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Cover: Quick cuisine

Recipes with sun-dried tomatoes

17Sep 12

Wild Rice Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Wild Rice Salad with Mustard VinaigretteIf you love salads that are consistent enough to eat as a main course and have many different ingredients, then this Wild Rice Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette is for you! I invented it myself one day when a friend came round for lunch and I didn’t feel like cooking.

The second time I made it, I couldn’t remember all the exact ingredients I had used the first time, but that’s the great thing about it! You can use whatever ingredients you have available at the time, so it doesn’t always have to be the same. You can use any kind of hard or crumbly cheese, and any kind of fish. If you don’t like fish, use ham. If you’re not keen on capers, just leave them out or add something else you like.

I know sun-dried tomatoes aren’t the kind of thing we always have at home, so just use fresh tomatoes! And if you are feeling particularly lazy and can’t be bothered to make the vinaigrette, then just add olive oil, vinegar and salt. But I strongly recommend the mustard vinaigrette – it makes for a much tastier salad.

Apart from being a fun idea for a main meal at home, this salad is wonderful for picnics. It makes for a very complete, balanced and healthy dish, as it contains protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. You could also try my rice salad with spinach and avocado. Very tasty!

Wild Rice Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
If you love salads that are consistent enough to eat as a main course and have many different ingredients, then this Wild Rice Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette is for you!
Ingredients
  • FOR THE SALAD:
  • 200g mixed long grain and wild rice
  • ½ cucumber
  • 5 or 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 20g cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp drained capers
  • 1 heaped tbsp pitted black olives
  • ½ small tin sweet corn
  • 5 or 6 canned anchovy fillets
  • 2 spring onions
  • FOR THE MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE:
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Aprox. 6 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Boil the rice, cool under cold water, drain and leave to cool some more.
  2. Cut the olives into quarters.
  3. Finely dice all the other ingredients, except the sweet corn and capers.
  4. Mix all the ingredients with the rice in a large bowl.
  5. To make the vinaigrette, use a fork or a whisk to mix the mustard, salt and vinegar in a small bowl.
  6. Add the olive oil little by little, while whisking (or stirring rapidly with your fork) continually.
  7. When all the oil has been added and you have a smooth emulsion, try it and adjust any ingredients if necessary.
  8. Mix the vinaigrette into the salad and serve.

 

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17Jul 12

Shrimp omelette with sun-dried tomatoes and Japanese soy

Experts tell us we should eat eggs as they are packed with goodies, but having too many can actually be unhealthy. Enjoying an omelette a week will keep you healthy but not over-indulged.

You have probably heard that too many eggs can cause high cholesterol levels, but on the good side, did you know that eggs are good for your eyes? Being a student, I read a lot and so I have to take care of my eyes so that my eyesight doesn’t deteriorate. What better way to do that than eating a heavenly shrimp omelette with sun-dried tomatoes and Japanese soy? (For more egg options, try this Spanish omelette recipe.)

In a previous post I said I would make more recipes with Japanese soy sauce and the Japanese variant is perfect in omelettes to give them a slightly salty flavour. Add some different vegetables, such as mushrooms and onions, and you have a healthy and scrumptious meal in a jiffy!

Tip! You can also cut it into small squares and serve ´tapas-style´ with a toothpick through each piece.

What we need:

  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 50ml of full-fat milk
  • A handful of washed and peeled shrimp
  • a handful of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 200g rocket
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 5 small mushrooms
  • 50g of grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

How to make it:

  1. Wash and peel the shrimp. Defrost if needed.
  2. Wash and cut the mushrooms, onion and sun-dried tomatoes into smalls chunks and grate the garlic.
  3. Fry the mushrooms, onions and garlic in the olive oil in a frying pan until soft for about 5 minutes and stirring all the time. Add the shrimp in the very last 5 minutes until they turn pink.
  4. Crack the 4 eggs into a small bowl and add the milk and Japanese soy sauce. Whisk together carefully.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into a separate frying pan to make the omelette. Let it sit for a minute or two.
  6. When hard enough, carefully place a plate on top and try to turn over so it fries on both sides. Attention! This is a tricky part!
  7. When the omelette is finished, take it out of the pan. Mix the vegetables, shrimp and rocket all together, laying them in the centre of the omelette and then rolling the omelette so as to make a wrap.
  8. Season the top with a bit of salt, pepper and the grated cheese.
  9. Serve warm and enjoy!

Serves: 2
Takes: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

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28May 12

Japanese-style rice dish with shrimp and ginger

Japanese style rice dish with shrimp and gingerI tend to use Japanese soy sauce quite often when I cook. It is really versatile and adds a little saltiness to a dish. I prefer it to the Chinese version as Japanese soy sauces typically have a slightly sweeter taste than their Chinese counterparts.

 

 

A few years ago, I lived with two Japanese flatmates and they taught me many different ways how to use their soy sauce. Since then I have used it in everything from avocados to eggs, like this scrambled omelette with cherry tomatoes. In coming recipes I will tell you more about how you can use Japanese soy sauce in ways you might not have considered before.

