Kale & Buckwheat Salad

kale & buckwheat salad2

Some people are a little taken aback when I say I’m eating or cooking with buckwheat as they think it is related to wheat, but fear not, it isn’t, as it’s not a grass and is actually related to rhubarb…who knew?!  The person who called it buckwheat probably had no idea the confusion it would cause nowadays!

Buckwheat is my gluten free alternative to couscous.  Whilst some people aren’t big couscous fans when they can eat gluten, it is one of the things I miss most.  Quinoa is lovely but just doesn’t come close enough in texture to giant couscous (Israeli couscous) for me so I was loving life the day I discovered buckwheat.

I cook buckwheat the way I do rice – one part buckwheat to 2 parts water.  Place in a pan and once it is up to the boil, cover with a lid and reduce to simmer for about 12 minutes until the water has been absorbed.

I think this salad will be featuring a lot over my Summer as it is so adaptable with what veggies and dressings you could use. Roast veggies with it would be lovely.

This can be served as a main or a side.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

-150g-200g raw kale, cleaned, roughly shredded & tough stems removed

-juice of 1/2 a lemon

-1 & 1/2 cups cooked buckwheat

-handful cherry tomatoes, halved

-1/4 large cucumber, seeds removed & diced

-handful of fresh mixed herbs (I used mint & flat leaf parsley) roughly chopped

-1/4 of a small red onion, finely diced

-1 avocado, skin & stone removed, diced

-salt & pepper

Dressing

-juice of 1/2 lemon

-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

-1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard

-salt & pepper

How To Make

Place the shredded kale in a large bowl with the juice of half a lemon.  Massage the kale with the lemon juice until it starts breaking down, this takes about 6-8 minutes so put your favourite tunes on and have a wee boogie whilst massaging the kale!

The photos below show the kale before and after massage.

Kale beforeKale after

Once you’ve massaged the kale, set aside as you will need to strain it through a sieve to remove the excess water it will produce.

In a separate bowl combine the tomatoes, buckwheat, cucumber, herbs and give a good stir.

Place the kale in a fine mesh sieve and strain the kale by squeezing it with your hand.  Place the strained kale in the bowl with the other ingredients and give everything a good stir to combine.  Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.   Drizzle over some of the dressing onto the salad and stir.

Place the avocado on top of the salad just before serving.

The salad and dressing both store well in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

Kale & buckwheat salad

Enjoy 🙂

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Carrot Noodles with Pesto

Carrot Noodles & Pesto1

I received a spiraliser for a Christmas gift a couple of years ago and it is one of my favourite kitchen gadgets.  It’s a great way for incorporating vegetables into your dish and I often have a spiralised courgette, sweet potato or carrots instead of pasta, noodles or rice.

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Sweet Potato & Pomegranate Salad

Salads are so easy to throw together and there are such a variety of ingredients available nowadays.  It used to be a salad was a bit of limp lettuce, a tomato and some cucumber and perhaps some cress!

There are no rules when it comes to making a salad, use whichever lettuce you like or try a salad without lettuce.  Add whichever vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds you have at hand and you’ll come up with a great salad.  This is what happened when I created this salad.  I hadn’t been to the shop but I had some roast sweet potato in the fridge (I often roast or steam a batch of vegetables and keep them in the fridge to snack on or for salads), a lone pomegranate and some other salad items that needed using.  I also had a tin of mixed beans in the cupboard that I added too.

Sweet Potato & Pom salad

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Quinoa Tabbouleh (gluten free)

Quinoa tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern dish traditionally made with bulgar wheat which contains gluten so to make this a gluten free recipe I’ve used quinoa instead.

Through trial and error I think I’ve finally mastered cooking quinoa to get it resulting in a lovely fluffy texture.  The trick is to rinse it, rinse it, rinse it.  1 cup of uncooked quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked.  Measure out your quinoa and in a fine mesh sieve rinse it under cold running water.  You want to get your hands in and move the grains about so they are get washed, this gets rid off the bitter taste you sometimes get with quinoa.  Next place a large pan over a medium heat and add the quinoa to toast it lightly.  Add the water and place a lid on the pan, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes until the water has evaporated and the quinoa is cooked.  Fluff up with a fork.  I sometimes cook my quinoa in vegetable stock to give it some flavour, as let’s be honest, plain quinoa is bland!

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