Spelt salad with cranberries and radish
How often do you read all those ingredient labels on the foods you buy packaged? Never? Do you study them meticulously for any weird ingredients or do you just go with the thought that if it’s in a bottle it must be checked and good for you? I would like to say I am of the first variety but truth be told I think I am probably sort of in the middle of those two extremes. Not too long ago we ate quite a bit from packages, we used premade mixes for curries or whatever else we were eating. I think I told you that before already. However, I can say that over the last couple of years we have started to eat more and more wholefoods. Getting the entire vegetable instead of the pre-cut, pre-washed plastic bags. it’s a lot cheaper for one and it stays fresh for an infinitely longer time too.
But if I look very closely at our food pattern then I can’t really say that we never eat out of a can, pot or package. I try to avoid it but sometimes convenience wins over common sense and I quickly grab a jar of pasta sauce so I know we can have a meal on the table in under 20 minutes. But when I read about the October Unprocessed challenge on the blog Eating Rules by Andrew Wilder I was intrigued. In it’s basic form the challenge is simple; go without processed foods for an entire month. Sounds simple right? After only one day though, I am starting to think it is really not as easy as all that. Let’s take today’s salad for example; I used spelt, fresh veggies and my own homemade mayonaise. All good there. But then comes the halloumi cheese; I wish I could say that I made this halloumi myself but I’m not there yet. That’s one of the challenges for October!
And I threw away the package so I can’t really check what they put in it. I like to think that it is processed with natural ingredients, natural bacteria to get the process going etc. But that’s probably wishful thinking. But aside from that little hiccup, I think I’ve done pretty well today. Made a cauliflower risotto for dinner and I’ve decided that some of the processed foods are just a necessity. Can you consider wine to be a processed food? God, the longer I think about it, the more I get confused… I think for me – and let’s face it – if I feel good about it, then that’s what counts right? For me not eating or buying processed foods is all in the additives and whatever else they put into foods these days. On Eating Rules it is mentioned that if you cannot make it yourself then that probably means it is processed. So if I can make cheese myself and I can make wine myself, I’ll be alright? Doesn’t mean I will be making my own wine though… There’s gotta be a limit to what I can do in a day/month/hour…
What I can tell you is that this spelt salad is not only good for you, but it is quick and delicious too. Well quick if you use precooked spelt or if you’ve taken all the soaking and cooking required for the spelt into account.. I made the salad up as I went along, checking contents of the fridge and deciding what else to throw in and let me tell you; it was so good I ate the whole batch. That was a little too much for one but I couldn’t resist… I am sure I will be making more of this!
I was initially thinking of adding some roasted nuts in as well but that would have been overkill. Spelt is quite nutty in itself and I love the structure of this grain. I can’t remember having had it before but I will put it on the menu more often. And maybe I should attempt that Delicious. recipe after all.
So tell me how YOU feel about eating processed foods? How do you keep it under control? Obsessively or with a loose ‘hand’? Curious to find out your success stories in this!
Spelt salad with cranberries, halloumi and radish
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
if you're using the spelt that is not pre-cooked make sure you take the soaking and boiling time into account with this salad. The spelt has to soak for 12 hrs and then boil for an hour to be edible. I used precooked spelt which only takes 10 minutes to finish
- 100 gr spelt
- 5 radishes
- 25 gr dried cranberries
- 2 spring onions
- 75 gr halloumi cheese
- 1-2 sprigs flat leaf parsley
For the dressing;
- 1-2 tbsp of mustard mayonaise (I made this myself, see note)
- juice of half a lemon
Start by boiling your spelt. Drain and let cool down.
Cut the halloumi into cubes and fry them in hot sunflower oil until golden brown. This goes very quickly so stay with it for best results. Leave to drain on kitchen paper. Cut your spring onion in slices, cut the radishes in slices and chop your cranberries a little smaller. Chop your parsley.
Mix the cooled down spelt with the cranberries, the radishes, the springonion and the parsley.
Making the dressing:
For the mustard mayonaise I used regular mayonaise ingredients but added a bit more mustard in it. I then mixed two tablespoons of that mayonaise with lemon juice and added pepper and salt to taste.
Recipe by Simone van den Berg