Thursday, April 29, 2010

3 Salads and a Soup!

Recently I was diagnosed with Syndrome X/Metabolic Syndrome - which is a combination of various illnesses, two of which are Diabetes Type II and NAFLD (Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease). So I will be shifting the focus of this blog onto more healthy food :(

To start off .... here are 3 of my favourite salad recipes along with a low fat Beef and Veg Soup.
I usually do these salads for parties, but they can also be made up and left in the fridge for a few days (undressed) and then dress as you use it ...
You can add purple/red onion (?Spanish onion) to any of these. I am not a fan of raw onion, so I don't.

Potato Salad (makes a huge salad)
Approximately 1kg blue or red potatoes (never the yellowy ones - I usually use blue as they are lower GI)

Cube up the potatoes into bite size and boil until just cooked (knife slides in easily but they aren't falling apart)
1 can of corn.
1 cup of peas (frozen ones then cooked till just done)
A good handful of chopped parsley.
(occasionally I will throw in 3 spring onions - sliced)
When potatoes have cooled, add all ingredients together and mix gently.
For the dressing I cheat and use Praise French dressing (the light one), or I make a vinaigrette (see below for recipe).
NB: For the fatty version, Add in 6 rashes of bacon (that have been chopped and fried crispy first) and use Kraft Onion and chives potato salad dressing.

Coleslaw/Cabbage Salad (makes a huge salad)
1/2 red cabbage - sliced in processor and then soaked in water for a few minutes to get all the "blue" out otherwise it stains the rest of the salad and it looks manky)

1/2 white cabbage - sliced in food processor
4-5 good size carrots (grated in food processor)
(NB: I do it all in the food processor as I like a fine - thin shred - looking salad - so I use the fine slice blade)

Add all ingredients together and mix till even spread of veg.
For the dressing I cheat and use Praise French dressing (the light one), or I make a vinaigrette - see below for recipe.
**If we are eating the same day as making, I will grate a whole granny smith apple into the mix. Any longer and the apple looks kak.

Beetroot Salad
400g raw beetroot (peeled & quartered)
100g carrot, roughly chopped
1 small green apple, quartered
2 tbsp fresh coriander or Italian parsley leaves (personal taste)
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 red onion (optional)

Place roughly cut vegetables in food processor until evenly chopped. Scrape down sides and chop again for a couple of seconds until desired consistency (should end up looking like a fine coarse salad about risoni size pieces, but can be done chunkier if that's what you prefer)
NB: If you accidentally process too much, or you have leftovers, add some raw cashews/almonds or light sour cream, process until finely ground, and use as a dip!

3 parts of Champagne Vinegar (or vinegar of your choice) to 1 part of olive oil (I only use Cobram Estate) and a good pinch of salt (I am a total wanker, so I use Himalayan Rock Salt from the grinder)

Okay, the Soup recipe makes an absolute truckload. I am not very good at making small quantity stuff. When I make this, we eat it for dinner one night, then for lunches for the next few days. I also give some to my mum. You will need a big stock pot to make this all in. Time to make? 1/2hr prep, 1-2hrs cooking (I cook this long to get meat soft)

Beef and Vegetable Soup
3 Carrots
1 Swede
1 Turnip
1 Parsnip
3 stalks Celery
2 Brown Onions
1/2 small green Cabbage
1 kg of chuck Beef (casserole Beef) - fat trimmed off
1 cup Pearl Barley (optional)- soak in water for 1/2hr before adding
Beef Stock - about 2ltrs
Vegetable Stock (I use Vegeta) - about 2 ltrs
1 Tablespoon Oil
NB: This soup can freeze quite well, but I would tend to use it within 4 weeks.

* Whack the onions through your food processor (slice disc) and fry off with the oil at bottom of stock pot - until translucent. Then add 2 ltres of beef stock.
* Process the rest of the vegetables with the large size grating disc (Cabbage on slice disc). You can do this by hand, but what a PITA that would be! Alternately, if you like a more rustic look, you can use the chopping blades, or cube it all by hand (PITA).
* Put all the veg into the stock pot and add 2ltres of vegie stock.
* Cube the Beef into small bite sized portions and add direct to soup.
* Check water level, you want everything covered by liquid. If not, cover with just water (you can taste test later on to get right flavour).
* Drain off the Barley and add to the soup.
* I will keep this on simmer for at least an hour to develop the flavours. When I check the taste, I will add in salt and paprika to my taste, so please do same for yourself.

NB: You can omit the stock and use a packet of French Onion soup mix instead. 

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