This has to be one of the tastiest salads ever. Rendering taste to this rustic dish are grilled vegetables, fruity olive oil, zesty lemon and fresh herbs.
The marinated vegetables are pan-grilled, and have a smoky flavour that works very well with the tangy dressing and salty feta.
To make this salad, you don’t need a fancy outdoor grill or even an oven. All you need is a grill pan or a regular griddle (if you are not very particular about the grill marks).
Whether you want an accompaniment for your main meals or filler for your sandwiches or just choose to have it as a meal, this is a healthy and filling salad.
Zucchini – 2
Baby eggplants – 2
Capsicum (I have used the red one) – 1
Tomato – 1, halved
Onion – 1
Feta cheese - 4 tblspns.
Chilli flakes – 1 tspn.
For the dressing:
Fresh/dried herbs of your choice (I have used a mix of basil and marjoram) – 1 tablespoon
Lemon juice – 3 to 4 tblspns.
Salt and pepper – To taste
Oil – 3 tblspns.
To prepare the marinade, add the ingredients listed under ‘For the dressing’ into a large bowl. Give it a good mix and keep aside.
Cut the zucchini and eggplants into thin slices. This will help them cook evenly.
Cut the onions into thick rings.
Make little strips out of the capsicum.
Place all the cut vegetables including the tomato halves into the bowl with the marinade.
With clean hands, toss and coat the vegetables in the marinade. Ensure that the vegetables are properly coated in the marinade.
Once done, allow the vegetables to marinate for about 30 to 40 minutes.
When you are ready to grill, heat the pan. Brush it with oil, if you like.
Strain the liquid from the marinade, and reserve it to dress the salad.
Place the marinated vegetable slices on the grill pan. Place as many as you can fit in the pan.
On high heat, allow the veggies to grill. Turn the sides to allow them to cook on the other side. Repeat the process till the vegetables start to brown on the sides, and are adequately cooked on the insides.
Do the same for the remaining marinated vegetables.
Assemble the vegetables on a serving plate. Sprinkle feta cheese on top of the salad.
Drizzle the reserved marinade on the salad.
Serve warm with crusty breads or with main meals.
- I have used vegetables that were readily available in my fridge. Use winter/summer squashes, corn or other vegetables of your choice.
- I have used feta because I like the combination of the cheese and vegetables. You may also grill haloumi and serve with the salad. If you don’t like cheese, skip it.
- You could also use other herbs of your choice for the dressing.
- While these veggies are pan-grilled, you could do the same with a BBQ grill.
It is amazing what you can do with watermelons. Sweet, savoury or juiced, the tasty melon never disappoints.
With the onset of spring here in Australia, the markets are stocking up on juicy, red watermelons. The fresh and sweet fruit is a personal favourite, and it is no wonder that I am buying them in plenty.
Lying in my fridge was a beautifully ripe watermelon, and I wanted to make something different with it. I like a touch of saltiness when I consume watermelons, and decided to improvise on my usual watermelon salad.
Inspired by the flavours of the Mediterranean, here I present to you my grilled watermelon salad that is fresh and delish.
Watermelon - 3 wedges cut into 1 to 3 inch-thick pieces
Balsamic vinegar (optional) – 4 tblspns.
Feta – 3 tblspns.
Green olives – ½ cup
Chopped mint and coriander – 2 tblspns.
Extra virgin olive oil – 1 tblspn. + a few drops to coat a pan
Salt and pepper - To taste
Heat some oil in a grill pan. Optionally, you could brush or spray some oil to the pan.
To the hot pan, place the watermelon pieces. Keep the stove on high flame, and allow the watermelon to grill. Turn the watermelon pieces for the other side to cook.
Keep turning sides till you see grill marks on the watermelon pieces.
Repeat the process till you notice slight charring in the fruit chunks.
Turn the stove off and allow it to rest in the pan.
Once it is slightly cooled, place them on a serving plate.
Sprinkle the chopped coriander & mint leaves and crumbled feta cheese. Drizzle some extra virgin oil and balsamic vinegar.
Season with salt and pepper. I would recommend that you use salt in lower quantities as the vinegar and feta cheese have some amount of salt in it.
Serve with olives.
- If you don’t like feta, replace it with goat’s cheese or skip it altogether.
- For added freshness, include some chopped parsley.
- It is best to use a grill pan to achieve the grill marks. If you don’t have one or don’t particularly care for the grill marks, you can do the same on a regular griddle or frying pan.
The low-calorie, fibre and protein-rich baked beans is made from navy beans. Navy beans, also known as haricot beans, is typically slow-cooked in sauce and then baked for long hours. By doing so, the beans are perfectly cooked, and get infused in the flavourful sauce.
I haven’t tried my hand at making baked beans from scratch, and it is all thanks to the readily available canned/bottled variants. When I see a special on baked beans, I stock up my pantry with it. Baked beans are a great addition to breakfast, and make a filling mid-meal snack.
This time, the tasty and healthy baked beans come in a soupy avatar. Teamed with nutritious vegetables and a serving of bread, this soup is a meal in itself.
Baked beans in tomato sauce (Low sodium) – 1 can
Stock/ water – 4 cups
Onion – 1, roughly chopped
Celery stalk – 1, roughly chopped
Carrot – 1, roughly chopped
Spinach – a handful
Garlic - 3 cloves, peeled and rougjly chopped
Chilli powder or paprika – ½ tspn.
Oil - ½ tblspn.
Worcestershire sauce ( Optional) - 1 or 2 tblspns.
Salt and pepper – To taste
Heat oil in a pot, add garlic and onions. Cook the onions till it is moderately soft.
Add the celery stalks and carrot chunks. Sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Toss in the chilli powder and mix well.
Pour the stock into the pot, and bring it to a boil.
Once it boils, allow the vegetables to simmer until soft.
Ensure the vegetables are not too mushy. This should take about 15 minutes.
To the simmering mixture, add the baked beans and Worcestershire sauce.
Mix to combine the ingredients.
Turn the flame to high, and cover the pot. Allow the soup to cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Before turning the stove off, add the spinach leaves. Give it another minute, and then turn off the stove.
Canned baked beans is normally seasoned.
Use caution when adding salt and pepper. Taste the soup once before seasoning it.
Serve hot with a side of bread or dinner rolls.
- I have used low-sodium baked beans. There are several variants available, pick the one that you like.
- The beans, Worcestershire sauce and stock have some amount of salt in them. Use caution when adding salt.
- Vegetables like pumpkin, squash, zucchini make great additions in the soup.
- I have used low-fat cheddar cheese. You any cheese of your liking, or you could skip it, if you don’t want cheese in your soup.