Healthy Tasty Salads to Balance Christmas Excess

Eating healthy is hard at the best of times. It’s even harder at Christmas. If you’re not resisting the influx of office sweets, you’re probably trying to dodge the flurry of mince pies. Which, according to retail analysts Kantar Worldpanel, us Brits have spent £4 million on already this year. And, much like any other month, you’re probably guilty of answering emails while tucking into a meal deal sandwich on days when you just can’t find the time to step away from your desk. More often than not you’ve had to fight for the last fork in the kitchen draw unless you want to attempt to eat courgetti with a spoon.

And when the temperature has dropped, you’re forgiven for not wanting to brave the Baltic freeze in search of a health-conscious midday munch.

Whether you fancy roasted butternut squash, or prawns served with tender stem broccoli, there are so many healthy salad recipe ideas to choose from.

Say goodbye to sad and soggy lettuce, tomato and cucumber combination and upgrade your desktop your lunch with these recipes.

High Protein Pulsed Pea And Edamame Millet Salad

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Due to its high protein content, this salad is great for a pre- or post-workout meal.

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • pink salt
  • 90g millet
  • 150g frozen podded edamame
  • 60g frozen garden peas
  • 170g green beans
  • 10g parsley
  • 10g dill½ lemon plus zest
  • 1 tsp brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp sesame seeds for garnish

METHOD

1. Start off by pre-heating your oven 170°C, then de-seed the peppers and cut into quarters. Put onto a baking tray with sunflower oil and a pinch of pink salt. Cook for 25 mins or until soft.

2. Cook the millet in 3 times the amount of water for 20 mins. Drain the water through a sieve then rinse with cold water until the millet cools down. Leave to drain and then put into a bowl.

3. Bring a pan of water with 2 tbsp salt to the boil and drop the edamame beans and peas in for 1 min – sieve out (do not throw the water out) bring to the boil again then drop the green beans in for 2-3 mins.

4. Drain and run under cold water. (This way of cooking keeps them super green and nutritious.)

5.. Next up, put half the peas and edamame beans, half the parsley, dill with the lemon juice, a pinch of salt, brown rice vinegar and olive oil into a blender. Blend until it’s chunky in texture.

6. Take out the blender and mix in the rest of the peas, edamame beans, dill and parsley.

7. Assemble the salad by stirring the millet through the pea and edamame mixture and mixing in the roasted red peppers and green beans.

Serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds over the top.

Low-Calorie Chicken Caesar Salad

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Anything with ‘salad’ in the name has got to be a healthy option, right? Not when your standard chicken Caeser ordered from a restaurant will cost you nearly 700 calories.

Here’s a recipe that will cut those calories in half!

INGREDIENTS

(For the salad)

  • 1/2 ciabatta
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large skin-on chicken breast (150g each)
  • 2 large cos lettuce, chopped
  • 100g kale leaves, stalks removed and sliced

(For the dressing)

  • 125g plain low fat yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets (canned)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Ground black pepper

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 200C.

2. Tear the ciabatta into small chunks (you can also cut with a knife if you prefer).

3. Lay the ciabatta croutons on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle over a little sea salt.

4. Bake in the oven for about 8 minutes until golden brown, turning occasionally to ensure evenly browned. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.

5. Whilst the croutons are cooking, place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.  Once hot add a tsp of oil and then place the chicken breasts in the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes each side until cooked through.

6. Transfer the chicken breasts from the pan to a chopping board and slice thinly.

7. Place the leaves in a large bowl.

8. Prepare the dressing by adding the ingredients to a small blender and blitzing until smooth.

9. Add the dressing to the bowl with the leaves and combine well until all the leaves are evenly coated.

10. Construct the salad by dividing between four bowls.  Add chicken slices on top of each salad and garnish with croutons.

Prawn, Shallot, Tenderstem and Freekkeh Salad

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Prawns teamed with tenderstem broccoli and shallots, it will quickly become your new favourite healthy salad recipe.

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 50g freekeh
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 8 shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 200g tenderstem broccoli
  • 150g cooked tiger or king prawns
  • Handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon

METHOD

1. Soak the freekeh in cold water for 5 minutes, drain and rinse under running water, allow to drain well.  Melt the butter in a large pan, add the shallots and sauté over a medium heat for approx 5 minutes until softened.

2. Add the freekeh and vegetable stock, simmer gently for 10-20 minutes, the freekeh needs a little longer and has a slightly chewy, nutty texture and taste.

3. Add the tenderstem, cover and cook for a few minutes, turn the heat off and allow everything to steam under the lid in the residual heat for another 5 minutes, then leave to cool a little.

4. Stir in the prawns, parsley and a good squeeze of lemon juice, season to taste.

 

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