Veggie Cobb Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Veggie Cobb Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Salad

Veggie Cobb Salad with Blue Cheese DressingSo it’s about time that I acknowledged the mason jar/kilner jar salad phenomena that’s been captivating the health foodie blogosphere for quite some time now. It’s an ingenious idea (credit to whoever came up with this), allowing you to securely transport your lunch to work without the risk of it ending up a soggy mess come lunchtime. The secret is in the layering – more on that below.

Whilst there are plenty of beautiful, colourful creations clogging up my Instagram feed, they almost look too healthy and few look genuinely robust and substantial enough to carry you through the afternoon. I just don’t think they’d satisfy my cravings for something a bit more than just leaves (afterall, lunch is often the highlight of the working day – am I right?!). Enter this vegetarian take on a cobb salad with a “naughty” creamy dressing.

Still healthy and low cost, but crucially having protein and fat to a) keep you full all afternoon and b) taste yum.  The ingredients list includes hard boiled eggs (which I’m really having a thing with at the moment, after years of finding them truly repellent), luscious avocado, juicy sunblush tomatoes, sweetcorn, cucumber, lettuce and my favourite part – the creamy blue cheese dressing *swoon*.

So, armed with my new kilner jar – I filled it to the brim and got ready to chow down for lunch. See what you think.

Ingredients (makes 4 portions):

2 ripe avocados
4 eggs
Iceberg/romaine lettuce
Small can sweetcorn
Cucumber
Small bag of cherry tomatoes

For the dressing:
0% fat greek yoghurt
Blue cheese
Lemon juice
Garlic/regular mayonnaise
Chopped handful of chives

What To Do:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C. Half the cherry tomatoes, place on a baking tray cut side up, sprinkle with salt and pepper and put in the oven. Immediately turn the oven off and leave the tomatoes there for a good few hours.

    2. Put the eggs in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain and cool with cold water, peel off the shells and slice.
    3. Make the dressing: Use a ratio of 2:1 greek yoghurt and blue cheese and smoosh together in a bowl with a good grind of black pepper, the chives, lemon juice and dollop of mayonnaise. Taste to ensure you’re happy with it.
    4. Chop up the avocados and cucumber into small cubes and finely chop the lettuce.
    5.Assemble the salad: Start with a thick layer of dressing in the bottom of the jar. Then add the cucumber, then sweetcorn, eggs, tomatoes, avocado and finally the lettuce at the top. Seal and leave in the fridge until needed.
    6.When ready to serve, simply empty the jar onto a plate and the dressing will slide down and cover the rest of the salad. Smart – no?
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Guacamole, Sweetcorn & Feta Pockets

Guacamole, Sweetcorn & Feta Pockets

Sandwiches

GuacamoleI have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like avocado, and thus guacamole. To me, it is heavenly and an absolute bonus that it’s full of vitamins E and C and mono-unsaturated fats (the good guys).

I was thinking about how I could incorporate guacamole into lunch, avoiding the rather tired tortilla chip accompaniment that we’re so used to seeing everywhere. To be fair, this isn’t exactly hard – as its presence makes most things better, but I had a look anyway and came across this: 21 Game-Changing Ways To Eat Guacamole which will certainly provide inspiration if you’ve ever had the same dilemma.

What I settled on is honestly delicious – I had to stop myself from tucking in there and then.  I filled a pitta with the lovely green stuff, some sweetcorn (because avocado and sweetcorn is a match made in food heaven!) and some feta cheese – the strong tangy flavour is a great contrast against the mellow, creamy avocado and sweetcorn (and a bit of salad for a nice crunch). Perfect.

Ingredients (makes 3 portions)

2 ripe avocados
Small bunch coriander
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 medium tomato/ whatever kind of tomato you have lying around
1 red chilli/or any kind of chilli, adjust amount according to the heat you want (optional)
Half a red onion
Feta cheese
Pitta breads
Can of sweetcorn
Salad

What To Do:

1. Cut each avocado in half and scoop out the flesh, discarding the stone. Everyone has their own way of doing this, but I like to run a knife between the skin and flesh around the outside and then slice and cube the inside, so it all falls out.

2. Chop up the red onion very finely, and the chilli and coriander. Pound the tomato in a large bowl.

3. Add the onion, chilli, coriander and avocado and squeeze over the lime juice. Start mixing with a fork or potato masher. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You don’t need to pound it completely to a paste, it’s quite nice when not fully mashed and left a little rustic.

4. Put the pitta in a toaster for a minute or two, and then run a knife along the top to open up the pocket. Layer the guac, crumbled feta, sweetcorn and salad in the pitta. Top with a final flourish of coriander leaves if feeling fancy, then package up for lunch the next day.

NOTE: To keep the guacamole fresh, place one of the avocado stones in the centre, cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge.

Sweet Potato Satay With Tenderstem Broccoli & Sweetcorn

Vegan

I’ve taken this reSweet Potato Satay With Broccoli & Sweetcorncipe from Hello Fresh (they deliver boxes of fresh ingredients and recipe cards for the week to those who need a guiding hand in the kitchen: www.hellofresh.co.uk). I made it for dinner one night, and took in the leftovers for lunch the next day. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever tried, and if you like the flavour of peanut, I bet you’ll love this. It’s beautifully sweet and nutty with a texture that’s smooth from the potato and crunchy from the pieces of nut in the peanut butter and I think it’d work perfectly as a side for a main.

Here, I’ve just paired it with some tenderstem broccoli and sweetcorn for a pop of colour and vitamins, but feel free to swap the vegetables for your favourites.

Ingredients (serves 2  or 3 (portions on the small side)

1 large sweet potato
1 tbspn crunchy peanut butter
1 tspn Dukka (Egyptian dry spice mix – available from supermarkets)
Tenderstem broccoli
Sweetcorn – from a can or on the cob

What To Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200⁰C. Scrub the sweet potato and wash under the tap. Chop it up into little 1-2 cm cubes (make sure they are evenly sized).
  1. Add them to a baking tray, drizzle over some oil making sure each piece is covered, and season with salt and pepper. Put them on the top shelf of the oven to bake for around 25 minutes, until the pieces are soft. They may take less or more time – keep an eye on them.
  1. Mix the peanut butter in a large bowl with the dukka and some olive oil. Add the potato cubes and mash all together. Add more dukka to taste if necessary.
  1. Put the tenderstem broccoli on the boil for about 3 minutes. If using corn on the cob, boil this for about 10 minutes.

Enjoy!