Blood Orange is the new snack: try it in a beetroot salad

Lilly Higgins: It’s a winning combination having a base, protein and pop of colour and flavour from herbs or a star ingredient like blood orange

 

Blood oranges are fabulously dramatic. They bring a burst of welcome colour and juiciness to dark evening meals. I usually just eat them as a snack or dessert. They do make strikingly beautiful upside-down cakes though and a few slices placed on top of brownie batter is so gorgeous.

I’m using blood oranges to add oomph to an earthy beetroot salad this week. Served at room temperature it’s the perfect healthy dinner or lunch.

This salad happens to be vegan too. It is delicious, perfectly balanced with protein, fibre, carbohydrates and brimming with antioxidants. I’ve previously served this with a handful of crumbled salty feta and I can imagine it being the perfect salad to serve alongside lamb. A handful of toasted hazelnuts can bring some extra texture too. You can buy precooked beetroot but I like to roast my own. I’ve gotten into the habit of cooking a few things at once in preparation for future meals.

On a Sunday when I’m roasting potatoes I’ll add halved aubergines to the oven and make Baba ghanoush with them for during the week or roast beetroot for a salad or dip. It’s made preparing meal times so much faster.

I’ve been tucking sweet potatoes onto trays along side apple tarts to bake happily. Baked sweet potatoes have many uses. From dips, spreads, mashes or just splitting and filling like a regular baked potato.

You could also scoop out the sweet fluffy interior and make a delicious soup in minutes by blending it with coconut milk and ginger. Cooking a base like quinoa, brown rice or barley is another great way to get ahead when it comes to meal planning.

Then all you need do is add a fresh dressing, some herbs and something protein rich like egg, salmon, hemp hearts or nuts. It’s a winning combination having a base, protein and pop of colour and flavour from herbs or a star ingredient like blood orange. It may seem a bit formulaic but I think it’s the key to meal planning and avoiding food waste.

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