Food + Drink

October 1, 2012

Kitchen Bitchin’: Salad isn’t just for skinny girls

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Written by: Melanie
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Loving salad really isn’t anything to be ashamed of. At least that’s what I used to believe living the hipster life in Montreal—pot-lucks with friends, picnics in Parc Lafontaine, terrace hopping on St. Denis…

But now I live in England, and well, I guess being a vegetarian is a bit more of an anomaly. Here people like “Sausage Rolls” and “Mince Pies” almost any food you might possibly imagine can come stuffed with meat. I find it quite gross to be honest.

Which is interesting because I’m not even a proper vegetarian. But I can’t help but get the feeling that my love of beets, lentils, sprouts, sunflower seeds and quinoa is something to be mocked. I know, it’s a tough life.

Okay enough whining.

No matter what anyone thinks, a salad always has the power to both satiate and impress.

Here are 4 simple and delicious salad recipes. Enjoyed as a side-dish or as a full meal all of these salads are guaranteed to be a huge hit at any pot-luck.


Apple and Spinach Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Pine Nuts

For the Salad

  • Baby spinach
  • Sliced shallots
  • Chopped cucumber
  • Green apple, cut into matchsticks
  • 3-4 large slices of fresh mozzarella
  • Pine nuts lightly toasted
[Don’t forget, when you’re toasting the pine nuts, use a small frying pan with no oil. Make sure to constantly move around the pan until the nuts turn golden brown and start to smell. Remove from heat as soon as they are ready. If you leave the pan on the hot element they’ll burn. IMMEDIATELY!]
For the Vinaigrette
  • Some good olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • A tiny squeeze of honey
  • A teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper 


Fried Sesame Halloumi with Carrots, Spinach and Cucumber

One benefit of moving to the UK was discovering halloumi. Halloumi is this insane cheese  and I’m obsessed with it. It’s a Greek and Turkish cheese that’s firm and squeaky and extremely salty, made from a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. It’s a lot more well-known in the UK and Europe as I never really learned of it while living in Canada. You can still find it in Canadian grocery stores, however, if you just know where to look (or how to ask). It’s usually found near the firm cheese like feta.

Unlike most cheeses, halloumi doesn’t melt when you heat it up, which is why it’s often fried or grilled. FRIED CHEESE!? I know! The best. My favorite way to eat it is in a crispy fresh salad.

For the salad: 

  • Fresh baby spinach
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Shredded carrot
  • Alfafa sprouts, cress
  • Haloumi
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • Sesame seeds
Arrange the salad in layers on a flat dish.
Cut your brick of halloumi into small cubes (like little croutons). In a zip-lock bag or small container, toss the halloumi cubes with a large handful of sesame seeds until the cheese is generally coated all over.
In a frying pan, warm some olive oil on medium heat; smash the clove of garlic and throw it into the oil. You won’t eat the garlic clove (well you can, if you want to) but it will flavor the oil. Then one at a time, put the cubes into the warm oil. Fry on each side until they’re golden.
Drizzle some good olive oil over the salad, the juice from one lemon and one lime and sprinkle with some freshly ground black pepper.

Thai Mango and Bean Sprout Salad

Here’s a lovely “Asian inspired” salad thats sweet, tangy and crunchy. It’s also raw and vegan!

For the salad

  • Bean Sprouts
  • Fresh coriander
  • Fresh mango chopped
  • One small red chilli chopped finely
  • Some sesame seeds
For the vinaigrette
  • Sesame oil
  • Lime juice
  • Soya sauce

Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes with Blackberries Parmesan and a Tahini Vinaigrette 

Making your own sun dried tomatoes. I bet you didn’t realize how easy this could be. These tasty sun-dried tomatoes taste like candy. They’re simple to make and can jazz up just about any dish. Eat them right away on some delivery pizza or in a beautiful salad–or, store them in a jar with some olive oil and use them in a pasta sauce!  To be honest, I enjoyed them the most just munching on them like candy. HEALTHY CANDY!

What you’ll need:

  • Some cherry or plum tomatoes (halved)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Other dried herbs if you want like oregano or basil
  • You’ll also need parchment paper

What to do:

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place the tomatoes flat side up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.Place them in the oven at a medium-high temperature. These should take about an hour to shrink down, but after 30 minutes you want to check on them frequently because if they burn…well you don’t want them to burn. Turn the oven off and leave the tomatoes in there for about another 10 minutes. They’ll dry out and shrivel and get a bit crispy. You dont really want any moisture to be left in them.

For the salad:

  • Arugula/Rockett lettuce
  • Fresh blackberries
  • Parm shavings
  • Sun Dried tomatoes
  • Toasted nuts (pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc.)

For the Vinaigrette:

  • Good olive oil
  • A small squeeze of lemon juice
  • A squeeze of honey
  • Half a tablespoon of tahini (sesame paste)

Mix the vinaigrette very well and drizzle over salad.

About the Author

I'm a proud Montrealer who recently uprooted to cold rainy Northern England. I have spent many months living and working in Bhopal, India (home of the world's worst chemical disaster). I am fucking crazy about Indian food and I love to cook; I also love to take obnoxious photos of the food I cooked. I currently work in the charity/NGO/international development field. I need to make more money. I enjoy sarcasm, deep fried foods, Haitian music, and reality TV. My food blog: My India blog:



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One Comment

  1. Ty


    I really like the Thai Mango idea.

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