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Salad Recipes

22 April 2009

Pomegranate & Spinach Salad


Week two in Sydney. The verdict? Well, no more salty tears welling in my eyes. There were many shed in the first week. Now, the only saltiness is that of the cool, delicious waters of Bondi beach on my skin.

My days have been spent catching up with family and friends and revisiting some of my old food haunts, almost all of which are still thriving.

I'm still to find some farmers' markets and less expensive organic produce, however, I have decided that it may be cheaper to go to the farmers directly...I feel some road trips coming on.

When without a home and pantry of my own, you'd think meals would be a little less healthy and delicious. Not so. Luckily for me I'm staying in a small apartment attached to what may as well be Martha Stewart's kitchen.

A few nights ago dinner was served and on the table was one of the most beautiful salads I had ever seen. It was simple yet dazzling and I was compelled to recreate it the next day.

I give you a baby spinach and pomegranate salad with feta cheese, fresh mint and Spanish onions topped with a balsamic cream.

Thanks Judy.

Continue reading "Pomegranate & Spinach Salad" »

15 December 2008

Lamby's Lamb Kofta Salad


I'm sorry for my lack of posting over the last two weeks. It's a busy time. Life is flying past in a blur. I often think about why it seems that each year goes faster than the last. Is it because most of us are doing the same thing day in day out? Because life is not as new and unfamiliar as it was growing up?

I had a conversation with a friend a few months ago about this topic and he said to slow his life down, he did one new thing a week, even if it was as mundane as walking a different way to work. Sometimes he'd go to the symphony, go for a run in the park instead of the gym, or eat somewhere new for breakfast. Doing something different, no matter how small, gave him a kind of placeholder in his mind so he could distinguish each week from another.

My friend's name is 'Lamby' and I'm dedicating this recipe, a Lebanese lamb kofta salad, to him. I hope this week stands out in his recollections as a special week.


The lamb kofta salad is a dish I ate during my recent detox diet. I have a real weakness for Lebanese food, especially a garlic sauce often eaten with barbecued meats. I first tasted it in a small Lebanese restaurant called Fatimas in Sydney. I've tried on many occasion to replicate the creamy concoction but I never get it just right. I do come pretty close though.

The sauce is a combination of TWO garlic bulbs (yes, I do smell of garlic for the next two days), olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt. It's fantastic smeared over lamb, chicken, beef, white fish and in salads. Just don't kiss anyone.

Continue reading "Lamby's Lamb Kofta Salad" »

12 November 2008

Roasted Squash and Asparagus Salad


As of tomorrow I start my 12-day detox diet. The diet is called the Wild Rose D-tox and was developed by Dr. Terry Willard of the Wild Rose College of Healing in Calgary, Alberta. Dr. Willard is recognized as one of North America's leading clinical herbalists and has spent over 30 years studying the medicinal properties of plants.

Throughout the next twelve days I will eliminate dairy, flour, sugar, shellfish, tropical fruits, alcohol and yeast from my diet.

The diet also comes with four herbal formulas that are to be consumed with breakfast and dinner, the names of which are too graphic to repeat here and not appropriate for a food blog. If you want to see what they are, click here.

During the twelve days, I can eat as much as I want, as long as my diet consists of 80% alkaline-forming foods and less than 20% acid-forming foods. When digested, foods either leave an acidic or alkaline residue (or ash) in our bodies.

It is said that too much acidity is not good for us and alkalinity helps our bodies fight certain diseases. I've actually been trying to adhere to this concept for the past 6 months. I've been structuring my diet so that, to borrow from Michael Pollen's mantra, "I eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants". I've also permanently cut all all foods that contain ingredients I don't understand like "acesulfame potassium" or "calcium stearoyl lactylate".

So over the next fortnight, I'm only going to be featuring new and old recipes that align with my detox diet. Don't be deterred. The meals are nutritious and delicious.  I wouldn't have it any other way!

This brings us to detox recipe number one -- roasted squash salad with a garlic, basil and lemon dressing. Normally I'd eat this salad with some feta cheese crumbled on top -- but not today!

Continue reading "Roasted Squash and Asparagus Salad" »

11 September 2008

Peach & Barbecued Corn Salad


Have you ever made something that seemed too good to be true, especially when it was ridiculously simple to make?

I just had one of those moments.

It was this peach and barbecued corn salad that did it to me. Let me tell you about it.

Sweet, yet slightly tart peaches, barbecued sweet corn rubbed with lime and sea salt, slices of creamy buffalo mozzarella and a scattering of basil leaves. All this drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and an aged balsamic.

