Salads

Zesty crab and orange salad

Every ingredient in this meal works hard at keeping you healthy over winter. Crabmeat is high in zinc and omega 3, the oranges are rich in vitamin C, while the fennel is a brilliant source of fibre and potassium.

Serves 2

Preparation time 5 minutes.
Per serving 228 cals, 8g fat (1g saturated), 0.8g salt. 

Ingredients:

1 fennel bulb, sliced 
2 oranges, 1 peeled and finely sliced, pith removed; the other juiced
100g fresh white crabmeat
handful of mint leaves, torn
1 avocado, peeled, stoned and thinly sliced
½ green chilli, diced
2 tbsp olive oil

 Method:

  1. Place fennel in a bowl with the orange slices and gently toss in the crabmeat, mint leaves, avocado and chilli.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the orange juice with the olive oil. Season generously with salt and black pepper, and pour the dressing over the salad to serve.

Golden beetroot and blood orange salad

Beetroots contain no fat, have few calories and are a great source of fibre. They are also rich in potassium and folate but their real nutritional value comes from their high content of the flavanoid quercitin that is bound in their purple pigment and is believed to help protect against heart disease. The blood oranges compliment the beetroots perfectly and of course are a great source of vitamin C.

Serves 4
Per portion: 330 kcal; 18g fat; 6g protein; 28g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. For the dressing:
  2. 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  3. 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  4. grated zest of half an orange
  5. 5 tbsp. olive oil
  6. Half a tsp. of brown sugar
  7. Pinch of salt and freshly milled pepper

For the salad:

  1. 450g fresh golden beets
  2. 50g walnut halves
  3. 3 blood oranges
  4. 1 large head of chicory
  5. 4 spring onions
  6. 2 colourful apples, e.g. Pink Lady

Method:
Put all the dressing ingredients into a screw top jar and shake well until blended.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/GM6. Put the beets in a roasting tin with half an inch of water in the bottom. Cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes, so they are tender when pierced with a knife. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins, top and tail then and slice into rounds. Toss them in a little dressing. With a sharp knife, trin the top and bottom of each orange, pare off the rest of the peel and pith and slice thinly. Core and quarter the apples and cut into thin slices. Thinly slice the spring onions. Cut the stalk end from the chicory and discard the outer leaves. Separate the leaves and arrange in a salad bowl and then add the other salad ingredients. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and garnish with the walnuts.

Avocado, grapefruit and fennel salad

If you feel you’re stuck in a rut food-wise, wake up your taste buds with the refreshing taste of zingy grapefruit in this salad. It contrasts perfectly with the liquorice-y flavour of the fennel, while the crunch compliments the soft creamy texture of the avocado. This salad is a real mouth explosion for the most jaded of palettes. The pink grapefruit is a rich source of vitamin C and the avocado is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and contains plenty of vitamin E.

Serves 2
Per portion: 386 kcal, 5g protein, 25g fat, 18g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 2 avocados
  2. 1 large pink grapefruit
  3. Half a bulb of fennel
  4. Juice of 1 lime
  5. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  6. 2 tsp. honey
  7. Fresh coriander, chopped

Method:
Cut the avocados in half, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh. Cut each half into thick slices. Peel the grapefruit and separate the segments with a knife, catch the juice in a bowl. Thinly slice the fennel. Place the avocado, grapefruit and fennel in the bowl with the juice and toss together. Make up the dressing by mixing the lime juice, oil and honey together. Pour over the salad and sprinkle on the fresh coriander.

Steak salad

Lean steak is only 5% fat and rich in protein and easily absorbed iron, which is needed to keep the blood healthy and prevent iron-deficiency anaemia.

Serves 2
Per portion: 433 kcal, 46g protein, 14g fat, 23g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 1 jar of pepperdew sweet red peppers
  2. 2 tbsp. honey
  3. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  4. Knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  5. 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  6. 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  7. Juice of 1 lemon
  8. 2 lean steaks
  9. 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  10. Quarter of a cucumber, diced
  11. 1 gem lettuce, shredded
  12. 4 spring onions, sliced

Method:
Place the steak in the soy sauce to marinade. Mix together the honey, ginger, chilli, garlic and lemon juice. Arrange the salad leaves in a large bowl and add the cucumber and peppers. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and lift the steaks out of the marinade, fry for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the steaks to a plate. Add the marinade and honey mixture to the pan with the spring onions, bring to the boil and boil for a minute, then remove from the heat. Slice the steak into thick slices, place on top of the salad and add the dressing a spring onions.

Warm halloumi salad

Halloumi cheese is perfect for cooking as it can keep its shape, placed in a hot non-stick pan, the cheese will form a crisp, golden crust as the centre melts. Nutrition-wise it is also a great source of protein and calcium and lower in fat than most hard cheeses. The asparagus provides plenty of folate and the peppers are a good source of vitamin C and beta-carotene.

