November 22 - 28, 2020: Issue 475


salad season: whole meals in a bowl ideas

Spring and Summer lightness prompts us to go easier on the big Winter meals and opt for some less heavy fare. Below run a few tried and tested recipes and combinations for a whole meal salad that could also accompany something else as a side dish for those who have to have meat. These amounts are all made for 2 healthy eaters - adjust volumes to suit. The whole meal in a bowl idea combines enough protein for energy, whole grains, and a range of nuts, seeds and colourful vegetables.

Wholegrains are foods that use the whole grain, like wholegrain bread, wholemeal pasta and oats.  Eating wholegrains can help lower your risk of heart disease. ​The fibre in wholegrains can help reduce and regulate your cholesterol. Swapping refined grains for wholegrain foods can improve your heart health. The term ‘grains’ usually includes:  Wheat, Corn (maize), Rice, Barley, Oats, Rye, Millet, Quinoa and Teff. We also include Spelt (Triticum spelta), also known as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat. This is a species of wheat that has been cultivated since approximately 5000 BC. 

These grains can be eaten whole or made into products like couscous (wheat) and polenta (corn). Bread, breakfast cereals, pasta, and noodles are also made from different types of grains. To do yourself the best good opt for versions that have not been processed; brown rice instead of white rice for example. 

Adding seeds such as sesame, flax, pumpkin, chia or sunflower will not only boost your immune system, and give you good sources of fibre and omega-3 fats, they also add crunch. Likewise nuts such as pine, almonds, cashews or even the humble but delicious peanut will give you good fat intake as well as added protein.

For a 'balanced bowl' aim to have half your ingredients as leafy greens and vegetables, one quarter allocated to protein and one quarter to complex carbohydrates. Your body also needs some oils so if you're not taking a supplement to boost your Vitamin D use the olive oil you make bake vegetables in as a base for your salad dressing. There are also some great options in the whole world of food we now live in to add taste, think ground and fresh spices, dried and fresh herbs, lemon, lime, onion, garlic, chilli, vinegar, mustard, nutritional yeast, miso, pepper and a little sea salt. If using store bought sauces and condiments, choose those lower in sodium, salt and sugar. We promise you, after a few weeks on a clean, whole diet you will feel 100% better and have energy to burn.

Here are some we've found are good combinations when experimenting at home and a few favourites that have been reappearing on our table each Spring and Summer for decades. We always swap in what's best seasonally, and usually cheapest, so use these as a guidelines, but as with all things, you're only limited by what your own tastes are.

Tomato, Tomato and Goats Cheese Salad

5 big handfuls of mixed salad greens
1 bunch of asparagus, lightly blanched
8 sundried tomatoes
2 whole tomatoes - either Truss or Roma for sweetness
100 grams goats cheese - we prefer the Australian brand Meredith goats cheese
400 grams chick peas
3 slices of bread


1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed

The ratio for vinaigrette is 3-to-1: three parts oil to one part vinegar. You can add more vinegar to taste but if you stick to the age old measurements you will have a perfect dressing every time. Cut the bread into six equal pieces per slice and spread generously. Bake cheese croutons at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Meantime, toss all you salad ingredients together and make your dressing. We keep an old jam jar and lid for making dressings in - that way you can not only shake it up you can also make up a triple batch and store it in the fridge for use on another salad a few days later. When the croutons are just golden brown on top pull them out, dress your salad and allocate half each to two plates and pop the croutons on top. This salad also works well as a side to roast lamb and compliments chicken dishes well too.

Warm roast vegetable couscous salad

An oldie but a goodie and one handed on by mum.

12 baby carrots, peeled 
2 parsnips, peeled, quartered lengthways
2 beetroots, peeled
2 red onions, quartered 
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted


1 cup (200g) instant couscous
400 grams chick peas
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 cup (40g) sultanas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Handful flat-leaf parsley leaves
Handful coriander leaves

Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place carrots, parsnip and onion on tray. Drizzle with oil and vinegar, season, then toss to coat. Bake for 45 minutes or until tender and browned, turning once or twice. 

Meanwhile, toss couscous in a heatproof bowl with spices, sultanas and salt. Stir in 400ml boiling water until combine. Cover with plastic wrap and stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Add oil, lemon juice and herbs and lightly toss. Serve topped with vegetables and scattered with nuts. You can also add in some seasonally available asparagus to this one - just grill or toss in about 15 minutes prior to end of roast time with other vegetables. Remember to hold on to that oil and vinegar that comes out of the oven, it's loaded with good stuff.

