Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Birdseed Salad

I am sure this title has caught your attention. Today was a clean out the fridge leftovers day . I had cooked some plain quinoa the other day ( you all know my obsession with that) then we had some birdseed rice monday with bbq pork tenderloin. I also enjoyed a beautiful Ina Garten inspired luncheon with a wonderful group of ladies , so dinner had to be light.

Birdseed rice is mix of brown rice, white rice, black beluga lentils , barley, wild rice , dehydrated carrots and peas along with some dried herbs ..... I am sure there are more grains in there I cannot fully identify . I purchase this deliciousness at Costco , at this moment the correct name escapes me, but it is always a hit with the family .

So, with leftover quinoa and this birdseed , I imagined making veggie burgers along with a baby kale leaf salad and some yoghurt. However , as I started putting the mixture together it started to evolve into this beautiful salad , a little bit of this , a little bit if that and lots of love :-)) .

How can you resist this and not dive in head first, it makes all carnivores jealous with envy. It was light , flavourful and every ingredient could be identified and enjoyed. I also had some red curly kale ( another new and latest obsession) which I sliced very finely , along with fresh chives and chive flowers from my spring garden . I dressed it very simply with the juice of one fresh lemon , a couple of dashes of curry powder - I always find this to be the perfect pick me up with any salad that has lentils. Of course, if you have an aversion to curry powder - omit , the salad will taste just as good.

By the time we sat down to enjoy this salad I sprinkled some fresh chive flowers on the salad , and this made it so much more festive and spring like. The highlight for me is that it appealed to my little gourmets ..... they devoured it.

Enjoy this salad year round with whatever is seasonal and appeals to your family .

Birdseed Salad
a gg original recipe

quinoa - cooked according to instructions
mutligrain mix or combination of cooked whole grains
red onion - finely diced
red bell pepper - small dice
flat leaf parsley - finely diced
small handful of garlic chives and flowers ( if in season)
grated carrot
red curly kale - fine chiffonade
fresh lemon juice
curry powder to taste
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
olive oil

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss , taste and adjust accordingly - allow to sit for at least 30 minutes for the flavours to marry.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Feta and Chive Baked Potato salad

The phone rang the other day , one of my neighbours was overloaded with "sweet onions" .... had asked hubby to go to the supermarket and get some onions, came back with a bag of 12 HUGE onions ..... what to do , but share with neighbours , I promptly adopted 2 of them and proceeded to make tomato-basil soup. 

Next day and an email comes through, "..... willing to share 15LBS of yellow potatoes ... please come and take some   ...... delivery available".... this neighbour did not ask her husband to do the shopping ..... it is an equally funny story though!!! ...... I promptly turned up at her doorstep and adopted 10 of them. 

At this point I was just laughing out loud and heartily , to my neighbour trying to offload the potatoes , I suggested collaboration with our other neighbour and start making vichyssoise soup .

These potatoes were my favourite yellow potatoes and I have long wanted to try making a baked potato salad.

The potatoes were washed and scrubbed , chopped into bite size pieces with the skin on , tossed with some olive oil , kosher salt , freshly ground pepper and dried oregano. The whole mixture was tossed with my hands to ensure every morsel of the potatoes was coated . I then placed them in a oven proof dish and an 420F oven and roasted until slightly browned and cooked through to fluffy goodness.

Once they were cooked , I let them cool slightly , tossed them slightly and sprinkled some Maldon sea salt flakes , crumbled feta cheese and chopped garlic chives from my garden . Tossed gently to combined and enjoyed them for dinner.

Go ahead and make them and allow yourself to try different toppings, here are some suggestions :

  •  crushed garlic (to taste)  , grated pecorino cheese and more olive oil to coat
  • thinly sliced red or yellow peppers with capers. kalamata olives and fresh flat leaf parsley , with a squeeze of lemon juice

Let just say perfect to go salad for the hot summer days ahead !!!

Feta and Chive Baked Potato Salad
.... inspired by many a cookbooks

Yellow potatoes, scrubbed with skin left on
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
dried oregano ... or herbs de provence
olive oil
feta cheese
fresh garlic chives
Maldon Seal salt flakes

Firstly, this recipe has no quantities because you can add as much or as little of what suits your meal purposes.

Cut potatoes into bite size pieces , place in oven proof dish , toss with olive oil , salt and pepper and dried herbs of choice then , tosse well to coat and place in 420F oven .

Bake for about 25minutes or until slightly browned and cooked through.

Allow to cool slightly before adding topping of choice , in this case crumbled feta and garlic chives .

the reason we allow the potatoes to cool slightly iss so that you do not "cook" the fresh herbs and the cheese only melts , just slightly.