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  • Salad Jars with Chickpea, Quinoa, Feta and Hummus, gluten-free

    Indulge in convenience and wellness with this Chickpea, Quinoa, Feta, and Hummus Salad Jars. A quick, nutritious, and filling lunch solution. With 17g of protein in each serving, these are also gluten-free and vegetarian, and easily adapted for dairy-free diets. From the earthy richness of chickpeas to the tangy bite of Greek feta, each layer promises a delicious experience. Why you'll LOVE Salad Jars for Meal Prepping Here's why this Salad Jar recipe is a stellar meal prep idea: It's packed with protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, keeping you satisfied and energized throughout the day. With simple assembly and minimal cooking time, it's perfect for busy schedules. Plus, it's versatile! It's gluten-free, vegetarian, and easily adaptable for dairy-free diets. Preparing these jars in advance ensures you have a wholesome, ready-to-eat meal for the entire week. Say goodbye to last-minute lunch dilemmas and hello to effortless nourishment. It's a deliciously convenient solution for staying on track with your health goals while saving time and effort. Watch How to Make It Storage and Serving Recommendations Always put the dressing at the bottom of the jars and then divide the salad into 3 x 850g air-tight jars (Mason jars are also fantastic as they are leak-proof!). They're ideal for slipping into a spacious purse for work or tossing into a backpack. If using a meal prep container, store the dressing separately and add it just before serving. Transfer the salad from the jar to a bowl or plate for easy enjoyment, or mix it directly in the meal prep container. Meal Prepping Ideas If you're like my daughter, you love meal prepping but prefer to pack each salad jar on a daily basis. She prefers doing this as on some days she likes to change it up by adding something extra, such as cashews, pumpkin seeds, or grated carrot. It only takes her 3-minutes to bring it together. Here are our suggestions for doing this: Prep Ingredients in Advance: Streamline your meal prep by prepping the veggies, and grains beforehand. Cook the quinoa, chop the veggies, marinate the chickpeas, and prepare the dressing. Then keep each ingredient ready-made but in separate containers in the refrigerator. Layer Ingredients Thoughtfully: Each morning, arrange ingredients in the jar strategically to maintain freshness. Follow the recommended order to ensure optimal taste and texture. Shake Well Before Serving: Just before enjoying your salad, give the jar a good shake to distribute flavors evenly. Then, transfer everything into a bowl or onto a plate for easy eating. While eating directly from the jar is an option, transferring to a dish can make it more accessible. Get Creative: Don't hesitate to experiment with ingredients. Swap out veggies, proteins, or grains to suit your preferences or what's available. Embrace your culinary creativity and personalize your Salad Jars to your liking. The question is have I convinced you to whip up this salad as part of your meal prep? Or why not see how I serve it as a hearty salad for dinner or when I am hosting a party? See my VIDEO HERE Salad Jars with Chickpeas, Quinoa, Feta and Hummus Makes 3 x 800ml jars Prep 10 minutes Cook 15 minutes INGREDIENTS Chickpeas: 1 x 400g can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 small red onion, finely sliced 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ¼ cup olive oil ¼ cup balsamic vinegar Salad: 2 cups cooked quinoa 200g Greek feta, crumbled 2 cups baby rocket 2 large tomatoes, diced 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced Dressing: 4 tablespoons hummus, store-bought 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon pepper INSTRUCTIONS 1. Cook the Quinoa: Instructions on How to Cook Quinoa is found HERE 2. Prepare the chickpeas: Place the chickpeas, red onion, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and combine. Set aside to ‘marinate’. 3. Prepare the vegetables: Dice the tomato and cucumber, wash and towel dry the rocket, and crumble the feta. 4. Prepare the dressing: Place the hummus, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine well. 5. Make the Meal Prep Jars: Evenly distribute and layer into each jar, first the dressing, then the cucumber, tomatoes, quinoa, feta, chickpeas, and rocket. Close the lids and refrigerate for 4 days. Have you tried this recipe? Please leave me a rating and comment, or share it with me at @CreateCookShare on Instagram  Pinterest  Facebook  TikTok  or YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos @CreateCookShare

