Beetroot, Rocket, Avocado and Feta Salad

I love salad.  Salad really doesn’t need to be bland or boring and I hope my recipe for Beetroot, Rocket, Avocado and Feta Salad helps to demonstrate this.  First of all I would like to include a little of the nutritional benefits of one of the ingredients.  Before I do, for those that don’t eat cheese you can simply omit it or exchange it for something else the choice as always with any homemade meal is yours.

Beetroot

This has become one of the newest super foods due to its ability to help boost stamina, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and so much more.  Beetroot contains vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.  This great root can help in phase 2 detoxification where broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be removed from the body.  They are often used in natural medicine to detoxify the liver and blood.  The juice from beetroot can help improve oxygenation to the brain, slowing the progression of dementia in older people.  Betaine a compound found in beetroot increases the production of serotonin which is the body’s natural mood boosting hormone (a happy hormone) so make sure you eat it regularly as it will keep you feeling happy naturally (betaine is found in some treatments for depression).

Beetroot is fibre rich and contains strong phytonutrients which give it its rich colour and have been shown to reduce multi-organ tumour formations in animals.  Beetroot  is also being is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers let’s hope they make progress with the research into that.  In the mean time I’m trying to eat more of this great root vegetable as it’s not just really good for you it’s tasty too and great in a range of salads.

Ingredients

300g cooked beetroot

1 medium spring onion

75g feta

75g Queen olives

50g baby leaf rocket salad

1 avocado

For the dressing

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

Method

Wash the leaves and drain off excess water.

Chop the beetroot into bite sized pieces.

Slice the spring onion.

Cut the avocado and feta into bite sized pieces.

Throw all of these into a bowl, add in the olives and drizzle over some olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.  I used approximately 2tbs of olive oil and around the same amount of vinegar but I would suggest with the vinegar add less, taste and add more if required.

Mix well then serve.

Enjoy!

Do you like beetroot?  Will you be trying it now you know how great it is for you?

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Tomato and Mozzarella salad with Mixed Leaves

Simple yet tasty most of us love mozzarella and tomato salad.  This salad is not only delicious, it is also very healthy with calcium from the cheese and lycopene from the tomatoes.  I like to add a mix of salad leaves with mine and some olive oil to increase the nutrient content and help boost my intake of good oils / fats.  I love tomatoes with their fresh juicy pulp and studies have shown that they are great in fighting osteoporosis so should be eaten by young and old alike.  Tomatoes also have an effect in lowering cholesterol as does olive oil.  Did you know that oleocanthal found in olive oil mimics the effects of ibuprofen reducing the risk of inflammation and decreasing the risk of breast cancer and its reoccurred.  There is so much we don’t know or consider when making / eating foods but if we take that little bit more time to make our own meals from scratch and learn about the foods we eat then our food not only nourishes our body but can be used to treat it naturally helping to reduce the risk of various conditions.

For those looking for a nutritious salad that is healthy and perfect for the summer months although also great all year so around why not enjoy a tomato and mozzarella salad at home.

This recipe is simple but also adds in a few extra items to add to the nutritional content and natural health benefit of the meal.

Ingredients

2-3 handfuls mixed leaves

1.5 to 2tbs freshly coriander

2 medium tomatoes

1 mozzarella ball

Olive oil for drizzling

Method

Wash the leaves and place in a colander to drain off excess water.

Spread the leaves over the bottom of a plate.

Chop the coriander and sprinkle over the leaves.

Chop the tomatoes and mozzarella into slices and spread over the salad.

Drizzle with olive oil and serve.DSC00527

Enjoy!

Wilted Spinach, Bacon & Egg Salad

As I have mentioned in previous posts I am on a bit of a mission to show people that salads don’t need to be boring.  You can spice them up with all sorts of ingredients from vegetables to cheeses, fruit, lentils and various kinds of meat and fish.  This salad does just that combining spinach with crispy bacon, egg and smooth creamy crumbly feta.  You don’t need to add salt to the dish as the bacon and feta have plenty already.  This is a dish that is high in protein, iron and of course flavour.  What to knock off a few calories then omit either the feta or the egg yolk the choice is yours.  You can hard boil or soft boil your eggs the choice is yours but a warm yolk running over the other ingredients is quite a nice touch.

