Green Top and Brown Rice Salad

green top salad1Sadly a lot of greens that people don’t deem as edible often get tossed to the bin and wasted. When you get fresh produce from the markets, you can simply get rid of old tough bitter bits and use tender green tops for different things like making salads and stir-fries, adding to smoothies and making pickles. Getting maximum nutritional bang for your bucks! My favorite is radish tops and beet greens. They are so wonderful and nutritious. Don’t forget it is better for environment reducing food waste. So try to use the whole vegetables from root to top on your plate 🙂

I’m joyfully reveling in this delicious salad, which is one of the easiest ones I’ve ever made and keeps really well in the fridge. I know tender beet greens and nutty chewy brown rice don’t sound that inspiring combinations though the power of flavour comes when they are all mingled in a zingy spicy dressing! I’m totally addicted to this salad at the moment.
green top saladIngredients

1 bunch of beet greens
1 large tomato
1 cup of cooked brown rice
a handful of toasted pepitas

1 tbsp of wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp raw honey
a pinch of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Finely chop washed beet greens and tomato. Put all salad ingredients in a large bowl. For dressing, mix all dressing ingredients in a separate bowl or a jar with lid. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle more of toasted pepitas on top.

Fennel Orange Millet Salad

Fennel orange milletWhen I was in 20s, wanting to lose weight and look like a model, my focus was all about protein in my diet. I tried a high protein – low carb diet, having eggs or chicken breast x2-3 times a day and avoiding rice or any kinds of carbohydrates. I developed a fear of eating carbs as if they do any harm to my body and didn’t understand a proper nutrition. I had mood swings, frustration, obsession, indigestion and constipation. Bad bad bad…As I’ve been overcoming my bad eating habits and eating healthy again, my diet is now more based on vegetables, whole grains and a minimal amount of animal protein. And somehow it is easier for me to control my cravings and feel good. Why? We need carbs to survive, generate energy and have optimal body and brain function. It is so so important! We need both simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs found in fruits, coconut water, maple syrup and honey release energy more readily in our body, great for sports. Complex carbohydrates found in whole grains contain vital vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre and release slow energy. The ones we want to avoid is refined sugar and hidden sugar in processed food.

So what whole grains? brown rice, wild rice, oats, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, lentils.. I’m excited just listing all these beautiful names. They all have different texture and flavour, great for making salads, sides, desserts or even mains. They are high in protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre. How to incorporate in your meals? Here is an example.

Breakfast: baked oats, overnight oats or oat porridge, pancakes, whole grain granola, breakfast muffins,
Lunch: quinoa salad, millet salad, buckwheat soup, wild rice salad, carrot salad, healthy wrap
Dinner: pea soup, cauliflower rice, tabbouleh, lentil burger, burrito bowl, baked sweet potato
Dessert: wild rice pudding, power balls, raw brownie, raw banana cheese cake

Move onto the recipe. A classic combination of fennel and orange in warm toasted millet. What not to love? Crunchy and licorice taste of raw fennel is so refreshing. This amazing fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and dietary fibre. It is also one of the best antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods on the planet. Another good news is great for the digestive system, calming flatulence, bloating, indigestion and IBS. If you don’t like chewing on raw fennel, use roasted or braised fennel in this salad for a caramelised mellow flavour. Enjoy x
Fennel millet salad

Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and dietary fiver. With only 27 calories per cup (and zero cholesterol) fennel is one of the best antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods on the plane – See more at: (serves 2)100g millet, soaked1 tbsp coconut oil

100g millet, soaked
100g water to cook millet
1 large orange
1 cup of thinly sliced fennel
1 block of feta cheese
1 tbsp e.v.o.o
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Drain soaked millet. Heat coconut oil in a pot over medium heat and toast millet until lightly brown and fragrant. Add an equal amount of water and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until water is all absorbed. Remove from the heat, let it sit with a lid on for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Put the millet, thinly sliced or shaved fennel and chopped the orange in a bowl. Gently toss together with a dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with crumbled feta cheese. Serve either warm or cold. It is great just as it is or serve with grilled chicken or fish.