  • Chickpea Quinoa Salad with a Creamy Hummus Dressing, gluten-free

    Introducing my Chickpea Quinoa Salad with a Creamy Hummus Dressing that is refreshing, creamy, delicious, and hits the spot! It's made with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, rocket, feta, and a creamy lemon hummus dressing that ties in all the flavours. But what I love most is the fluffy quinoa and paprika-marinated chickpeas that give the salad a flavourful Middle Eastern twist! Let's Begin! Why you'll LOVE this Chickpea Quinoa Salad Healthy and Nutritious: It's packed with wholesome ingredients like chickpeas, quinoa, vegetables, and hummus. It provides a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, making it a nutritious option for any meal. Flavorful and Delicious: The combination of ingredients such as smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar, feta cheese, and creamy hummus dressing creates a burst of flavours. Easy to Make: With simple instructions and minimal prep time, this recipe is quick, easy, and convenient for busy individuals or families. Meal Prep Option and Versatile: This salad can be enjoyed as a main dish or served as a side alongside grilled chicken, fish, or tofu. It's also great for meal prep and can be stored in the fridge for a few days, making it a convenient option for lunches or dinners throughout the week. Suitable for Various Dietary Preferences: This salad is gluten-free and vegetarian and can be easily adapted to accommodate dairy-free diets by using vegan feta cheese. Satisfying and Filling: Thanks to the protein and fiber content from the chickpeas and quinoa, this salad is not only delicious but also satisfying and filling. It's a great option for those looking to achieve a healthy eating diet while still enjoying a hearty meal. Watch How to Make It Variations to this salad and how to store it: Prep Ahead: Cook the quinoa in advance and store it in the refrigerator. This will save time when assembling the salad, especially if you're making it for a quick lunch or dinner during the week. Roast the Chickpeas: For added crunch and flavor, consider roasting the chickpeas before adding them to the salad. Simply toss them in the olive oil and paprika, then roast them in the oven until crispy. Marinate the Chickpeas Longer: If time permits, allow the chickpeas to marinate in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixture for a longer period, such as 30 minutes to an hour. This will enhance the flavor and ensure they absorb the marinade well. Add Fresh Herbs: Consider adding fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, or mint to the salad for added freshness and flavor. Chop them finely and toss them with the other ingredients before adding the dressing. Make it a Meal: To turn this salad into a complete meal, consider adding protein such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu on top. Store Properly: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Keep the dressing separate if possible to prevent the salad from becoming soggy. Other Salad Recipes: Spring Roll Salad Chopped Salad with Pita Pockets Potato and Cucumber Salad with a Creamy Dill Dressing Nacho Salad with Spiced Beef Watermelon Salad with Rocket and Feta Chickpea Quinoa Salad with a Creamy Hummus Dressing Serves 4 Prep 10 minutes Cook 15 minutes INGREDIENTS Chickpeas: 1 x 400g can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 small red onion, finely sliced 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ¼ cup olive oil ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (optional 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin) Salad: 2 cups cooked quinoa 200g Greek feta, crumbled (or dairy-free alternative) 60g baby rocket 2 large tomatoes, diced 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced Dressing: 4 tablespoons hummus, store-bought 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon pepper INSTRUCTIONS 1. Cook the Quinoa: Instructions on How to Cook Quinoa is found HERE 2. Prepare the chickpeas: Place the chickpeas, red onion, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and combine. Set aside to ‘marinate’. 3. Prepare the vegetables: Dice the tomato and cucumber, wash and towel dry the rocket, and crumble the feta. 4. Prepare the dressing: Place the hummus, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine well. 5. Bring it together: In a large serving bowl, place the rocket, quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, and chickpeas, and top it off with the creamy hummus dressing. Toss to combine and enjoy. Have you tried this recipe? Please leave me a rating and comment, or share it with me at @CreateCookShare on Instagram  Pinterest  Facebook  TikTok  or YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos @CreateCookShare

  • Spring Roll Salad with Peanut Dressing, gluten-free

    This Spring Roll Salad with Peanut Dressing is deliciously crunchy, and creamy with all the flavours and textures of a fresh rice paper roll without all the time and fuss it takes to roll and wrap them. It's full of fresh vegetables, vermicelli noodles, a creamy peanut and ginger dressing and protein-packed with ocean fresh prawns. It's also gluten-free, and dairy-free and can be easily adapted to suit a vegetarian diet. Why you'll LOVE this Spring Roll Salad Convenience: Unlike traditional spring rolls that require rolling and wrapping, a spring roll salad is easy to assemble, saving you time and effort in the kitchen. Healthiness: Packed with nutrient-rich veggies and lean proteins, this salad provides a wholesome and nutritious meal option that supports your well-being. Customizability: You have the freedom to customize your spring roll salad with your favorite ingredients, (eg. swap the prawns with shredded chicken or tofu), allowing you to tailor it to your taste preferences and dietary needs. Meal Prep/ Portability: Whether you're enjoying it at home or on the go, a spring roll salad is convenient to pack and transport, making it an ideal option for picnics, work lunches, or quick meals on busy days. Watch How to Make It Preparing in Advance or for Meal Prepping Here's how you can do it: Prep the Ingredients: Wash and chop the vegetables, herbs, and protein (such as cooked chicken, tofu, or shrimp) in advance. Soak the noodles, drain them, and place them in a container. Keep them stored separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Prepare the Dressing: Prepare it ahead of time and store it in a jar. Just give it a good shake and allow it to return to room temperature before using it. Assemble When Ready to Eat: When ready to enjoy, simply take out the prepped ingredients from the fridge. Arrange salad and noodles in a bowl or on a plate, then add the prawns and top with the peanut dressing. Add Crunchy Elements: Add the crushed peanuts just before serving to maintain their texture. Toss and Enjoy: Gently toss everything together to coat the ingredients evenly with the dressing, and your spring roll salad is ready to be enjoyed! Alternative Idea for Meal Prepping: Prepare all ingredients in an air-tight container as shown in the photo below and combine just before eating. Other Salad Recipes Chopped Salad with Pita Pockets Potato and Cucumber Salad with a Creamy Dill Dressing Nacho Salad with Spiced Beef Watermelon Salad with Rocket and Feta Vermicelli Noodle Salad with Steak and Nuoc Cham Dressing Spring Roll Salad with Peanut Dressing, gluten-free Serves 4-6 Prep 10-15 minutes Soaking noodles for 5 minutes INGREDIENTS Salad: 250g Rice Vermicelli Noodles, gluten-free 2 Lebanese cucumbers, sliced into sticks* 1 large carrot, grated or sliced into thin sticks* ¼ purple cabbage, finely shredded* ¼ iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced 3 green onions, thinly sliced 1 cup coriander leaves 1 cup mint OR Thai basil leaves ½ cup peanuts, roughly chopped 20 cooked prawns, peeled and deveined 1 x juice of lime 1 teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon pepper Peanut Salad Dressing: ½ cup smooth peanut butter (or almond butter) ¼ cup fresh lime juice 3 tablespoons sweet chilli, gluten-free 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce (or coconut aminos), gluten-free 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated 2 garlic cloves, minced 2-3 tablespoons hot water (enough to create a smooth consistency) Optional: 1 tablespoon sesame oil *optional to use a mandoline slicer INSTRUCTIONS 1. Prepare the Rice Vermicelli Noodles: Soak the noodles in a bowl of boiling water for 5-8 minutes or according to packet instructions. Once soft, rinse under cold water, drain and set aside. 2. Make the Peanut Dressing: In the meantime, combine the salad dressing ingredients in a jar and shake or add to a bowl and whisk. If too thick, add a tablespoon of hot water at a time until it creates a smooth salad dressing consistency. (Tip: for extra flavour add 1 tablespoon sesame oil). 3. Prepare the Salad and Prawns: Peel and devein the prawns, then slice into 2cm pieces. Place into a bowl and squeeze a whole lime over them. Then chop, slice, and grate the salad ingredients, optional use a mandoline slicer for the cucumber, carrot, and cabbage. 4. Bring it together: Add to a large bowl all the ingredients, drizzle over the Peanut Salad Dressing and gently toss to combine. Serve and enjoy! Have you tried this recipe? Please leave me a rating and comment OR why not share it with me at @CreateCookShare on Instagram  Pinterest  Facebook  TikTok  or YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos @CreateCookShare

