recipes for healthy living

Tag: goats cheese

Bistro Style Marinated Goats Cheese Salad with Green Beans

Having just come back from a weekend in Paris and eaten so well, I was inspired by the simplicity of the food we ate, great ingredients, simply presented and well dressed. I could have spent the day (if I had the budget) in Astier de Villatte, home of the most out of this world pottery and painted plates. Also home to typical Parisian Hauteur…..

So inspired by our trip, this is a take on a goats cheese salad with more substance with the addition of croutons made from toasted home made gluten free bread. I spotted loads of beautiful looking salads when we had lunch at Relais Sant-Germaine on our last day which was great food and the dessert was one of the most beautiful plates of food I have ever seen.

Marinated Goats Cheese Salad
Serves 4
2 100gr goat’s cheese logs
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp walnut oil
1 shallot chopped very finely
1 garlic clove chopped and mashed
1 tsp fresh thyme picked and chopped
1 tsp sweet paprika

4 large handfuls of mixed leaves
250 gr green beans washed, topped & tailed
2 slices rustic bread preferably gluten free
Olive oil and raspberry vinaigrette

Combine the olive oil, walnut oil,shallot, garlic and thyme, season well.
Cut the goats cheese into slices and lay on a flat plate and pour over the marinade.
Cover and place in the fridge – preferably overnight but at least for a few hours.
when ready to assemble, blanch the beans in boiling water for 3 minutes and drain.
Toast the bread and cut into croutons.
Dress the salad leaves with some olive oil and a splash of raspberry vinaigrette.
Drain some of the marinade onto the beans.
Arrange the leaves and beans across 4 plates.
Place the goats cheese onto a foil lined baking tray and place under the grill for about 2 minutes until
just melting. Arrange on top of the salad, top with the croutons and spoon over any remaining marinade.


Beetroot and Goats Cheese Salad

Beetroot Salad, Pine Nuts, Salad Leaves, Goats Cheese

I’ve spoken a little bit about my adventures in gymnastics before. I tend to get funny looks when I mention it as its not that common in Ireland for women of a certain age to still be throwing themselves at a crashmat in the hope that something beautiful will result. I love it tho, I’m no Nadia but I’m pretty strong, reasonably fit and it helps keep me that way. I hope to keep it up for as long as I can as it is fantastic all round workout and good fun. This week tho’ I have struggled with work and other stuff which kept me away from my class. To compensate, I decided to try eat really clean for the week since I wasn’t getting my normal quotient of exercise in. This salad was dinner last night – beautiful beetroot paired with goats cheese and some pine nuts for crunch. I love it for it’s flavour but its also a real winner nutritionally, rich in antioxidants and nutrients, great for cardio vascular health and tastes so yummy. My mother used to love eating the beetroot that came from a jar – she loved the pickling juices. Me, not so much – I prefer to buy fresh beetroot and roast it if I can, or to buy the vac packed version. Either way this is delicious – pack the rest in a lunch box the next day to bring to work and have with some crunchy veggies like carrots and celery.

500 gr beetroot.
1 garlic clove peeled mashed and crushed.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
5 tbsp Greek style natural yoghurt.
.5 tbsp of balsamic vinegar.
1 tbsp of spice mix like my garam masala from here or a bought version.
Salt and Pepper.

Set aside 100gr of beetroot
Put everything bar the yoghurt into the blender and blend well to a puree.
Add the yoghurt and pulse till mixed.
Season with salt and pepper, taste and if you are happy, tip into a bowl.
Chop the remaining beetroot into small dice and incorporate into the beetroot puree. This gives a lovely texture that
is not all smooth puree.

Plate up as shown with your goats cheese of choice, some toasted pine nuts and a selection of dressed salad leaves. I put a metal ring (like a scone cutter) onto the plate and filled it with the beetroot and lifted the ring away to make a nice shape, but that’s optional! I had some left over baby potatoes which I tossed in oil and herbs and roasted in the oven for a few minutes which I also used. Just delicious!.

Beetroot Salad with Goats Cheese

And plenty over the next day for dipping with some Pitta crisps brushed with oil and baked in the oven for about 5 minutes.

Aubergine & Courgette stacks and lemon chicken brochettes

My darling mum made ratatouille most Sundays as an accompaniment to the roast. Sunday dinners were always large affairs, our big family and any friends, boyfriends or girlfriends who happened to be around were always welcome at her table.  This recipe came a bit from Dublin Cookery School and a bit from memories of my mum although she  always made it in a casserole dish I have stacked it using a stainless steel ring – it makes a more dramatic plate but is still really easy. An optional topping of goats cheese and crumbs make it more substantial – serve with a green salad for lunch only or with the chicken brochette for a great dinner. Full of the taste of the med and the goodness of these great vegetables. Full of memories for me..

Chicken Brochettes
4 chicken breasts cut into 2” cubes
Juice of a lemon
2 cloves of garlic chopped and mashed
100ml olive oil
1 tbsp of herbs de province (or your own mix of dried thyme oregano sage and parsley)
Combine the marinade ingredients in a non metal bowl
Add the chicken and toss to coat – leave for a few hours to soften and marinate
Thread alternating pieces of chicken and cherry tomatoes onto metal skewers, season and cook on the barbie or in the oven until cooked through and serve with the stacks.

Ratatouille Vegetable stacks with goats cheese and crumb topping
Serves 4
2 large aubergines
1 large courgette
1 shallot
1 red pepper
2 cloves garlic mashed and crushed
1 tbsp tomato puree
Half a tin of tomatoes chopped or 200mls passata
2 tbsp olive oil
For topping
6oz breadcrumbs ( I routinely use gluten free bread)
4 tbsp toasted pinenuts
4 tbsp of olive oil
2oz goats cheese or if you don’t like it you can use mozzarella, feta or other of choice

Slice 1 of the aubergines lengthwise into slices 1/4″ thick
Slice the other one into circles 1/4 thick – you will need 2 per stack
Finely dice the shallots and the remaining courgette and aubergine
Core and deseed the peppers and cut into dice
Heat olive oil and add the shallots and garlic
Cook until softened then add the courgettes and aubergine
Cook for a few minutes and add the pepper
Add the tomato puree and stir to incorporate and season with salt and pepper
Add the chopped tomatoes or passata and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce the sauce – you don’t want it too wet
Set aside to cool
Cook off the aubergine and courgette rounds and lengths on a griddle pan – brush with olive oil first and then season and place on a very hot griddle and cook until golden and tender on both sides
To assemble
Mix the breadcrumbs with the pine nuts, olive oil and season well
Place rings on parchment paper on a baking tray and place a circle of aubergine into the base of the ring
Line the inside with a length of aubergine – don’t worry if it does not go the whole way round – add some more into the gap
Fill with the ratatouille mix and place a further circle on top and press down firmly
Place goats cheese on top and press the crumbs into the cheese
Into the oven for about 15 minutes at 160C – With a fish slice place on your serving plate, remove the rings and serve with the chicken or on its own with a green salad for a delicious lunch

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