Winter salad

On Thursday, Tom and I went to see the legend that is David Gray at a small, intimate gig at The Emmanual Centre in Pimlico. Before the gig we stopped off at one of the pubs on Tom’s list of must-visit drinking establishments. Along with our drinks, we succumbed to their awesome looking burgers.

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I had no regrets, it was delicious, but Friday came and I felt the need for a healthy dinner. And yet, I still wanted a meal that was filling and full of flavour. I decided to make a warming winter salad of spinach leaves, crispy bacon, roasted butternut squash, crumbled feta and toasted pine nuts.

I love this salad and I’m definitely going to be making it again – you get the saltiness of the bacon, the crunch from the pine nuts, the freshness of the spinach leaves and the creaminess of the squash and feta. It also looks wonderful, with the bright rich orange against the deep green of the spinach: wonderfully inviting on a miserable, rainy night.

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Bacon and Comté Salad

Tom and I have been doing the Hairy Bikers’ diet for just over two months now and it’s been so effective and easy for us to stick to. Between us we’ve lost 2 and a half stone and I feel so much better: more healthy and happy with my body. Tom was really pleased when he had to go out and buy new trousers as all his old pairs are far too big now!

We haven’t been perfect on the diet, but I think there’s always going to be a day when you can’t help eating something a bit unhealthy, especially for Tom – he has a lot of corporate lunches and evening drinks to go to with work – but generally the diet has been really good and the food is delicious!

Last week Tom made us a really tasty bacon salad and used some of the delicious Comté cheese we bought at Borough Market. I love salad, you can just throw in whatever you have in the fridge, building up all the lettuce, cucumber, spinach leaves etc and then top it with whatever boost of flavour you fancy – chicken, bacon, ham, toasted pine nuts, torn up chunks of bread, olives, cheeses etc – easy, delicious and healthy!

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Creme fraiche chicken with leftover shredded gammon

Tonight we’re having chicken with left-over gammon, cherry tomatoes, onion, and mushrooms in a low-fat creme fraiche sauce – tasty and healthy! It’s Summer-in-Winter chicken – a recipe from Mary Cadogan with a few additions of extra veg and anything I have leftover in the fridge!

Served with a small portion of baked beans, for Tom, and some sweetcorn on the side – delicious and incredibly quick! It’s a great recipe to have on hand as you can edit it to fit whatever you have in the cupboard/fridge and to use up leftovers.

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Use a pastry brush to lightly cover the pan with a small amount of olive oil and then fry the onions,
later adding the mushrooms and the chicken – don’t forget to season – we got some delicious salt pinch pots for Christmas – onion salt, garlic salt and chili salt – so good!

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Once the chicken is cooked through add the leftover gammon (or fry up 2 rashers of bacon) and
then add the halved cherry tomato

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Once the tomatoes have started to show a touch of colour and the edges are turning, add
2 tablespoons of creme fraiche and stir through

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Make sure everything is cooked through and then serve – if on a diet/health kick serve with some salad,
or green beans, otherwise you could serve with some new potatoes

Despite using leftovers in this meal, thanks to our cut-down on portion sizes, we’ve still got leftovers. So I’ve made me and Tom salads for lunch using the leftover chicken and gammon. Yum!

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