  • Chopped Salad with Pita Pockets, gluten-free

    This flavour-packed Chopped Salad served with gluten-free Pita Pockets is brimming with a medley of Mediterranean-inspired ingredients including, feta, kalamata olives, salami, and fresh basil. Each ingredient is finely chopped, ensuring every mouthful bursts with flavour. Let me show you how to make it. Why you'll LOVE this Chopped Salad Perfect texture and flavour in every bite: The highlight of this recipe lies in its texture. If you've never tried a chopped salad, this recipe will introduce you to what you've been missing! A chopped salad is simply when all the ingredients are cut into small pieces, which makes it easy to eat, and every bite has just the right mix of everything. A rich, creamy, and tangy Dressing: The bold flavours of crispy vegetables, creamy feta, fresh flavourful basil, and tasty salami, are all coated in a rich, creamy, and tangy Dijon Vinaigrette that marries together all the flavours. A wonderful party salad! With a colorful array of vegetables, it caters to various dietary preferences (gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, and vegan options), and restrictions, providing guests with a healthier option amidst other indulgent treats. Plus, chopped veggie salads are usually straightforward to prepare, especially if you chop the vegetables ahead of time. This makes it a convenient option for hosts who want to minimize stress and save time on party preparations. Watch How to Make It Variations and Additions to a Chopped Salad These are some variations to customise your Chopped Salad: Swap lettuce with spinach, rocket, or kale Swap purple cabbage with radicchio Swap olives with caper berries Swap feta with ricotta, bocconcini, grated parmesan or any grated cheese Swap salami with chickpeas, cannellini beans, black-eyed beans or shredded chicken Make it Vegetarian or Dairy-free Vegetarian: Swap the salami with chickpeas or your favourite beans. Dairy-free: Swap the feta for vegan feta or preferred dairy-free cheese Ways to serve this Chopped Salad In pita bread! It's our favourite. As a side dish alongside grilled chicken or fish. Layered onto a bed of mixed greens and topped with grilled chicken or prawns for a hearty main course. Served as part of a buffet spread at a party or gathering. Mixed with cooked pasta or grains like quinoa or rice for a satisfying salad bowl. Wrapped in a tortilla and transformed into a colorful and tasty wrap. Served on its own as a light lunch option with some crusty bread on the side. As part of your meal prep! Add to individual jars for a convenient grab-and-go lunch option (simply add the dressing just before serving). Other Salad Recipes Potato and Cucumber Salad with a Creamy Dill Dressing Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad with Halloumi Nacho Salad with Spiced Beef and Creamy Nacho Dressing All Salad and Sides Recipes Chopped Salad with Pita Pockets, gluten-free Serves 4-6 Prep 15 minutes INGREDIENTS Salad: 1 coz lettuce, finely chopped (or 2 baby coz) ¼ purple cabbage, finely chopped 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved 1 yellow capsicum, diced 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced 1 red onion, diced 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced 1 cup fresh basil leaves 200g Greek Feta, diced or crumbled (dairy-free option) 100g salami slices, chopped OR 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (as a vegetarian option) Dressing: ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (add extra if needed) 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 teaspoons dried oregano 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 heaped teaspoon of honey 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon cracked pepper To Serve: pita bread, gluten-free OR Read above on ways to serve this Chopped Salad INSTRUCTIONS 1. Make the dressing: In a glass jar or a deep bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, oregano, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Shake or whisk until combined well. 2. Make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, onion, olives, basil, feta and either (or both) the salami and/or chickpeas. Toss gently to combine. 3. Pour the Dressing and Serve: Pour the dressing over the salad, toss until well coated and serve immediately either on its own or stuff each pita pocket with the chopped salad. Have you tried this recipe? Please leave me a rating and comment or why not share it with me at @CreateCookShare on Instagram  Pinterest  Facebook  TikTok  or YouTube Recipes and Photography Margaret Pahos @CreateCookShare

