Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A week in Salads - Beetroot, Sweetcorn and Feta

Day two of my Salad adventure sees is paying homage to the humble beetroot. When I was planning this week I wanted to make sure that the salads weren’t just low calories, that is easily done. I wanted them to be highly nutritional using ingredients that gave your body the minerals and vitamins it needs to function healthily. Beetroot is an amazing little root vegetable, it can be eaten raw or cooked and really shouldn’t be treated any different to carrots. A 100gm of beetroot has only 43 calories and contains 11% of your RDA of fiber, 4% iron; it also have vitamin C, B-6 and Magnesium.

This beetroot salad does need a little bit of preparation the night before mainly for the onions. The rest can be put together in 5 minutes at work. I actually have two different versions and will give you both recipes as one is with sweetcorn and the other with lentils and mushrooms.

Ingredients for Beetroot & Sweetcorn

  • 2 medium beetroots - cooked & cubed
  • ½ can of sweetcorn - try and get the one without salt
  • 100gm fresh garden peas or ½ can - the fresh ones are sweeter and nicer
  • 1 small red onion
  • 50gm Feta Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooked Broccoli - Optional
  • Balsamic glaze/dressing - optional
Method 1:
  1. Slice the onion in half and then into very fine half crescents. Put in a container with the balsamic vinegar.This macerates the onions taking away the raw bite of them and leaving behind their sweetness.

  1. Add the beetroot to the container after 20 minutes and leave overnight in the fridge

  1. Pre-cook your broccoli leave it to cool and leave to the side, do not add it to the beets and onion mix until you want to put the salad together

  1. Put the salad together by mixing all the vegetables in a bowl, dress with the olive oil and salt to taste.

  1. Crumble the feta on top

  1. If you like me love a bit of balsamic glaze/dressing drizzle it over. DOnt forget that adds to the calories as does any dressing  
Ingredients - Beetroot and Lentils

  • 2 medium beetroots - cooked and cubed
  • ½ can green lentils - drained and washed
  • 100 gm cooked mushrooms
  • 1 small red onion
  • 50gm Feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooked Broccoli - Optional
Method 2:

  1. Slice the onion in half and then into very fine half crescents. Put in a container with the balsamic vinegar.This macerates the onions taking away the raw bite of them and leaving behind their sweetness.

  1. Add the beetroot to the container after 20 minutes.

  1. Pre-cook your mushrooms and add them to the beets. Leave in the fridge overnight to marry the flavours.

  1. Pre-cook your broccoli leave it to cool and leave to the side, do not add it to the beets and onion mix until you want to put the salad together

  1. Put the salad together by mixing all the vegetables in a bowl, dress with the olive oil and salt to taste.

  1. Crumble the feta on top

  1. If you like me love a bit of balsamic glaze/dressing drizzle it over. DOnt forget that adds to the calories as does any dressing  




This salad may need a bit of prep before hand but it is truly delicious, it has lovely sweetness from the sweetcorn and broccoli, or a deep rich earthy flavour if you got for the mushroom and lentil option. 

Tips and Ideas: I have already had a few people worry that a salad is not enough for lunch that they will be hungry, and want to snack all the way through, it will make them grumpy. Over the next two days I hope to share with you how I overcome this.

Make sure that you have breakfast.Breakfast is key to any healthy diet. Having a good breakfast will mean that you won’t be hungry at 11, you will have energy to carry you through to lunch and you won’t have as many cravings. It also helps with maintaining a healthy and faster metabolism. Skipping meals actually slows your metabolism down as your body goes into hunger mode and starts to store all food as fat.   

A good breakfast can be a couple of eggs, they are full of protein, vitamin D and calcium and actually make you full despite their small size, you can add some healthy fat with half an avocado. Alternatively an avocado on rye bread with some cottage cheese is delicious. Porridge is also good but do be careful what you flavour it with, you can easily slip here and go over the top on the sugar by adding too much honey or jam or other such things. Beware the pre-prepared flavoured porridge packets, some or full of sugar and additives.   

Bon Apettite!