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every day shredded salad

October 20, 2014

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How is this year not over yet?

Oh, I know, there’s still so much to come – Spring hasn’t even broken into Summer and we’ve not had the first pre-pre-Christmas season carols ring through the aisles of our local supermarkets yet.

But I’m ready for an end to this year of dizzying heights and desperate lows. For a clean slate – if only in my mind.

We’ve been concentrating on recovery missions around here. Knitting our poor, bruised hearts back together – string by string. Trying to make sense of the circumstances whilst absorbing the force of incoming waves.

(Seriously, if I get one more piece of bad news this year, I might just scream).

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We’ve cleaned our home from top to bottom – scrubbing toilets, vacuuming around and under sofas.

We’ve rifled through our belongings and purged ourselves of the excess, as if maybe, just perhaps, one of them was a malevolent charm whose riddance would bring an end to our ongoing woes.

And, perhaps most relevantly (to this corner of the internet at least), we’ve reworked our diet.

Less processed, frozen, ready-made food. More whole ingredients. Regular meals eaten thoughtfully.

It’s been a gradual change, but one that has reaped benefits already – even if they’re only in my mind. For months, the thought of even getting up to eat something seemed like a chore. A frustrating necessity for life. I was eating because I hadn’t yet and I was cooking only when it was strictly necessary to allow the ingredient in front of my to be consumed without dire effects on my digestive system.

And now.

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I’ve been eating variations on this salad for lunch every other day or so, setting aside half an hour to make it and another half hour to eat it. The ingredients change depending on the contents of my fridge – some days there’s bunches of asparagus wrapped in a damp tea towel, other days there’s long beans in a paper bag. (There’s always broccoli, even now. I’m a little bit of an addict.)

I love the colour. The crunch. The char and the tang. The mellow sweetness and the musty umami.

I love that it’s thinking food. You’ve got to take the time to chew it. To pick up the bits and pieces and maneuver them from plate to mouth. That you can’t sit glassy-eyed in front of a television screen whilst the crumbs fall into your lap, oblivious and inattentive. It grabs you. Shakes you back into the world of the awake.

Our diet isn’t perfect. (We ate the first iteration of this salad as a side to fried chicken). But neither are our lives.

At least (we hope) both are improving.

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every day shredded salad
Serves: 2
 
This is hardly a recipe, more a guideline to a vague meal idea. I like a little bit of protein in my meals so added a boiled egg to the photographed salad - but a bit of tuna or some chicken would work just fine. Feel free to substitute, add or subtract your way through my list of ingredients to make your perfect bite.
Ingredients
  • 1 handful orecchiette (or some other bite sized pasta, or not)
  • ¼ small red cabbage
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • ½ tsp white sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • A good handful of green beans
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 very ripe avocado
  • 1 heaped tsp miso paste
  • 3 tbsp macadamia oil (or whatever you like the taste of)
  • Half a lemon
  • A good pinch of chilli powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
How to make it
  1. Start by cooking your pasta, if you're using it. Brown rice, quinoa or bulghur does well in this recipe too.
  2. Chop the hard core out from the red cabbage and slice it thinly, coleslaw style.
  3. Put the vinegar, salt and sugar into a large bowl and swirl it around a bit. Dump the cabbage into the vinegar mix and stir it through thoroughly. Some of the purple will start to leach out. That's a good thing. Set the bowl aside and toss it around with a spoon every now and again when you think to.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables. Cut the asparagus into bite sized pieces and chop the beans up into rounds. Shred the florets off the broccoli, saving the stem for another meal.
  5. Heat up a fry pan without any oil in it and, when the pan is hot, throw all of your vegetables in. Toss them about from time to time. After a while, they'll start to char and blacken a bit. This is good - you'll be able to taste it later. When the vegetables are a bit blackened and cooked enough for your liking, pull the pan off the heat and set it aside.
  6. Peel and de-seed the avocado and put it in a blender with the miso paste, macadamia oil, the juice of half a lemon and the chilli powder. Whizz it together until it's smooth.
  7. When all the bits and pieces are ready, it's time to toss the salad. Rinse the red cabbage well under a running tap and drain it of any excess water. Toss it together in a big bowl with the charred vegetables, the cooked pasta and your goopy green dressing. I like to sprinkle some salt flakes (and some toasted nuts or sesame seeds if I have them) over the top before eating it, but you can do whatever tickles your fancy.

 

 


  • #1
    October 20th, 2014

    Mmmm delicious sounding! I love asparagus in my salads, who cares if it makes your pee smell!

  • #2
    November 6th, 2014

    That third pic. The one of the table, the fruit, the plant, the chairs, the light. Perfection. xx

Shez