  • Nacho Salad with Spiced Beef and Creamy Nacho Dressing, gluten-free

    Are you ready to spice up your salad game? Try this gluten-free Nacho Salad with Spiced Beef and Creamy Nacho Dressing! It combines crispy salad vegetables, seasoned beef, tasty cheese, pinto beans, ripe avocadoes, and a dreamy sour cream and mayonnaise dressing that enhances every bite into a flavour-packed fiesta. Let's make it together! Are you one of those individuals who typically shy away from salads, finding them lacking in excitement and satisfaction? Well, prepare to be pleasantly surprised as I introduce you to the Nacho Salad - a dish that defies expectations. How, you ask? That's because what sets this Nacho Salad apart is its ability to bridge the gap between traditional salads and hearty, flavour-packed meals. Why You'll Love This Nacho Salad Hearty and Filling: Unlike traditional salads, this dish is hearty and filling, making it a satisfying meal option for lunch or dinner. The combination of protein-packed beef and fiber-rich beans ensures you'll feel satisfied and energized after enjoying this dish. Quick and Easy: With minimal prep and cooking time, this Nacho Salad is perfect for busy weeknights when you need a delicious and nutritious meal in a hurry. It's simple enough for beginner cooks yet impressive enough to serve to guests. Family-Friendly: Loved by kids and adults alike, this is a crowd-pleaser that's sure to become a family favorite. It's a great way to sneak in some extra veggies while still indulging in a meal that feels like a treat. Customizable: Whether you prefer extra heat with jalapenos or enjoy a milder flavor, this salad is customizable to suit any taste preferences. Add or subtract ingredients as you like to create your perfect combination. Perfect for Entertaining: Whether you're hosting a casual gathering or a party, this is the ultimate crowd-pleasing dish. Serve it as a main course or as a festive appetizer, and watch as it disappears within minutes. Adapting the Nacho Salad to Suit Vegans: Replace Beef Mince: Instead of using beef mince, opt for plant-based alternatives such as crumbled tofu, tempeh, or a meatless ground substitute made from soy or legumes. Season it with the same Mexican spices. Skip the Cheese or Use Vegan Cheese: Omit the cheese or replace it with your favorite vegan cheese alternative. There are many dairy-free cheese options available that taste similar to traditional cheese. Choose Vegan Sour Cream and Mayonnaise: Look for vegan sour cream and mayonnaise options at your local grocery store or health food store. Experiment with Additional Ingredients: Get creative with your vegan Nacho Salad by incorporating other plant-based ingredients such as roasted vegetables, guacamole, salsa, quinoa, or roasted chickpeas for added protein and flavor. Watch How to Make It Storage Instructions and Meal Prep Storage: Keep any leftover taco salad in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. If you anticipate having leftovers, reserve extras without adding the nacho dressing, and avocado, as these ingredients are best added fresh. For optimal freshness, store the beef separately to reheat later. Reheating: When ready to enjoy again, reheat the beef in a pan or the microwave until warmed. This ensures that the meat retains its juicy flavor and texture before adding it to the salad. Meal Prep: Simplify meal prep, by browning the meat with the Mexican seasoning and chopping all your taco salad ingredients in advance. Store them in meal prep containers without mixing. Keep the nacho dressing, and beef separate until you're ready to assemble and serve the salad. Remember to squeeze lime juice over the avocado ahead of time to prevent browning. Just before serving, heat the meat, and combine it with the other ingredients. Finally, pour over the creamy nacho dressing. Other Salad Recipes You'll LOVE Potato and Cucumber Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing Watermelon Salad with Rocket, Feta and Pistachios Vermicelli Noodle Salad with Steak and Nuoc Cham Dressing Mexican Quinoa Salad Classic Greek Salad Nacho Salad with Spiced Beef and Creamy Nacho Dressing Serves 4-6 Prep 10 minutes Cook 15 minutes INGREDIENTS Beef Mixture: 500g beef mince 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 tablespoon Beef Bone Powdered Stock (I used San Elk) with ¼ cup water (OR ¼ cup beef liquid stock), gluten-free Mexican Seasoning: 1 teaspoon dried oregano ½ teaspoon cumin ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon onion powder ½ teaspoon cayenne powder ½ teaspoon smoked paprika ½ teaspoon sea salt ¼ teaspoon pepper OR 2 tablespoons ready-made Mexican or Taco Seasoning Salad: 4 cups iceberg lettuce, chopped 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced 1 large red onion, sliced 2 avocados, diced 1 cup (400g) can of black, borlotti or pinto beans drained and rinsed 2 cups cheddar, grated (or Mexican Blend Cheese) 1 large packet Nacho corn chips, gluten-free Optional: chilli or jalapenos Nacho Salad Dressing: ½ cup sour cream ¼ cup mayonnaise ¼ cup lime juice, freshly squeezed 1 teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon onion powder INSTRUCTIONS 1. Make the Mexican Seasoning: In a bowl, mix oregano, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, and pepper. Alternatively, you can use ready-made Mexican or Taco Seasoning. 2. Prepare the Beef Mixture: In a pan or pot over high heat, cook the beef mince until browned and break it up with a wooden spoon. Next add the tomato paste, beef stock, and water, stirring well to combine. Add the Mexican seasoning over the beef mixture, stir, and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. 3. Make the Nacho Salad Dressing: In a small bowl or jar, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic powder, and onion powder until smooth. 4. Prepare the Salad Ingredients: Chop, dice, and grate all the salad ingredients. 5. Assemble the Nacho Salad: Serve in individual bowls or a large serving bowl the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, avocado, beans, and cheese, and then place a generous portion of the taco beef mixture over the top. Drizzle the nacho salad dressing over and serve. 6.  Serve: Serve with Nacho Corn Chips and enjoy. Have you tried this recipe? Leave a rating below OR Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram  Pinterest  Facebook  TikTok  YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos @CreateCookShare

