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Crunchy fennel salad with grapes, dates, olives and almonds

This is a really fabulous and interesting salad with wonderful texture and flavor. It’s so quick to make and has a real “wow” factor

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Serves 4

1 cup thinly sliced fennel (make sure you cut off the hard core)
1 cup red seedless grapes, cut in half
3 oz green unstuffed olives, pitted and quartered lengthways
5 Medjool dates, pitted and sliced thinly lengthways
juice of a medium lemon
1 tbsp good olive oil (or a little more if you like)
salt and pepper to taste
3 oz toasted slivered almonds
2 oz shaved pecorino romano cheese

Combine the fennel, grapes, olives and dates in a medium sized bowl.
Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Toss to coat evenly.
Just before serving, mix in the toasted almonds and pecorino cheese.

Serve

Easy Dijon salmon

This is great for a party and can be doubled or trebled easily. It’s so simple to prepare and is so tasty!

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1 1/4lbs salmon fillet, preferably wild
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp soy sauce (or if following the Whole 30, use Coconut Aminos)
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger powder

Line a baking dish with aluminum foil.Coat the foil with cooking spray unless it’s non stick foil. Place the salmon on the foil. Mix the mustard through the ginger powder in a small bowl. Pour the marinade over the salmon and refrigerate the salmon for 30 mins.

Preheat the oven to 375 F and bake the salmon for 20 -25 mins or until just cooked through and flakes easily

Easy, cheesy soda bread

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This is a really delicious and easy Irish soda bread recipe and you’ll want to make it weekly once you try it.

Serves 4 


Oil, for greasing
500g (1lb 1oz) plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
75g (3oz) Mature cheddar cheese, grated. *Please grate your own, the pre-packaged stuff is gross!
350ml(1 1/2 cups)buttermilk
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Heat the oven to 200°C , 400 F or gas mark 6. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Put the flour in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and ½ tsp salt. Stir in the cheese.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk. Quickly stir together with a wooden spoon, then tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly to bring together – don’t over-knead, and it doesn’t matter if the dough looks rather craggy.

Put the dough on the baking sheet and shape into a round about 8 inches, then flatten slightly. Sprinkle with the seeds. Make a deep cross in the centre with the handle of a wooden spoon or knife. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and the base sounds hollow when tapped. The cheese soda bread is best eaten on the day of baking.

A bowl of Asian goodness

This is divine on a hot day when you don’t feel like cooking too much. It’s also a great starter for a dinner party

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Serves 4 as a starter

1/2 oz instant dashi granules
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp mirin
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp wasabi paste
1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
10 1/2 oz soba noodles
1 nori sheet
3 1/4 inch piece of daikon radish, peeled and finely grated
3 scallions, finely sliced

Put the dashi granules in a bowl and pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over them.
Stir until the granules have dissolved, then add the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, wasabi paste and ginger. Stir to make a dressing.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the noodles. Allow the water to return to the boil then add 1/2 cup cold water to drop the temperature a little.
Repeat this process three times, then drain the noodles.
Rinse the noodles with cold water to remove the starch, then divide between 4 bowls.

Toast the nori sheet over a high flame or in a hot oven, then slice into this strips. Pour the dressing over the noodles, toss lightly, then scatter with the daikon, scallions and nori strips.

Broccoli-Quinoa salad with buttermilk dressing

This is a lovely recipe from Bon Appetite magazine with a clean, refreshing buttermilk dressing poured over the broccoli, herbs and quinoa.

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Serves 4

Buttermilk Dressing
¾ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp (or more) fine sea salt

Salad
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 small heads of broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
Kosher salt
1 cup white, red, or black quinoa
½ cup coarsely chopped parsley
¼ cup coarsely chopped tarragon
¼ cup coarsely chopped pistachios

Whisk the buttermilk, olive oil, vegetable oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, rice vinegar, pepper, and 1 tsp. sea salt in a medium bowl. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
Do Ahead: The dressing can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

The final salad

Stir together the shallot and 2 Tbsp of the buttermilk dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
Cook the broccoli in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, or about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to a bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain and place on a kitchen towel–lined baking sheet.
Meanwhile, return the water in the pot to a boil and cook the quinoa until slightly al dente, about 12 minutes, and drain. Toss the quinoa and 2 Tbsp the buttermilk dressing in a large bowl to coat; season with salt. Let cool.
Add the dressed shallot, broccoli, parsley, tarragon, pistachios, and 2 Tbsp. buttermilk dressing to the quinoa and toss to combine. Season with more salt if needed.