A warm salad for those chilly last summer days. Any leftovers can be packed up for lunch the next day too. We love adding beans or lentils to as many meals as we can. Pulses are affordable, nutrient-rich powerhouses and the crops are very planet friendly too. A win, win, win! Do you include lots of pulses in your diet?
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Ingredients (serves 2 as a big lunch or 4 as sides)
For the roasted roots:
3 beetroot, scrubbed & chopped into bites
2 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into bites
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fennel seeds (or use caraway, cumin or any herb/spice you prefer)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey/maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste
For the sautéd chard:
7 or 8 large rainbow chard leaves
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tin green lentils, warmed and drained
1 heaped tbsp wholegrain mustard
Turn your oven on to 200C and find a deep baking dish.
Tumble your chopped carrots and beetroot into the baking dish. Add the olive oil, vinegar, fennel seeds, honey, salt and pepper and mix well. Place the dish in the oven to roast for 20 minutes or so until just tender.
While the roots are roasting, prepare the chard. Use a knife to separate the stalks from the greens. Cut the colourful stalks into bite sized pieces and place in a frying pan with the chopped garlic, oil, slat and pepper. Sauté for a few minutes until tender. The roughly chop the greens and add to the pan with a small splash of water. Stir for a few minutes to steam-fry and wilt the greens.
When the roasted roots are cooked to your liking, remove the dish from the oven and stir in the mustard, lentils and chard. Serve warm or cold.
This salad is SO delicious and a brilliant way to make the most of seasonal courgettes. It’s fresh and crunchy, with different colours, textures and flavours all drenched in the most moreish nutty sauce. Eat it as it is topped with salted peanuts, herbs and chillies for the best summer lunch. It makes a great packed lunch too.
Ingredients (serves 2)
1 courgette, spiralised
1 carrot, grated
1/2 a red pepper, thinly sliced
1/8 of a red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
a handful of fresh herbs (coriander and mint go well here)
a couple of handfuls of salted peanuts
For the dressing:
3 heaped tbsp of peanut butter
1 lime, juiced
1 thumb of fresh ginger, finely grated
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
a few splashes of cold water
Start by preparing the vegetables and pilling them up in a large salad bowl or in serving bowls or lunch boxes.
Make the dressing by mixing the ingredients together in a bowl or jug, loosen the dressing with small splashes of cold water and keep mixing until you get a smooth, pourable sauce.
Drizzle the sauce over the vegetables and top with chilli slices, fresh herb and salted peanuts. Enjoy right away. If you want to serve it later, keep the vegetables and dressing separate in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Fritters are a fab summer lunch with salads and a great way to use up a glut of vegetables. Courgettes are having their ‘glut moment’ on the farm right now, so here’s a delicious courgette fritter recipe for you to try if you get a lot of courgettes in your box and you’re stuck for ideas.
I usually make a gram flour (chickpea flour) batter of just gram flour, water and seasoning, and then stir in shredded/finely chopped veg to make fritters, but I didn’t have any gram flour so here’s a wheat and corn flour variety which works well too! Fritters are fairly forgiving, just use whatever flour you have in. Courgettes are quite watery vegetables, so I like to grate and salt them, then after the salt has drawn the liquid out, mix in enough flour to make a fairly thick batter. No need to add any other liquid or you’ll end up with soggy rather than crisp fritters!
Ingredients (makes 6-8 fritters)
1 large or 2 small courgettes
a large pinch of salt (about 1/2 a tsp or to taste)
black pepper to taste
a big handful of chopped dill or fennel fronds (or any herbs you like – mint or parsley work well)
a block of feta, crumbled (or make my tofu feta recipe here)
4 tbsp plain flour (or more/less – see method)
4 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch (or more/less – see method)
olive oil for frying
lemon wedges, salad & tzatziki to serve
Start by grating your courgettes into a large mixing bowl. Use the course side of the grater.
Sprinkle over the pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. Then taste and decide if you’d like to add more. The courgettes should just taste pleasantly seasoned.
Give the salt time to draw the liquid out of the courgettes and use this time to prepare some salads and make a tzatziki (simply mix grated cucumber through thick yoghurt, season with salt, pepper and a little crushed garlic, stir well and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh dill or mint).
Once the courgettes are wet, this only takes 10 minutes or less, you can start adding the flour. I like to use an even mix of cornflour and plain flour. The corn flour makes the fritters a little crispier.
Add one heaped tbsp of each flour to the wet courgettes then stir the mixture. Keep adding more of both flours and stirring until you have a thick fritter batter. If your courgette is very watery you’ll need more flour, if it’s drier you’ll need less.