  • Potato and Cucumber Salad with a Creamy Dill Dressing

    This Potato and Cucumber Salad with a Creamy Dill Dressing unveils a harmonious medley of textures and flavours – the fluffy potatoes, the crunch of cucumbers, and the subtle bite of red onion – all enveloped in the velvety and full-flavoured dill-infused dressing. Whether enjoyed at a picnic, shared with loved ones, or savoured during a solo lunch, this Potato and Cucumber Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing is a celebration of simplicity and sophistication. It's a testament to the magic that happens when humble ingredients are combined with care and creativity. Let me show you how to make it. Why you'll LOVE this Potato and Cucumber Salad Long-Lasting Freshness: The sturdy nature of potatoes and cucumbers means this salad holds up exceptionally well in the fridge. Even after a few days, the flavors remain robust, and the textures stay intact, ensuring a consistently delicious experience with each serving. Versatility in Serving: Whether you're portioning it out for lunch or dinner, this salad seamlessly adapts to different meal settings. Pair it with tofu, grilled chicken, fish, or your protein of choice for a well-balanced and satisfying meal that's ready to go. Time Efficiency: With a preparation time of just 15 minutes, you can efficiently assemble multiple servings for the week ahead. The minimal effort required for cutting and tossing is a game-changer when you're aiming for efficient and stress-free meal prepping. No Sacrifice on Flavour: Unlike some meal-prepped dishes that may lose their flavor over time, this salad actually benefits from some extra time in the fridge. The flavors meld, and the dressing infuses the ingredients, creating a more nuanced and delightful taste profile with each passing day. Meal Prep and Easy Grab-and-Go Option: When time is of the essence, having pre-prepared meals is a lifesaver. Grab a container of this salad from the fridge, and you're instantly equipped with a wholesome and tasty option, minimizing the temptation to opt for less healthy alternatives. Watch How to Make It Helpful Tips Boiling the Potatoes Whole: Whole potatoes absorb less water during the boiling process compared to peeled and diced potatoes. This is crucial for maintaining the desired texture of the salad; we want the potatoes to be tender but not waterlogged. Testing for Doneness and Cooling Before Cutting: Pierce the potatoes with a fork or sharp knife, to check for doneness. They should be easily pierced but not overly soft or mushy. Then, allow the boiled potatoes to slightly cool down before cutting. This makes them easier to handle, and the slight cooling period helps them retain their shape. Dill Dressing: Whisking the dressing, creates a creamy textured, and well-blended dressing. Simply make sure to adjust the quantities of lemon juice, salt, and pepper according to your taste preferences. The dressing should be balanced, with the lemon adding brightness and the salt enhancing the overall flavor. Optional Additions:  Sliced green or yellow capsicum can add bursts of color and freshness and toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds can provide a delightful crunch. Storage and Freshness: If planning to store the salad for an extended period, consider storing the dressing separately and adding it just before serving to maintain maximum freshness plus, if the salad has been refrigerated, give it a gentle toss before serving to redistribute the dressing and ensure all ingredients are well-coated. Meal Prep and Dividing the Dressing: If making multiple servings for meal prep, portion the dressing separately for each container to prevent overdressing. Other Potato Recipes You'll LOVE Cheesy Potato Cakes Potato and Tomato Mediterranean Bake Salmon and Buffalo Mozzarella Potato Gem Cups Sausage and Cheesy Mash Pie Artichokes with Potatoes and Peas Potato and Cucumber Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing Serves 6 as a side salad Makes 4 servings for meal prep Prep 15 minutes Cook 25 minutes INGREDIENTS Salad: 1kg white baby potatoes 2 Lebanese cucumbers, sliced thin 1 red onion sliced thin 1 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped Dressing: ½ cup fresh dill, finely, chopped ½ cup mayonnaise 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon cracked pepper INSTRUCTIONS 1. Prepare the potatoes: Add the potatoes with skins to a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Boil for 25 minutes, or until fork-tender, depending on the size of the baby potatoes. Once cooked, let them cool slightly and then cut into quarters or sixths. 2. Prepare the Vegetables: Thinly slice the Lebanese cucumbers and red onion, and chop the parsley leaves and dill. 3. Make the Dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the dill, mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, sea salt, and cracked pepper. Mix until the dressing is smooth and well combined. 4. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and chopped parsley. 5. Add Dressing, Toss, and Serve: Pour the creamy dill dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl. Gently toss the salad to ensure that all the ingredients are well coated. 6. Optional to Chill: Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to meld or optional to serve at room temperature. Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram  Pinterest  Facebook  TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos @CreateCookShare

