To me, summer is all about light and quick meals.
How lovely is it to have dinner prepared in less than half an hour, instead of sweltering in the kitchen? (having pre-cooked grains/beans helps!)
I love salads that are substantial rather than very leafy - containing rice, chick peas, lentils, beans, quinoa or cous cous.
My ideal quick and easy meal may consist of some grain/pulse, whatever appropriate veggies are in the fridge and sultanas, dressed with a bit of red wine vinegar, oil and salt.
I also love kale, chick peas and avocado dressed with savoury/nutritional yeast, olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
Is it strange that I prefer such meals?! (Mind you, something sweet to follow the meal is essential...)
Not everyone (read: anyone) in the household shares my love for these very basic salads, so I will often make something else as well. Rice paper rolls, sushi, tangy bean wraps and quinoa salad are all popular with everyone.
Here are a few comparably fancy but really easy and light salads I've made recently.
Black Bean Salsa
1 cup dried black beans, cooked
handful of coriander, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1-2 tbsp grapeseed oil
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp agave nectar/maple syrup
Mix the beans, coriander, cucumber, tomato and avocado in a bowl. Combine dressing ingredients and mix it all up. Serve with corn chips.
Pumpkin cous cous salad with macadamias
1 cup wholemeal cous cous cooked as per instructions (I cook it in vegetable stock)
1 quarter pumpkin, chopped
half a red onion, chopped
few glugs of olive oil
2 cups english spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 cup macadamia nut halves
1 tsp tahini
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
Toss pumpkin and onion in oil on a tray and bake in the oven at 200C until done, about 20-30 minutes. Add the macadamias to the oven about 10 minutes before pumpkin is done.
Make the cous cous as per instructions on the packet.
Mix the cous cous, pumpkin, onion, macadamias and spinach in a bowl.
Separately, mix the dressing ingredients together and then mix it all up.