Mackerel in tomato sauce salad

Best Summer salads – Seven cool salad recipes

Greek Salad
Basic French dressing

Kick start summer with a delightful range of salads

Tossing a few ingredients together, you can make many varieties of beautiful, crunchy, healthy, and versatile summer salads within minutes.  You can toss seasonal vegetables together with some chunks of avocado, pomegranates, or apples and combine them all with a delicious salad dressing to make culinary heaven in a bowl!

You might prefer a lighter version of a salad for lunch and a more satisfying and sustainable choice for dinner. By adding some roast chicken, steak, tinned sardines – or salmon – or boiled eggs into your salad bowl, you will instantly turn it into a full, healthy meal.

it’s just a matter of being creative to make your own version of a glorious salad, according to your mood of the day! The natural vibrant colours of seasonal vegetables and fruits will invariably please your eyes before it stimulates the tastebuds. If you are struggling to lose a few pounds in order to look great this summer, these salads will definitely come to your rescue. Check your weight after 5 days, eating only salads for supper; you will dance out of joy with an amazing crash of several extra kilos!

So, good luck with your delightful salad-making!

Home-made salad dressings

The salad dressings used here are my own creations. I never buy various salad dressings available on supermarket shelves because they can never live up to the standard of my homemade dressings, which are made with simple and healthy ingredients. In short, you know what goes into your dressing! I believe you will get inspired by these recipes and eventually, make delicious salad dressings with your own signature on them!

The basic ingredients are runny honey, apple cider, and lemon juice which are common in all varieties as they provide the necessary substance to bring the best out of greens and veggies while making the digestive process efficient and easier. Most importantly, always remember to serve any salad, appealing to the eyes, by keeping the natural colours intact.

Tips:

  • You can prepare the veggies in advance to save time: Cut and slice the veggies and greens and put them all into a glass bowl and cover with a cling film. Store in the fridge until mealtime.
  • Always opt for seasonal produce which has the freshness and flavours intact
  • Remember to add the salad dressing just before serving the salad to avoid a watery mess at the bottom of the bowl
  • Most importantly, serve any salad with the natural colours of greens and veggies intact.
  • Always add a few drops of lemon juice into the dressing. Lemon juice helps in absorbing the iron in spinach and red meat efficiently

The choice of what you can add to any salad to make it sustainable, healthy, and more satisfying is unlimited. Some of my favourite choices are listed down here;

  • Sliced boiled eggs
  • Baked or pan-fried chicken breast
  • Steak
  • A cup of boiled chickpeas
  • A cup of black beans or mixed beans in brine
  • Raw spinach and boiled beans
  • Boiled macaroni
  • Mackerel fillets in tomat sauce
  • Croutons – Cubes of bread toasted on the pan or baked in the oven with a dash of butter

How to make croutons

Croutons

Tossing a handful of croutons on any salad could instantly turn it into a full meal. Salads are devoid of Carbohydrates and usually very light and low in calories. However, if you need to add a bit of carb and make it a filling meal, just by adding croutons, you will be able to achieve your desire.

You will need:

  • A few wholemeal or white bread slices
  • A knob of butter

Let’s make it

  • Heat a pan and add the butter. Let it melt
  • Cut the bread slices into squares
  • Drop on the melted butter
  • Keep tossing and turning until both sides are nicely browned and crispy
  • Leave on the pan itself for cooling – This will make it crispier
  • Now, toss on your salad just before serving it
  • Delicious!

1) Greek Salad

Ingredients needed:

Iceberg Lettuce 2 cups
Tomatoes – riped and juicy 1/2 cup
Cucumber 1/2
Red Onions 1/2
Olives Pitted (black and green) a handful
Feta cheese a handful
For the basic dressing  
Apple cider vinegar  3 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Salt n black pepper powder A few pinches
Honey  1 tbsp
Dried oregano (optional) 2 tsp
Lemon juice 1tsp
Ingredients for Greek Salad

Let’s make;

Prepare the veggies

  • Shred Lettuce thinly
  • Slice tomatoes
  • Cut the cucumber into thin slices
  • Slice red onions thinly
  • Toss all into a large bowl
  • Drop a handful of black or green olives on top
  • Cover and keep until you make the salad dressing

Make the salad dressing

Basic salad dressing
  • Add Salt and pepper powder, apple cider vinegar, honey into a small bowl
  • Squeeze the lemon juice in
  • Pour olive oil gradually while whisking rapidly
  • Adjust the taste
  • Done!

