Sunday, 28 September 2014

Peashoot and avocado salad with lime and basil dressing.


As the weather has been so nice recently I have still been eating as though it’s still summer which basically means lots of salads still! As well as the weather, I have been growing lots of veggies in my garden this year and as I am still getting lots from them I need to use them up and lots of the things I am growing lend themselves best to summery foods like salads. This salad is one I have made lots, occasionally varying a couple of ingredients but it has pretty much been one of my staple recipes as it’s so easy and so tasty!


You will need:

Salad:
Rocket or peashoots- one big handful per person
Half an avocado per person
A quarter of a cucumber per person
Pumpkin seeds to serve
Dressing:
Olive oil
One lime
A handful of basil leaves- I used thai basil but any would do
None of these ingredients really need anything doing to them so you can assemble the salad in literally less than ten minutes!

Method:
First put the greens at the bottom of the bowl.
Cut the cucumber into slices and then quarter each one of these slices. I like to take small slices out of the outside of the cucumber first so the pieces look prettier, but this is obviously optional!
Then cut your avocado into cubes, I do this by cutting the avocado in half then removing the stone, cutting each half in half again and then peeling the skin off and then cutting each quarter into cubes.
Scatter the cucmber and avocado pieces over the lettuce then finally scatter a generous seriving of pumpkin seeds over the top.
To make the dressing, fill a quarter of a jam jar with olive oil, then squeeze the whole lime into it. Put the basil leaves into the jar and ‘muddle’ them using a wooden spoon (basically bash the basil over and over again to break it up and infuse the flavour into the oil lime mix). Put the lid on the jam jar and shake really well. Strain the mixture to get rid of the basil bits- or you can leave them in.

Pour the dressing all over the salad, ensuring the avocado especially gets covered. The lime in the dressing will ensure the avocado doesn’t go brown so it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days and will still look pretty!


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Monday, 22 September 2014

Edible flowers


You may by now know that I am ever so slightly obsessed with edible flowers at the moment. I literally can’t resist buying them everytime I see them and in addition I am growing lots of different types as well. They just make everything look nicer and add really interesting tastes as well that you can’t seem to find from other foods. 
On that note then I thought I’d share a few of the ways that I’ve been using them recently.

1. In salads











I have already shared my Samphire and rocket salad garnished with edible flowers which you can see here. I have also used them to garnish lots of other salads as you can see here. They add so much colour and lots of different tastes.

2.     In ice cubes




This is an especially good use when the flowers are coming to the end of their life and are starting to wilt slightly as putting them into the water makes them spread out and come to life a bit (or at least look as though they’ve come to life).to do this is very simple, as just fill an ice cube tray and put a flower into each section. It is better to use distilled and boiled water (that has cooled slightly) as this will ensure that your ice cubes are nice and clear and not cloudy. 

3.     In drinks



Some flowers with stronger flavours add a lovely unique taste to drinks and cocktails. For example lavender. You can either make a syrup from the flower by crushing the flowers and then steeping them in a sugar syrup, or just steeping the crushed flower into an alcohol like vodka or gin.
4.     To garnish cocktails



Adding an edible flower, or a couple of flowers, to the top of your cocktail looks lovely and will really finish it off.
5.     To decorate desserts/cakes etc.



Adding some edible flowers to the top of your desserts or cakes and them sprinkling with some icing sugar looks so lovely and is such a quick way to decorate that literally takes no effort.

I’m sure there are lots of other ways to use them but these are the main ones that I’ve been doing recently. Enjoy! 


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© The Vegetarian Atkins Diary

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