The long Easter weekend has sped past far too quick for me and am back to work. I just wanted to keep lunch really light today – guilty after ordering a Chinese takeaway yesterday *sad face*
So this recipe is basically me throwing together stuff found in my fridge, not necessarily planned but just what I thought would taste yummy and am very pleased with the result.
I am currently in love with a few things like red lentils, avocados, butternut nut squash, oranges, baby spinach, baby kale, walnuts and matcha green tea. I somehow can’t seem to get enough of this. Also my love affair with tofu is just getting more passionate.
Serves: 2 with extra helpings
Ready in: 45 minutes (If roasted squash is done then ready in 20 minutes)
- 80gm baby spinach
- 150 gm whole red masoor dal i.e. whole red lentils with skin – You could use cooked ready to eat puy lentils if you are pressed for time but then accordingly need to adjust the time used to cook them with the stock pot.
- 50 gm Tofu
- Approx 75gm Butternut Squash and sweet potato diced
- 1/2 an avocado
- 1/2 Knorr stock pots of onion gravy
- 1/2 Knorr stock pots of mixed chillies
- Walnuts chopped roughly to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180 (I have fan oven, adjust setting accordingly to suit your oven type)
- Line a baking tray with a baking sheet, place the diced butternut squash and sweet potato , drizzle some olive oil, smoked sea salt and black pepper. I purchased a ready to roast pack of diced butternut squash and sweet potato from LIDL.
- To save time, you could roast a larger batch of the diced butternut squash and sweet potato, so it’s ready to be used in soups, salads and curries.
- Wash the whole masoor in sieve under running water.
- Place the washed whole masoor with double the quantity of water in a small saucepan and add in the Knorr stock pots of onion gravy and mixed chillies. Cover with a lid and allow to boil until the dal is completely cooked. Top up with more water if you think it is running dry
- If you like your tofu firm then cut out about 1/4th of the tofu from the pack and place it on a kitchen towel to remove excess water, then place another plate on top keep something on this plate to weigh it down. Leave aside for 10 minutes. This should drain the excess water from the tofu.
- Alternatively just cut the tofu straight from the pack into large chunks – I like the texture of the tofu when it’s done like but hubby like its the other way around. If like me, you haven’t drained and pressed the tofu to become extra firm, then handle it very gently with a wooden spatula as it easily crumbles.
- Now place the tofu on a non-stick pan and dry roast on a low-medium flame for about 4 minutes each side or until done.
- Meanwhile half and avocado, scoop out the flesh and roughly cut into large chunks with a spoon.
- Remove the butternut squash and sweet potato from the oven and set aside.
- Remove the lid from the sauce pan containing the whole massor dal cooked and allow it to rest for a while as it should not be too hot when served, also allowing it to sit will help the dal to absorb any excess water, if there is too much excess water simply drain it.
- To plate, divide the spinach leaves equally on the plate, then serve the cooked masoor dal on top, followed by the oven roasted butternut squash and sweet potato, dry roasted tofu and finally top with the walnuts.
I found that this salad didn’t require any dressing or drizzling as the cooked dal works well with the succulent and sweet squash and the tofu adds texture and tastes great with the spinach. Walnuts add crunch, taste fab and are great for those who try this salad for the first time expecting it to be boring. Avocado I like with everything so I simply like having it in there.
I am up for experimenting and may try various permutations of this salad with the following toppings, not only will they make your salad more interesting but also help you reduce food wastage by finding new ways to recycle any of the following leftovers :
- steamed fish – salmon and topped with pine nuts
- Pan grilled Tofu and walnuts
- slices of pork salami with nuts
I shall be reporting back with happy experiments with salads and smoothies soon for now am just very satisfied with the end result and the fact that I am back to eating healthy.