Monday, 25 January 2016

Super Sunshine Spinach Salad


Hi lovely readers! If you follow my Facebook page, you'll know that last week I undertook a challenge, whereby I ate something different for lunch every weekday. I photographed each meal and shareed it on the page, hoping to provide some inspiration for the others out there who are stuck in a lunch rut, and also to give myself a push in case I got a bit slack after a couple of days! Well I really enjoyed the challenge, and I ended the week feeling super healthy and also realising how much I rely on bread as my main food type for lunch. Bread is pretty much my favourite food. In fact, cliche as it may sound, if there was only the choice of one food type and one drink left in the world, it would be bread and water all the way for me. I suppose saying "bread" fails to take into account the fact that I adore all types of bread, particularly lovely crusty wholemeal or granary loaves, and sometimes with some nuts and fruit incorporated. If I had to choose one type though, it would definitely be granary. So I thought I'd be trying last week to find more bread substitutes. In fact, I did have toasted Biona rye bread on two of the days, in different guises of course, but I surprised myself by not at all relying upon bread but by being much more adventurous. How funny that sounds, since I couldn't be more adventurous with my dinners; lunch is a busy time of day though, and I don't like to take up even more time cooking and away from little Tonju, so I like to keep it simple.

So, I shared a recipe in the week on Facebook for a really simple stir-fry with spiralised courgette and carrot, as well as mushrooms, leeks, sweet pointed red pepper and cashews. Yes, that's right, so simple I haven't even named it! And the other dishes were pretty self-explanatory. But the dish I want to share the recipe for today was what I made on the first day, a week ago today, and it was so absolutely delicious that I had to make it again so I could take progress shots for the blog. It really is so simple, and was totally compiled from "stuff I had in the fridge" but the great thing about this meal is that, although the majority of its composition is spinach, it is really substantial and keeps you feeling full long into the afternoon. The best thing about this is that you know you're full of goodness: all those leaves in your stomach, digesting nicely... haha!

I decided the name of this dish needed to include a reference to the sun, as the egg yolks came out so vividly when I Instagrammed the photo, and because it is rather super, it naturally started with that. I hope you think it's super too!

Ingredients

Half a bag of baby spinach, washed
Half a tin of tuna, drained (use the other half for a sandwich tomorrow!)
One cooked beetroot
One avocado
Handful sundried tomatoes
Handful of olives
One hard-boiled egg
Extra-virgin olive oil
A sweet balsamic dresing; I used Lidl orange flavoured balsamic cream
Seasoning


Method

Place washed spinach in a pasta bowl


Prepare the avocado, beetroot and egg. Slice the avocado and beetroot as in the photograph, and quarter the egg lengthways.


Put the tuna on top of the spinach, in the centre.


Arrange the avocado and beetroot around the tuna, avocado first, fanning it out as you place in on. Then insert the pieces of beetroot at even-ish intervals between the avo.



Arrange the sundried tomatoes, followed by the olives and egg quarters.



Finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and the balsamic cream.






Mmmmm! It was as delicious as the first time I made it! I actually hadn't used beetroot the first time, but it was definitely an added bonus, though add or subtract as many ingredients as you like. I'd love to hear about your versions.

Here is the Instagrammed picture, which I love because it's just so vibrant.


This dish translates really well to a mini meal as well. My little Tonju is rather fussy at the moment, even though I still give him whatever we're having, as I always have, but he decided he did want an egg, beetroot and some spinach with the balsamic cream, although all he did with that was suck the cream off and discard the spinach leaves! He also condescended to a sundried tomato. He used to adore olives and avocado, but for some reason, he no longer does. Children's taste buds are incomprehensible sometimes.


Well I hope you really enjoy making and eating this super simple but super tasty salad. It's a great way of using up half a bag of spinach and surplus eggs. I'd been looking for a good balsamic cream from the supermarket for literally years, since Tesco stopped making their Finest Sweet Balsamic Dressing, so I'm so glad Lidl started doing these ones; they come in different flavours too, such as blueberry and strawberry. I know you can buy the most delicious balsamic creams at farm shops, but those are not as easy to take a trip to as the supermarket, where one goes every week, so it's nice to know there are reliable staples like that, which can just be picked up on the weekly shop.

If you want to see what else I made for lunch last week, click on the link to my Facebook page on the right, or above in this post. You can also see them on my Instragram.

Happy eating!

xxx Sam

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