Curly Kale and Salpico Salad

Curly kale and salpico salad

This nice autumny salad is a bit of a variation on the traditional Waldorf salad and it somehow suits this time of the year perfectly. It’s packed full of stuff that’s good for you – kale, apples and celery, with a dash of extra flavour in the form of salpico, nuts and raisins.

You can’t really go wrong with any green, leafy veg but kale is a kind of superfood in its own class. It’s full of anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre, and it even contains some protein and healthy fats. It helps to lower cholesterol, reduces the risk of cancer and supports the body’s detox processes. All that in a delicious salad, and if you can get your hands on organic kale, even better! And yes, you can cook it but it’s used raw here.

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Potato Rosti

Potato rosti with roasted fennel and smoked trout

Rosti go by many names – rösti, potato pancakes, hash browns and latkes, to name just a few – and come in many variations. At heart though, they are simply grated potato mixed with a little salt, and whatever other flavourings you choose to add, like onion, herbs and/or cheese. I’ve been wanting to try them for ages and when a friend bought round some smoked trout, I decided it was the perfect opportunity.

After doing some fairly extensive research on Pinterest (there are quite a few methods out there, believe me), I decided to keep the base very simple and rather go wild on the toppings.

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Preserved Cucumbers

Naturally preserved cucumbers

I’ve got a bit of a thing for preserves at the moment – salted lemons, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and even limoncello (hint: look out for these coming attractions right here on Inspired Nourishment). Today I thought I’d share a very simple recipe for naturally preserved cucumbers, which are my latest ‘have with everything’ condiment.

I first came across the recipe some time ago on Mark’s Daily Apple  while doing research for a paleo article I was writing for someone else. What grabbed my attention was the very interesting fact that when you preserve vegetables this way, not only are they crunchy and delicious, but they’re also packed with probiotics and therefore great for the digestive system, especially if you’ve recently been on a course of antibiotics (something I try to avoid at all costs). And in case you’re wondering, they’re different from store-bought gherkins as they don’t use vinegar (which kills those helpful probiotics) and they taste salty rather than tangy. As my attention was elsewhere at the time, I saved the recipe on one of my Pinterest boards for later use.

The most difficult part of this process is actually finding the baby cucumbers, which are often called Israeli cucumbers here in South Africa. If you can’t get your hands on any, you can apparently use just about any kind of fairly hardy vegetable, like carrots, cabbage, radishes or broccoli. I haven’t yet tried any of those so can’t personally vouch for them, although I’ve seen them in various health shops and there are plenty of recipes online. Continue reading

Beetroot, Avocado and Feta Salad

Beetroot, avocado and feta salad

Yes, it’s autumn (nearly winter) here in South Africa and some people may feel that salad is only for summer. I completely disagree – salad is delicious and nutritious any time of year! I will say though that varying what you put in your salad at different times of the year makes sense. As soon as the starchy veggies, like beetroot and butternut, start to make an appearance, it’s officially classified as an autumn/winter salad (according to me).

In this very simple and delicious recipe, beetroot and avocado are the stars, complimented by a few other ingredients that add pizzazz.

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Quiche with a Potato Crust

Cooked quiche

Quiche is one of my favourite go-to dishes when I need to take something savoury to a get-together. It’s light and yet still filling, and so incredibly versatile since you can put just about anything in it: spinach and feta, chicken and mushroom, roasted butternut and bacon, courgette and sweetcorn, sweet potato and goats’ cheese (a combo I tasted just the other day), and the list goes on and on…

Aside from whatever other ingredients I might have on hand, I almost always use sautéed onion (sometimes caramelised) and cheese/s of some description, which give the quiche a kind of luxurious feel (that’s the best way I can describe it). You can also use all cream or all milk if you prefer or if that’s what you have in your fridge. Obviously the more cream and less milk you use, the richer it will be.

Usually I make shortcrust pastry for the base, often with some proportion of whole-wheat flour in it, but recently I experimented with potato slices instead, which worked really well. It’s a great alternative if you prefer not to use or can’t manage wheat.

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Chicken, Leek and Sweet Potato Pie

Chicken, leek and sweet potato pie

If you’re looking for something different to serve to your family and/or guests this holiday season, this is a great dish to go for. The puff pastry gives it a festive air (especially if you make pretty patterns on it) and it’s substantial and delicious, without being too heavy. It only needs a salad or other light veggie dish to make it a meal, and perhaps some crusty bread if you have really hungry people at your table.

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Courgette-Feta Crumpets

Courgette-feta crumpet ready to eat

Normally when you think of pancakes or crumpets (the South African version of American ‘pancakes’, which are different from French ‘crêpes’ and also different from English ’crumpets’ – I know, it’s very confusing!), it tends to bring up images of a tea-time treat that’s a bit starchy and usually served with jam and cream. And those are certainly delicious, no doubt about it.

These crumpets are completely different though, more like very light fritters – savoury and fluffy, and a different and interesting way to prepare vegetables. You can eat them as a snack on their own, have them as a side dish with meat or make them the main part of a light meal and just add a salad or something to round it out.

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