Disqus for Where Are My Knees

A Salad for All Seasons with Florette - Roasted Squash with Thyme and Taleggio

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

I don't know about you but I'm bored of beige food. Winter makes me want to make stews, hearty pies and stodgy food. I'm craving something light, colourful and tasty and without the calories that come with pastry and rich sauces. I tend to think of salads as exclusively summer food but let’s eat more salad! It’s fresh, colourful and healthy fast food. In A Salad for All Seasons, Harry Eastwood shakes things up, introducing us to over 100 delicious, original and easy-to-make salads to see you through the year. 

The Autumn and Winter sections of her book offer warm, hearty, nourishing combinations, such as Roasted Squash with Thyme and Taleggio and Spinach, Lamb and Fig with Orange and Honey Dressing. Roasted Squash with Thyme and Taleggio.  

I love books that encourage me to eat seasonally. The variety of dishes included in this book has inspired me to try and make salad more of an everyday item, and not just an accompaniment. Florette love their salads. Just like we love all fresh, tasty, great-quality food. And what they love most of all is when people tell them how they’ve their salads to create delicious meals of their own, in no time at all. I hope they are happy with what this salad newbie created with one of their fresh bags of mixed leaves. 

335 calories per portion 
3 of your 5 a day
Serves 4

600g mixed squashes, seeds removed (use any squash you like)
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 red onions, cut into thin moons
2 tbsp thyme leaves, stripped from stalks
200g Taleggio cheese, cubed
a few handfuls or rocket leaves

For the dressing

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 200°C/ gas mark 6

Cut the squashes into half moons of around 2cm thickness. Toss them in the oil and roast in the top of the oven for 5 minutes. Make sure the squash is spread out so it can roast evenly. 

Turn the oven settings to grill. Remove the tray from the oven and add the onion slices, sprinkle with thyme and place back in the oven. Grill for a further 10 minutes until the squash is blistered and golden. 

Meanwhile make the dressing. Mix the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup in a pan with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. The syrup will thicken and become glossy. 

When the squash and onions have cooked remove them from the oven and pile onto a serving platter. Season with salt and pepper. Dot the cheese cubes all over and give it  good toss with the rocket. Drizzle the warm glaze on the top. Serve warm. 

You can use Fontina instead of Taleggio and sage instead of thyme. I found it hard to get these cheeses (the shops were full of festive wensledayle and Cranberry) to I used a good Gorgonzola. I also added a squeeze of lemon juice to my salad. You will love this salad, it warming, the dressing is sweet and the cheesy is gooey mmmm.

If you want to create some healthy and tasty salads yourself make sure you check out the Florette website for plenty of salad recipes and tips about flavour combinations and how to use leftovers.

Festive ways to get fit this winter #SimplyhealthHealthyHabits

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Eat, drink and be merry! I've definitely been doing all three of those and with party season in full swing there are some surprising ways you can burn excess calories without compromising on fun. Christmas is both busy and a time of indulgence, so it’s especially difficult to stick to healthy habits. There are plenty of fun seasonal activities that could help you keep up your fitness regime this winter and I'm going to list a few to get you inspired to move more this winter.

I recently tried ice skating for the first time since I was a teenager. Ice skating requires constant movement, which makes it a great way to burn hundreds of calories per hour. It's also a fun way to get outdoors in the winter, but indoor ice skating rinks are another way to enjoy this activity all year round.

I was terrified, thought I was going to fall over for the entire session but I gave it my best shot. I think I probably burned loads of nervous energy calories. I know I'm all too guilty of cooking up huge carb filled meals at this time of year, adding some Baileys to my coffee and neglecting my bike when its cold and wet. I really enjoyed getting out of the house, having fun and getting some fresh air.

If you want to find out more about how many calories winter activities can burn head over to Simplyhealth who have made a guide to festive ways to get fit.

Other fantastic calorie burning winter activities include:

Walking - Why not take a long brisk walk after a heavy Christmas dinner? There are plenty of places to walk and if you add in a hill you’ll see greater benefits. Walking in snowy conditions is also tougher and will therefore provide a greater calorie burn.

Hit the dance floor - Christmas parties often end up on the dance floor and if you're out with friends don't lurk around the side, have a great time and dance the night away. You could easily balance out a glass of wine this way.

Gaming - I don't mean be antisocial and play in your Xbox all day boxing day. Get the Wii fit out, Just Dance or any of those games and interact with your family members and have fun whilst being more active.

How do you keep fit during the winter? Got any top tips for staying active over the festive period?