  • Salmon and Buffalo Mozzarella Potato Gem Cups, gluten-free

    These Salmon and Buffalo Mozzarella Potato Gem Cups are crispy, cheesy, creamy and salty. The golden and crispy potato gems serve as the perfect vessel for a mouthwatering combination of buffalo mozzarella, smoked salmon, and fresh basil. This gluten-free recipe not only promises a visually appealing appetizer but also delivers a burst of satisfying taste in every bite. Come and make them with me! Perfect for entertaining guests or adding a touch of gourmet flair to your everyday meals, these savoury potato gem cups are a delicious and fun treat that promises to leave a lasting impression. Simple to prepare yet impressive in presentation, they're sure to become a favourite. Watch How to Make It Helpful Tips and FAQ Pressing the Potato Gems: When shaping the cups after the initial bake, use a glass or spoon to gently press down, creating a well-defined cup shape without flattening the gems too much. Adjusting the Portions: Adapt ingredient quantities if your muffin cups are smaller or larger to maintain a well-balanced flavor profile in each cup. Using fresh potatoes instead of frozen potato gems: While the frozen potato gems contribute to the crispy texture and convenience of this recipe, you can experiment with freshly grated potatoes. Ensure they are well-drained to achieve a similar texture. Substituting the salmon with a vegetarian option: Feel free to customize the filling based on your preferences. For vegetarian options, consider adding roasted vegetables or sautéed mushrooms as excellent alternatives. Making these Potato Gem Cups ahead of time for a party: Prepare the cups in advance and store them in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat them in the oven and add the fresh toppings just before serving to maintain their vibrant flavors and textures. Other Appetisers Spinach and Feta Pinwheels Olive and Halloumi Pinwheels Cheese and Tomato Mini Tartlets Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry Bites All Appetisers Salmon and Buffalo Mozzarella Potato Gem Cups Makes 16 Prep 10 minutes Cook 25 minutes 2 x Muffin Cup Tray with 8 cups in each measuring 7cm in diameter Note: If muffin cups are smaller or larger, adapt portions accordingly. INGREDIENTS 1 x 900g frozen potato gems (tater tots), gluten-free 2 x buffalo mozzarella, pulled apart into 16 pieces 150g Smoked salmon, cut into pieces 16 x Fresh basil leaves Olive oil or avocado oil spray Chilli flakes Freshly cracked pepper INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat and Prepare: Preheat oven to 220°C fan forced and spray each cup in the muffin tray with olive oil (brush as well if needed). 2.  Bake and Shape: Place 5 potato gems into each muffin cup (cups measure 7cm in diameter) and bake for 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and using at the bottom of a small glass cup that will fit into the muffin cups, press down and ‘mash’ the potato gems into a cup shape. 3. Cheese Infusion: Place a tablespoon of grated cheddar into each cup and bake for a further 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 3 minutes. 4. Layer and Garnish: Add and load into each potato gem cup some buffalo mozzarella, pieces of smoked salmon, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a leaf of fresh basil. Serve and enjoy! Note for Portion Adaptation: The number of potato gems in each muffin cup will depend on the size of the muffin cups. If your muffin cups are smaller or larger than the specified 7cm in diameter, feel free to adapt the portions accordingly to ensure the perfect balance of flavours in each bite. Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram  Pinterest  Facebook  TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos @CreateCookShare

  • Spaghetti with Home-Made Cashew Basil Pesto and Semi-Sundried Tomatoes, gluten-free

    This Spaghetti with Home-Made Cashew Basil Pesto offers a perfect balance of flavours with the nutty richness of cashews, the freshness of basil, the sweet-tartness of semi-sundried tomatoes and the savoury notes from parmesan cheese. It's an easy one-pot dinner that's gluten-free, healthy, quick to make and a family favourite. Let's Begin! It's the perfect dinner, easy entertaining dish or meal prep idea! Quick and Easy Preparation: The recipe involves simple steps and doesn't require extensive preparation or cooking time. This makes it suitable for busy weeknights when you may not have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. Minimal Ingredients: The recipe uses a handful of fresh and flavorful ingredients, making it easy to assemble without the need for a lengthy shopping list. This is convenient for weeknights when you may not have the time or inclination for complex recipes. One-Pot Dish: With the pasta and pesto combined, it's a one-pot meal. This means fewer dishes to wash, saving you time on cleanup and making the evening more relaxed. Versatile and Customizable: The recipe can be easily adapted based on what ingredients you have on hand. You can customize it by adding other vegetables, or protein sources, or adjusting the level of spiciness to suit your taste preferences. Satisfying and Flavorful: Despite its simplicity, the combination of fresh basil, cashews, Parmesan, and semi-sundried tomatoes creates a dish bursting with flavor. It's a satisfying and delicious meal that feels like a treat, making it perfect for turning a regular weeknight into a special dinner. Family-Friendly: The appeal of pasta is universal, making it a family-friendly option. The flavors in this dish are generally well-liked, making it a crowd-pleaser for both adults and children. Leftovers for Lunch or Meal Prep: If you have leftovers, this pasta dish can make a tasty and convenient lunch for the next day. It reheats well and can be packed for lunch at work. How to Make your Pasta Juicy! If you ever found your pesto pasta to be on the dry side, then make it juicier by using pasta water. The starchy pasta water can help create a creamy and cohesive sauce. Here's a simple breakdown of the process: As you mix the pesto with the cooked spaghetti, the pasta might absorb the sauce quickly, leaving you with a dry dish. The addition of a little pasta water, with its starch content, helps create a smoother, creamier texture, preventing the sauce from becoming overly thick or dry. The starches in the water form a cohesive bond with the pesto, allowing it to evenly coat each strand of spaghetti. Other Pasta Recipes 2-Ingredient Gluten-Free Fresh Pasta Creamy Ravioli Soup Creamy Mushroom Pasta One-Pot Lasagna Spaghetti with Home-Made Cashew Basil Pesto and Semi-Sundried Tomatoes, gluten-free Serves 4 Prep 15 minutes Cook 10 minutes INGREDIENTS 400-500g spaghetti, gluten-free ¾ cup home-made Cashew Basil Pesto ¾ cup semi-sundried tomatoes, chopped into strips Extra Virgin Olive Oil Parmesan Cheese Fresh Basil Leaves INSTRUCTIONS Cook the Spaghetti: Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package instructions. Keep 1/4 cup pasta water and then drain and set aside. Prepare the Cashew Basil Pesto: While the pasta is cooking, add the pesto ingredients to a food processor and combine. Combine Pasta with Pesto: Combine the cashew basil pesto and 1/4 cup of pasta water. Add Semi-Sundried Tomatoes and garnish: Gently fold in the chopped semi-sundried tomatoes, distributing them throughout the pasta. Drizzle a bit more extra virgin olive oil and garnish with additional fresh basil leaves and a generous sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan. Serve: Plate the spaghetti on individual serving dishes, serve and enjoy. Home-Made Cashew Basil Pesto Recipe - CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram  Pinterest  Facebook  TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos @CreateCookShare

