Roast Sweet Potato, Cranberry, Rice & Quinoa Salad

This salad is jam-packed full of flavour! It has definitely become my go-to in terms of a quick and easy work lunch lately. I’ve seriously probably made this over 5 or 6 times in the last month. It is incredibly light, full of flavour and very filling! There is just something about the mix of the roasted kumara, and the crunch of the quinoa. The dried cranberries add a little hint of sweetness too, without being too overpowering.

The first time I made this salad, I’m pretty sure I devoured a substantial portion in one sitting. The original recipe has quite a bit of watercress in it but feel free to omit like I did. It is very simple to make and can be served as a main dish or side dish. It is good warm and straight from the fridge – bonus!

Roast Sweet Potato, Cranberry, Rice & Quinoa Salad

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds..
  • 800g sweet potato, peeled, diced into 2cm-ish cubes
  • 2 x 250g pouches SunRice Steamed Rice & Quinoa
  • 55g sweetened dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Put nuts on baking tray and roast for about 10 minutes – keep a close eye on these as they burn easily! Set aside.

Put sweet potato and 2 tablespoons of water in a large microwave dish. Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, then set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, microwave each SunRice packet for approximately 90 seconds each. Transfer to a both, and separate grains with a fork. Add sweet potato, cranberries, nuts, and the chives.

Whisk together orange juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Add liquid to the salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

The salad will last in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days (I think). Mine didn’t quite last that long! Yours probably won’t either…

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Homemade Hamburgers

Every now and then I go over to the Healthy Food Guide and grab a recipe for dinner. They have hundred of recipes that are healthy, low-cost (using few ingredients) and easy!

As a kiwi, I enjoy an outdoor barbecue every now and then! And like most, I also enjoy creating a homemade hamburger! Seems awfully simple and not entire worthy of a blog post, but helpful none the less.

Homemade Hamburgers
Serves 6

  • 500 grams beef mince
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic or onion salt (I used regular cooking salt)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

Place the beef mince, carrot, onion, salt and rolled oats into a bowl. Mix with clean hands and divide into 6 lots. Press each lot into a saucer to make a patty, or shape patty with your hands. At this stage place all 6 patties on a plate and pre-cook in the microwave for around 5 minutes. This really speeds up the cooking process!

Now if you’ve got yourself a beautiful sunny evening, you can use the BBQ to cook these. I didn’t so I sprayed a frying pan. Put patties in and fry, turning, until cooked. Remember to turn down the heat if you find they are cooking too fast.

Split buns in half. Grill until golden. Spread with tomato sauce. To put hamburgers together, place cooked meat patty on top of sauce, then tomato slices on top, then lettuce and other salad ingredients of your choice! Put lid on top and serve. Yummy.

Warm Roast Pumpkin Salad with Feta

I’m a real salad person. I can order a bowl at a cafe or restaurant and be completely content. It is just so refreshing and tasty. Sometimes there is nothing quite like a roast vege salad. Infact it is one of my favourite things to have as a light, quick meal or a really delicious lunch for work. Salads are so easy to throw together and best of all, there are no rules! Choose whatever you like and throw it together. You’ll have yourself a delicious salad in no time!

I usually use a mix of pumpkin and kumara (sometimes potato) as a base and then the world’s my oyster. Tomato? Cheese? DIY dressing? Sure, why not!

This salad is really tasty so make sure you bookmark it! Roasted veges are so heavenly so feel free to play with this recipe and use whatever veges or ingredients you have on hand!

Warm Roast Pumpkin Salad with Feta
Serves 2

  • 1/2 a pumpkin, chopped into cubes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp cooking salt
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 spring onion
  • 40 grams creamy feta
  • 25 grams sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp light sour cream
  • 1 tbsp hummus (of your choice)
Mix the chopped pumpkin with a splash of balsamic vinegar and a tsp of salt. Place the mixture on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake on 200 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.
Remove the pumpkin and place in a large glass bowl to cool down slightly. Chop up some spinach and place in the bowl. Add spring onion, feta and sun-dried tomatoes.
For a quick dressing, mix together 1 tbsp of hummus (I used a spinach and feta one but anything goes!) with some light sour cream. Add a small splash of balsamic vinegar and mix until combined. Add to the bowl and toss salad until lightly coated in the dressing! This salad is best eaten straight away, or refridgerate immediately for lunch!
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a warmed slice of ciabatta bread.

Soya Sauce and Roasted Peanut Pasta Salad

I love Summer, purely because I get to eat lots and lots of different types of salad!  Somehow salads don’t seem so appealing as a meal in the midst of Winter. Mesculin, roasted vegetable, pasta….salads are just delicious!

This pasta salad is seriously good! Saturday night was my first barbecue of the season and I took along this dish. It is very easy to throw together at the last minute and it is super tasty. I used spiral pasta but the original recipe uses vermicelli (a slender version of spaghetti!). You can add a small amount of chopped parsley to add a bit of greenery and flavour.

Soya Sauce and Roasted Peanut Pasta Salad

  • 4 cups of pasta, cooked
  • 1 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 4 cups of roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 a cup of soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse the pasta then toss in oil. Add the soya sauce and sunflower seeds.

Toss the peanuts in a splash of olive oil and a teaspoon of rock salt. Microwave on high for about 10 minutes. Be sure to stop and stir these every two or so minutes so they do not burn. Let the peanuts stand for 10 minutes to cool.

Add peanuts to the pasta mix, along with the parsley. Toss slightly and chill in the fridge until needed. Enjoy!