Some Salads

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I am currently sifting through some old blog notes and recipes that have not previously seen the light of day.

I will post them here as I think they are worth remembering for the coming months as the weather heats up.


1 chicken breast fillet (steamed and shredded)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (chopped)
2 tablespoons walnuts (chopped)

Combine the ingredients and dress with mayonnaise.  Chill.

Serve with other salad as desired.


Lebanese cucumber (thinly sliced)
Onion (thinly sliced and separated into rings)
Good quality salt (I use Himalayan pink)

Layer the cucumber and onion rings in a shallow dish, adding a fine sprinkle of salt to each layer.  Chill and allow to stand for about an hour before serving.

I do not have a photo of this very simple, yet tasty, salad.

PEAR SALAD (Serves 2)

1/2 pear, cored and sliced thinly
Small stick of celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal
6 walnuts, chopped
Parmesan cheese, shaved
30ml lemon juice           }
5ml balsamic vinegar   } – Dressing
5ml olive oil                     }

Arrange the pear, celery and walnuts on the plate.  Combine dressing ingredients and drizzle over salad.  Top with shreds of parmesan cheese.

Here it is served with grilled salmon and coleslaw.

It is useful to have a selection of simple, appetising dishes for when the weather is hot and inspiration for meal preparation is often lacking.

Friday Favourites – Bolognaise Sauce


Today’s favourite is bolognaise sauce.  It is a versatile base for may meals and most people have their own version.  Here is mine which has evolved over many years.


2012-01-07 01250g beef mince
1 cup TVP (dry)
1 cup hot water
1 onion (diced)
400g can tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 – 2 teaspoons mixed herbs
Tabasco sauce
Black pepper

Soak the TVP in hot water for about 10 minutes.

2012-01-07 02Cook the onion until soft.  Add the mince and cook until browned.

2012-01-07 03Add the TVP mixture and combine.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer gently for 15 – 20 minutes.


The onion I used was frozen in packs of 150g – this is the size of a medium onion.  By flattening the contents of the bag it is easy to break off a portion if you only want the equivalent of half an onion.  These packs were made from onions we grew during the winter.

The upturned jar of tomato paste in the photo is how I store it in the fridge.  This stops it going mouldy and is much easier than spooning it into ice-cube trays and freezing which is another option.

This batch of sauce included some vegetables as well.  I added a grated zucchini and grated carrot to the mix as well as some pureed leftover vegies from a previous meal.  I did add an extra can of tomatoes as the mix was a little dry.  This ended up making 9 serves which is not bad from 250g of mince.

Other additions can include 1/2 cup red wine, 2 teaspoons of beef stock powder, 1 cup of finely chopped celery.

There are many ways you can use this sauce and it is limited only by your imagination.  Apart from the obvious one of serving over pasta you can make lasagne, stuff cannelloni tubes, top baked potatoes, serve with nachos and make savoury pancake filling.  While some of the ideas are not strictly traditional you can make variations to suit your family.  The addition of kidney beans and chilli turn it into chilli con carne,  cook a bit longer to reduce the liquid and top with mashed potato for a shepherd’s pie or put into shortcrust pastry to make a meat pie.

Apologies for ‘Friday Favourites’ being a day late but my camera was not ‘talking’ to the computer last night.  I hope enjoy the meal suggestions in this post and please add your own thoughts as well.

I have also updated the post for Layered Salad.  I have finally added the photos to this post.