Do you crave a delicious weeknight dinner that doesn’t take forever to prepare? Especially those of us that have large families and/or work full time? Well say hello to fourteen easy-peasy basic salads, mixed up for our not so conventional families. Our house is no different to anyone else’s; we have two teenagers that don’t like this, or is not eating that this week. You’re hearing me right? So using the basic salad produce we grow in our garden, I just mix up the toppings and this means everyone can still have something different. The reason it works for us is that nothing goes to waste, so if there are tomatoes that need eating, I will throw together a tomato salad. I’m not eating nightshades, Bendy has Crohn’s issues with tomatoes, CJ and Poppy don’t like olives, and the list goes on. So just focus on what you have in your fridge. I plate up enough basic salads for three days wrapped in the fridge, and then I just need to add the protein and personalise each one. Dinner is stress free and everyone is happy. Buy organic healthy veggies or try growing your own. We at the Bendy household often have salad five times a week!
No. 1 – Bacon Avocado with Prawns
Bendy’s favourite salad is a three leaf salad with olives, avocado, prawns, bacon some nuts and seeds and a side of sauerkraut.
No. 2 – Just Salad
Somedays if I have had some protein earlier in the day I may just leave my salad a salad, topped with radishes, olives, kim chi, grated carrots, nuts and seeds, grated beetroot and cucumber.
No. 3 – Roasted Pumpkin Salad
For this salad I coated the pumpkin cubes with organic coconut oil and then I tossed them with some herbs and spices and cooked them in the oven until tender and just beginning to go crispy. These are great as leftovers and cold for a snack the next day.
No.4 – Simple Garden Salad with Spinach and Broccoli Quiche
This is one for the kiddies really. We try not to do pastry very often but this tastes divine.
I pop in a little coconut cream in the egg mix which makes it super rich and decadent. The pastry is from Family Food by Pete Evans Lamb Shank Pie pg.147 recipe using the short pastry. It’s the best pastry ever and if you eat dairy is fantastic using butter instead of coconut oil.
No.5 – Prawn Salad with crispy Seaweed and Kale
This reminds me of long hot summer days growing up in England, or an over sized prawn cocktail. I add extra cucumber and make a Thousand Island dressing using ‘Paleonnaise’ mayo with some home made tomato sauce and some freshly squeezed lemon. The seaweed is just how it comes out of the packet, make sure it is just 100% seaweed and no hidden naughties. The kale is from our garden and grows really well in pots, washed, smiled with a touch of coconut oil and popped into a moderate oven until crispy to crumble.
No.6 – Zesty Salad with lamb Koftas and a coconut yoghurt mint sauce on a bed of cauliflower rice
When we see organic cauliflowers for a good price we buy them up, and make some cauliflower rice in bulk and pop in the freezer in single serve portion sizes. Bendy likes to fry it up with some spices like turmeric, sumac and finely chopped onion and garlic.
The coconut mint yoghurt is just that, some of my coconut yoghurt, mixed with a little filtered water and some chopped fresh mint and cucumber. Delish!
No.7 – Egg Salad
Simple yet beautiful, three different types of leaf, some freshly grated carrots and beetroot, nuts and seeds (my children sometimes have a little grated quality hard cheese) fermented veggies tossed through and I love the Curry sauce with this dish from ‘Paleonnaise’. Some homemade mayo would also finish this dish off beautifully.
No.8 – Macadamia crumbed fish pieces on a bed of lettuce
This is one of CJ’s faves, macadamia crumbed fish pieces and a bed of lettuce and Kale salad, kim Chi, carrots, olives and I toss the leaves in a ix of balsamic vinegar and olive oil to help break down the enzymes in the kale so that they are more easy to digest. Any quality line-caught firm white fish will do.
No.9 – Pete Evans Moroccan Carrot Salad
Who doesn’t like carrots, and wow they are so cheap. This inexpensive dish is getting more regular in our house and is quickly becoming a favourite. The dressing for this salad is to die for. The ginger and chillies make this dish anything but boring and so so easy and quick to whip together. We at Paleonutter leave the currants out as we try and keep any sugar content down if we can, but Pete suggests using barberries which originates from the Iranian culture. Barberries are incorporated into certain wedding dishes as a symbol, representing the occasional sourness of life. They are rich in vitamin C and add not only a punch of colour to this dish but a sweet and sour taste all of its own.
We normally serve this dish with organic pork chops for the boys or a fish fillet and some zesty lemon over the top. Since getting Pete’s Spiralise book, this salad looks great when the carrot is a big plate of curls.
No.10 – Broccoli and Snow Pea Salad Side
We all love this dish, a medley of veggies cooked and raw. This is our staple salad for a midweek meal, as it kind of goes with everything and anything. The crunchiness of the lettuce, carrots, celery and cucumber with the cooked (but not overcooked) broccoli and snow peas creates a more wintery salad. Let us know what you have with this dish. One of my favourites are sardines.
No.11 – Pete Evans Cucumber Noodles with Sesame Dressing
This is from Pete’s new book Spirals, pg. 64. Bendy was a bit dubious about this meal, not loving raw meals as I do, but keen to give it a go. Wow he loved it. Recently as I do, I’ve thrown a few extras into this dish to make it a main meal with a little protein but it’s great by itself. Bendy loved this dish with some chopped up bacon and olives and I loved a little wild caught smoked salmon. The hulled tahini with the lemon juice, olive oil and tamari, garlic and honey transforms the cucumber noodles so much that you don’t even realise its a plate of cucumber you are eating. So fresh and very hydrating. The toasted sesame seeds only take minutes and finishes this dish of to a tee! This feels like a hearty meal, that leaves you full but light and energised.
No.12 – Chicken or Salmon Asian Salad
I love this salad because it kind of feels like you are eating a stirfry and is so good to pop into little pots for lunch the next day. Slicing some carrots, onions, capsicum, snow peas, wombok and bamboo shoots into matchstick thin slices, mix with shredded organic chicken and pour over and combine a sure made from fresh lime juice, fish sauce, a little coconut sugar or maple syrup and topped of with some finely cut red chillies and fresh coriander.
No.13 – Pete Evan’s Smoked Trout Salad
From ‘Spiralise’ again, so if you haven’t got a copy, stop reading this and run out and get a copy! To keep things super easy I make up the dressing beforehand and I don’t stress if I haven’t got the salmon roe. The mint leaves really get your tastebuds dancing alongside the hotness of the red chillies. Salads or week days meals needn’t be boring or take hours to prepare.
No.14 – Fennel & Orange Salad
This dish is simply thrown together in minutes, grab some lettuce leaves of your choice, chop up a fennel bulb and segment an orange or clementine. Mix together some white wine vinegar and olive oil, cracked pepper and a little of the orange juice. A fun summery salad the kids will love.
Any of the above salads are ideas and platforms for easy and quick meals that you can personalise. Get creative and please post and leave comments.