Broccoli Salad with Tahini Dressing

It’s all too easy to turn to the ol’ green salad or Greek salad when guests are due. Well for me anyway.

With this in mind, I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting salads. Something that is fresh, healthy and full with flavour – and well this one definitely hit the mark.

For rather than just relying on the  usual salad base of mesculin, this salad was also filled with another favourite green of mine – broccoli!

Jazzed up with some snowpeas and flaked almonds for crunch and lightly coated in a little sesame oil. Then finished with a creamy tahini dressing on the side.

On this occasion we served the salad alongside some chicken burgers, but it would easily work as a tasty meal  on its own. Definitely a keeper!

Broccoli Salad with Tahini Dressing 

  • Mesculin leaves
  • 1 head broccoli, broken into small florets (and slice the stem thinly)
  • Handful of snowpeas, sliced
  • Handful of chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and mint)
  • 1/3 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 tbs natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbs white vine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  1. TO make the dressing, combine the tahini, yoghurt, vinegar and garlic. Add a few tablespoons of water, or until the desired consistency is reached. Set aside.
  2. Steam the broccoli for a few minutes or until slightly softened. Place in a bowl with the lettuce, snowpeas, herbs, and sesame oil and toss to combine.
  3. Arrange the salad on a plate, and sprinkle with the almonds. Serve with the tahini dressing.

Tahini chicken caesar salad

IMG_2991 Yes, friends, my love for tahini is ever strong. Particularly when it comes to adding a little nuttiness to dressings and sauces – you will always find me grabbing for the tahini. IMG_2985 On one such occasion, quite a while ago now, I had a craving for caesar salad. But not the usually calorific caesar salads you will find in the shops or on the cafe menu. Nay – a lightened up version. IMG_2986 With tahini and yoghurt as the main dressing ingredients, jazzed up a little more with the addition of garlic, dijon, lemon juice and worcestershire sauce. IMG_2987 And, as for the rest of the salad, the chicken was given a little citrus kick with another favourite ingredient of mine – lemon pepper! IMG_2983 Grilled then piled upon a bed of dressed crunchy cos lettuce and cucumber. Finished with a sprinkling of parmesan and a boiled egg on the side. IMG_2988 I loved the tangy dressing – of which the tahini was key. Coupled with the zingy grilled chicken…delish! IMG_2989 So easy to put together – and a lovely healthy take on the original. Tahini Caesar Salad Dressing  (serves 2)

  • 2 tbs natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbs tahini
  • 1tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  1. Whisk all ingredients together until well combined. Add a little water if the dressing is too thick. Season to taste.

What about you? What is your favourite homemade dressing?

Pearl barley, turkey and asparagus salad with lime tahini dressing

IMG_3973 I cant help but feel a little sorry for the ol’ traditional grains. For with the emergence of the new ‘cool’ grains (freekeh, millet, teff… I’m looking at you!) well some of the ones I grew up with seem to have been forgotten.  Perhaps even labelled a little dorky. I’m sure they will be rediscovered again by the populous at some point, but for now they appear to have been cast to one side. Or to the back of the pantry, at least. Well not in this household. For I am loving pearl barley at the moment. Cheap, quick and easy to prepare, and so much more versatile than simply being a a staple in my Mum’s vegetable soup! IMG_3955IMG_3956 Recently, I cooked up a batch of pearl barley and used it as the ‘filler’ in our dinner salad. Combined with zucchini, grilled asparagus, mint, chives and craisins – and dressed in a lime/tahini dressing, well it was a rather tasty addition to our weekly menu plan. IMG_3963 On this occasion, I opted to add some grilled turkey breasts for a little extra protein kick. But I have no doubt the salad would have worked fine by itself as a vegetarian main or side dish. IMG_3969 Yes, pearl barley, I have not forgotten you or your wonderful nutty chewiness! You are a keeper, for sure. Pearl barley, turkey and asparagus salad – serves 2

