Sustainable tuna, roasted capsicum, pan fried shallots and local greens, with organic homemade mayonnaise

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I am am not a fan of green smoothies.  My body cringes looking at one – it knows it is cold and will not provide the same lovely feeling and satisfaction that warm drinks and proper meals, taken slowly and savoured, give you. I am however, a fan of salads. Our local climate is warm-hot all year round, so here salads are in tune with the season. Made of local fresh greens and a balance of ingredients, including some foods with protein and fats, to give a beautiful flavour and satisfaction. This is real food, giving natural nourishment, gentle energy. Taken slowly and chewed properly, they can stimulates your digestive juices promoting proper digestion. Preferably taken at a regular meal time and with company. I prefer to get my greens this way. There is an interesting article on an Ayurvedic viewpoint of green smoothies here.

David Thompson in “Thai Food” comments that salads are one of the most difficult dishes to achieve the correct balance of taste. From experience, I agree – there are many individual flavour aspects to consider – the degree of bitterness of your greens, the texture and level of sweetness or astringency of any additional vegetables and salad dressings, adding enough fats for balance, taste and digestion e.g. through olives, avocado, home-made mayonnaise, and the achieving the right level of saltiness. I prefer to have the salad with either sustainable canned fish, organic ham or cooked fish/chicken/meat. Overall the aim is always to achieve balance.

Here is my recipe for one of my recent creations where I managed to achieve a lovely balance of flavours. Taking the time to prepare and slowly savour your meals makes such a difference, providing a deep nourishment that I have never found in green smoothies…….

Sustainable tuna, roasted capsicum, pan fried shallots and local greens salad

Serves 2

1 can of sustainably fished tuna in oil, drained

Fresh, organic, local greens – I used a mix of endive, baby cos, and red coral- washed, drained, and torn into bite size pieces, with any hard thick stems removed – enough to fill two medium sized salad bowls

1/2 red capsicum, chopped into thick strips

1-2 shallots (green part only for low FODMAP), chopped

Sunflower oil

Ghee (organic, biodynamic, from grass fed cows if possible)

Home – made mayonnaise

Flaxseed oil, 1 tbsp

Apple cider vinegar, 3 tsp

Wholegrain mustard, 1-2 tsp, or to taste

Dried thyme, 1/2 tsp

Sea salt, freshly ground pepper and 2 wedges of organic lemons, to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius (fan forced). Place the chopped capscium in a small ceramic baking dish, and drizzle with sunflower oil. Sprinkle the dried thyme over the capsicum and then rub the oil and herb over the surface of your capsicum pieces with your hands. Place in the oven and roast for about 10-15 mins. Keep an eye on it, and take it out when the capscium flesh is soft and the skin blistered. Put it to the side to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

2. Put some ghee in a small frypan (I use Neoflam) and melt it over a gentle heat. Place the shallots in the frypan, cover and cook gently for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and let the shallots sit on the warmed stovetop while you make the dressing and assemble the salad.

3. To make the dressing, place the flaxseed oil, mustard and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl, and stir well with a small spoon or fork until the dressing is combined.

4. To assemble the salad, get out two beautiful medium-sized salad bowls. Place half of the prepared green leaves in each. Place the capsicum pieces decoratively over the top of the leaves, then the shallots, and drizzle the dressing over the salad. Place the tuna pieces over the top of the salad.

5. Place a bowl of your home-made mayonnaise on the table, along with the lemon wedges, salt and pepper, so each person can add these condiments to their liking. Sit down with the salad at the table, eat, and savour.

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