Brown Rice Salad with Spinach, Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups short-grain brown rice
3 cups vegetable stock
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 bunch of spinach (kale may be swapped in if you prefer that - or if you like the little leaf English spinach, use that), washed and torn into smaller pieces
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
200 grams fresh mozzarella, diced
1/2 cup of basil, torn

In a big saucepan sauté the garlic in 2 tablespoons of oil over moderate heat until softened. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until coated with oil. Add the stock, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the broth is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, add in your torn spinach leaves and let stand, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, vinegar, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Serve warm or chilled.

Sweet potato and Radicchio salad with Pear and walnuts

A great combination - add in your favourite legume for extra protein.  If pears, now out of season, are unavailable, slect some great stone fruit such as nectarines and peaches as a substitute

4 x good sized sweet potatoes, washed, cut into 5cm slices (leave skin on for extra vitamins)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 small heads of radicchio, leaves separated, torn if large
1 cup walnuts
½ medium pear, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
100 grams Parmesan, shaved
¼ cup parsley leaves
½ lemon


1 tsp. plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil; plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt
1 clove of garlic, crushed
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Freshly ground black pepper

Oven on to 180 degrees, toss your sweet potato and bake until golden - around 45 minutes. Toss nuts with 1 tsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt. Toast on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until slightly darkened and fragrant, 8–10 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Set ½ cup aside for serving. Blend garlic, lemon juice, orange juice, mustard, maple syrup, and remaining nuts in a blender until mostly smooth. With motor running, gradually stream in ½ cup oil and blend until emulsified and smooth. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Toss radicchio and half of dressing in a large bowl to coat; season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a platter. Toss sweet potato with remaining dressing in the same bowl to coat; season with salt and pepper. Arrange over radicchio. Toss pear with lemon juice in a small bowl. Top salad with pear, cheese, parsley, and reserved pecans. Squeeze juice from lemon half over and drizzle with oil; season with more salt and pepper.

Mixed Grain Salad

The pomegranate in this gives it a fresh zing - yum!

220g (1 cup) pearl barley
70g (1/3 cup) white quinoa, rinsed
400g can lentils, rinsed, drained
90g (2/3 cup) walnut pieces 
60g (1/3 cup) pepita and sunflower seed mix
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander, to serve
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint to serve
2 green shallots, thinly sliced
75g  pomegranate seeds


160ml (2/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
45g (1/4 cup) currants

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pearl barley and cook for 20 minutes. Add the quinoa and cook for a further 15 minutes or until both barley and quinoa are tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Transfer to a bowl. Add the lentils and stir to combine. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, brown sugar, coriander and cumin in a jug. Season well. Stir in the currants and set aside to develop the flavours. Place the walnut pieces and seed mix in a small frying pan over high heat. Cook, tossing the pan often, for 4 minutes until toasted - just be careful doing this that you don't burn them. Set aside to cool slightly. Add the walnut mixture and dressing to the barley mixture. Toss to combine. Taste and season well. Add the coriander, mint and green shallot and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and extra coriander and mint leaves.

Recipe Ideas - Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Apricot - January Summer Fruits  

Artichoke – The Flower Vegetable that Crops in Spring  

Australian and Native Cherries (Summer Fruits) - the Duntroon Connection - Marrianne Collinson Campbell 

Autumn is Apple Season 

Autumn Feast of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for a Healthy Body

Autumn Tonic Soup: keep the chills out as we head into Winter with this simple seasonal recipe

Broccoli - Early Spring Crop

Beetroot: Summer Vegetables 

Cabbage - Winter Food 

Cherry - Australian summer Fruit 

Chick Pea Burgers with Homemade Hummus 

Classic Spring Trifles

Classic Winter Soups

Easter Feast - modern and historic  

Edible Weeds  Eggs: Five Ways - Savoury 

Fennel - Winter Vegetable  

Full Fruit Bowl for Seasonal Health

Figs - Late Summer Fruit  

Fresh Herbs for Health

Green Beans - Spring Vegetables

Healthful Cordials And Cleansing Tonics  Hogmanay (New Year) Dinner - Australian Style  Home Grown Food Program in Fruit and Veg Month by Jess Rosman  Honey, Honey: Inaugural World Bee Day - Honey Cake Recipes Around the World

Kale: for Pure Energy  Kale, Ricotta And Chicken Cannelloni

Make Your Own Treats For Christmas Gifts - Jaffa Rum Balls, White Christmas, Gingerbread People, Spicy Nut Mix, Strawberries Dipped in Christmas, Scottish Shortbread, Spanish Polverones, Melomakarona (Greek Christmas Honey Cookies), Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Biscuits), Italian Lemon Shortbread Squares (Shortbread con crema al limone)

Mandarins Spring Fruits  Mandarins Winter Fruits  

Mangoes - Summer Fruits  

Mother's Day at Breakfast Menu for those who 'can't cook'

