Lentil salad

Delicious and super healthy Greek style lentil salad with feta cheese and yummy vegetables. This could be eaten as a side dish or a light vegetarian meal. The lentils are simmered until cooked and then coated with an oil and red wine vinegar dressing. So good. Lentils are a wonderful source of protein.

prep time 15 min     cook time 20 min (lentil cook time)
ingredients for 4
  • 400 lentils, picked and rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 red and yellow peppers, roasted and sliced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 200 g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • half a cucumber, sliced or chopped
  • handful fresh parsley or dill, chopped
  • optional: handful of fresh mint, chopped
  • 10 kalamata or other olives, pitted and sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 200 g feta cheese, crumbled
  • for the dressing:
  • 6 tables extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tables red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper

1. Rinse the lentils and cook them in a pot with water, add a bay leaf and salt. Cooking time varies for different varieties of lentils.

2. Cut the peppers into strips or slices, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, sprinkle some oil on them and bake them in preheated oven to 200C for about 20 minutes until softened.

3. Whisk the oil, vinegar, minced garlic, salt and pepper for the dressing.

4. When the lentils are cooked, drain them in a colander and let cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, place them in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add chopped onions, roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives and crumbled feta andmix . Add the herbs right before serving.

BUON APPETITO!

Fig salad

This is so yummy I could eat it almost every day!

prep time 10 min
ingredients for 2
  • a bag (125g) of leafy greens or arugula
  • 4-5 figs
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1/2 avocado
  • a few button mushrooms
  • a handful of walnuts
  • sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

1. Place the leafy greens on a large salad plate or tray.

2. Wash and slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin strips with a mandolin or a cheese slicer and add to the plate.

3. Clean the figs and quarter them. Peel and slice the avocado. Clean and cut the mushrooms. Add all to the salad.

4. Add walnuts, seeds and a little bit of oil, salt and pepper.

Tip: a very delightful add-on would be crumbled feta cheese or slices of Grana cheese of Parmesan.

BUON APPETITO!

Nourish bowl

An extremely healthy lunch option with various raw veggies and legumes.  Add some good condiment, preferably good extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice or white wine vinegar. For a completely vegetarian alternative, leave out the tuna/chicken.

prep time  15 min
ingredients
  • tuna/cooked chicken
  • carrots
  • cucumber
  • avocado
  • baby spinach
  • pickled beetroot
  • hard boiled eggs
  • cannellini beans
  • red peppers
  • cabbage
  • pomegranate seeds

other options:

  • sweet corn
  • peas
  • string beans
  • artichoke hearts
  • arugula
  • button mushrooms
  • nuts and seeds
  • tomatoes
  • zucchini
  • olives

Chop, slice and cut your veggies and eggs, arrange them in a large salad bowl to your liking.  Add tuna or chicken, pour on top your condiment and voilà, your nourish bowl is ready to go.

BUON APPETITO!

Tuna potato salad

I love potatoes, well I should since I am a Finn! This tuna potato salad is perfect for these sunny summer days. It is easy to make in advance, great for a main course or as a side dish if you have planned a big lunch. Easy to make and bring to a party too.

prep time 15 min
ingredients for 6
  • 1 kg potatoes, boiled in advanced with skin on
  • 160-180g of tuna
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons capers
  • 4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • fresh loose leaf parsley and thyme to garnish
  • salt and pepper

optional add-ons:

  • artichoke hearts in oil/vinegar
  • pickled cucumbers
  • sweet corn
  • boiled green beans
  • cannellini beans
  • cucumbers
  • olives

1. Peel and cut cold potatoes into cubes and start adding them to a large mixing/salad bowl. I make this salad in layers.

2. Season with salt and pepper to taste and a few tablespoons of olive oil and a few tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Red wine vinegar tends to colour the potatoes.

3. Add the tuna, broken into smallish bits, the capers and one or more of the optional ingredients if using. This time I used artichoke hearts, cannellini beans and a few leftover mini pickled cucumbers.

4. Add another layer of the ingredients and season each layer with salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar to your taste and keep layering until you are finished with the ingredients.

5. Garnish with hard boiled eggs, cut into wedges and sprinkle with chopped parsley and thyme. Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes and then serve at room temperature.

tip: I don’t toss the salad in order not to break up the potato pieces.

tip: As for any potato salad, make sure to use yellow-fleshed waxy potatoes, not the ‘mealy’ kind you would use for gnocchi or baked potatoes. So new potatoes, Red Bliss and Yukon Golds are all good choices, while Russets are not.

BUON APPETITO!