Please sir, some more.

The tastes and textures in this salad bewitched me. I got the idea from a farmer in Long Island, NY. He had a stall at the side of the road selling white corn and Amish peaches. I bought some and as I was leaving he called out the recipe to me. He'd never tried it himself but it was from a faithful customer of his.

I never got the farmer's name and I'll never know whose recipe this is but to both these people, I'll be ever grateful.

I'm submitting this post to Weekend Herb Blogging being hosted this week by Gretchen from Canela & Comino.


Continue reading "Peach & Barbecued Corn Salad" »

01 July 2008

Raw Broccoli Salad: I'm addicted.


Raw broccoli is not something that I would eat for fun, that is until I fell in love with this raw broccoli salad. I've made it three days in a row and am showing no signs of tiring of it -- true love, non?

I tried a raw broccoli salad at RAWvolution during a recent trip to LA which opened my eyes to the exciting possibilities of raw food.

Some vegetables are spiteful in the way they convey their goodness by making me suffer for every last vitamin and mineral, like those vicious little wheat grass shots, which might be good for me in the long run, but certainly do nothing for me in the short-term.

The raw broccoli salad was different for a number of reasons. Firstly, I finely chopped the broccoli florets and then soaked them for an hour in a mixture of lemon juice, finely minced coriander, minced garlic, cumin seeds, good quality extra-virgin olive oil and flor de Sal, a Portuguese salt. I bought the salt after reading an enticing review from Marc over at No Recipes in his 5 salts from around the world post. Marc succinctly described the salt as "Strong salinity, mineraly, briny, full of umami".

The combination of the salt, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, softens the broccoli. It still however, retains its tender crunch and soaks up the intense flavour of the dressing. The addition of cumin seeds add a sweet complexity to the salad, like a fragrant perfume. They can be substituted with caraway or fennel seeds.

The extra-virgin olive oil I'm using at the moment is produced by Badia a Coltibuono, a 1000-year old estate in Chianti, Tuscany. The oil is intensely fruity with a peppery, slightly bitter aftertaste. I've found that when I mix it with various ingredients such as the garlic and lemon juice and then let it sit in the open for a while, the bitterness evaporates. What is left, is a delicious, intense and rich oil. I use it in dressings and top soups and pastas.

A note on chopping the broccoli. While it is rather laborious, it's well worth it at the end. Just make sure you sharpen your knife. The manual chopping is much better than using a processor. I know this from experience. Today we tried to take a short-cut by using the processor which resulted in the broccoli being cut too finely, thus becoming mushy. So...no cheating!

I'm submitting this post to Weekend Herb Blogging being hosted by Pam from Sidewalk Shoes.


Continue reading "Raw Broccoli Salad: I'm addicted. " »

18 January 2008

Moroccan Shrimp Salad


Over the past month we have had a house guest stay with us: Nic's sister Liz. And although a month is a long time to have another body in our small, one bedroom apartment, we are all still, happily, the best of friends.

Now cooking for three is hardly more challenging than cooking for two. However, Liz has developed some dietry sensitivities from a spending a year traveling throughout South America. Cooking for someone on a strict diet can certainly test your creativity.

Continue reading "Moroccan Shrimp Salad" »

29 June 2007

Lebanese Chicken Skewers (Shish Tahouk) with Garlic Sauce and Tabouleh


One of the restaurants I miss most in Sydney is Fatimas Lebanese restaurant on Cleveland Street, Surry Hills. A dark and narrow little place in need of some fresh paint, Fatimas is the spot to head at 3am for some late night nourishment. Actually, head there any time of day for fresh and delicious BBQ'd chicken skewers or lamb koftas. But what makes this place special is not just the succulent meats but the heavenly garlic sauce. It is simply spectacular and I think about it often! I don't know what they put in it as I have tried to replicate the secret recipe to no avail.

Fatimas also makes the best falafels in town - plump, golden and garlickly, served with a side of pickled jalapenos and radishes.

So that leads me to Thursday night's dinner...Chicken and Lamb Souvlaki skewers served with my version of the garlic sauce, Tabouleh and flat bread. Yes, there was some greek in there with the Souvlaki and that is because this time I actually cheated and bought the skewers from my local butcher as I didn't have time to marinate the meats. I buy my whole wheat flat bread from a fantastic Iranian shop near my apartment. The bread costs a mere 59c!

There is just one more thing before the recipe...you might smell a bit garlicky for a little while. Not too long..really, just a few days.

Continue reading "Lebanese Chicken Skewers (Shish Tahouk) with Garlic Sauce and Tabouleh" »

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