  • Cashew Basil Pesto, gluten-free

    If you've ever tasted homemade pesto, then you'll never eat store-bought again, trust me. In just a matter of minutes, you can whip up this luscious Cashew Basil Pesto, which is a blend of fresh basil, roasted cashews, parmesan cheese, garlic, and fresh lemon juice that will leave your taste buds dancing. It's perfect for pasta, steaks, grilled chicken, sandwiches, salads, and more. Let's dive into the world of flavors with this homemade delight! Why use Cashews for this Basil Pesto? Creamy Texture: Cashews have a naturally creamy texture when blended, creating a velvety and smooth consistency in the pesto. This adds a luxurious mouthfeel to the sauce, making it satisfying and enjoyable. Mild, Nutty Flavor: Cashews have a mild and slightly sweet nutty flavor that complements the peppery freshness of basil and the savory notes of Parmesan cheese. This combination creates a well-balanced pesto that is rich and flavorful. Nutritional Benefits: Cashews are a good source of healthy fats, protein, and essential nutrients like magnesium and copper. Including cashews in your pesto not only adds flavor but also contributes to the nutritional profile of the dish. Accessibility and Affordability: Cashews are widely available and tend to be more affordable compared to some other nuts. This makes cashews a practical choice for those looking to create a delicious pesto without breaking the bank. How to store Cashew Basil Pesto Refrigerator: After making the Cashew Basil Pesto, fill a sterilised jar to almost the very top. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and seal closed to keep the pesto green. This can keep for a few months in the fridge if you continue to cover the top with olive to keep the herbs fresh. Freezer: If you decide to make a large batch, then transfer to a freezer bag (s). Freeze flat, and break off chunks of pesto to use whenever you need it. When you need larger quantities defrost the entire bag. Favourite Ways to use Cashew Basil Pesto Pasta Sauce: Toss cooked pasta with a generous amount of cashew basil pesto for a quick and delicious pasta dish. Spread for Sandwiches and Wraps: Use cashew basil pesto as a spread for sandwiches and wraps. It adds a burst of flavor to cold or grilled sandwiches, giving them a gourmet touch. Try it with grilled chicken, turkey, or roasted vegetable sandwiches. Pizza Sauce: Instead of traditional tomato sauce, spread cashew basil pesto on your pizza crust as a flavorful alternative. Top with your favorite cheeses, veggies, and proteins for a unique and delicious pizza. Dip for Vegetables and Bread: Serve cashew basil pesto as a dip for fresh vegetables, breadsticks, or crusty bread. It's perfect for entertaining guests. Salad Dressing: Mix cashew basil pesto with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice to create a tasty salad dressing. Drizzle it over a green salad, pasta salad, or roasted vegetable salad for an extra layer of flavor. Protein Enhancer: Use cashew basil pesto as a marinade or sauce for grilled or roasted proteins. It pairs well with chicken, shrimp, salmon, or even tofu, adding a rich and herby flavor. Stir into Risotto or Quinoa: Stir cashew basil pesto into risotto or cooked quinoa for a vibrant and flavorful side dish. It adds depth to the dish and complements the nuttiness of the grains. Baked or Grilled Vegetables: Coat your favorite vegetables with cashew basil pesto before baking or grilling. The pesto infuses the vegetables with a savory flavor, making them a tasty side dish or standalone appetizer. Eggs and Breakfast Dishes: Swirl cashew basil pesto into scrambled eggs, omelets, or frittatas for a gourmet breakfast experience. It adds a burst of flavor to your morning routine. Grain Bowl Topping: Drizzle cashew basil pesto over grain bowls, such as quinoa or rice bowls, to add a burst of flavor and elevate the overall dish. What to pair this Cashew Basil Pesto with? Parmesan Chicken Tenderloins - add to the chicken or salad for extra flavour and juiciness. Cashew Basil Pesto Pasta - a simple yet flavour-packed weeknight dinner. Steak 'n' Chips Tray Bake - the perfect savoury topper to steak and chips. Crispy Gnocchi Tray Bake - drizzle over each bowl of gnocchi for a Mediterranean twist. Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb - ditch the other sauces and try roasted lamb with this pesto instead! Cashew Basil Pesto Prep 5 minutes Process 1 minute Produces 1 ½ cups INGREDIENTS 2 packed cups fresh wide-leaf basil leaves, washed, dried, and stems removed ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil, light ¾ cup roasted (not salted) cashews ¼ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated 2 large garlic cloves, cut into quarters 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice ½ teaspoon pepper ½ teaspoon sea salt INSTRUCTIONS 1. Prepare to add to the food processor: In a food processor, start by layering the ingredients for optimal blending. Begin with the roasted cashews, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper. 2. Adding the parmesan, basil, and olive oil: Add the freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top of the initial ingredients. Then, pack in the fresh basil leaves, ensuring they are washed, dried, and free of stems. Finish off the layering process by pouring the extra virgin olive oil over the basil leaves. This order helps achieve a smooth and consistent texture. 3. Process until smooth and store: Process the ingredients in the food processor until you achieve the desired texture and consistency. Stop and scrape down the sides if necessary to ensure everything is well incorporated. Once the pesto has reached a creamy perfection, transfer it into a sterilized jar and add a thin layer of olive oil on the top so the pesto is not exposed to air. This delicious concoction can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Note on Olive Oil: Keep in mind that olive oil may solidify in the refrigerator. If this happens, simply leave the pesto out at room temperature for about 10 minutes before using. Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram  Pinterest  Facebook  TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos @CreateCookShare

