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The great thing about salads in my mind is that they are the perfect excuse to throw all manner of good stuff into a bowl. This recipe was created after a fruitful loot in our local health food stores reduced bin.

(Serves 4, Vegan and Gluten Free)

Roasted Squash:

  • 350g Butternut Squash, diced
  • tablepoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Preheat Oven to 180oc,
  2. Combine all ingredients and bake for roughly 20 minutes or until squash are just turning crispy.

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Tofu Marinade:

  • tablespoon of: olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • teaspoon of: sesame oil
  • dark soy sauce
  • good pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cloves of very finely chopped garlic
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well until the citric components have combined with the oil.
  2. Halve your tofu block horizontally then cut each half vertically, so you get 6 slabs.
  3. Remove excess liquid from tofu by wrapping in kitchen roll and press down gently, this will help the marinade soak in.
  4. Pour half the marinade into a rimmed plate, place the tofu on top and pour the remaining marinade over.
  5. Cover with cling film and leave for no less than an hour (the longer you leave it the tastier it gets).
  6. Heat a griddle pan (no need to use more oil as there’l be plenty from the marinade) and cook tofu 2/3 minutes on each side.

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Black Beans:

  • tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • zest of one orange
  • handful of finely chopped coriander
  • 1/2 green chilli
  • good pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin & coriander seeds
  • tin of black beans, drained and washed thoroughly
  1. Fry the onion and chilli for 3 minutes in the oil then turn off the heat.
  2. Add coriander, orange zest, cumin, coriander seeds and salt.
  3. Mix in beans.

Brown Rice:

(This fool- proof method for cooking rice was handed down to me from my momma, always perfectly cooked and no need to drain any water at the end- rice with a lovely bite).

  • 1/2 a tea mug of brown rice
  • 1 tea mug of cold water
  1. Wash rice in a sieve then place in a small pan, add the cold water.
  2. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat off and cover with a tea towel for 15 minutes.

(This should make enough for 4 portions- depending on your appetite!)

Toasted Peanuts and Hazlenuts:

  • 25g of both, dry fried until they start to go brown.

For my salad i used a base of watercress rocket and spinach, then added the rice, then the squash, some (reduced!) plum tomatoes, cut lengthways, 1/2 very finely chopped red onion and nuts. Serve the beans on the side with the grilled tofu on top.

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