  • 1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 zucchini, cut into ribbons
  • mint leaves and chopped chives
  • 1 tbs craisins
  • 2 turkey breast steaks, pan-fried and sliced.
  • 1 tbs tahini
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  1. Place pearl barley in 1.5 cups water in a small saucepan. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, spray asparagus with a little olive oil and season. Grill until tender then slice. Blanch zucchini in boiling water, then drain.
  3. Combine the tahini, olive oil and lime juice in a small bowl, and set aside.
  4. Place prepared pearl barley, asparagus, zucchini, herbs and craisins in a bowl and toss to combine. Divide among serving plates, top with sliced turkey and drizzle with the lime tahini dressing.

What about you? Are you a fan of pearl barley?

Falafel with simple couscous salad and tahini yoghurt

IMG_2903 Well, lovely people, I am pleased to report that my cooking mojo is BACK!! Gone are the pregnancy-induced “must only eat carbs” cravings, and my taste for salads and desire to cook have returned. Thank goodness. On the menu earlier this week? Falafel with a simple couscous salad and tahini yoghurt. Although I did cheat and buy some pre-made falafel (an ill-fated decision, on reflection, as these were quite dry). IMG_2896 As for the accompaniments, well these came together really simply. Yoghurt and tahini – mixed together to make a ‘sauce’. A touch of lemon juice or zest would have been wonderful – but sadly  our lemon tree is struggling at the moment… IMG_2898IMG_2899 Also – a couscous salad – made simply with couscous (duh), chopped fresh tomato and parsley. IMG_2900 I threw some pita breads in the oven too – and we soon had ourselves quite the mid-week feast! IMG_2904 As I mentioned above, the falafel were quite dry – but the tahini yoghurt did overcome that to some extent (as well as being a great ‘dip’ for the pita bread). Actually, it reminded me just how much I love tahini – so expect to see it in many future dishes Smile    IMG_2910 Delish! What about you? Are you a fan of tahini?

Tahini coleslaw

I made this salad a while ago, but just found the photographic evidence tucked away in a folder. Yet it really was a lovely little side dish to accompany a BBQ meal with friends, so I just couldn’t let it ass without mention. IMG_6816 I can’t help but feel that coleslaw will forever be a staple at BBQs all around Australia. But, truthfully, it is always a little too creamy and mayo-laden for my liking…..well until this version came along, that is. IMG_6817 For this version – had no mayo in sight. Just tahini (my favourite!), natural yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic and water). Stirred to combine then tossed through a mixture of cabbage, cucumber, celery and fresh parsley. IMG_6821 Light and healthy – and packed with those lovely sesame flavours of the tahini. So much so that I think even this girl could be converted to the appeal of the‘slaw! What about you? Are you a fan of coleslaw?

Tahini yoghurt sauce

IMG_4823 It is no secret that I love to bake. And with the abundance of sweet treats in our household lately, first the doughnuts and then the chocolate torte, you would be forgiven if you thought that is all we ate! Truthfully, I love to save my baking adventures for when there are many mouths to feed. For although I love my fair share of sugar, my waistline and general health probably do not, and it is far less tempting to eat cake for lunch when there is no cake leftover! So to prove it is not all sugar and chocolate in the BBB household, let me share with you another tasty little dish that made an appearance recently. We had a butterflied leg of lamb planned for dinner, and I wanted to make a sauce to accompany it. I can’t quite recall where the inspiration came from, although I think it was probably a cooking magazine, but with all ingredients on hand – we soon had ourselves this tasty tahini yoghurt sauce. IMG_4820 Simply, a cup of natural yoghurt, a generous tablespoon of tahini, a squeeze of garlic paste, chopped mint and chives – seasoned to taste. IMG_4821 The mint + tahini combination worked just beautifully with the lamb, and had me coming back for seconds! IMG_4824 A super easy sauce that I will be sure to make again. And one which completely reaffirmed my love for using yoghurt as a base. What about you? Made any yummy sauces recently?