Serves 1

Ingredients

3 rashers of unsmoked bacon

2 medium eggs

212g fresh spinach

A little feta to crumble over

A drizzle of olive oil

Freshly grated black pepper

Method

Cook the bacon on a rack over a baking tray lined with foil so the fat can drip off it, we don’t need to eat that excess.  Cook for about 20 minutes until crispy.

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While the bacon is cooking place two medium eggs in cold water and bring to the boil.  I normally find that it takes about 12 minutes from start to finish for a soft yolk.

Rinse the spinach, place in a microwaveable bowl, cover and cook on high for approx 2 minutes then strain off the fluids.  Alternatively you can place it in a wok, cover and cook at a low to medium heat for about 4-5 minutes until it wilts.  Again strain off excess fluid.

Place the spinach into a serving bowl, cut the eggs into quarters and arrange around the spinach. Top with the bacon, sprinkle over some feta, freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy!

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Tomato, Mixed leaf, Lentil, Feta and Olive Salad

It’s salad season!  Thousands of us are trying to get into shape to look great for our holidays or for weddings etc.  It can be boring if you’re not sure what works well with a bowl of mixed leaves but there are so many salad variations that you need not worry.  This is one of my favourites and is also very healthy at the same time.  Why?  Well it has ingredients that help detoxify your body, boost collagen in your skin to help make it look younger, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, stimulate the breakdown of fats and reduce fat storage and so much more so push aside those processed meals, don’t go out for lunch and eat foods containing ingredients high in fats, sugars and salt make your own lunch and live healthier lives whilst also saving some money in the process.

My recipe is not only super easy but also quick and tasty so take your health into your own hands and give it a try.

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 medium chicken breast

35g mixed leaves

20g feta

2.5 – 3 tbs green lentils (cooked)

20g sundried tomatoes bite size pieces

10 -12 pitted Kalamata olives

Method

Place a chicken breast on a piece of foil and fold over the edges so it’s like a tent.  Place in a fan oven for 25-27 minutes at 200 degrees.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little so it doesn’t burn the salad leaves.

Wash the salad leaves and place on your plate / bowl.

Break up the feta and sprinkle this and the lentils over the leaves.

Throw in the sundried tomatoes and olives.

Slice the chicken and add this to the salad.

Enjoy!

DSC03064How many of you are turning to salads for help in slimming down?

Chicken Salad

Salads can be boring, well we all know that, but sometimes it just takes a few choice ingredients to spice them up.  This Chicken salad has just the ingredients with the salty creamy texture added by the feta and the tangy herby flavour from the marinated olives.

Serves 2

Ingredients

12 baby plum tomatoes

1-2tbsp cooking oil you can use sunflower, rapeseed or any other oil with a high burning point.

2 medium chicken breasts

1 avocado

24 marinated olives (mine were marinated in lemon, garlic and oregano)

2 slices of feta as thick as you like

85g bag of mixed salad leaves

Dressing- optional I used Nandos medium

Method

Wash the salad leaves and divide them between two large bowls / plates.

Wash and halve the tomatoes and share out equally.  Cut the avocado into bite size chunks and split that between both bowls.

Divide the olives between both portions.

Crumble a slice of the feta over each serving.

Heat up a frying pan and once hot add the oil and heat this.  Cube the chicken whilst the pan is warming up then add that straight in and cook for 8-10 minutes until cooked through with a golden colour.

Pour the chicken over the salads and serve.

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This salad is tasty as it is but for an extra hit of flavour I like to add Nandos peri-peri medium or blue cheese dressing.

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This salad is great if you are dieting as it contains a good range of vitamins and minerals just as long as you watch how much feta and dressing you use.  Spicy, non creamy dressings are lower in calories generally and also help stimulate digestion, improve metabolism and circulation and reduce the effects of LDL (low density lipoproteins) aka. bad cholesterol.  People that generally eat spicy foods have a lesser risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Avocado is also a wonderfully food for lowering cholesterol, it is full of fibre and numerous vitamins and minerals.  This fabulous fruit can also help to increase absorption of nutrients from other plant foods so works well in salads.

Love salads?  Click ‘here’ for more tasty salad recipes!