  • Ricotta and Prosciutto Potato Gem Cups, gluten-free

    These Ricotta and Prosciutto Potato Gem Cups are crispy and cheesy, filled with flavour, gluten-free and perfect as an appetiser, snack, or lunch option. Featuring a crispy Potato Gem base, each cup is generously filled with melted cheddar, creamy ricotta, savoury prosciutto strips, and juicy cherry tomatoes. Every bite makes these cups irresistibly tasty. Come and make them with me! Whether you're hosting a gathering or treating yourself to a flavourful snack, these cups are sure to be a hit. Easy to make and visually appealing, they showcase that gluten-free appetisers can be delicious and indulgent. Watch How to Make It These Ricotta and Prosciutto Potato Gem Cups will be the first appetisers to disappear at a party or from the kitchen table because they're so much to eat! Who doesn't love bites of fried potato goodness? Helpful Tips and FAQ Pressing the Potato Gems: When shaping the cups after the initial bake, use a glass or spoon to gently press down, creating a well-defined cup shape without flattening the gems too much. Adjusting the Portions: Adapt ingredient quantities if your muffin cups are smaller or larger to maintain a well-balanced flavor profile in each cup. Using fresh potatoes instead of frozen potato gems: While the frozen potato gems contribute to the crispy texture and convenience of this recipe, you can experiment with freshly grated potatoes. Ensure they are well-drained to achieve a similar texture. Substituting the prosciutto with a vegetarian option: Feel free to customize the filling based on your preferences. For a vegetarian options, consider adding roasted vegetables or sautéed mushrooms are excellent alternatives. Making these Potato Gem Cups ahead of time for a party: Prepare the cups in advance and store them in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat them in the oven and add the fresh toppings just before serving to maintain their vibrant flavors and textures. Other Appetisers Spinach and Feta Pinwheels Olive and Halloumi Pinwheels Cheese and Tomato Mini Tartlets Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry Bites All Appetisers Ricotta and Prosciutto Potato Gem Cups, gluten-free Makes 16 Prep 10 minutes Cook 25 minutes 2 x Muffin Cup Tray with 8 cups in each measuring 7cm in diameter Note: If muffin cups are smaller or larger, adapt portions accordingly. INGREDIENTS 1 x 900g frozen potato gems (tater tots), gluten-free 1 cup (100g) Cheddar or tasty cheese, grated ½ cup (100g) Ricotta cheese 8 slices of shaved prosciutto, pulled apart into strips 8 cherry tomatoes, cut in to quarters Microgreens or baby rocket to garnish Olive oil or avocado oil spray Freshly cracked pepper INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat and Prepare: Preheat oven to 220°C fan forced and spray each cup in the muffin tray with olive oil (brush as well if needed). 2.  Bake and Shape: Place 5 potato gems into each muffin cup (cups measure 7cm in diameter) and bake for 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and using at the bottom of a small glass cup that will fit into the muffin cups, press down and ‘mash’ the potato gems into a cup shape. 3. Cheese Infusion: Place a tablespoon of grated cheddar into each cup and bake for a further 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 3 minutes. 4. Layer and Garnish: Add and load into each potato gem cup a teaspoon of ricotta, strips of prosciutto, diced tomatoes, a few microgreens, sprouts or baby rocket to garnish. Season with pepper and serve. Note for Portion Adaptation: The number of potato gems in each muffin cup will depend on the size of the muffin cups. If your muffin cups are smaller or larger than the specified 7cm in diameter, feel free to adapt the portions accordingly to ensure the perfect balance of flavours in each bite. Have you tried this recipe? Share it with me at @createcookshare on Instagram  Pinterest  Facebook  TikTok YouTube Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos @CreateCookShare

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