to the ‘what’s for dinner’ dilemma. And making life even easier, Summer TABLE includes a free APP - scan the recipes from the book to create a shopping list on your phone, with all the items sorted by aisle at your local supermarket.