There are many snacks that you can enjoy when you’re relaxing with your friends, watching a great movie or TV series, or playing online bingo. But what if you’re interested in something that’s healthy and perfect for summer, and is also easy to prepare? We’ve put together a list of our three favourite simple and scrumptious summer salad recipes, which should keep well for a day or two if you keep them in an air-tight container in the fridge.
While this may be considered a side dish to a barbecue or some other meaty main meal, for some, a potato salad is a delicious meal completely on its own. This classic dish is believed to have originated in Germany, and consists of – you guessed it – mostly potatoes, although it can be combined with many other ingredients. Here’s how we suggest you make a simple, but classic, potato salad. Once you’ve nailed this recipe, you can of course make your own tweaks to personalise it, such as adding garlic or chopped herbs.
This recipe is easy to make, and you’ll be amazed how much better it tastes than the shop-bought alternatives!
The first thing you need to do is cook the potatoes, skins and all (they’re good for you). If you’re using new potatoes, you probably won’t need to cut them up because they’re already small; but if you’re using large ones, cut them into similar sizes so that they all cook at the same rate. Put them into a pot of cold water, bring them up to a boil, and get them simmering nicely.
You’ll need to check the potatoes regularly to see if they’re ready – but they’ll probably take about 15 to 20 minutes. A potato that’s perfect for a potato salad is firm, but will still allow a fork, knife, or skewer, to easily pass through it. Once the potatoes are ready, carefully drain them, and allow them to cool. Once they’re cool enough to handle, you can peel them (if you’re fussy, though “rustic” is healthier), and chop them up into whatever size you want – some people like them really chunky, others tiny cubes!
While the potatoes are cooling, fry the bacon rashers. You can make them extra crispy if you like, but we suggest keeping them a bit on the softer side so that they’re easier to eat with a fork. Drain the rashers on a paper towel when you’re done and allow to cool. Cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Chop your green/spring onions or shallots into fine pieces. Also if you haven’t already, you’ll need to hard-boil your eggs; let them cool, and then shell them carefully. (Tip: this is easier to do if you submerge them in a bowl of cold water!)
Mix all your ingredients together, taking care not to crush the potatoes as you do so, and season with salt and pepper as you see fit. That’s it: you have one tasty, fresh potato salad!
If you’re someone who likes your pasta like your summers (hot), then you might want to give this Mexican-style dish a try. It combines the heat and flavour of Mexican food with the pasta tradition of Italy to bring you a brilliant fusion of taste.
You can do step 1 and 2-3 simultaneously or one after the other – whatever fits in with your schedule!
Use a pot that’s easily large enough to cook your pasta; fill it three-quarters full with cold water, add a pinch of salt, and put it on the heat. Once the water is at a rolling boil, tip in the pasta, stir to bring it back to the boil – and start the timer! Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions (cooking times for dried pasta can vary from 8 to 14 minutes, and it’s worth tasting a bit towards the end of the cooking time, especially if you’re given a range, like “10 to 12 minutes”).
Once the pasta is spot-on, remove it from the heat, and drain in a colander; allow it to cool. (Tip: to stop the pasta pieces from sticking together, pour a freshly boiled kettle of water over the drained pasta before you leave it to cool.)
Add a thin layer of vegetable oil to the bottom of a pan, and preheat. Once the oil is ready, add the beef mince. Brown the mince over medium heat and stir, breaking it up, until it is completely cooked.
Once the meat’s ready, add the tin of chopped tomatoes, salsa, tomato puree, salt, garlic powder, and ground cumin. Stir well. Reduce the heat, and leave the ingredients to simmer slowly. Taste after 10 to 15 minutes to see if it’s ready and allow it to cool. Adjust seasoning if necessary, and if it’s not hot enough for you, add some extra chilli sauce to turn up the heat a notch or two.
All that’s left to do is combine the sauce you’ve made with the cooled pasta shapes to make a delicious, zingy pasta salad to eat while you get stuck into some fun bingo games!
For our vegan readers and those looking for a super-healthy option, we have a great salad recipe for you! It stars the humble chickpea, which is a great mainstay of many vegan dishes. This salad is not only animal-friendly, but it’s also incredibly simple to prepare, with no time required in front of the stove!
The only time-consuming bit of making this salad is chopping everything up – otherwise, it’s super-easy to make!
Mix all the fresh ingredients (chickpeas, peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, shallot, coriander, parsley, and avocado) together in a bowl. Toss everything to spread out the ingredients.
Sprinkle the seasoning (oregano, salt, pepper) evenly over the salad.
Drizzle your salad dressing of choice lightly over the top, and you’re ready to dig in!
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/ 13 July 2021