I’ve missed you! Hi everyone….and welcome to all my new readers who have popped up over the summer. You’re very sweet to follow me even when I wasn’t posting anything!
I couldn’t resist writing this post because we came home from holiday to such a glut of beautiful veggies from the garden that I was immediately inspired to cook a scrummy salad full of fresh produce.
If you don’t have green fingers you can obviously just go and shop for all the veg but there is something not only smugly satisfying about growing it yourself but it also tastes a million times better!
Before I write up the recipe, those of you that know me may be wondering how my diet has been going since my pre-summer diagnosis of Bile Acid Malabsorption. In fact, I really must write up an information page on the blog homepage so I can explain all the technical medical info about this condition and how I discovered that I had it. If you’re interested do have a quick read of this blog post as it explains the basics.
Well – it’s a massive good news story as far I’m concerned. I’ve been happily popping two pills everyday for the past two months and I am 90% better! It’s amazing. I slowly starting reintroducing dairy and then relaxed on my gluten intake, and for the past 3-4 weeks I have been eating a totally ‘normal’ diet.
Just as well since we’ve been in France for most of it and as everyone knows you can’t exist in France without cheese in one hand and bread in the other! I’ve come back with a rather impressive amount of tummy squish (!) but I sort of don’t mind because it was so relaxing not having to worry or stress about what I was eating. I think I had bread and cheese every single day (and wine obvs but guess that’s not relevant!) and I only had a small amount of tummy trouble three times and it passed by lunchtime.
Well for me, that’s a total miracle!
Mind you, I don’t thinking gorging on bread and cheese does anyone any good anyway so I have decided to continue with gdfree blogging since I still enjoy cooking and eating the gdfree way. Whenever I come up with a shareable gdfree recipe I will still post it with variations available for non-gdfree as suits.
Back to my veggie haul….I had a friend water my tomato plants whilst we were away and they were nearly growing through the greenhouse roof when I got back! Lots of lovely different varieties and all looking very healthy which is fab. The kids like nothing better than picking them for me and stealing a tomato sweetie (as my 3 year old calls them) as they go! We also dug up our first potatoes of the season and I wish I could remember what variety we had planted because they were very high yielding and a decent size.
I then had a peak at my courgettes and was pleased to see a few small summer squashes had grown on the first plant so happily picked them, then looked at the second plant and saw a few slightly bigger paler ones and happily picked them….and then lifted up one of the big leaves and was amazed to see some huge ones had grown too! And out of nowhere because there had been nothing on them before we left! Reading the info on the seed packet it says you can pick them up to 6″ diameter so I got a pretty good haul I reckon.
I used all the little ones in the salad: I chopped them into smallish chunks (with hindsight I should have left them bigger to have given better texture) and fried them gently with plenty of garlic, salt and olive oil. My potatoes only took 6-7 minutes to boil as they were straight out of the ground and they came out beautifully soft and sweet. I added some pre-cooked lentils for more substance and some grilled chicken for protein. Then I had a handful of fresh tomatoes as well as some rocket leaves that hadn’t been munched by snails and some fresh herbs.
Veggie Patch Salad (summer squash, new potato, lentil & chicken salad)
You will need this:
4-5 small summer squashes or courgettes
- Large handful of baby new potatoes
- Pre-cooked puy lentils
- Chicken breast
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Light olive oil
- Small handful of mixed tomatoes
- 2 large handfuls of fresh salad leaves
- Salad dressing
- Thyme & basil
You make it like this:
- Gently fry the squash/courgette in the olive oil and garlic, sprinkle with seasalt when done
- Boil your potatoes (6-7 mins if fresh 10-12 mins if bought) then halve and add to the pan
- I cheated and used a microwavable packet of pre-cooked puy lentils but you could cook up dried ones or I find the tinned ones very good as well, add to the pan
- Grill a seasoned chicken breast in olive oil, shred and add to the pan with the juices
- Chop up your tomatoes and herbs (I used some fresh thyme and basil from the garden but use whatever you like) and mix everything together
- I used spinach leaves as the base and rocket from the garden
- I also cheated and used a delicious bought salad dressing that I had in the fridge but make you’re own if you fancy it, my only tip would be don’t chose a dressing that’s too strong in flavour otherwise it will overpower the squash/courgettes quite easily
I hope you enjoy this wholesome fresh summer salad, I will be trying to blog a new recipe every week so thanks for reading and come back soon!