The temperature is rising by the day. As we prepare for a long summer when a heatwave is expected, it is wise to start menu planning and incorporate some nice leafy greens and other ingredients that will help beat the heat. Summer favorites when it comes to food are lettuce, tomatoes, baby rockets, cooling cucumbers, carrots and potatoes (for salads) and don't forget to incorporate protein into it like chicken, tuna and other meats.
If you are a regular salad-eater, it is easy to get tired of the same usual ones that you have. We are sharing five recipes for healthy salads that you can make this summer to beat the heatwave. Enjoy the leafy greens with a nice pitcher of fruit infused water as a side or as a meal on its own!
Ingredients – Salad
500 grams prawns, cooked and peeled
100 grams mixed lettuce leaves
2 Lebanese cucumbers or 1 continental cucumber, sliced
1 punnet (200 grams) baby tomatoes, halved
1/2 bunch mint, leaves picked
1/2 bunch coriander, leaves picked
3 spring onions (white part only), sliced thinly
4 tablespoons roasted and roughly chopped peanuts (optional)
2 tablespoons fried shallots (from Asian grocer)
Ingredients - Dressing
1.5 tablespoons fish sauce
1.5 tablespoons grated palm sugar or brown sugar
1.5 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced or smashed with a mortar and pestle
1 lemongrass stalk (white part only), sliced finely or smashed with a mortar and pestle
3 tablespoons lime juice (juice of 1 fresh lime)
1 Birds Eye chilli, chopped finely
1. Combine all salad ingredients in a large serving bowl.
2. Combine all salad ingredients in a small cup and stir briskly to combine.
3. Add dressing to salad and mix to combine.
4. Serve immediately.
50g wild rocket leaves
50g frisee lettuce leaves
Small bunch of asparagus spears
150ml virgin rapeseed oil
50ml white wine vinegar
1 dessert spoon of honey
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 happy egg yolks
4 happy eggs
Salt & pepper to season
Wash lettuce and rocket leaves and pat dry with paper towels or use a salad spinner. Put aside.
Holding it at the bottom, bend each asparagus spear until it snaps; save the bottoms, you can make another dish from them, like soup. With the tops, trim them until the lower stem is smooth, then place in a pan and cook for 3 minutes on a low simmer.
In a bowl, whisk together the rapeseed oil, vinegar, honey and shallot to make a vinaigrette. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 happy egg yolks. Slowly add the vinaigrette, mixing continuously, making a sweet vinaigrette style mayonnaise.
To cook the perfect poached egg
Poach the four happy eggs. A great trick to hold the happy egg together when cooking is to place the whole egg (shell on) in simmering water for 10 seconds, then place it in cold water until it’s cool enough to touch. Next, crack it open and place into simmering water and cook for 3 minutes. Add a few drops of vinegar to the water too.
Place the leaves and asparagus in a bowl, drizzle the mayonnaise down the inside of the bowl, then gently toss. Arrange the leaves and asparagus on a plate, place the poached eggs on top and sprinkle with a little salt & pepper to season.
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes
2 vine-ripened tomatoes
2 skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
200g bacon pieces
1 iceberg lettuce, chopped into chunky 2.5cm pieces
1 avocado, peeled, stone removed, cut into small pieces
100g Roquefort cheese, crumbled
A small bunch of watercress, picked into small pieces
Red grape beverage vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon red grape beverage vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
A pinch of salt and pepper
Place the eggs in a pan of cold water. Bring to the boil and then set the timer for 3½ minutes. Remove the eggs and cool in a bowl of cold water. Peel and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the tomatoes for 30 seconds. Cool under cold running water, then peel off and discard the skins. Chop the tomato flesh into small pieces.
Cut the chicken breasts almost through horizontally and open out like a book.
Heat the oil in a griddle pan. When very hot, cook the butterflied chicken on one side for 3 minutes. Turn the chicken over and scatter around the bacon pieces. Cook for another 3 minutes on the other side, until the chicken is cooked through and the bacon has started to colour. Remove from the pan and cut each chicken breast into 6 pieces.
While the chicken and bacon are cooking, mix together the ingredients for the dressing.
In a large serving bowl, mix together the lettuce, tomato and avocado pieces, the crumbled Roquefort cheese and the cooked bacon pieces. Pour over the dressing and mix to coat. Quarter the soft-boiled eggs. Serve the salad scattered with the chicken and watercress and topped with the egg.
350g/12oz new potatoes, thickly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
400g/14oz skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
175g/6oz ready-prepared baby leaf spinach
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
50g/2oz feta, crumbled
For the dressing
125ml/4 1⁄2 fl oz low-fat natural yoghurt
50g/2oz feta, crumbled
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the potatoes in lightly salted water for 10 minutes until tender. Drain well and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan, add 1 tbsp of the olive oil and when hot, add the chicken strips and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and put into a serving bowl.
Reheat the pan, add the remaining oil then add the potatoes and cook until beginning to colour. Transfer to the bowl with the chicken and leave to cool.
Put the dressing ingredients into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Add the spinach to the serving bowl and toss. Scatter over the onion and feta, drizzle over the dressing and serve.