Road stop inspiration: Beetroot, Carrot, Cabbage, Ginger and Apple salad with a honey & lime dressing

We had an impromptu visit to the Hunter Valley last weekend to help out some older friends. He was about to go in for an operation and we found out over a cup of tea that they were about to pick up a load of hay so was unable to help. From previous experience, loading bales can be tough work and I volunteered our services to help with the loading and re-stacking in their shed. Aside from the fact that we SO enjoyed it and got a tractor ride for the kids as thanks and a tour around their farm, it was worth the 5 hour return drive just for the time to chat to Mr Incredible. I don’t know about you but I find since having kids we can tend to connect when driving and chatting in a way we don’t manage to around the house with everything else going around. I wonder if this is where the traditional Sunday Drive sprung from – regardless, it works for us.

On the way home from our journey we stopped in for a snack at one of the healthier road stop options and it was there that I saw their version of a grated salad of raw beetroot, carrot, ginger and apple. While I didn’t purchase it there, I was inspired to make it myself at home. In browsing further recipes, I came along one which had a lime and honey dressing which I’ve adapted below to also include some apple cider vinegar.IMG_4979.JPG.jpeg

What is super about this recipe is that it’s now become my go-to lunch. I make a big batch of this one day and then scoop some out and add some of the shredded chicken that was cooked as part of our bone broth that week, some spinach leaves from our garden, a few pieces of avocado and some roasted almonds. Super yummy and super good – warning though – it’s RED and you’ll see evidence of that a day or two later!img_4982-jpg.jpeg

My Grated Salad with honey, lime and apple cider vinegar dressing.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 beetroot
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 apples (cored)
  • a good thumb of ginger
  • 1/4 red cabbage

Dressing Ingredients

  • Juice of one lime (3-4 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. In a food processor with the grater attachment, grate all your salad ingredients
  2. In a separate bowl, jug, mix up your dressing
  3. Place your salad components in the bowl you’ll use to store it in and toss your dressing through.
  4. Store it in the fridge and use as desired over the next 4 days.

Cooking notes:

  • this also really works for dinner with some toasted almonds and chicken / seared tuna with a bit of rice if desired.
  • having this in the fridge is fantastic because I WANT to come home and eat some if we’re out and about.
  • this salad is surprisingly filing!

Easy lunches: Gut Soothing Bone Broth with a whole chicken

Mr Incredible and I have been reading Dr Michael Moseley’s “The Clever Guts Diet” and finding some great ways to implement a better diet for our gut health (and reasons to do so). One of the best things about the book is really easy to follow recipes that are easy to do. One of them is the recipe for “Gut Soothing Bone Broth” – I’ve made bone broths before but using the carcass of a chicken and then cooking that overnight. What I LOVE about this recipe is that it basically poaches a whole chicken, which you then strip of its meat for when you want chicken throughout the week – salads, omelettes, sandwiches, a quick dinner etc. It’s perfect for our lifestyle and is a way we can waste less but use more.

We utilise organic chickens for this – but a note for those looking to save a penny or two, check when your supermarket’s organic chickens are going to expire and pop in the day before this happens – this is how we get our ethically sourced, organic meat at 30-70% off. I base my shopping around the discount routines of the grocers I go to and utilise my deep freezer to its full! IMG_4965.JPG

Gut-soothing Bone Broth from Dr Michael Mosley’s The Clever Guts Diet

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium organic chicken
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 3 chopped carrots
  • 2 chopped celery sticks
  • 3 sliced zucchinis (or one big one!)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp of live (raw) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2-3 slices of root ginger
  • 1 tsp of ground turmeric (or sliced fresh)
  • sea salt and black peppercorns

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan with just enough water to cover them. Bring the pan to the boil, then lower the heat, put the lid on and let it simmer, ideally for 6-8 hours but for at least 2-3 hours, topping up the liquid with water as required
  2. Take the chicken out and place it on a platter to cool. Remove all the meat from the carcass and place it in the fridge for use throughout the week.
  3. This broth will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or can be frozen for up to 1 month. Aside from using in recipes, it can be sipped as a warm drink and works well with a squeeze of lemon and a little salt.

Hot Nights: Cool Dinners with hummus and lamb

It’s been hot here. Real hot. Our outdoor thermometer has often read in the high 30’s and into the 40’s for the past month (for those working on Fahrenheit, 40 degrees Celsius is 104 degrees) with a few days of blessed respite. By the time it’s dinner I just haven’t felt like cooking, much less sitting down to a hot meal and outdoor BBQ’s are still not fun. Thankfully, we’ve had a few great meals up our sleeve which are table, toddler and fun friendly.

I’ve adapted this dish from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Hummus Kawarma which is in his incredible book Jerusalem. This book is one of my favourites and while they’re not always applicable to weeknight dinners (see this post) the flavours speak for themselves.

My take on Yotam Ottolenghi’s Hummus Kawarma

Ingredients

To marinate:

  • 300gr Lamb backstrap (last night I also used veal scotch fillet with success)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • good pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp za-atar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp salt

To serve:

  • A simple mix of chopped tomato and cucumber
  • Hummus
  • Flatbreads

Method:

  1. Chop lamb into small strips and set aside
  2. Mix all ingredients and marinate for at least half an hour in the fridge (I tend to do this around lunch time)
  3. About 30 min before it’s time to cook get your lamb out of the fridge so it’s not as cold before you cook it
  4. Bring together all your ingredients to serve and make sure they’re ready
  5. When the table’s set turn the stove on a medium high heat, put oil in a heavy frypan and cook your lamb (with all the ingredients it’s been marinating in) for about 4 minutes, stirring while it cooks
  6. Transfer the lamb to a separate bowl and with all the ingredients on the table each person serve themselves what they want: It’s very much a sharing dish and finger food fun.