Great quick and easy, mix and match salad idea that wows!

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Grill’d Chicken and Quinoa with Pomegrante dressing salad

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Double shot salads

The lunch menu at Double Shot, in Deakin is a fine example of how to throw together a side or main meal salad at home that will wow your guests but still leave them feeling light and ‘fine’.

It’s also a great idea for work or home when you’re eating light and pacing yourself between social dining opportunities.

It’s a no-fail formula:

1. Pick a base for your salad (any washed green leaves will work)

2. Add colour, texture, flavour
– look in the fridge freezer and cupboards for what’s on hand; or
– if you have more time and energy, get inspiration from restaurant and cafe menus that usually have interesting combinations that work well.
– ensure there is at least one intense flavour (even just a little makes a big difference, without adding too many extra kilojoules or extra sodium) e.g. bacon bits/olives/feta/antipasti mix/anchovies/chorizo/baby beets/capers/marinated vegetables/sundried tomato

3. Layer the different ingredients on top of the leaves, leaving the most interesting colours, textures and flavours for the upper layers.

4. Serve with an interesting dressing (e.g. combine lemon juice or a vinegar e.g. balsamic (e.g. 3 Tbsp) with some oil e.g. olive (e.g. 1 Tbsp), adding a little sweetener to taste e.g. brown sugar/honey e.g. 2 tsp and I like some dijon or wholegrain mustard e.g. 2 tsp as well)
(Tip: if you allow the dressing to be added to individual plates then any leftover salad will keep better until the next meal).

For a main meal salad:

Add a cooked protein food (sliced often works best), perhaps marinated/smoked/warm (e.g. warm thai beef, warm chicken, tandoori chicken, smoked salmon/trout/ham/chicken, boiled eggs, cubed or crumbed cheese, prawns or other seafood, warm marinated tofu).

Usually this layer is best near the top of the salad, but with more colourful/flavoursome and textured layers garnishing it.

From the freezer:
Frozen baby beans/ baby peas/ tender corn kernels (blanch these by pouring boiling water over them, stand for a few minutes, then drain well).
Bits and pieces collected for just this purpose e.g. fried bacon bits, roast pumpkin, olives, antipasti mix

From the fridge/deli:
Protein foods
Left over roast vegetables (e.g. pumpkin/ roast potato/ carrot/ potato/ beetroot/ eggplant/ mushrooms/ zucchini/ capsicum/roasted canned chickpeas )
Left over steamed vegetables
Salad vegetables including blanched asparagus/snow peas/ green beans/ corn kernels (blanch these by pouring boiling water over them, stand for a few minutes until tender, then drain well)

Tomatoes/ baby tomatoes/ lebanese cucumbers/ red capsicum/ red onion/ avocado/salad leaves/ shredded cabbage

Marinated vegetables (e.g. olives/ antipasti mix/ artichokes/eggplant/ sundried-tomato)
And if you have an Asian peeler it can be used for green papaya/green mango/carrot
Fruit (e.g. orange/pineapple/apple)

From the pantry:
Canned chickpeas and beans
Nuts – whole and chopped, or seeds – best toasted and sprinkled on top at the last minute
Canned vegetables (e.g. baby beets/ asparagus/ corn kernels/ champignon mushrooms)
Cooked quinoa or couscous to stir through the leaves
Dried fruit and berries
Crispy noodles

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Double Shot’s kale salad

 

Creamy Thai Red Curry & Coconut Carrot Soup – ideal for lunch through winter

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Soup and toast

This quick and easy comfort food, is very light on kilojoules at around 350kJ per bowl.

Cook up a big batch to freeze in portions and take for lunch, or jazz it up with fresh chopped coriander and good bread to serve for friends.

For dinner, you can give it more body by adding extra cooked leftover/steamed/frozen veggies and even some tinned drained chickpeas.

It can be varied nicely by using cauliflower, broccoli or zucchini instead of carrot.

Serve two different colours together for added style.

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Ingredients:
2 tsp oil (leave out if not using curry paste)
2 tsp red curry paste (from a jar) (optional)
1 kg carrots (peeled and roughly chopped)
3 medium onions (peeled and roughly chopped)
2 tsp crushed garlic (from a jar)
1 Tbsp salt reduced stock powder
6 cups water
1 Tbsp salt reduced soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1x375ml can evaporated light milk (preferably coconut flavoured or add 1 tsp coconut essence to tin) or use light coconut milk

Method:
Heat oil in large saucepan and cook curry paste until fragrant. Add all other ingredients except milk and essence. Simmer until veg are tender. Add milk and essence and puree soup with food processor or hand held blender.

Source ‘Symply Too Good Yo Be True’ No. 4 by Annette Sym

Cauliflower mash – tasty, leaner swap for mashed potato

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Portion perfection cauliflower mashComfort food for the cold weather, that won’t weigh you down

Love mashed potato but it’s just too ‘morish’?

Why not try cauliflower mash!

Cauliflower mash can be used instead of mashed potato with a winter casserole, or spread it on top of cottage pie mixture instead of potato!

So how do you make cauliflower mash? Simple!

Ingredients (Serves 4):

• 1 small head of cauliflower

• Optional: Your choice of added flavours (eg. minced garlic, herbs)

Method:

1. Chop cauliflower head in to florets.

2. Steam or microwave until very soft.

3. Add steamed cauliflower to food processor/blender or use a hand blender, as well as any additional flavours (if desired) and blend until smooth. You may need to add a small amount of hot water to reach your desired consistency.

4. Serve with meal, on top of cottage pie or however you wish to use it!

Source: Portion Perfection facebook site

https://www.facebook.com/portionperfection

Catering?….always include a large, interesting salad

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A salad can be quick, easy and exciting.
Just start with mixed leaves and add layers of colour and texture, ending with the most interesting.

Even just a sprinkle of antipasti mix over leaves looks great.

But use whatever you’ve got:

Frozen – baby peas/baby beans/baby corn (just pour over boiling water and drain)

Leftover roast veg – anything colourful

Canned – baby beets, chickpeas, corn kernels

Fresh – sliced lebanese cucumbers, blanched snow peas or asparagus, cherry or chopped tomato, strings of grated carrot, sliced capsicum, avocado, spanish/ red onion

From the deli – antipasti mix, crumbled feta

Cooked chopped of sliced protein – cooked diced chicken, sliced beef or lamb, canned tuna or salmon, sliced boiled eggs, diced or crumbled cheeses, nuts, seeds

Dressing – mix equal quantities mustard with honey, brown sugar or white sugar and vinegar (plenty). Add a dash or oil if you like. Serve this separately, so leftover salad will last a bit longer.