Day 10 on Planet Comparative Abstinence and I have never felt better! It is true what they say, you are what you are eat and the only way to get rid of the carb coma lethargy is to chill it out on the carbs. But as I’d die first before I entirely subsisted on liquid supplements (although the Detox Elixir is still in my daily consumption mix), interesting salads still need to be dreamt up.
Picking up where we left off a day or so ago is a delicious salad that uses some of the same ingredients from the previous Gastrotastic offering, as we always stick by our keenly priced, wherever possible principles (I’m assuming I am not the only one who is a teeny-tiny bit broke post-Christmas), and cherish our waste not want not values. Furthermore, it is the kind of dish that you can assemble in sub-five minutes, giving you more time to beat the bulge, be it in the gym, the park or in my case a mat on my living room floor!
Spinach, Mint, Cucumber and Feta Salad
Difficulty Factor: Do it Half Asleep Simple
120 grams of Baby Leaf Spinach
80 grams of Cucumber
60 grams of Feta Cheese
40 grams of Fresh Mint Leaves
1 red Onion
1 red chilli cut fine (or less if you cannot cope with heat)
For the Dressing
2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar
2 tea spoons of Gordon’s Dill and Mustard Sauce (my new favourite)
Black Pepper (optional)
This salad is all about flavour combinations. Shops will often haze a customer with their ‘herb salad’ offerings , which often contain half the amount of leaves for double the amount of dosh. The good news is you can make your salad herby all on your own, by bunging whichever fresh herb you fancy in with your main leaves. Today’s salad brings Mint to the ingredients party as it compliments Feta and Cucumber beautifully. Plus there is an extra bonus of squint once you’re eating the three together and its a taste that takes you somewhere altogether balmier. On a verandah, with a cool refreshing drink in front of you and a hottie beside you, but I digress.
Firstly, chop a red onion and chilli finely, and pick the mint leaves off their stalks and put in a Salad bowl. Add your remaining spinach leaves from the night before and mix both lightly taking care not to bash the spinach leaves about too much. Cube the Feta and crumble the uneven bits that fall off when cutting on top. Finally cut the cucumber vertically rather than in rounds (for interest’s sake more than anything else) and also put in the bowl.
Now for the magic; also known as the dressing; it is probably best to admit now that I am a bit of a dressing obsessive. This ties in with my sauces and condiments of all types obsession as it is my belief that said condiments and sauces can often turn meals from drab to fab.
With this particular dressing the not so secret ingredient is a fabulous Dill and Mustard sauce by Gordon’s that I really got into this Christmas as a super accompaniment with baked salmon and new potatoes. The good news is that you can buy this Not-So-Secret-Ingredient in Waitrose and all for the bargain basement price of £1.65. If you prefer you can substitute the Gordon’s for Dijon Mustard instead.
For the dressing combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. The same rules apply as before; make sure all the ingredients combine well together by stirring vigorously.
Finally add the dressing to the salad and enjoy the surprising yet scrummy salad. Who knew clean and serene could taste this good?