Tag Archives: vegetarian recipes

Kale, Avocado and Orange Superblast Salad

It’s a sure sign that Xmas is over when the decorations come down and all that remains is a pile of lost property. We seem to have a lot of abandoned scarves this year. There’s a pile of them on the desk in the sitting room waiting to be reclaimed. This indicates not only that a lot of people received a scarf this year for Xmas but also that it wasn’t cold as they left our house without them. Spectacularly wet and windy yes, but not cold!

According to my mum the cold is on it’s way so best get prepared for the onslaught with plenty of vitamin C.

January brings the most delicious oranges. The big Spanish oranges are divine – juicy and bursting with flavour. Oranges from Spain are about as local as they get in this part of the world and worth seeking out.

I always look forward to the orange season and we consume vast amounts of them juiced, thrown into smoothies for breakfast or as general portable snacks. They also sneak into our lunch and dinners.

Oranges are great for brightening up winter salads.

They pair well with beetroots or fennel, with lentils and roasted vegetables and also with this recipe, a superfood blast of kale, avocado and orange.

Kale is well known to be the King of the supergreens, stacked with vitamins A, C and K, it is one of the most nutrient dense food available and avocados are right up there on the superfood list too so paired with orange this salad should up your odds on staying healthy this winter!

When choosing the kale for this salad go for small leaves rather than big and the avocados should be firm but with a bit of give, not hard, nor squishy.


Kale, Avocado and Orange Salad


150g kale

1 big or 2 small ripe avocados

2 oranges

1 red onion

25g sunflower seeds

25g pumpkin seeds

1tsp tamari (optional)

1 tsp dijon mustard

1tbs cider or white balsamic vinegar + 1tsp for the onion

3tbs olive oil


Wash the kale and shake off excess water. A salad spinner is excellent if you have one, otherwise resort to the old fashioned wrapped in a t-towel swing. Strip the center stem from each leaf then stack a few together and roll up like a cigar. Cut the kale into skinny ribbons and put them in a bowl.


Juice half an orange, put 2 tbs of the juice into a cup and keep the rest aside. Mix the 2tbs juice with one teaspoon of dijon mustard, 1tbs cider or white balsamic vinegar then whisk in the olive oil with a fork. Season with a little salt and pour over the kale. Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands, leave aside for five minutes then massage again.

Peel the red onion and cut it in half. Slice thinly then sprinkle with a little salt. Toss them about and give them a quick rub to separate the rings. Put them into a bowl and drizzle a little white balsamic over them. Toss them well and put aside.

Heat a small frying pan, add the pumpkin and sunflower seeds and toss them together. Cook them on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan regularly so they don’t burn. When they are lightly golden take them off the heat and shake the tamari over, if you are using it, then tip them onto a plate to cool.

Peel the orange with a sharp knife, removing the skin and pith in one go.

Using a small sharp knife cut each segment of orange from the outer membrane. Do this over the kale so the excess juice falls into the salad.


Cut the avocado in half vertically. Hold one half firmly with one hand then wiggle the other half gently with the other hand. The avocado should come apart. Remove the pip and the peel and dice into cm cubes.

Toss the avocado cubes in the reserved orange juice, this will prevent discolouration.


When you’re ready to eat toss the avocado, onion and orange segments with the kale and sprinkle the seeds on top.



Speltotto and the Vegetable Basket


I discovered that it was my turn to cook today after I had been into town, so I decided that whatever we were going to eat had to be from whatever we had in the house. This is not nearly as drastic as it sounds as we do have a vegetable garden so ‘in the house’ is a bit of a misnomer.
What we did have was some whole spelt grain which I cooked like a risotto and served with some roasted veg. I basically cleaned out the veg basket. Anything too scabby went to the compost and the rest I peeled and tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. The real crowning glory was the grated lemon zest which just happened to be a bergamot lemon. The flavour impact was deliciously exotic. I also stirred in a handful of sprouting broccoli from the garden and handful of chervil.


It was received with grunts and nods.

Here is the recipe

Selection of vegetables for roasting ;
I used fennel, parsnips, sweet potato, carrots and celery. I don’t usually roast celery but we had an abundance so I chucked it in and it does roast well. Remember what looks like a mountain of vegetables will shrink considerably when roasted
Peel, chop and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 45/50 minutes at 180c


For the Speltotto

300g spelt
2 onions
25g butter
25mls olive oil
large glass of white wine
1 litre hot vegetable stock
about 150g parmesan cheese.
zest of 1 lemon

Soak the spelt in cold water for 2-3 hours

Peel and chop the onion. Heat a saucepan then add the butter and olive oil, once this bubbles up stir in the onions. Cook on a medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Don’t let the onions brown, turn down the heat if this is happening.
Drain the spelt and stir into the onions. cook for couple of minutes then add the wine.


When the wine has bubbled up start to add the stock. Keep the spelt cooking on a medium heat. It should be gently bubbling away. When the stock has been absorbed add a little more. Mine took about 45-50 minutes to cook and by then the spelt was nutty but not hard to eat.If you run out of stock add a little water. Stir in the purple sprouting broccoli, cook for another minute then take off the heat and beat in the parmesan cheese and grated lemon zest.
Serve in bowls with roast veg on top and chopped chervil if you have some.


This fed five hungry people