Parsnip, Kale, Red Onion, Chilli & Tofu Salad

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I can’t believe that this is the last seasonal salad of the year. So I had to make it a good one. And as I mentioned over on IG, this is my favourite salad so far.

Warm salads are something I actually prefer to crisp and cool summer ones- even in summer I like some roasted vegetables (preferably from an actual BBQ) on my lettuce leaves. People massively underrate winter salads though: they can be flavourful, and showcase root veg brilliantly. And, if you’re anything like me, you like spacing out the more indulgent meals of Christmas-time with a few simple (but always tasty) ones as well.

For this salad we’ll be honey-roasting parsnips, and baking tofu in some honey, soy sauce, and ginger. This means that the recipe takes a little more time start-to-finish, but it’s well worth it. Once the veg is in the oven, it all looks after itself anyway…

 

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 large parsnips, chopped into chunks, and tossed in 1tbsp runny honey in a large mixing bowl
  • 200g of firm tofu, chopped into chunks
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli, finely sliced (leave the seeds in if you like spice, remove if not)
  • 2-3 large handfuls of kale
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • Ground ginger, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

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Feta, Beetroot, Fig, Butternut Squash & Pearl Barley

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I’m feeling pretty smug as this post goes live, because for once I’ve managed to get a seasonal salad recipe up on the first of the month. Perhaps its because this time of year is my all-time favourite, and so I’m more inclined to make the salads earlier than half way into the month- or maybe it’s because I know my uni workload is going to rapidly swell in the next few days, so my time will be limited.

Autumn produce means squash, and figs, and apple, beetroot, brambles, cabbage, sprouts, leeks, parsnips, plums- and, of course, pumpkins. Now, I already have quite a few pumpkin recipes up here, and I plan on adding some more. Which means that today I passed over my beloved pumpkin, and gave the spotlight to the butternut squash, figs, and beets. I promise that this is just as delicious (perhaps more so) than any pumpkin recipe. But if you feel you’re missing out- there are links to all my pumpkin recipes so far at the bottom of the page!

Butternut squash roasts beautifully, it’s cheap, and although it’s sweet it takes on flavour really well. Figs are earthy, juicy, and colourful- and we all know how much I love beetroot. The pearl barley is a cheap store-cupboard staple, and the feta can be bought all year around. If you’re vegan, allergic to cheese, or simply don’t like it, then feel free to omit this ingredient, and sub in whatever you feel would work for you…

Ingredients (serves 2- or you can eat it again the next day!)

  • 1 medium butternut squash, seeds removed, chopped into small chunks and the skin left on
  • 80g pearl barley (weight when dried)
  • 2 medium cooked beetroot, chopped into large chunks
  • 2 large figs, sliced into thick wedges
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 60g feta cheese (or “Greek-style” in most supermarkets)

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English apple, sweet potato, spinach, red onion & halloumi 

It’s September, and so in my mind, finally, autumn! The BEST season both for food, and life in general- crisp mornings, back to uni, new books I can justify buying for uni, GBBO, social stuff at uni, Bonfire Night later in the season, soups, jumpers, hot coffee and cold days….If you aren’t convinced, for now I’m hoping to prove that at least the food is amazing-  with the following salad.

Contrary to popular belief salads don’t migrate south when the summer sun goes down. In fact, they get even better because all of the food crops are being harvested. September is amazing for seasonal produce, as we still have some summer ingredients, but root veg is appearing and apples are nearly at their best.

This salad uses halloumi, which you can actually eat raw as well as cooked- my mum spent part of her childhood in Cyprus due to my Grandad’s being in the army,  and it was served raw as a dessert over there. So if you’re feeling super lazy you don’t even have to cook it. I “accidently” ate a lot of raw halloumi whilst making this, and I can vouch for its deliciousness. I’ve used a griddle pan to cook it here for the finished salad, but a regular pan will work just fine (griddle pans just give you lovely decorative charring lines). If you aren’t a cheese fan you could sub in cooked chicken, or tofu, or quorn. If you simply don’t like halloumi, then perhaps try a feta cheese.

With all that said, let’s get going….

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