Then stir through the herbs and crumbled feta and warm up a frying pan to medium with a generous slick of olive oil in the bottom of the pan.
Fry spoons of the mixture in small batches in the pan. Turn over after 3-5 minutes, once golden brown and crispy underneath and fry the other side for a further 3-5 minutes.
Keep the heat at medium, don’t be tempted to turn it to high or you may get fritters which are burned on the outside and raw and doughy in the middle.
Serve with salads and tzatziki for a lovely lunch. The fritters are delicious eaten hot with a squeeze of lemon. Or pop the fritters into a burger bun or sandwich as a summery veggie burger or sandwich filler alternative.
We are in the midst of a classic courgette glut on the farm. Next week we’ll add some free courgettes to all the boxes, we hope you enjoy them. Expect lots of courgette recipes to come your way. We’d love to know your favourite courgette recipes too please! Let us know in the comments or over on our community Facebook group. I’ll start us off with this super simple salad. It’s so easy to make (just a matter of combining raw courgettes with a lemony dressing, then scattering over some toasted hazelnuts) and oh SO delicious! I have this salad often this time of year as a side to pretty much any meal, or it’s brilliant stirred through freshly boiled pasta or bulked out with a drained tin of lentils.
Courgettes (2 small or 1 large)
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
the juice of half a small lemon (have you tried our new season verdelli lemons?)
1 small garlic clove, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
a handful or two of hazelnuts, toasted in a dry pan then roughly chopped
Using a potato peeler, slice the courgettes into delicate, thin ribbons. For ease, slice them directly over a serving platter or large salad bowl.
Make the dressing by stirring together the olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Drizzle the dressing over the courgette ribbons. You could toss the salad now to evenly coat the ribbons with the dressing, or just leave it drizzly.
Then toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan until nicely coloured. Tip them onto a board and carefully chop them up a bit to make them go further through the salad.
Scatter them over the dressed ribbons and finish the salad with a little sprinkle of flakey sea salt. We LOVE Achill Island sea salt for exactly this type of dish.
Enjoy as is as part of a salad buffet or alongside a BBQ. Or make it a light, refreshing meal by tossing through some freshly boiled pasta or a drained tin of cooked green lentils.
Buddha bowls are all about balance. A vibrant bowl brimming with a diverse selection of grains, pulses, greens, vegetables, nuts or seeds and delicious dressings. They are a brilliant way to build a balanced lunch or dinner from some easily prepped boxes and jars of ingredients in your fridge. To me, they are the ultimate quick-but-satisfying working lunch, and a delicious way to pack in your 30 recommended ‘plant points’ per week. Buddha bowls are basically salads dialled up to 11 and in my old life running a cafe they were always the best sellers.
Here’s my flexible ‘recipe’ of what I happened to include in this week’s buddha bowl prep. But please just use it as a basic framework, the joy of Buddha bowls is making them your own using what you have and getting creative in the kitchen. Share your amazing Buddha bowl pictures with us over on our community facebook group. We love to see what you’ve made with our wonderful organic produce (and we all need a bit of inspiration sometimes).
VEGETABLES for roasting (eg sweet potato, cauliflower, squash, beetroot, swede, parsnips, onion, carrots, peppers, aubergine, courgettes, tomatoes… whatever comes in your box)
DRESSINGS (eg lemon juice and olive oil, vinaigrette, tahini sauce, pesto, harissa, soy-lime-sesame, mayonaise… try and match your dressing to the other ingredients in your bowl)
optional extra PROTEINS (eg hummus, tofu, tempeh, falafel, cheeses…)
extra TOPPINGS for flavour and texture (eg ferments, pickles, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, chopped fresh cucumber/tomato/radish/scallions, herbs, sprouts, microgreens…)
***Be realistic about how much food to prepare. Bear in mind that prepared food will stay fresh in airtight boxes in the fridge for 3 days so only make 3 days worth of food at a time.***
Start with roasting VEGETABLES. I like to divide mine into two trays – harder, slower cooking vegetables like roots and winter squashes in one and softer, faster cooking ‘med veg’ like peppers, tomatoes, courgettes in another.
Scrub and chop your chosen vegetables and put them into roasting trays with a little olive oil and seasoning (I like to keep the seasoning neutral with just salt and pepper at this stage so I can play with flavours when I plate up).
Roast in a hot oven until the vegetables are soft. Allow them to cool completely them pack them into boxes in the fridge.
Meanwhile cook some GRAINS/PULSES. I often cook a batch of orzo pasta (once your pasta is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water and toss with some olive oil to keep it fresh) and a batch of quinoa to get us through a few working lunches. You could skip this bit of prep and cook your grains on the day though if you’ll have time? Some warm rice with ready roasted veg and dressings is a brilliant lunch.
