Today is the first day of Spring. To welcome the new season, we’re celebrating with food that is deliciously fresh and wholesome. Of course this doesn’t mean bland leafy vegetables, but robust salad bowls crammed with texture and rainbow coloured goodness. My Spelt chicken salad is a Bibbyskitchen favourite.
Here’s what to expect from our nourish bowl:
– Spelt, an Ancient grain with a nutty flavour and chewy texture, rich in dietary fibre, protein and vitamins
– Roast chicken, lean protein and conveniently roasted by Woolworths
– Roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, a good source of plant based omega-3’s
– Salty feta, because seriously, anything with cheese is just better!
– Tiny cherry tomatoes, sweet and juicy vitamin – C booster
– Super-sprouts, with a good dose of vitamins and minerals
– Roast butternut, because butternut is at home everywhere.
– Mixed lettuce, rocket, basil and parsley for a herby freshness
All this awesomeness is tossed with a zesty lemon, wholegrain mustard and honey dressing. The honey and mustard dressing is versatile and adaptable. I’ll often add finely chopped herbs, crushed garlic or chilli.
NOTE : If you can’t find spelt, bulgur wheat, barley or wild rice will do equally well.
Spelt Chicken Salad
3/4 cup spelt
2 tablespoons olive oil
500g butternut, cut into 2cm cubes
1/3 cup mixed bean sprouts
2 cups roast chicken, roughly chopped
250g cherry tomatoes, whole or halved
100g feta, broken into chunks
1 bag (20g) rocket
1/2 bag mixed salad leaves
generous handful basil and flat leaf parsley
1/4 toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds
zest of half a lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
salt and black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 200º C. Spread the butternut out onto a greased baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast for 35 minutes until tender and tinged gold around the edges. Set aside to cool.
Rinse the spelt thoroughly and place in a saucepan. Cover with 2 cups of water, add 1/4 teaspoon salt and boil for 30 minutes until soft. Drain off any excess water.
In a pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil and pan-fry the bean sprouts on a high heat for several minutes. Season lightly with a pinch of sea salt. Gather the parsley, basil and rocket together and chop finely. Cut the mixed salad leaves into 1cm wide shreds. For the dressing, place all the ingredients in a jam jar and shake together.
Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, pour over the dressing and toss together to coat. Rest for about 15 minutes to allow the flavours to be absorbed by the spelt. Serve at room temperature with extra seeds scattered on top.
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