Another Salad

With a sweet edge.

Cored and sliced juicy pear.

P1060939Mixed with walnut pieces and some crumbled Stilton. P1060940‘Dumped’ on a bed of greens – spinach or lamb’s lettuce, rocket would be too strong for this salad combination.  Not pictured – sorry!  But sweet and savoury, crunchy and most enjoyable.  Very flavoursome.

Why aren’t there more lovely salad mixes for eating out…?

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Christmas Salad

Oh dear….long time no blog  😦

It’s frightening that work can obliterate the creative spirit in me – it saps energy, enthusiasm and the desire to make things.  It’s insidious – just creeps up, slowly, slowly, and bam!  It seems the only time I feel remotely creative is when I’m on leave.  I’m now determined each year to have a week of leave in December – I love the Christmas season, I love making things at this time of year; and I love the cosiness of being at home, reflecting on the Christian meaning of Christmas, indulging in Christmas traditions.  Time off work during this season is a tradition to keep for me.

I’ve also not had a card-reader for my camera/laptop for a while.  I recently taught an aunt how to save photos to a Memory Card on her mobile phone, and then transfer those photos to her PC.  She did it!  You are never, ever too old to learn new things.  I don’t mean that in any derogatory sense – I love helping people to learn, helping people to have the confidence to do new things, to achieve things.  It’s great!

Anyway, I gave her my card-reader so she could continue her new practice, and ordered a new one for me.  Lo and behold a few days ago my Beloved declared ‘You don’t need a card-reader, you can insert the Memory Card straight into your laptop’.  Thanks for telling me one year into this laptop…  I know – I should read instructions.  I don’t.  But I’m delighted this is possible on my laptop – makes things SO much easier!

P1060840Today I wanted a big salad.  A hot Christmas Salad.  This does not contain traditional Christmas foods.  But the bright colours make me think it is festive.  The bold orange, dark green and bright green with dots of white are beautiful.  Bright lights for a cold winter day.

P1060851

Does anyone use a Butternut Squash(BNS) within a few days of purchase?  Is it just me who keeps it on the side for weeks…?  I thought it would be great roasted for a salad.  And I am now converted to ‘not peeling a BNS’ before roasting it.  It’s a total nuisance to peel and chop.  But this way is easy.  I’ve seen others say it can be roasted in this way – I didn’t really believe them, I thought it would take forever to roast, I thought it would be tough and chewy.  Wrong on both counts.

P1060844Nip off the stalk at the top. Slice the BNS into four – mind your fingers!  Scrape/slice out the seeds.  Place on a roasting tray, sprinkle with salt and fresh black pepper, splodge with some oil and rub the oil over the flesh(don’t worry about the skin).  Roast in the oven – 180*C(fan) for 45 minutes.  The flesh needs to be tender to a knife.  Done!  So easy!

For the salad base I used spinach, avocado and walnuts.  A drizzle of balsamic.  Some chopped goat cheese – I used Gevrik.  Then chunks of hot BNS over the top.  Enjoy!

P1060847This was sweet and savoury, with the freshness of avocado, the earthiness of the walnuts, sweetness from the BNS, and tanginess from the Balsamic.  Satisfying. Tasty.  Hot and cold together.  The BNS is surprisingly fibrous – not really noticeable when it’s liquidised into soup – but certainly not tough.  Soft and yumptious  🙂

Is Salad in winter right..?

Toasted Sandwich…

…in a salad.

I adore a toasted sandwich with Stilton, apple and walnuts.  The flavours are diverse but melt together so well.  Sweetness, nuttiness, saltiness and earthiness.  A mind-blowing flavour combination.

This sandwich was introduced to me many years ago by a local Christian Coffee/Bookshop called Mustard Seed.  I think it was one of their specials or something like that.  I’ve never forgotten it.  And it’s rare to see it on any menus – perhaps because of the combination?  Perhaps because of the Stilton?

A sweet apple is crucial to me, partly to obtain the sweet/savoury balance.  But also perhaps because I just don’t like sour fruit.

Salad base – as you will.

With said toppings – Stilton, sliced apple and walnuts.

A sliver of salty cheese, a bite of earthy walnut, a crunch of sweet apple.  Mmm Mmm…

Sandwich on salad.

Absolutely Nuts

We’ve been enjoying some of these since Christmas.  The flavours and textures are so fresh, and have the edge compared to nuts which have been shelled and packaged in plastic and sat on shop-shelves for some time…

For the first time ever I have noticed the difference.  The crunch is crunchy…the flavour is strong and fresh…the almonds really do contain the underlying flavour that you notice in almond essence – I’ve never noticed that before.  I thought it was just an artificial feature of almond essence, but no.

It’s not easy to sit and over-eat these by the handful when they have to be cracked first.  Just not possible!  And no loading with oil and salt from roasting, either.

Nature’s feast.  Pure and untainted.

It would be criminal to alter the freshness of these nuts by roasting, grinding or adding to dishes.  Yet it would be interesting to taste their freshness in a meal.

Shall I?

All Wrapped Up

I love wraps for lunches…and for an evening meal too, for that matter!  They are so versatile – they can be served hot, cold, microwaved, cooked in a pan, filled with whatever-in-the-world-you-like!  They’re easy to transport.  And for some reason, I feel like I’m having something special to eat.

I’ve had this wrap for lunch for a couple days recently.

It’s so colourful!  Filled with a spread of mayonnaise, some spinach leaves, slices of apple, some crumbled Stilton and some broken pieces of walnut.

This is delicious, full of flavour, savoury and sweet together – which is one of my favourites – and with crunchy textures.  Extra fixes of fruit & veg – yay!  And some carbs, but not from the heaviness of bread.  I always use wholemeal tortilla wraps for an extra fibre boost, and I find them less doughy than the plain ones.  Wrapped up in tinfoil to transport, they keep their rolled shape and the filling doesn’t fall out.  It all squidges together a bit, and makes it easier to eat.

Do you have a favourite wrap filling?