Sides

Wild Rice Salad

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My mother and I created this salad together for our family Christmas lunch one year - and each year since we have rolled it out for our friends and family. The combination of allspice and orange combines perfectly with the fresh herbs, caramelised onions and currants. 

The thing I love most about it is that it can be mostly made the day before an event then easily assembled in the morning. Leaving the rice, nutmeg and herbs together overnight allows the flavours to wonderfully infuse. 

The salad pairs perfectly with turkey, chicken or salmon. 

- with love, Lucy x

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup each of wild and brown rice
  • 4 x brown onions sliced
  • 1 cup of toasted flaked almonds.
  • 200g currants
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ bunch of flat parsley
  • ½ bunch of mint
  • 1 x tablespoon of fresh oregano
  • 1 x tablespoon of thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground allspice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Dressing

  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 1 x dessertspoon of raw honey

Method

  1. Add the rice blend to a large pot of boiling water. Cook uncovered for 20-25 mins or until tender. Drain and cool.
  2. To caramelise the onions: heat 30mls of olive oil into a large frying pan over low heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper and cook for 20-30 mins. Stirring occasionally until caramelised.
  3. In a small pot boil currants in red wine vinegar for 5 minutes. 
  4. Combine caramelised onions and currants and allow to cool. 
  5. Combine rice, almonds, parsley, mint, oregano and thyme and ground allspice in a bowl and mix together. Cover and place in fridge to allow for the flavours to develop in the fridge (you can do this the night before serving).
  6. For the dressing simply combine all ingredients in a glass jar and stir well. 
  7. When ready to serve take rice out of fridge add half of the caramelised onion currant mixture, stir through. Top the salad with the rest of the mixture and sprinkle with almond flakes. 

Pomegranate, Cherry Tomato and Quinoa Salad

This salad is packed with goodness and flavour! Great as a side dish served with grilled chicken breast or sautéed chickpeas or you can add a tin of tuna/salmon or chickpeas to it and serve as a main meal.

You can prep the salad dressing in advance (it gets better after a day or so in the fridge anyways) and whip it up quick smart. People will be blown away by how gourmet this nutritious dish is!

Serves 6 as a side dish and 4 as a main

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Salad dressing ingredients

  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tsp zest of ginger
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar (white vinegar is fine too)
  • good dash of balsamic vinegar
  • juice of ½ lime
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp rice malt syrup (or coconut or brown sugar)
  • Place in a bowl and combine well, making sure all the onion is covered. Set aside for a minimum of 20 minutes, but a few hours of resting will make it even more delicious and juicy.

Salad ingredients

  • 1 bunch of parsley (stalks removed)
  • Large handful of fresh mint (stalks removed)
  • Large handful of fresh chives
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds and juice only
  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 1 cucumber cut into 1 cm chunks
  • 50 g of pine nuts

Method

  1. Place a small pot of water on the stove and bring to the boil. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly, and add to the boiling water, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. Check the quinoa, you want it ever so slightly crunchy. Drain the quinoa and rinse well with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside, allowing all the water to completely drain from it.
  2. Rinse the fresh herbs well, and shake out any excess water. Finely chop, and add to the bowl with the salad dressing.
  3. Add the cucumber, tomato and pomegranate seeds and juice to the bowl, then the drained quinoa and mix well.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. I usually add extra salt and pepper, another dash of balsamic and olive oil and the juice from ½ a lime (cause I like it extra tangy!).
  5. Dry roast the pine nuts over a lot heat in an dry frying pan. Turn them regularly, so they don’t burn. Once they are golden brown, remove from the heat and sprinkle over the top of the salad.
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Sweet Garlicky Asparagus

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We love veggie laden side dishes, they're quick to make and an easy way to bulk out main meals and get more veggies into you!

With asparagus season in full swing, why not have a try of this sweet, garlicky dish? Asparagus are a great source of vitamin C and the fibre they contain acts as a prebiotic, which means that it helps to feed the good bacteria in our gut!

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 12-16 asparagus spears (I aim for 3-4 spears per person)
  • 2-6 cloves of garlic (depends on how much you like garlic)
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp rice malt syrup
  • Lemon slices

Method

  1. Chop the woody ends of the asparagus off (usually around an inch). Finely chop the garlic.
  2. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Over a medium/low heat, add the garlic and asparagus and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the rice malt syrup, a few dashes of balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes or so (cook depending on how soft or crunchy you like your asparagus, I like mine a little crunchy so I cook it for 4-5 minutes tops).
  4. Serve with a few slices of lemon.

Caramelised Dutch Carrots

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This is another simple, yet tasty side dish that will fill your house with the wonderful smell of caramelised onion and oregano. It's sweet, salty and fragrant, and really takes no time to prepare at all. This serves 4 as part of multiple side dishes, or serves 2 as a side dish on its own. It can be prepared in advance, will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, and can be gently re-heated before serving.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch dutch carrots*

  • 1 onion, cut in half and thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 3-4 sprigs fresh oregano

  • salt and pepper

  • balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

 

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METHOD

  1. Prepare your steamer to cook the carrots; fill the bottom pot with 1/4 water and bring to the boil. While the water is boiling, gently clean the carrots, taking care to remove all dirt. Once the water is boiled, place the carrots in the steamer on the top and steam for 7 or so minutes, until the carrots are cooked with slight firmness. Set aside.
  2. While the carrots are steaming, add the olive oil to a pan and bring to a medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook for a further 5 minutes. The garlic and onions should look translucent and golden, with a touch of crispness.
  3. Add salt (around 1/4 tsp) and pepper to taste and a couple of dashes of balsmic vinegar and stir through.
  4. Add the carrots, gently mix the onion mix through and serve.