Or just use ready cooked tins of beans or lentils – I do this often, simply open, drain and rinse a tin of chickpeas/beans/lentils and serve with the prepped veg and dressings for the speediest lunch. We sell a range of organic tinned pulses which you can add to your veg order here.
Quinoa is very easy to cook, just like rice. Measure out a small mug into a fine sieve, give it a rinse then pop it into a small pot with two scant mugs of water. Bring to the boil with the lid on, then immediately turn to the lowest setting and let it simmer until it has absorbed all the water and released its little tails. Let the quinoa cool down before storing in an airtight container in the fridge.
Cook a big batch of GREENS. Purple sprouting broccoli and kale are my favourite at the moment and I just steam fry them in a pot with a little seasoning until they are tender. If I get salad leaves in my weekly veg box I’ll make sure I use those first as they don’t last more than 2 or 3 days.
Make a couple of DRESSINGS to keep things interesting. I love a simple vinaigrette (mix 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice with 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and add other seasonings like 1 tsp of mustard, a tiny bit of maple syrup, a pinch of salt and pepper…) or a creamy tahini sauce (mix 3 tbsp of tahini with the juice of half a lemon, a splash of water and seasoning like a pinch of salt and garlic powder). I also like to make harissa, pesto, chilli jam, aioli etc so whatever sauces/dressings I have to hand will get used in my buddha bowls.
Prepare NUTS/SEEDS, PROTEINS and extra TOPPINGS. Have a look at my tamari toasted seeds recipe here. Or simply use mixed nuts or seeds to add crunch and extra nutrition to your bowl. Keep a selection of ferments (sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented onions…), olives, pickles, sun-dried tomatoes etc to add another layer of flavour and texture to your bowls. There is already loads of protein going on in all the ingredients above, but if you like you can add even more protein to your bowls by adding a dollop of hummus, some slices of cheese, avocado, tempeh, tofu and so on.
Once you have filled your fridge with a selection of ready cooked delicious ingredients, then it’s a simple matter of building your bowl when you are hungry. I like to try and keep the flavours in a way that vaguely makes geographical or cultural sense. So I’ll have pasta, pesto, roasted med veg, olives, greens.. one day, then roasted roots, tahini dressing, chickpeas, harissa, hummus… another day. Rice, kimchi, greens, furikaki and tempeh another day. It doesn’t always work out like that with perfectly matching flavours, there have been some ‘interesting’ fusions happening, but certainly never a dull bowl!
One of the most common ingredients that get wasted are salad leaves. The mixed bags of salad leaves really don’t stay fresh long, really they should be eaten within 3 days. So if you don’t get around to eating a salad, perhaps the weather changed and you were more in the mood for a hot meal, there are a few ways you can use them up in a different way. Whatever you do, don’t throw that bag of slightly sad looking leaves away! Salad leaves can be blended into a soup in place of spinach or watercress or make this very flexible salad bag pesto! If you have any fresh herbs around the place, chuck some of those in too.
Read more about food waste in my blog post on the subject here. Liz x
mixed salad leaves (and odds an ends of fresh herbs if available)
sunflower and pumpkin seeds (or any nuts or seeds you like)
nutritional yeast (or odds and ends of cheese)
I’ve deliberated not given amounts as pesto is a very fluid recipe. You can taste and adjust it as you go. You should aim to have around half the volume of the mixture as nuts or seeds. So if you have about a mug full of salad leaves that need using, toast about half a mug of nuts or seeds.
Toast the nuts or seeds in a dry frying pan to bring out their flavour. Allow them to cool.
The put them in a food processor. I used a blender because my food processor is broken – it works ok but I prefer a food processor for pesto because I don’t want the mixture to be too smooth in the end.
Add a crushed or grated glove of garlic, a shake of nutritional yeast, a big pinch of salt and all the salad leaves.
Then add lemon juice (you can add the zest of the lemon too if you like, or save it in the freezer for something else). Start with a small amount of lemon juice, you can always add more later.
Add a very generous amount of olive oil. A quality extra virgin olive oil is best for pesto.
Pulse the mixture, scrape down the sides and pulse again until you reach a loose, rough paste. Add more olive oil as you go if needed.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt of lemon juice as you like. Then store in a clean jar in the fridge. To make it last longer, cover it with a thin layer of olive oil to protect it from the air. Use it up within a week.
Pesto is not just for pasta! Use it for a dip, stir it into hummus or mayo, spread it into wraps or sandwiches, toss it through roasted veg or steamed greens, dollop it on your grainy salads…