Couscous salad

This couscous salad is quick and easy to prepare even beforehand if need be. This is just one variation, you can add different ingredients every time.

prep time 15 min
ingredients
  • 150g precooked couscous
  • 1 big cucumber or 2 small
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • can of corn
  • 100g artichoke hearts in oil
  • capers
  • 80g olives
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from half a lemon
  • parsley
  • 2 cans of tuna (optional)
  • 12-14 sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 80g mushrooms in oil (optional)
  • 100g feta (optional)
  • salt and pepper

1. Tip couscous into a large salad bowl, pour boiling water over, cover and let absorb for 5-8 minutes until fluffy. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil and lemon juice.

2. Dice the cucumber, halve the tomatoes and cut the artichokes and dried tomatoes (if using). Add these and all the other ingredients to the salad and mix gently. Add parsley on top.

BUON APPETITO!

Leafy green salad with green apples

I love to mix veggies and fruit in my salad. The slightly tart flavour or the green apple goes so well with the leafy greens.

prep time 10 min
ingredients
  • 1 bag (125g) leafy greens
  • 1 green apple, cored and sliced
  • 4-5 big button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • a handful of pomegranate seeds
  • 1 can (80g) tuna
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil and balsamico for the dressing

1.  Place the leafy greens on your salad tray/bowl.

2. Add the apple, mushrooms, cucumber and tuna and mix lightly.

2. Add your dressing and salt and pepper.

3. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on your salad.

BUON APPETITO!

Chickpea salad

I have a yummy salad recipe for you today: chickpeas, leafy greens and eggplant. This is one of those salads where you can use whatever veggies you have at home, and it is always good and filling.

prep time 10 min
ingredients for 2
  • 1 can (400g) chickpeas
  • roasted eggplant slices
  • 1 small cucumber
  • either a bag (125g) leafy greens or bag (125g)of baby spinach or both
  • handful of radishes
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • balsamic vinegar

1. Place the leafy greens on your salad plate or bowl.

2. Drain the chickpeas and place the on top of the leafy greens.

3. Wash cucumber and radishes, slice them and add to the salad.

4. Halve the roasted eggplant slices and add to the bowl.

5. Make the dressing with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and toss the salad with it.

tip: like I said, you can use different ingredients. Here I have halved cherry tomatoes and celery rounds, but no radishes nor leafy greens.

BUON APPETITO!

Quick tuna salad

One of my favourite light lunches in spring or summer time is a tuna salad. There are many ways to make it, I have two slightly different recipes.

prep time 15 min
ingredients for 2
  • 300 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 160 g tuna
  • small cucumber, diced
  • handful of olives
  • a few basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients, add salt and pepper.

variation:

leave out cucumber and use capers instead of olives.

You could easily add corn, carrots, pickled veggies, arugula, mixed greens or whatever floats your boat.

BUON APPETITO!

Fresh veggie salad with grapefruit

I love spring for many reasons, mixed salads being one of them. It is still soup season for those chilly nights, but when the sun is out and start warming I start craving salads. This veggie and fruit salad is one of my favourites. It is perfect for a light lunch which leaves you full of energy.

prep time 15 min
ingredients for 2
  • 1 bag (125g) baby spinach
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled, pithed and sliced
  • 200g button mushrooms, halved
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced or cut into cubes
  • 1 avocado, cut into cubes
  • handful of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and chopped walnut
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamico
  • salt
  • fresh thyme

1. Toss lightly all the ingredients in a serving bowl or platter.

2. Mix the olive oil with balsamico and add salt. Pour on top of the salad.

3. Add seeds and fresh thyme and serve.

tip: you can add a small can (125g) of chickpeas for your protein

BUON APPETITO!

Bean salad

This salad is a fantastic side dish but can also be served as a light lunch. Full of nutrients and healthy protein from the legumes and feta.

prep time 10 min
ingredients for 4
  • 1 can (400g) chickpeas
  • 1 can (400g) beans
  • 1 red onion, diced or sliced thinly
  • 7-8 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 125 g cherry tomatoes
  • small cucumber, diced
  • a few artichoke hearts, pickled or in oil
  • 10 pitted olives
  • handful of dill, parsley and basil
  • olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper for the dressing
  • 150 g feta, crumbled

1.  Place all the ingredients except the feta and the dressing in a serving bowl.

2. Mix 5-6 tbls each of olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar, add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the salad and mix carefully. Add more dressing if needed.

3. Add crumbled feta and mix lightly.

4. Place in a fridge for 15-20 min before serving.

tip: I used red beans mainly for color, but you can use any beans of your choice

BUON APPETITO!