Mediterranean detox salad
Mmmmm there’s something about a sun-dried tomato and olive combo that’s totally delicious!
I tend to go through waves of favourites when it comes to food and recently, I rediscovered sun-dried tomatoes. Pop an olive in with the mix too and it’s an instant taste of the Med. Even better, these flavours are quick and easy and often require no cooking at all. That’s great news on nights that are busy with kids activities or when you’re overwhelmed by deadlines at work. On weeknights, the simpler the better!
I came up with this recipe last night when I had leftover brown rice and broccoli. I heated them up with organic chicken tenders for the kids, but wanted to make a kind of superfood salad bowl for myself. Obviously I had this with a large glass of red wine. It’s all about the balance, yes?!
Once you have the concept of making a brown rice salad and packing it with veggies, it’s the most flexible lunch or dinner concept ever. Keep your evening carbs in check by limiting the brown rice to three-quarters of a cup, or switch to quinoa for a lower carb option. I added a combo of nuts/seeds for plant-based protein, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t add diced chicken or flaked salmon if you’d prefer (or as well). If you’re going plant-based, the important thing is to combine a variety of proteins. This layers well by using a wholegrain (brown rice or quinoa) and combining with a nut and a seed. (Note that quinoa is actually a seed, but we treat it as a wholegrain – confusing I know!)
As with many salads, the dressing makes this. I used apple cider vinegar as it has such good digestive health benefits (the detox factor!), but it adds a wonderful flavour too. You could replace it with balsamic or lemon juice no problem. Versatility is key, especially in Bermuda when it’s rare to find absolutely everything you need on the shelf!
Here's how to do it:
Mediterranean detox salad
Ingredients (per person):
½ cup blanched broccoli
6 baby or 3 large sun-dried tomatoes
2 spring onions
6 olives (green or black, whatever you prefer)
¾ cup cooked brown rice or quinoa
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs apple cider vinegar with “the mother” (eg Braggs)
1 tbs apple juice or 1 tsp honey/maple syrup
Pinch dried basil (optional)
Large handful local leaves (eg Miles to Grow) or arugula/spinach
1/4 cup toasted cashews and pumpkin seeds
1. Chop the spring onions and broccoli, then pop in a salad bowl
2. Blot the sun-dried tomatoes of excess oil, chop if large, then add to the bowl
3. Pit (if necessary) and chop the olives, add to the bowl
4. Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, vinegar, juice/honey/maple syrup, dried basil, salt and pepper. Add to the bowl and stir over the ingredients.
5. Add the rice and toss together. You can toss in the leaves at this stage or serve them on the side.
6. Sprinkle with the nuts and seeds. That’s it – enjoy!
Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram