dinners parties + brightly coloured salad

11 January 2013

Anyone who knows me knows that I love hosting dinner parties.  Any chance to have friends and family over together to enjoy fresh, homemade foods excites me.  Last night I had the pleasure of cooking for my boyfriend Tom’s parents.  I wanted to make something classic and comforting, and finally decided on a version of coq au vin with organic chicken, local purple carrots and heaps of wonderful fresh herbs.  With baked fresh that day kamut and spelt bread to soak up the bubbling stew, all that I needed to balance out the warming winter meal was a bright, fresh salad.  A quick look around the kitchen for simple ingredients I had on hand (ok, I admit I did buy the frisee in anticipation, no one just has this lettuce just hanging out in their crisper), and voila- a healthy salad with bold flavours created in just a few minutes.  Tossed with a quick Dijon vinaigrette, it was the perfect complement to our rich, deep-hued chicken dish.

Orange, Radish and Pistachio Salad

Orange, radish and pistacchio salad

  • 3 oranges (I used 1 blood and 2 navel but you can use any combination, in segments)
  • 1 head frisee
  • 5 radishes thinly sliced (a mandolin works best to get nice thin slices)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped pistachios
  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  1. To make the dressing combine 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, add a spoonful of dijon, sea salt and pepper in a jar and shake. (I can not tell you exact amounts because I never know how much I use. Use this a rough guideline, but taste as you go and add accordingly)
  2. Layer all of your other ingredients on top of the frisee
  3. Toss with dressing and serve


To finish off our evening, Tom’s mom was kind enough to bring a dessert.  But instead of a traditional high sugar, butter and flour treat, she went out of her comfort zone, attempting (and perfecting!)  a holistic banana dark chocolate soufflé with all organic ingredients, including a touch of cane sugar for a just the right amount of sweetness.  The perfect end to a beautiful meal.

I wanted to share this dining experience as an example of how you can so easily incorporate health into your life.  No fad diets, tasteless artificial substitutes or deprivation at this table.  Instead we were simply cooking with a conscious awareness of what was going onto our plates and into our bodies by focusing on fresh produce, ethically raised and chemical free meat, ancient grains rather than over processed wheat and a small amount of a naturally rich treat.  I truly believe this way of eating is the secret to long term, sustainable health and happiness.

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