Give me a hearty salad over a limp-looking lettuce and tomato concoction any day!
This salad is certainly filling enough to serve as a main meal. We’re talking:
- Nutty red rice (replace with wild or brown rice if you prefer)
- Smoky paprika fried chickpeas
- Hard boiled eggs
- Chunks of perfectly ripe avocado
- A creamy goats cheese dressing
Plus tonnes of other goodies to give you that rainbow of veg (and fruit!) that makes you feel, well, healthy!
I’m totally into my salads now that the weather’s warming up.
Since reaching my weight loss goal (I’ve lost a stone over the past couple of months), I’ve been working really hard to make sure healthier eating and getting plenty of exercise becomes a routine. For me this involves:
- Exercising at least 4 times a week (usually a mix of jogging and HIIT, with some occasional weights or yoga thrown in)
- Eating a healthy, filling breakfast and lunch (usually weetabix/granola with berries or a smoothie for breakfast and a salad with meat/fish, couscous and hummus for lunch)
- Having one or two snacks during the daytime (nuts, a protein bar or a few chunks of chocolate)
- A tasty homemade dinner – whatever I like, so long as it has some veggies and I don’t go back for second helpings!
- A 14-hour fast every day. That might sound a little strange, but really all it means is that I don’t snack after dinner. If I finish dinner at 7pm, I don’t eat until 9am the next day. it was difficult for the first couple of weeks, but I’m pretty used to it now. It’s something I learned from Alexa Schirm’s podcast Simple Roots Radio (episode 6 – The Science of Intermittent Fasting). The fast gives my body time to digest food, stops me overeating, and means my body isn’t going through that rollercoaster of releasing insulin constantly – which can have an impact on fat burning (I’m certainly not a doctor or nutritionist, so check out Alexa’s podcast if you want more info).
- A couple of cheat meals at the weekend (meals out or a couple of glasses of wine and a dessert)
I feel like this is flexible enough so that I can enjoy life without feeling restricted all the time. Hopefully that means I won’t throw it all in and go back to lazing on the sofa with large bars of chocolate or homemade cakes several times a week!
This salad is one of those healthy-but-filling meals I can enjoy for lunch or dinner without feeling like I’m on a diet.
My Cobb salad first appeared in Superfood Magazine
- 100g (1/2 cup) red carmargue rice (use regular wild rice if you prefer)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 200g (½ tin) cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp cumin
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced
- 10 red seedless grapes
- ¼ red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
- ¼ green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
- ¼ yellow bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ¼ cucumber, chopped
- ¼ small red onion, peeled and chopped finely
- ½ ripe avocado, de-stoned and chopped
- 2 hard boiled eggs, shelled and sliced
- Goat Cheese Dressing:
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
- 100g (3.5 oz) soft goat cheese (you may need to check the brand if you want to ensure it's vegetarian)
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp cold water (optional)
- Cook the rice in boiling water for 30 minutes until tender. Drain and put to one side.
- Heat the oil in a small frying pan on a medium heat. When hot add the drained chickpeas and cook for 5-6 minutes – tossing every couple of minutes – until the chickpeas start to brown. Sprinkle on the smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper, toss together and cook for a further minute, then remove from the heat.
- Cover the bottom of a large serving bowl with the sliced romaine lettuce. Starting from the middle, spoon a line of chickpeas from one side of the bowl to the other. Place the apples, grapes, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, avocado, sliced egg and cooked rice in strips on either side of the chickpeas.
- To make the dressing, place the vinegar, Greek yogurt and goat cheese in a bowl and whisk together using a balloon whisk. Add in the honey and olive oil and whisk again until smooth. Season to taste. If you would like the dressing to be thinner, add in the cold water and whisk again before serving with the salad.