The Experts

Spring into health with five seasonal salads

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Spring … summer  – the perfect time for a BBQ, yummy salad and glass of wine (for me it’s a Sav Blanc).

This is a fabulous way to eat – we need good lean meats, salads are healthy, and it’s been proven a few wines shared with friends is beneficial on a lot of levels!

It’s the time of year we spring clean our homes. It’s also the time when most decide our bodies need work before the beach days are here. This usually leads to a look at what we are eating – as many of us know our diets aren’t as good as they should be!

So maybe a fridge and cupboard spring clean is a good idea too – and, yes, my suggestion is to turf out all the foods that contain numbers (those pesky additives or preservatives).

As part of this, embrace eating fresh foods – they aren’t difficult and really are very yummy.

Lamb loins with Spinach, lentil and fetta salad (serves eight)

You’ll need:
For protein!
  • 8 small lamb loins
  • Small bunch of rosemary, stripped
  • Olive oil
  • Ground pepper

For the salad

  • 2 of cups cooked puy lentils
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced and soaked in water for an hour then drained
  • 1/3 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 350g fetta, crumbled finely
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Then you:

  1. Brush the lamb loins with olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary and pepper, cover and place in fridge for at least two hours.
  2. Cook on the BBQ.
  3. Mix all salad ingredients together.
  4. Let the lamb rest for 5 mins before serving. Slice each loin into five slices and serve on top of the lentil salad.
  5. Serve with roast potatoes or fresh roasted beetroot.

Lemon thyme chicken (serves four)

You’ll need:
  • 8 chicken thigh fillets
  • 4 sprigs of lemon thyme, stripped
  • 1 cup of verjuice or dry white wine
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • Sea salt and ground pepper

Then you:

  1. Mix the thyme, verjuice, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper together.
  2. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Marinate for a few hours or overnight if possible.
  3. Preferably cook on the BBQ or in a moderate oven for 40 mins.
  4. Serve with boiled baby potatoes and spinach salad.

Spinach salad (four people)

You’ll need:
  • 150g baby spinach
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • ½ punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 50g toasted pine nuts
  • 100g blanched snow peas

Then you:

  1. Toss all ingredients together and drizzle with olive oil.

Eye fillet steak with roasted vegetable salad (four people)

You’ll need:
  • 4 eye fillet steaks (nice and thick)
  • Olive oil
  • Cracked pepper

Then you:

  1. Brush the steaks with oil and sprinkle with the cracked pepper.
  2. Cook on a hot BBQ, turning only once when blood appears on the top of the steak. Turn and cook the other side for the same amount of time.
  3. Serve with the roasted vegetable salad and mustard on the side.

Roasted vegetable salad

You’ll need:

  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2.5cm, dice
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2.5cm, dice
  • 2 pontiac potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm, dice
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm, dice
  • 3 Spanish onions, peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled (optional)
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper

Then you:

  1. Place all the vegetables, onion and garlic in a baking dish and pour olive oil over. Season with salt and pepper and add the rosemary sprigs.
  2. Bake in a hot oven for about an hour. Every half-hour turn the vegetables so they brown evenly.
  3. Place on a platter and serve with the steaks.
  4. Serve alongside a large bowl of mixed lettuce leaves.

If you need some inspiration, come to one of my ‘Getting a little bit healthier’ cooking classes. With over 15 easy delicious recipes, you are sure to have plenty of variety to keep you on track.

And for Switzer readers, a 25% discount on the classes – for further information contact me on sarah@itsgoodtobeagirl.com.au

Published: Friday, September 10, 2010

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