Quinoa salad with tahini dressing

IMG_3111 After a weekend of sunshine, snoozes, yoga and relaxation, I woke up feeling rather refreshed this morning. Certainly a far cry from the illness that knocked me around last week, that’s for sure. I also continued my attempts to get in as many vegetables as I could over the weekend, particularly as my appetite started to return with a vengeance. Starting with a tasty little quinoa and vegetable salad that made an appearance for lunch. So simple, yet oh so delicious. IMG_3121 And a perfect "pantry" cleaner. I cooked a cup of quinoa in a mixture of water and vegetable stock, until the quinoa had softened and absorbed the water. IMG_3102 Then it was simply a matter of combining the quinoa with a variety of vegetables I had on hand. IMG_3103 Capsicum, cucumber, tomato and baby spinach. IMG_3106 To finish, I made a simple tahini dressing to pour over the salad. IMG_3108 And so lunch was served. IMG_3105 Fresh, healthy, tasty…. Vegetarian and gluten free. IMG_3116 And a tad addictive. Especially with the luscious creamy tahini dressing. Quinoa salad with tahini dressing (serves 2-4)

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 red capsicum, finely diced
  • 1 green capsicum, finely diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 tomato, deseeded and diced
  • Handful baby spinach
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbs tamari
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 1tbs water (or more or less to get desired consistency)
  1. Cook quinoa in water and stock, according to packet directions. Set aside to cool slightly, then stir through the vegetables.
  2. To make the tahini dressing: Whisk all ingredients together, adding more or less water to get your desired consistency.
  3. Divide salad among serving dishes and top with tahini dressing to serve.

What about you? How do you like to use quinoa?

My new favourite mushroom sauce

Training: Body Pump / Elliptical 22 mins / Sit-ups 160 Happy Monday! We ended up having a busy weekend, with some interstate family members unexpectedly dropping in and staying the night. It was a wonderful catch up on all things new and old, and we were so very sad to have to say goodbye when we did. Here’s hoping I can get across to Perth for a surprise visit of my own sometime soon. While I may not have had much time for blogging over the weekend, I did have time for cooking. And on Sunday night, it was time to try another recipe out of Julie Goodwin’s cookbook. IMG_9321 Veal with mushroom sauce. IMG_9324 I couldn’t help but BBB-ify the recipe a little. I am not a huge fan of creamy sauces, which I find to be too rich – both in flavour and calories. So, in place of the required cream, I used yoghurt. I also reduced the butter, and opted out of the white wine all together. But first, into a pan went sliced button mushrooms, sautéed in garlic, olive oil and a little butter. IMG_9328 Followed by vegetable stock and dijon mustard.  IMG_9330 When the liquids had almost evaporated, in went yoghurt, water and a spoonful of tahini. IMG_9332 Cooked until thick and creamy. IMG_9333 Meanwhile, Mr BBB (aka the Grill Master), pan fried some thin organic veal slices. IMG_9334   IMG_9335 Then it was time to serve.  IMG_9336 Veal and mushroom sauce, served with steamed broccoli and carrots.  IMG_9337 No joke. After just one bite I was sold!  IMG_9338 Yes this creamy sauce was definitely my new favourite mushroom sauce. IMG_9340 I loved the addition of yoghurt and tahini, and the abundance of flavoursome mushrooms. IMG_9342 And, despite my changes, it looked pretty close to the original photo! For vegetarians, I think this sauce would also work wonderfully served atop a big pile of vegetables, a roasted sweet potato or even oven baked tofu.  Well I know that I will be trying some of those combinations some time soon! My new favourite mushroom sauce (serves 4) Adapted from Our Family Table by Julie Goodwin

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup natural yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs tahini
  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large frypan. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and sauté until the mushrooms have softened.
  2. Add the stock, and simmer until almost evaporated.
  3. Remove from the heat, then stir through the yoghurt, water mustard and tahini.
  4. Return to low heat and cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened slightly.

