Butternut, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad with Pumpkin Seeds

Butternut, Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad with Pumpkin Seeds
I'm still sharing recipes on Patrick's blog while he is short on spare time. Last week I blogged about meals we had at Strathmore Arms in Scotland.

This week I am sharing a meal we had at The Lookout Deck - Hout Bay in Cape Town. It's a bit of a mantra with us. Finding good food when eating out as a vegetarian is nigh impossible.

The big issue is that most vegetarian meals do not replace the protein when they remove the meat. Protein is what keeps you full and is essential for repair and maintenance in the body. Read more - here.

The groundbreaking study which culminated in the book - The China Study - argues that protein requirements are over rated. Bill Clinton bought into it and turned vegan. He apparently inspired Michelle Pfeiffer.

We know that animal sources of protein are not the best due to their high amounts of saturated fat. But you try snacking on a few carrot sticks, and later, on a handful of almonds to know which one leaves you feeling fuller after an hour or three. Making sure you get protein at each meal is what stops you piling into fast food and junk food when your sugar levels drop.

Anyway, on to this week's meal. I came up with what I think the recipe was for this meal. Here it is.

Serves 2

Ingredients: -

a large handful of baby spinach leaves
2 cups roasted, diced butternut
about three sliced medium tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbed blue cheese
handful of toasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup vinaigrette dressing

Method: -

1. Roughly tear the spinach leaves and arrange onto a dinner plate.
2. Top with half the sliced tomatoes and 1 cup of roast butternut.
3. Sprinkle half the blue cheese over each salad.
4. Top each salad with half the toasted pumpkin seeds.
5. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.

Notes: -

Instead of heating the whole oven to toast a handful of seeds, you can dry roast then in a frying pan. For a bit of extra flavour you can sprinkle a tiny bit of brown sugar and allow it to caramelise with the nuts. Or you can add a small amount of grape seed oil and curry powder. Lightly saute the nuts or seeds in the curried oil to add extra flavour.

You can cook your butternut or pumpkin in a microwave oven to make this salad in a if you are pressed for time. It won't have a crispy slow baked flavour but it will still taste good. I often cut a butternut in half and par cook it in the microwave. I remove it and stuff it with whatever and finish cooking it in the microwave oven. Or just sprinkle it with grated strong cheese for a meal in a flash.

Visit the recipe page - here - for lots of meat free, low carb meal ideas.

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