Serves 4
Per portion: 218 kcal, 12g fat, 17g protein, 10g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 2 x 350g bundles asparagus, trimmed
  2. 2 red peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced
  3. Olive oil spray
  4. 225g pack light halloumi cheese
  5. 120g bag mixed salad leaves
  6. 4 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Spread the asparagus and red pepper out on a large, shallow roasting tray and spritz lightly with oil spray to coat. Roast in the oven for 15-18 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the vegetables are tender and starting to caramelise. About 5 minutes before the vegetables are ready, preheat a large nonstick frying pan on the hob. Cut the block of halloumi into 12 slices and season with freshly ground black pepper. Coat the frying pan with oil spray, add the halloumi and fry for 60-90 seconds on each side until toasted brown. Divide the halloumi between 4 bowls or plates and top with the roasted asparagus, peppers and salad leaves. Drizzle a teaspoon of balsamic over each salad and serve with warm pitta.

Pancetta and broad bean salad

The fat content for this dish is higher than usual for a salad but much if it comes in the form of healthy unsaturated fats from the olive oil and almonds, which also provide the antioxidant vitamin E.

Serves 2
Per portion: 298 kcal, 21g protein, 20g fat, 11g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 1 garlic clove, peeled
  2. 150g podded broad beans
  3. 3 slices of pancetta
  4. Handful of toasted flaked almonds
  5. 75g fresh peas
  6. 25g pecorino cheese, grated
  7. A handful of fresh mint leaves
  8. 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  9. Juice of 1 lemon
  10. Freshly ground black pepper
  11. 2 handfuls of a mixture of rocket, watercress and baby spinach leaves

Method:
Preheat the grill to its hottest temperature. Put the pancetta on a baking tray and grill crisp. Half fill a pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the garlic and beans and allow to boil for 3-5 minutes, until tender. When cooked, remove the skins and place the cooked garlic to one side. To make the dressing, place the raw peas and boiled garlic into a pestle and mortar and bash till smooth. Add the cheese and mint and smash until creamy. Add the olive oil and lemon juice, season and mix well. Chop up the pancetta and mix with the beans, almonds and leaves, and drizzle over the dressing.

Mackerel with broccoli and avocado

The mackerel is one of the richest sources of long chain omega 3 fatty acids, needed to counteract inflammation, while the broccoli contains powerful antioxidant substances that can help to prevent cancer. The avocado is a great source of vitamin E needed for immunity and heart health.

Serves 2
Per portion: 325 kcal, 22g protein, 24g fat, 6g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 4 large handfuls of tenderstem broccoli
  2. 4 handfuls of rocket
  3. 1 avocado, diced
  4. 2 fillets of smoked mackerel, diced
  5. 8 cherry tomatoes halved
  6. Juice of ½ a lemon
  7. Handful of fresh dill, torn
  8. 4 teaspoons toasted mixed seeds
  9. A dash of virgin olive oil
  10. Freshly ground black pepper

Method:
Steam the broccoli for about 2 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Rinse in cold water and chop. Put the rocket, broccoli, avocado, smoked mackerel and tomatoes into a large serving bowl. Squeeze over the lemon juice, add the dill, seeds, olive oil and black pepper and toss lightly together.

Feta, apple and walnut salad

This salad is full of healthy ingredients providing important nutrients including essential fats, vitamin E, calcium and vitamin C, yet it has a richness and creaminess that makes it feel indulgent.

Serves 2
Per portion: 364 kcal, 11g protein, 25g fat, 20g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 1 bag of leafy green salad
  2. 1 ripe avocado, diced
  3. Quarter of cucumber, diced
  4. ½ a fennel, finely sliced
  5. Large handful of walnut pieces
  6. 50g feta cheese, crumbled
  7. 1 Cox’s apple, core removed, cut into thin slices
  8. Juice of half a lemon
  9. 2 tbsp. walnut oil
  10. Freshly ground black pepper
  11. 1 small baton of French bread

Method:
Sprinkle the lemon juice over the apple slices. Place all the ingredients, apart from the oil and black pepper, into a large serving bowl. Drizzle with the oil and grind over the black pepper. Toss lightly but well enough to mix everything together. Serve with some crusty French bread.

Prosciuto with melon and rocket

Serves 2
Per portion: 448 kcal, 30g protein, 20g fat, 40g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 8 slices of prosciutto
  2. 1 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  3. Bag of rocket, washed
  4. 1 ripe avocado, diced
  5. ½ a cantaloupe melon, diced
  6. Half a cucumber, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  7. Juice of half a lemon
  8. Dash of olive oil
  9. Freshly ground black pepper
  10. 4 slices of pumpernickel bread

Method:
First put the seeds into a non-stick frying pan and heat gently until they turn golden brown – be careful not to let them burn. Allow the seeds to cool and place the rocket, avocado, melon and cucumber into a bowl. Sprinkle over the lemon juice, a dash of oil, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and the pumpkin seeds. Toss and serve with 4 slices of prosciutto (remove any visible fat), and 2 slices of pumpernickel bread.

Salmon and watercress salad

Serves 2
Per portion: 323 kcal, 14g protein, 22g fat, 15g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 6 slices of smoked salmon
  2. 4 handfuls of watercress leaves
  3. Half a cucumber, thinly sliced
  4. Half of a bulb of fennel, very thinly sliced
  5. 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  6. Handful of fresh dill, chopped
  7. Juice of half a lemon
  8. Dash of extra virgin olive oil
  9. Handful of toasted pinenuts
  10. Freshly ground black pepper
  11. 4 slices of Wheaten bread

Method:
Simply mix all the salad ingredients together in a small salad bowl, season with freshly ground black pepper and serve with the smoked salmon and Wheaten bread.