Toss the salad with the dressing

  • Pour the salad dressing into the bowl of veggies and give a good toss using tongs
  • Drop cubed feta cheese on the top
  • Sprinkle Oregano
  • Your beautiful Greek-style salad is ready!
  • Serve immediately!

2) Spinach and boiled egg salad with wholemeal croutons with French salad dressing

Spinach and boiled egg salad

Let’s toss it:

  • Cut the boiled eggs thinly
  • Make the croutons: Heat a pan, drop a 1/2tsp of butter. Cube two slices of thick wholemeal bread slices and toss into the pan. Toss until well roasted. Keep aside
  • Wash baby spinach and drain water
  • Slice lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and red onions
  • Now into a large glass bowl, add raw spinach leaves, lettuce, cucumber, red onions and tomatoes
  • Toss some olives.
  • Drop the wholemeal croutons and boiled egg slices
  • Keep aside

Make the French salad dressing:

  • Into a small bowl add apple cider vinegar, runny honey, Dijon mustard cream, salt and pepper and give a good mix
  • Pour extra-virgin olive oil while whisking rapidly
  • Sqeeze a few drops of lemon
  • Adjust the taste
  • Your salad dressing is ready!

Now, pour onto the salad and give a good toss. Serve immediately!

3) Chicken breast and veggie salad with Thai sweet chilli sauce dressing

Salad with pan-fried chicken breast

Prepare the chicken breasts:

  • Make a few cuts on the chicken breasts
  • Mix salt, pepper powder, and a dash of soy sauce together and rub on the the chicken breasts. Keep covered for 20 mins
  • Add a dash of olive oil into a non-stick pan and pan-fry the chicken until properly done.
  • Slice into thin stripes
  • Keep aside

Make the Thai sweet chilli sauce dressing:

  • In a small bowl, add apple cider vinegar, a dash of lemon juice, a tiny bit of salt and pepper powder, and a generous amount of Thai sweet chilli sauce. Mix all together using a fork
  • Now add extra-virgin olive oil while whisking rapidly
  • Done!

Pour the salad dressing on top and serve immediately!

4) Green salad with mackerel in tomato sauce

Ingredients: Mackerel fillets in tomato sauce, Thai sweet chilli sauce, apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper powder and croutons
Green salad with mackerel fillets

Let’s toss it together:

  • Slice cucumber, red onions, tomatoes, and lettuce
  • Wash baby spinach and drain water
  • Add them all into a large glass bowl
  • Toss some croutons and olives
  • On top, drop the whole tin of mackerel fillets with its sauce
  • Drop some croutons
  • Keep aside

Make the Thai sweet chilli sauce dressing:

  • In a small bowl, add Apple cider vinegar, a dash of lemon juice, a tiny bit of salt and pepper powder, and a generous amount of Thai sweet chilli sauce. Mix all together using a fork
  • Now add extra-virgin olive oil while whisking rapidly
  • Done!

Pour over the salad and mix gently with tongs.

Serve immediately!

5) Steak salad with yoghurt dressing

Prepare the steak:

  • Slice steak and rub a dash of salt, pepper powder, mustard cream and soy sauce. Keep aside for 1/2 hr
  • Heat 1tbsp of olive oil and fry both sides until there are no pink bits and they are properly cooked through
  • Cover and keep aside

Make the salad dressing:

  • Add a dollp of yoghurt into a bowl and add salt and pepper propotionately
  • Add apple cider vinegar, runny honey and whisk with olive oil
  • Check the taste
  • Keep aside

Assemble everything together:

  • Slice veggies; cucumber, red onions, raddish, lettuce, spinach leaves, tomatoes and carrots
  • Drop all into a deep glass bowl
  • Add in the steak
  • Pour in the salad dressing
  • Give a good mix just before serving
  • Delicous!