If you love the flavours in sushi, but like me, can’t afford to splurge too often, then this Japanese-style rice dish with shrimp and ginger is for you. It combines several main ingredients in sushi: ginger, rice and soy sauce. I have also added shrimp and sun-dried tomatoes for an extra salty taste.

What we need:

  • 100g of peeled and washed shrimp (use de-frosted if you like)
  • 300g of rice
  • 6 big mushrooms
  • 50g of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of Japanese soy sauce
  • Around 1 centimeter of freshly grated ginger (about a teaspoon)

How to make it:
1. Defrost the shrimp on a plate for later use.
2. Place the rice in a sauce pan and cook according to the instructions on the packet.
3. Grate the garlic into a frying pan and fry in the olive oil for 2 minutes.
4. Peel and chop the onion and add to the frying pan. Let it fry until soft.
5. Chop the mushrooms and add to the frying pan.
6. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and add to the frying pan.
7. Add the soy sauce and let it all blend together until soft.
8. Add the shrimp and the ginger. Mix it all carefully and let it simmer for 3 minutes.
9. When the rice is ready, fluff it and add it to the frying pan.
10. Mix very carefully into a rice dish and serve immediately.

Serves: 2

Takes: 20 minutes

Level: easy

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08May 12

Rice salad with spinach and avocado

Rice and Spinach SaladPopeye was right – spinach is a superfood! Using spinach in salads is particularly healthy as spinach is extremely rich in antioxidants and has a high nutritional value, especially when fresh. It is also good for your eyes as it contains lutein. For you gents out there, it is believed that spinach can help fight prostate cancer, and girls, take note: it is good for keeping your iron levels high.

Since I have just discovered the health benefits and many uses of spinach, expect to see more recipes containing this health bomb. This rice salad with spinach and avocado is a yummy alternative to pasta salad, using rice in a cold salad together with vegetables and topping it off with a tasty yoghurt dressing.

Having added another superfood to this salad – the avocado, this salad becomes a virtual health injection and the boost you might just need after a long sluggish winter. This is the perfect spring salad! (I also recommend this chicken, spinach and feta salad.)

What we need:

  • 130g rice
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 5 small mushrooms
  • 30g of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 small tin of tuna (80g)
  • 100-150g of fresh spinach
  • 1dl of natural yoghurt
  • ½ – 1 tablespoon of ground herbs

How to make it:

1. Wash and boil the rice according to instructions on the package.
2. Peel and pit the avocado and cut it into small pieces.
3. Wash the mushrooms and cut them into medium-sized chunks.
4. Wash the tomatoes (both sun-dried and natural) and cut them into thin slices.
5. Wash the spinach and break into small pieces with your hands.
6. When the rice is ready, take it off the heat and let it cool, at which point you can add all the vegetables and mix in the tuna.
7. Take 1dl of natural yoghurt and add ½ – 1 tablespoon of salad herbs (according to taste) and mix.
8. Mix it carefully into the rice salad or keep it separate for each person to add according to preference.

Serves: 2
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: easy

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02Apr 12

Pasta salad with broccoli and fried bacon

Pasta Salad with Broccoli and BaconBroccoli and bacon make a great combination. I especially like broccoli salad with bacon because of the contrast with the leafy green veg and crispy meat. In this recipe for pasta salad with broccoli and fried bacon, I add pasta to the mix, as well as a few more veggies for good measure.

I am aware that pasta salad is considered a summer food, but being the eternal optimist, and having seen the latest weather forecasts for London, I believe we soon enough will be visiting the park for a spring picnic. One can only hope!

It is not important whether we have to eat it inside huddled on the couch or, with better luck, on a picnic blanket in the park. Regardless of the weather, a pasta salad is easy to make and is a quick and cheap lunch to bring to University in a plastic box. Plus, it stays fresh for 1-2 days in the fridge! Make a large bowl and you are set for lunch, dinner AND picnic time!

What we need:

  • 500g of Penne pasta
  • 1 large red onion
  • 200g of broccoli
  • 200g of Feta cheese
  • 100g of black olives, without pits
  • 200g of sliced bacon
  • 100g of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 pinches of ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 and ½ decilitre of crème fraiche (sour cream or natural thick yoghurt for cooking)
  • 2 cloves of garlic

How we make it:

  1. Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and put in a bowl for later.
  2. Chop the onion into thin slices.
  3. Chop the tomatoes and cucumber into squares.
  4. Chop the olives into halves.
  5. Put all the chopped vegetables into a large bowl.
  6. Fry the bacon in the oil. Take off excess fat with paper and let it dry.
  7. Once cool, cut the bacon into slices and place in a bowl.
  8. Grate the Feta cheese over the salad and add the sun-dried tomatoes.
  9. Mix all the ingredients and carefully put the pasta in the large bowl.
  10. Add the pepper according to taste.
  11. Pour the crème fraiche into a small bowl and press the garlic cloves into it. Mix carefully and pour into a salad bowl. Mix with all the ingredients.

Serves: 3-4
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: very easy

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