Mums Vegetable Soup with Macaroni 

Mushrooms Autumnal Shifts

Nectarines - Summer crop 

Nicoise Salad: An Autumn Salad

Old Australian Chocolates Back On The Market: The Cherry Ripe Song of MacRobertsons

Packham's Triumph Pears - The Australian Pear  

Parsnip - Winter Vegetables  Pear - Autumn Fruits  

Perfect Summer Picnics  

Potato Gnocchi    Pumpkin  Pumpkin Season 2015

Sage - the 'saving' herb Remembrance Day 2012 Food  

Salad Season: Whole Meals In A Bowl Ideas

Self-Saucing Winter Puddings  

Sensational Hot Scones For Cold Winter Mornings

Silverbeet - Winter Vegetable  

Spring Salad Season  Spring Strawberries Spring Salads  

Sugar Free Halloween

Summer Lilli Pillis  Summer Passionfruit  Summer Peaches, Quandongs (Wild Peach) - Marian Rowan Ellis Summer Peaches - From Wyong! Summer Plums - Greengages

Summer Raspberries Native Ones - Adam Forster

Sweet Corn

Ten Minute Spring SaladsSpring Fare 

The Food of Love  Tomato 

Vegetable Bhaji

Whole Pumpkin Stuffed With Chorizo, Rice and Goat Cheese: Winter Food

Winter Crops Winter Vegetable Pies   Zucchini Strawberries  Cauliflower

Pittwater Restaurants, Cafés and Bistros

Addiction Food - Sydney Wildlife Fundraiser

Alma Restaurant Avalon 

Avalon Chinese Restaurant 

Avalon on the Beach Kiosk

Barrenjoey House: Winter 2017

Beco at Mona Vale, Newport and Avalon: Winter 2020

Boathouse at Palm Beach: Simply Smashing Spring Lunches  

Café Edelweiss and the German Butchery at Bassett Street: Mona Vale  Caffeine Villains - Newport

Church Point Food Choices

Club Palm Beach: Fish Fridays

Cranky Fins Holidae Inn  

Cranzgot's Pizza Cafe

Duck Creek Macadamias - Orange Obsessions

Feed Me Too - Supplier Of Allergy Free Food & Services

Flannerys Organic & Wholefoods Market - Mona Vale

Home Grown Food Program in Fruit and Veg Month by Jess Rosman

Japanese Cuisine in Avalon: Four Options

Kindred Peanut Butter: Great Food For A Good Cause From A Local Producer

Laurie Bimson's Marinated Kangaroo Recipe  

Lobster Nights at Club Palm Beach

Marina Café: Church Point - within The Quays Marina at Church Point

Mekong: Merchants of Taste - Vietnamese street food Avalon Beach

Mekong Merchant Restaurants In Mona Vale And Avalon Beach: Pho Specialists!

Modus Operandi Brewing Co., Brilliant Beers, Beautiful Burgers in Mona Vale

Oceana Traders - Seafood Merchants, Avalon Beach: For Fish & Chips Excellence

Palm Beach Fish and Chips Tops Scale at 10  

Parkview Restaurant: Avalon Beach RSL Club

Pasadena Pantry & Fresh

Pittwater COVID- 19 Restrictions Responses: Take Away from Restaurants and Cafes and Grocers and Food Available From Local Outlets  Local food suppliers and cafes and restaurants are currently adapting to social-distancing requirements and the closure of public spaces to large gatherings. Listed this week are those that have food you can order for take away or delivery and also those who supplied these outlets who also have food available to purchase.

Prontos Creative Food - Palm Beach  Pronto Creative Food Celebrates 30 Years - Palm Beach Success Story for Local Lady  Pronto Creative Food: Something Sweet

Riva Bar and Kitchen - Avalon Beach  Riva Bar And Kitchen Autumn Lunch May 2019

RMYC Function Food at Rotary Club of Pittwater 52nd Changeover Dinner  

RMYC Ladies Lunch for July(2012); 'Boosting Your Brain and turning Your Stress Into Success' by Dr. Helena Popovic

Rozana Mediterranean Cuisine - Avalon Beach

Salt Cove at RMYC Broken Bay Sky Thai Avalon  Sushi Ichiri  Sydney Edible Garden Trail Opens Next Weekend: March 21-22, 2020 - The Local Trail At Newport, Mona Vale, Elanora + More

The 2107 Restaurant - Avalon

The Avalon On The Beach Restaurant and Kiosk Opens in Avalon Beach SLSC clubhouse  

The Balcony Room at Palm Beach Golf Club

The Chick'n Shack Café at Careel Bay - For Lovers Of Old School Burgers and New School Ways

The Little Oak Tree Cafe at Careel Bay Shops

Waterfront Cafe - Church Point

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