6) Macaroni salad with creamy yoghurt and mayo dressing

Boil the macaroni and make the salad dressing:

  • Boil half a pan of water, add in a bit of oil and salt
  • Drop a two handfulls of macaroni shells and boil until soft
  • Keep aside

Salad dressing

  • Add a generous dollop of Greek style yoghurt or plain yoghurt into a bowl and add salt and pepper propotionately
  • Add apple cider vinegar, runny honey in and whisk vigorously with olive oil
  • Add in a dollop of mayo and mix thoroughly
  • Check the taste and keep aside

Assemble everything together:

  • Slice veggies; cucumber, red onions, lettuce, baby spinach leaves, tomatoes, carrots and bell peppers in all colours
  • Drop all into a large salad bowl
  • Drop the boiled macaroni
  • Pour in the salad dressing
  • Give a good mix just before serving
  • Delicous!

7) Green salad with croutons and Greek Feta cheese

Let’s make the salad dressing:

  • Add honey, lemon juice, sweet chilli sauce and apple cider vinegar into a small bowl
  • Add a tiny bit of salt and black pepper powder
  • Give a good mix
  • Now while gradually pouring extra-virgin olive oil, whisk vigorously
  • Adjust the taste

Let’s get on with the salad:

  • Slice tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and red onions and add all into a wide salad bowl
  • Drop raw baby spinach
  • Toss some black olives in
  • Drop some Greek Feta cheese on top
  • Pour the salad dressing
  • Toss a handful of croutons
  • Done!
  • Serve immediately!
prawn balls

Prawn Balls – Prawn balls wrapped with golden bread crumbs

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Kids will love these crusty and savoury prawn balls as a snack with a dollop of ketchup on the side. Yum!

You can even pack these in school lunch boxes and their crustiness will be intact and taste even better. Busy mums can store the prepared prawn balls in the freezer and deep-fry, whenever needed.

Gather the following ingredients to make these;

Cooked prawns 1 cup
A few slices of bread 
Onion 1
Green chilli 1
 Salt and pepper to taste 
Egg white1 beaten
Golden bread crumbs1/2 cup

Let’s make;

  • Crush prawns with your fingers
  • Grate a bread slice.  You can use the crusty bits left after making sandwiches
  • Mix onion, green chili, salt and pepper with grated bread and prawns
  • Sprinkle little warm water if the mixture is too dry
  • Make small balls
  • Dip in the egg white, then wrap with golden breadcrumbs
  • Deep fry until golden
  • Serve with ketchup
  • Delicious!
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Pacific Pilchard fried rice
Chinese Style Trout – steamed and smoked in hot oil – Delicious

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Pilchard fried rice

This one-pot Pilchard fried rice is a real feast!

A great choice for someone looking for a healthy version of meat-free special rice dish for lunch.  Also, the aroma and the flavours of pilchard fish, tomatoes, potatoes and sauces will deliver a very satisfying meal indeed!

Make sure you buy Pacific pilchard in tomato sauce for this recipe as it is the ideal choice to give the best results.

🧡💛💚💙💜🤎Get  ready with these items:  

Pacific Pilchard in  rich tomato sauce1 small tin 155 g
Rice (White basmati)1 & 1/2 cups
Ginger and garlic grated1 tbsp
Coriander leaves and stems1 cup
Tomato1 juicy
Onions1 large
Fish sauce1 tbsp
Soy sauce2 tbsp
Ketchup2 tbsp
New / Baby Potatoes6 cut into chunkes
Cumin seeds and mustard seeds1 tsp each
 Salt 1/2 tsp or to taste
pilchard

🧡💛💚💙💜🤎Let’s Make it:

