Christmas Waldorf salad

A Christmassy take on a Waldorf salad with turkey and cranberries

I love Christmas and all of the food that naturally comes with it. However, so many Christmas classic dishes are winter themed. This does not stop me from cooking them, and my family still eats a hot roast turkey and a plum pudding on Christmas day, but it’s often not appropriate on a hot summer’s day.

I thought that I would create a Christmassy take on a classic Waldorf salad. It typically contains fruits – so what a perfect way to add dried cranberries, the classic Christmas fruit. I also included some sliced turkey, which is a great way to use up leftovers, or, to make this any time of year, just use some deli sliced meat. Toss in some cold cooked pasta to bulk it up into a main meal, and it is perfect for an Australian summer in the lead up to Christmas. You could take this to a BBQ, or simply eat it on a hot night. You will still get your Christmas vibes, but not swelter under the weight of a hefty roast dinner!

A Christmassy take on a Waldorf salad with turkey and cranberries

Christmas Waldorf salad

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

  • 1 fennel, shaved thinly
  • 3 celery sticks, sliced diagonally into 1 cm chunks
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 80g sliced turkey breast, shredded
  • 6 tbs cranberries
  • 150g cold cooked macaroni pasta

For the dressing:

  • 3 tsp mustard
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 60g crème fraiche
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Prepare the ingredients and place in the salad bowl.
  2. Prepare the dressing in a separate bowl and whisk together.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

 

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Sesame chicken noodle salad

A tasty cold chicken noodle salad drizzled with sesame seeds and tahini

This is a meal for those who like sesame! I’ve combined a few key flavours – sesame, soy, garlic, ginger to make a yummy chicken dish. This is a lovely summery lunch or dinner recipe. It is easy to prepare, and the only cooking you need to do is grill the chicken. The chicken could be cooked on the BBQ outside, or taken on a picnic and added to the pre-prepared salad al fresco!

A tasty cold chicken noodle salad drizzled with sesame seeds and tahini

The toasted sesame seeds add crunch, and the vermicelli noodles along with the raw grated carrot and zucchini add a lightness and freshness to the dish. I have allowed for individual serving of tahini according to one’s personal tastes – feel free to be liberal!

sesame_chicken_noodle_salad_3

Sesame chicken noodle salad

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs peanut oil
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, julienned
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 400g chicken thighs, no skin, bone removed

For the salad:

  • 200g vermicelli noodles
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • Sesame seeds, toasted

To serve:

  • Tahini
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • Extra sesame seeds, toasted

Directions

  1. Mix the sesame oil, peanut oil, soy sauce, spring onion, ginger, garlic and salt and pepper with the chicken thighs. Leave to marinade – the longer, the better.
  2. Heat a pan on high and add the chicken. Cook for 10 mins each side until cooked through. Set aside to cool.
  3. Cook vermicelli noodles according to packet instructions. Once cooked, rinse under cold water and toss with the sesame oil, soy sauce and lemon juice.
  4. Add noodles, zucchini and carrot to a large salad bowl and toss with the sesame seeds. Slice the chicken and place on top.
  5. Serve with tahini and extra sesame seeds on the side to add as per individual preference.

Asparagus, smoked trout and wild rice salad

Asparagus, smoked trout and wild rice salad

Brunch for dinner. That’s what this dish is to me. And brunch is my absolute favourite meal! Grilled asparagus, poached eggs, smoked trout. Refreshing on a balmy night, but still very filling!

Asparagus, smoked trout and wild rice saladAsparagus, smoked trout and wild rice salad

Asparagus, smoked trout and wild rice salad

  • Servings: 2
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200g smoked trout, sliced thinly
  • 100g rocket

Directions

  1. Cook the rice (I often use a microwavable pouch to make things even easier) and once cooked, place in the salad bowl.
  2. Soft boil the eggs in a pan of boiling water for 6 minutes. Remove from the saucepan and place cold under running water until cool. Leave aside to cool.
  3. Place a griddle pan on high, heat 1 tbs of olive oil and cook the asparagus until soft and charred slightly. Add to the salad bowl.
  4. To make the dressing, whisk the extra virgin olive oil and the lemon juice together. Season to taste.
  5. Flake the smoked trout into the salad bowl and toss in the rocket. Peel the eggs and place on top, and drizzle the dressing over the whole lot.

Spring chicken salad

A quinoa salad with spring greens, chicken and seeds

I must admit, I am not a salads person. I will never order salad when eating out, except if it is a shared dish and other more hearty dishes are also on the table. Unfortunately I have difficulty convincing myself that salads can be interesting and tasty, and filling.

 

However, I know that this is the wrong way to think about salads. And I made a spring chicken salad recently (recipe below) to help convince myself. And boy, I must make more salads for dinner! The recipe I’m sharing today was an experiment using spring greens and it tastes delicious! I’ve used a brown rice and quinoa mix, which is my new favourite carb. If you buy the microwavable pouches, they become a super easy option for lunch or dinner. Nutty and with texture, they make a great warm addition to a salad.

I added avocado and feta, for lusciousness. And a seed and za’atar rub on the chicken which gives crunch and flavour.

It makes plenty enough for four, but my husband and I were lucky to have leftovers.

A quinoa salad with spring greens, chicken and seeds

Spring chicken salad

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

  • 500g chicken breast
  • 3tbs almond meal
  • 3tbs pumpkin and sunflower seeds, mixed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp za’atar
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 100g snowpeas
  • 200g green beans
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1 pouch microwavable quinoa & brown rice
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g feta

Directions

  1. To make the rub for the chicken, mix almond meal, pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds, garlic, za’atar seasoning and salt and pepper in a mortar and pestle.
  2. Coat the chicken breasts with the rub, ensuring an even layer. Fry in a frying pan with a little olive oil for 10-15 mins until cooked through.
  3. Slice the green beans and snowpeas into small 2cm chunks and steam with the peas for 3 mins or until bright green and just blanched. Add to the salad bowl.
  4. Microwave the quinoa and brown rice, and add to the salad bowl.
  5. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small container, and drizzle over the salad.
  6. Crumble the feta over the salad. Toss the ingredients to ensure an everything is evenly distributed.
  7. Once the chicken has been cooked, slice and lay on the top of the salad.