Summer Salad Masterclass

Gone are the days when a salad was summed up by some limp lettuce, sliced tomatoes and cucumber.  At my recent ‘Salad Masterclass’ we created some delicious tasting and beautifully prepared dishes using an abundance of ingredients .

Summertime lunches and dinners should be served with an appetizing salad.  This kind of food will keep us cool along with lighter cooking styles. Be creative and try the amazing array of tasty oils and vinegars available.  Ume Plum vinegar is one of my favourites.   Use nuts and seeds such as toasted pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds to add some ‘crunch’ to your salads.  Crunchy, Chewy and Creamy are basic textures we need to feel satisfied.  Add some ‘living’ sprouts, I sprout mung beans, alfalfa and broccoli seeds, they add taste, crunch and deliver wonderful health benefits.   Or keep it simple by adding some mixed leaves to a bowl with a slice of lemon as below.

The body enjoys the variety of cooked and fresh foods so mix and match throughout the summer to keep your digestive system strong.

Mixed Salad Leaves with LemonEating a low-calorie salad before your main meals can help you to lose weight and ensure you get recommended daily intake of vegetables. And it’s not rocket science as to how it works for weight loss, the key is the sheer volume of a salad, which makes you feel too full to overeat when it comes to your main meal.  You need to make sure you don’t drown it in a fatty dressing though – a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar makes the perfect healthy accompaniment to a fresh salad or try some of these delicious tasting dressings below.

Iceberg & Herb SaladIceberg & Herb Salad with Walnut Oil & Balsamic Vinegar

Clearspring firm/silken tofu
Iceberg leaves
Red Onion very thinly sliced
Tomato, thinly sliced
Walnut Oil
Reduce balsamic vinegar

Drain the tofu and pat dry with paper towel. Cut into thin slices and set aside. Depending on the amount of servings you require use whatever quantities work for you.  Wash, dry and tear the iceberg leaves into pieces and place in a salad bowl. Add some parsley and coriander leaves, the sliced onion and tomato along with some tofu slices.  Drizzle with the walnut oil and reduced balsamic vinegar.  Mix gently so as not to break the tofu and serve in individual salad bowls.


Quinoa with Greens & Radishes

Quinoa with Salad Greens & Radishes

1 cup quinoa (rinsed)
2 cups water
Fresh salad greens such as rocket, watercress
1 small bunch of red radishes, very thinly sliced
Basic Salad Dressing (see below)

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a pan and simmer on a very low heat 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed.  Remove to a large bowl and leave to cool then fluff up with a fork. Add the fresh salad greens and radishes to a large salad bowl and pour over some of the dressing.  Stir in the quinoa and serve.

Basic Salad Dressing
1 handful parsley
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp Umeboshi Vinegar
1 tbsp Shoyu
2 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice

Place all the ingredients into a blender.  Adjust ingredients according to taste.  Store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator and keep for up to 5 days.

Orange Ume Plum Dressing

This is a delicious dressing served on fresh greens or noodle salads in the summer or even over a selection of steamed vegetables or fresh steamed greens.

3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Juice of half a lemon
Juice of 1 ½ oranges
2 teaspoons umeboshi puree
1 teaspoon finely chopped spring onion or chives
2 tablespoons sesame or olive oil

Pour the sesame seeds into a blender.  Add all the other ingredients except the spring onions or chives, and blend until smooth.  Mix the spring onion or chives in at the end, and chill for half an hour before serving.

In good heath,





  1. Dear Marlene, Thanks for the wonderful tips on the salad master class!! Pre WLNW the sole ingredients to my salad were tomato and cucumber!! My ‘bit on the side’ was a portion of french fries!! Guaranteed every time!! I reflect now on what my eating habits were before having the wonderful advantage of actually having you with me in my kitchen!! I absolutely love the newsletter we receive from you every month and may I add, complimentary of course!! I particularly enjoyed the wonderful new ideas with tofu!! I actually marinated my tofu with the delicious ingredients you recommended and popped it on top of my ‘unrecognisable’ salad creation. My husband could not believe that he was eating tofu as its taken me a bit longer than I thought to remove all the dairy from the kitchen on his behalf!! Our kitchen is now totally unrecognisable and of course the transformation that we both feel has been extraordinary! I simply can’t wait for the next instalment. Thanks again

    • How great to hear you have your husband eating tofu…. men; tofu is your friend, if you ate less meat and more tofu Viagra sales would plummet…. Thanks for sharing LP. Marlene x

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