  • First, wash the rice until water runs clear.   Drain water and keep aside
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  • Chop onions, tomatoes, grated ginger and garlic and cut potatoes.  Open the tin of pilchards and drain the sauce into a cup.  Leave aside the tomato sauce and fish pieces separately.  Chop coriander leaves and stems.  Keep everything aside
nfd
Ingredients
  • Heat up olive oil in a wide pan.  Sprinkle cumin seeds and mustard seeds, let them splutter.
  • Add the sliced onion and lightly brown it
  • Add the following ingredients and fry after each one

Salt, ginger-garlic paste, coriander leaves and stems, chopped tomato, tomato ketchup, tomato sauce from the tin, soy sauce and fish sauce

  • Fry everything until a thick and juicy sauce is formed
  • Add potatoes.  Keep frying
nfd
  • Drain water from the rice and add to the pot.  Fry the rice for a min or two
  • Next, pour warm water just above the rice
  • Give a good stir to bring everything together, cover and cook on a very light flame.  Cooking time usually takes  10 – 15 mins
  • After 10 mins, open the lid, drop the fish pieces
  • Adjust the taste
  • If the rice is not cooked enough and there is no more water left, sprinkle hot water to the sides, cover tightly and lower the flame for allowing it to cook a bit further
  • Finally, garnish with chopped coriander. Cover and keep the flavours to settle for about 10 mins
  • You can serve this dish on its own or with Chinese chilli paste or any pickle on the side
  • Yummy !!!

Chinese Style Trout – Steamed and smoked in hot oil

This exotic dish, inspired by the Chinese culinary sense, is passed on to my husband by a chef friend who runs his own restaurant. All thanks to his genuine recipe, we have been enjoying this dish every since.  The soft, flaky trout fish and spring onions sizzled on smoky hot oil produce such a delicate oriental taste to relish and remember forever.

 The best news is that this is very easy to make and ready in just 20 minutes, goes well as a perfect healthy version of lunch or dinner. A piece of this fish on a dome of piping hot basmati rice, along with some greens and Chinese chilli paste on the side, will make a filling and satisfying meal for someone who is very hungry.

fish
Fresh Rainbow Trout Fish

You will need:

 Rainbow Trout – whole fish1
Spring onion  – Class Aa bunch
Root ginger and garlic5 slices each
Soy sauce2 tbsp
Sesame oil – Blended1 tbsp
Salt1/2 tbsp
Oil2 tbsp

1st Step: Prepare the fish

Clean and completely de-bone the fish, leaving only the main spinal bone.  You can do this with the aid of a pair of scissors.  Cut off the fins and scrape the scales off and place it on a plate. Cut the fish into two parts, if it is too long to fit on the plate. With a sharp knife, slash 2-4 deep crosses on the top of the fish and liberally sprinkle salt inside.

  • Cut out the spring onion bunch very finely
  • Slice up the ginger and garlic into thin pieces and place inside the deep cuts on the fish 
  • Sprinkle soy sauce all over
  • Spread spring onions on the top and inside the fish
Arrange the fish with spring onions, garlic and thinly sliced ginger

2nd step : Steam the fish

  • Cover and steam on very high flame for exactly 20 mins

Tips for steaming: Take a flat, wide pan and place a small side plate upside down.  Fill with water just below the brim.  Place the plate with fish on the small plate and cover the lid.  Steam the fish for 20 min all the way on high flame.  High flame help to boil water and emit steam in a steady flow.

chinese fish 2
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  • Exactly after 20 mins, open the lid, let the steam escape

3rd step : Smoke fish with hot oil

  • Now pour over 2 tbsps of cooking oil into a pan and heat up on high flame until it lets out smoke. This will take about 2 – 3 mins.   Immediately pour smoky, hot oil over the fish.  You will see the fish sizzling up and a mouth-watering aroma fills up in the kitchen
  • Done!!

Serve the fish along with spring onions over a dome of steamed rice, accompanied with Chinese chilli paste on the side.