What about you? Do you have a favourite sauce to serve with steak or veal?

Maple-tahini Lentil Salad (and an updated recipe page!)

Training: Run 5km With the temperatures dropping more and more with each passing day, and owing to my declaration of ‘Salad week‘ yesterday, I wanted to create a salad with a little Spring flair this evening. And then my neighbour dropped in a big plate of spelt spanakopita that his mother had made for us, so I wanted to keep our salad light. Starting with tomatoes, capsicum and cucumber. IMG_6802 Followed by lentils and corn… IMG_6803 Finished with fresh herbs… IMG_6808 Parsley and mint! IMG_6811 Combined then piled high. IMG_6812 Now, while this salad was quite tasty on its own, IMG_6814 Particularly with the sweet corn kernels, IMG_6818 And the tomato / fresh herb combination, IMG_6822 It called for something extra. Thus, this salad went from a plain lentil salad, to a maple-tahini lentil salad in a matter of seconds. The secret? IMG_6799 A quick and easy maple tahini dressing! IMG_6791 4 ingredients – resulting resulting in a rich and creamy dressing… IMG_6795 Drizzled over the salad for the perfect finishing touch. IMG_6851 IMG_6852 A super easy no fuss addition to my Salad Week. IMG_6850 Served with a  few slices of the homemade spanakopita. IMG_6829 Delish! Maple-tahini Lentil Salad (serves 2)

  • 1.5 cups cooked lentils
  • 6 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • 1 cob corn, kernels only
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • handful fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 4 tbs water
  1. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Divide between two serving dishes.
  2. To make the sauce, whisk together the tahini, maple syrup and dijon mustard. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring well to combine.
  3. Drizzle a generous portion of the dressing over the salad to serve.

What about you? Do you know your neighbours? We are lucky enough to live next to two very generous Greek neighbours who love to surprise us with authentic Greek dishes (and figs!) on a regular basis. We are very lucky indeed! PS – I finally updated my recipe page! Click here to check it out and let me know if you think any are missing. Happy Baking 🙂

Rainbow vegetables with tahini sauce

Training: Mountain Biking 15km As we are heading to Melbourne this weekend, I wanted to start using up the various vegetables we have leftover in the fridge. And, with the temperatures starting to decline, a warm roasted salad was just what I was craving. IMG_6315 Into a roasting dish went sweet potato, eggplant, onion, zucchini, capsicum and potato. IMG_6316 *sigh* – how could anything this colourful ever be bad for you?? With a cup of vegetable stock, rather than oil, then baked for 1 hour… IMG_6330 until the vegetables were soft and a little caramelised. IMG_6332 Piled high, IMG_6333 and topped with a couple GF chilli sausages. IMG_6334 But the star of the show? IMG_6317 A homemade tahini sauce. IMG_6319 Made simply by whisking tahini, water and tamari. Then, sprinkled with sesame seeds. IMG_6327 Drizzled over the salad… IMG_6335 Taking it from tasty to TERRIFIC! IMG_6338 A great dish to use up leftover produce, and a warming meal to end the day. Rainbow vegetables with tahini sauce (serves 2 – 4) This is a comforting meal, rich in nutrients, and also in flavour. Rather than using oil, the vegetables are cooked in vegetable stock, resulting in tasty baked vegetables that are low in added fat. I served the salad with some GF sausages, however it would also work well with some pan fried tofu or even on its own.

  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 1 red capsicum, cubed
  • 1 yellow capsicum, cubed
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 2 tbs tamari
  • 1/4 cup water
  • sesame seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place vegetables into the baking dish. Pour over the vegetable stock.
  3. Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring half way through.
  4. For the sauce: Whisk the tahini, tamari and water in a small bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Pour sauce over the salad to serve.

Happy Baking 🙂