Farmer’s Market Salad

kipflerpotato Despite the gloomy and bleak winter weather, salads for me make a way-to-go meal. Raw green salad is crunchy and light perfect with a light zingy dressing. Then on the other end of spectrum, cooked beans or roasted root veggies packed with spices and herbs are great as served warm on chilly days.

This particular salad was born just after I’ve been to the farmer’s markets. I just threw together all the fresh ingredients I got from the markets and here we have a roasted kipfler potato salad. The kipfler potatoes look like big fat fingers. They are originally from Germany and perfect for boiled or roasted potato salad. They are a great source of complex carbs as well as other nutrients including fibre, vitamin C, potassium, thiamin, manganese and copper. Make sure you are leaving the skin on where much of the potatoes nutritional value is. This salad is a combination of oven-roasted potatoes and zucchini, blanched yellow beans and chopped raw silverbeet dressed with light mustard dressing. It is super simple to prepare and I bet it will be perfect for a classic BBQ staple, too.
potatosaladIngredients (serves 2-4)

3-4 kipfler potatoes
1 medium size zucchini
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to season
1 cup of yellow beans
2 large silverbeets
30g Parmesan cheese

Mustard dressing
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp raw honey
pepper to taste

Place cleaned potatoes and chopped zucchini in a baking dish. Season and dress with olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven (180) for 15-20 minutes until cooked. In the mean time, blanch the beans and chop the silverbeets. Put all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. To assemble the salad, cooked potatoes, zucchini, beans and silverbeets in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Check seasoning and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with shaved Parmesan on top. It is great as a side dish or as a main either served warm or cold.


Chickpea Pear Salad

pear chickpea saladDon’t you love the meals that can be thrown together with seasonal bits and pantry stock and also makes you feel healthier and happier. I get stumped on what to cook every single day that is easy to prepare but super nourishing. This salad is exactly like that – easy everyday salad. Good crunchy pear mixed with greens and creamy chickpeas. The dressing I used here is really basic mustard-ey, sweet and sour taste that embraces all the ingredients and lighten up a little bit.


1 cup of chickpeas, soaked overnight
1/2 cup beetroot, grated
1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup of baby spinach
1 cup of cos lettuce, chopped
30g crumbled feta cheese
handful of walnuts, crushed


1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

To make a dressing, mix all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Place in the fridge until using. Rinse the soaked chickpeas and cover with cold water in a pot. Bring it up to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until cooked. In the mean time, prepare veggies and place in a large mixing bowl. When chickpeas are cooked, drain and transfer into a mixing bowl. Pour about half of the dressing over salad and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with more dressing and sprinkle crushed walnuts on top.

Raw Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad with Miso-Tahini Dressing

Brussel SproutsHow many times do you eat cruciferous vegetables a week? We know vegetables are good for you, but these cruciferous vegetables are super healthy for you. Apparently, you need to eat them 5 days a week to get health benefits. It doesn’t mean you have to chew on cabbage every day. You can choose from broccoli, kale, bok choy, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi and cauliflower. Studies show that glucosinolates in them may reduce the risk of certain cancers and reduce inflammation. Brussels sprouts are shown to have the highest concentration of glucosinolates (104 milligrams per half cup), as well as plenty of anti-inflammatory vitamin K. I like having refreshing raw salads, though feel free to quickly cook in a pan with coconut oil if you prefer that way. Asian-y dressing made of miso, tahini and sesame oil is delish! You want this salad to sit an hour or more before serve so that you get a good harmony of crunchy sweet salad and beautiful dressing.

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 cup of brussel sprouts
1 pear
1 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp tahini paste
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds, unhulled and lightly toasted
salt and pepper to taste

Thinly slice brussel sprouts and pear or use a food processor. Simply mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Combine shredded salad and dressing in a large mixing bowl and transfer to a serving plate.

shredded brussel sprouts1