Food is the thing which keep me going. I wake up thinking about what I’ll be eating, and learning about that day. I go to sleep thinking about what I’ll be eating the next day. We all need to eat to survive so I am fortunate that fulfilling this need is also my obsession. One of my friends simply does not care about food in the slightest – I am sure that, if in the manner of many science fiction films, she could pop one pill to satisfy all her energy and nutritional needs she would, for me this would be something out of a horror movie. I might have a moan about my seemingly constant cycle of loading and unloading the dishwasher – but I would be very unhappy were I not cooking and producing dishes, pots and pans that needed washing (or if indeed I did not have a dishwasher at all). I have written several times about my simple approach diet mantra and approach to healthy eating
Forget diets and eat a generous portion of (raw) vegetables with every meal whenever you can.
I joke that I am hard-core green – and mildly addicted to green leafy vegetables – kale, chard and spinach. I eat most of them raw – either in salads or blended to silky perfection in smoothies. It is possible that kale is my favourite vegetable. the fact it is amazingly good for you – packed with calcium, folate & vitamins A, C and K is a bonus! I first made this for lunch on my birthday to accompany sourdough pizzas from the Franco Manca book- our equally leafy vegetable obsessed friend Monica was visiting, and at her insistence I now nibble both the kale and chard stalks as I prepare the salad. I’d bought bags of leafy greens in readiness, and had some watermelon from a recipe I’ve been working on so threw them all in together. This salad worked very well – crisp chewy sharp peppery chard and kale, softer milder spinach, sweet juicy watermelon and buttery smooth avocado all work very well together and make eating raw vegetables a delight. Use your favourite dressing – if you are not used to lots of leafy greens then add a dash of honey or maple syrup to add a little sweetness. Adjust the amount of kale, chard and spinach to suit your tastes. Nibble the stems as you prepare this – go on I dare you – you might be surprised how good they are.
Love salad? Then check out my radicchio and asparagus salad!
- 2 large handfuls of kale – woody thick stems removed – torn into pieces
- 2 large handfuls of chard – thick stems removed – torn into pieces
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- 1/8 of a large watermelon – peel and discard the pips – cut into 2cm / 1? chunks
- 1 avocado – peeled and cut into chunks
- Dressing of your choice
Prepare the green leaves – wash and give them a good spin in the salad spinner. Arrange the melon and avocado on top and drizzle the dressing over. Dig in!
Now that summer is here it is time to dust off the salad spinner and put it to use. You really do need to wash salad, as it will remove bits of soil, any bugs and also helps to rinse away any pesticide residues. Limp salad, once plunged into a bowl of cold water, is often miraculously revived regaining much of that freshly picked crispiness. Once washed we’ve been spinning in the OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner to remove most of the water before using. The large spinner easily holds enough salad for 4 or 5 – you simple press the top down a few times and the inside basket rapidly spins flinging the water out into the bowl. It is remarkably efficient and built to last (Ed’s parents have had one for at least 7 -8 years). There is a clip that holds the plunger down for east cupboard or fridge storage. Available in two sizes large (pictured) £24.99 and small at £14.99.
We also been making our dressings in the OXO Good Grips dressing shaker. It is a simple beaker with both cup and volume measurements, with a screw on lid that has a drip proof stopper. To use fill, put the lid on, shake and flip the lid forward to pour. I usually make my dressings in the salad bowl, but the dressing shaker is very useful if making dressing in advance for a crowd and for taking on picnics as it is both leak proof and unlike a jamjar does not drip when being poured. Again it comes in two sizes small/200ml (pictured) £10, and large/350ml £12.
Many thanks to Discover Kale who send me some kale and other goodies, and to OXO Good Grips for the salad spinner and dressing shaker.
I love watermelon in salad. For another example, make my BBQ grilled watermelon and mixed grain salad.