Big Magic Jewelled Salad of Roast Pumpkin, Rainbow Chard, Pomegranate & Feta

big-magic-jeweled-saladIf you’ve ever considered yourself the creative type, the question, ‘what the hell am I doing?’ has almost surely crossed your mind. In Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest novel, Big Magic, she speaks right to the heart, answering any and every doubt in the deepest, darkest part of that creative mind. Not a corner remains untouched, as Gilbert confronts every trait, tendency and pattern that is part of, if not paramount to, the creative process.

On a personal note, I have many times asked myself what the point of creating all these beautiful healthy salads is. And if, in fact there is any point at all. I’ve come to crossroads time and time again and often considered throwing in the towel. To the contrary, when it comes to working with clients, the point clear, I’m completely fulfilled by their transformations and progress, inspired to the point of losing myself in the moment. The end game is clear. But when it comes to creativity, Gilbert suggests that there is perhaps, no end game at all. Gilbert contests, despite the sense of comfort and affirmation awarded form accolades and recognition, ultimately, this will neither fulfil nor sustain creativity. It is perhaps rather, in those moments of creating, when time stands still and your senses are captivated, that the ultimate experience occurs, Big Magic itself. And this salad below is my kind of Big Magic. Big Magic from me to you xx

epic-jeweled-salad

Big Magic Jewelled Salad of Roast Pumpkin, Rainbow Chard, Pomegranate & Feta
Recipe by Shelley Kamil

Ingredients
(Serves 2 generously)

3-4 Large Rainbow Chard leaves, shredded and blanched (regular chard / silver beet will suffice)
2 handfuls spinach
2 handfuls mixed leaves
1 cob of corn, blanched and sliced off the cob
2 radishes, finely sliced
60grams Goats Feta, crumbled
1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried
1.25 cups cooked quinoa
Roast Pumpkin pieces (leftover and reheated in oven is easiest)
1/2 pomegranate, seeded
3tbs White Balsamic Vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
Sea Salt to taste

Directions
1. Cook quinoa as per pack. Rinse and drain quinoa prior to cooking. My general rule is 2.75 cups of boiling water to 1 cup quinoa. Simmer until cooked, approximately 10 – 15 minutes. Set aside 1.25 cups of cooked quinoa and allow to cool for salad.
2. To assemble salad, divide the spinach, mixed leaves and rainbow chard between two serving bowls. Top with roast pumpkin pieces, chickpeas, radishes and corn. Sprinkle with feta and pomegranates.
3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Drizzle over the two salad bowls, season with sea salt and enjoy xx

Charred Broccoli & Brown Rice Salad

Charred Broccoli Brown Rice Salad
I’m a massive fan of greens, not only for being nutritional power houses, but because I genuinely find them delicious, even crave them. I’ve often thought how strange that may sound, but my theory is, the more real, whole food you eat, the more your body craves it. And the more your body craves it, the more you come to listen to and understand what your own body needs. Nutritional content aside, I have a husband and some little kids to sell my theory to, so I’m always finding delicious and different ways to prepare them. This recipe’s not really for the little people, unless they have quite developed pallets and have acquired a taste for garlic and green olives. In our house, a colourful array of fresh veggies, some extra plain rice and the same Japanese Grilled Salmon we served alongside the Charred Broccoli dish did the trick for the kids. As usual, a recipe from Donna Hay never fails to impress, however, I have tweaked it to make it extra clean and healthy.

Charred Broccoli & Brown Rice Salad
Adapted form Donna Hay, by Shelley Kamil

Ingredients
Serves 2-3
¾ cup brown rice (I used 2 cups of cooked rice)
1 clove garlic
1tsp ground cumin
1tbs olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Sea salt and pepper
1 head broccoli, sliced
10-12 Sicilian green olives, pitted and sliced
2tbs pine nuts, toasted
Dressing
1tbs olive oil
2tbs apple cider vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
1tsp honey
1 long red chili, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
2tbs toasted pine nuts to serve (optional)
½ avocado, sliced, to serve

Directions
1. Cook the brown rice as per instructions on pack. A ratio of 3:1 water to rice usually works, cook on a low flame for 20-25 minutes, season water with sea salt or good quality vegetable stock.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Add the sliced broccoli and toss to combine. Heat a non-stick char grill pan over medium heat and then add the broccoli mixture. Char grill the broccoli on either side for 4-5 minutes or until tender.
3. To assemble the salad, combine the brown rice, half the dressing, pine nuts and olives in a serving bowl and toss to combine. To serve, top with the broccoli mixture, avocado and a drizzle of the remaining dressing.

Red Quinoa, Lemony Chicken & Herb Salad In a Flash

Red Quinoa Lemony Chicken Herb Salad ShelleyKRecipes

Ok let’s talk Red Quinoa and whipping up salads whilst kids are around or for a quick pack-me-up work lunch. First, red quinoa, it has one of the highest protein contents of all grains. Though eaten in place of grains, quinoa is actually a plant, a derivative of the rhubarb family to be precise. Add to that, it’s high in iron and a good source of fibre, zinc and folate. In terms of prepping the salad; Grilled Lemon and Herb Chicken is a great dish in its own right, make a little extra, shred the leftovers and throw it in a bowl with cooked red quinoa, green beans and red capsicum and you’re on your way. . .  Full recipe below, quick, easy and bursting with oxidants and nutrients xx

Red Quinoa, Lemony Chicken & Herb Salad
Recipe by Shelley Kamil

Ingredients
Serves 2

1 Free range chicken fillet, grilled with lemon and herbs then shredded
2 cups cooked red quinoa
1/2 capsicum, finely diced
Handful green beans, blanched, finely diced
2 handfuls mixed leaved
1 zucchini, shaved
Juice of 1 lemon
12 walnuts, crushed
4tbs pomegranates
Sea Salt to taste
1/2 avocado, sliced, optional

Directions
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine quinoa, shredded chicken, beans, capsicum and zucchini plus a good squeeze of lemon juice, then mix together thoroughly. Add the mixed leaves and mix together once more.
2. Transfer to serving bowls and top each bowl with walnuts and pomegranates, sea salt to taste, an extra squeeze of lemon juice plus a side of avocado if using xx