Cracked Wheat and Mint Salad
250g/1 2/3 cups cracked wheat
4 small courgettes, thinly sliced lengthways
4 spring onions sliced
8 dried apricots chopped
40g/1/4 cup raisins
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp tomato juice
1 garlic clove
crushed salt and pepper
fresh mint to garnish
Put the cracked wheat into a large bowl. Add enough boiling water to come 2.5cm/1in above the level of the wheat. Leave to soak for 30 mins then drain and squeeze out any excess water in a clean dish towel. Meanwhile, plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for 1 minute and then into cold water. Slip off the skins. Halve, remove the seems and cores and roughly chop the flesh. Stir the chopped tomatoes, courgettes, spring onions, apricots and raisins into the cracked wheat. Put the lemon and tomato juice, mint, garlic clove and seasoning into a small bowl and whisk together with a fork. Pour over the salad and mix well. chill for at least 1 hour. Serve with fresh mint garnish.
Per portion: 293 cals and 1.69 g fat.
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Fresh fig, apple and date salad
Energy per portion: 255 cals
Saturated fat: 1.05g
Cholesterol 2.25 mg
1. Core the apples. Slice thinly, then cut into fine matchsticks. Moisten with temon juice to keep them white.
2. Remove the stones from the dates and cut the flesh into strips, then combine with the apple.
3. Soften the marzipan with orange flower water and combine with the yoghurt. Mix well.
4. Pile the apples and dates in the centre of four plates. Remove the stem from each of the figs and divide the fruit into quarters without cutting right through the base. Squeeze the base with the thumb and forefinger of each hand to open up the fruit.
5. Place a fig in the centre of each salad, Spoon the yogurt filling on to the figs and decorate each one with a toasted almond.
Tip: For a stronger almond flavour, add a few drops of almond essence to the goyurt mixture. When buying fresh figs, make sure they're firm and unblemished and give slightly when squeezed lightly.
Pineapple and ginger noodle salad
Energy per portion: 350 cals
Saturated fat: 0.05g
Cholesterol 0 mg
1. Cook the noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender, following the directions on the packet. Drain, then refresh under cold water and drain again.
2. Place the pineapple rings in a flameproof dish, sprinkle with 2 tbsp of the sugar and grill for about 5 mins, or until golden. Cool slightly and cut into small dice.
3. Mix the lime juice, coconut milk and fish sauce in a salad bowl. Add the remaining brown sugar, withthe ginger and grlic, and whisk well. Add the noodles and pineapple.
4. Add the mango or peaches to the bowl, season and toss well. Scatter over the spring onions, chillies and mint leaves before serving.
Tip: If fresh pineapple isn't available, use 4-6 canned pineapple rings in fruit juice. And if you haven't got any fresh garlic, use 2 tsp ready-minced garlic instead. Choose ripe mangoes that have a smooth, unblemished skin and give slightly when you squeeze them gently.
Marinated cucumber salad
Energy per portion: 111 cals
Saturated fat: 0.01g
1. Slice the cucumbers and place in a colander, sprinkling salt between each layer. Put the colander over a bowl and leave to drain for 1 hr.
2. Thoroughly rinse the cucumber under cold running water to remove excess salt, then pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
3. Gently heat the sugar, cider and vinegar in a saucepan, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
4. Put the cucumber slices in a bowl, pour over the cider mixture and leave to marinate for about 2 hours.
5. Drain the cucumber and sprinkle with dill and pepper. Mix well and serve.