Tag Archives: Salad

Three Quick Lunches with Cherry Tree Farm

My Three Quick Lunches with Cherry Tree Farm

When it comes to food, we would all love to eat fresh, healthy, home cooked meals, but too many of us struggle to find the time for it. Home cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be time consuming. It also doesn’t have to be at a master chef level to be enjoyable. You can create a nice meal with virtually no skills and in a very short period of time. All you need is a spoonful of willingness, a smidgeon of time and a dash of imagination.

Cherry Tree Farm offered to send me a selection of their products, so I can come up with some quick and easy meal options using theirs 100% British, cooked and ready to eat meats. For this moment there is a choice of 7 lovely poultry products to pick from:

  • American Fried Chicken
  • Roast Chicken
  • Roast Chicken Chunks
  • Tikka Chicken Chunks
  • Hickory Smoked Turkey
  • Roast Turkey
  • Turkey Ham

There are a lot of dishes ready cooked meats can be used for. Today, I would love to share with you my best three lunch options. They are all quick and extremely easy to prepare; and of course taste delicious.

The Humble Sandwich - Cherry Tree Farm

The Humble Sandwich

Difficulty level: extremely easy

Skills required: none

Ready in: 2 minutes


The Humble Sandwich Cherry Tree Farm

Some might say that this sandwich is a boring option… me… I love a good sandwich. Just like with any dish, it is all about the ingredients. If you have fresh, good quality ingredients, you don’t really have to do a lot more to it… let the food speak for itself.

A simple meat sandwich made with a good quality roll or bread, spread with some real butter and of course a tasty slice of meat can be extremely satisfying. And the best part is… you do not need to have any cooking skills to make it. Even if you are not so handy with a sharp knife you can prepare it… just tear your roll apart… see, no knife skills needed.

Finger Food Platter - Cherry Tree Farm

Finger Food Platter

Difficulty level: easy

Skills required: chopping with a sharp knife

Ready in: 5 minutes


Finger Food Platter Cherry Tree Farm

As long as you can use the knife, you can make it. Preparation time will depend on your cutting / chopping speed but I would judge that five minutes would be more than enough time even for the most careful chopper out there.

Food platters can look lovely and are therefore very inviting. They are especially fun f you have some company joining you for lunch. Use toothpicks to move food over if you like clean hands…or feel free to dig in with your fingers… after all it is a finger food.

Chicken and Rice Salad - Cherry Tree Farm

Chicken and Rice Salad

Difficulty level: easy

Skills required: chopping with a sharp knife, cooking rice

Ready in: 10 minutes


Chicken and Rice Salad Cherry Tree Farm

Now, we have reached a “level 3” lunch recipe – cutting and cooking skills required. Actually, this isn’t necessary true. If you don’t know how to cook rice or want to save some time, cheat a little and use a packed, almost ready to eat rice, which you just microwave for 2-3 minutes.

Anyways, all you have to do in order to create this lovely light salad is to chop all the other ingredients, mix them well with a good spoonful of mayonnaise and flavour to taste.

I actually cut the cheese with a knife, but you might prefer the grated option. The main difference is in the taste – cheese cut into cubes will give you less but bigger chunks, meaning once you bite into it, you will taste mainly cheese; the grated option on the other hand will give you more cheese all over your salad making in general your salad taste slightly more cheesy 😉

If you have the time and are feeling brave – add some chopped boiled egg into it or a small tin of garden peas.

I like this type of salad mainly because it is rice based; it is perfect for packed lunches and keeping in the fridge for when you can’t be bothered to make anything, it will serve you well as self standing meal.

Three Quick Lunches with Cherry Tree Farm

So, there you have it… my three quick and easy lunches.

Now, it is your turn… what’s your quick and easy favourite lunch idea?


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Cooking with Gousto – Mozzarella Panzanella Salad

Cooking with Gousto – Mozzarella Panzanella Salad

Mozzarella Panzanella Salad from Gousto – this lovely Italian salad is quick to prepare and full of tasty, healthy ingredients. It bursts with flavours and can be treated as a started or a light dinner.

Gousto Mozzarella Panzanella Salad

It sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

Ok, so let’s start with the ingredients list:

Cooking with Gousto – Ingredients for Mozzarella Panzanella Salad

  • 2 ciabattas
  • 1 red onion
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 2tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1tbsp dried oregano
  • 30g black olives
  • 10g fresh basil
  • 30g capers
  • 1 mozzarella ball
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

These ingredients will make enough food to feed 2 people (or more if you treat it as a starter).


Boil a full kettle of water.

Preheat the grill to high.

Mozzarella Panzanella Salad - onion preparation

Peel and finely chop the red onion. Place the onion pieces in a sieve and pour all the boiling water over them (ideally do it over the sink or over large bowl). Place the blanched onions into a bowl and add the red wine vinegar and sugar and mix well. Leave it to soak for a while.

Mozzarella Panzanella Salad - bread praparation

Tear the ciabattas into bite size pieces (or alternatively cut them into nice cubes) and place on a baking tray. Drizzle it with around 2tbs of olive oil; salt and pepper to taste. Place under the grill for 10 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.

Mozzarella Panzanella Salad in the making

Chop the cherry tomatoes in half.

Chop the black olives.

Place the tomatoes, olives, capers and oregano in a salad bowl.

Tear the basil and add into your salad bowl.

Drain the mozzarella and tear into bite size chunks (or again cut it nicely with a sharp knife) and add to the salad bowl.

Drain the onion, discard the marinade and add to the salad bowl.

By this time your ciabatta should be nice and ready. Remove it from the oven / grill and add to your salad.

Mix well and season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Serve and enjoy!

Cooking with Gousto - Mozzarella Panzanella Salad


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Foods Of The World – Sri Lanka – Cantaloupe and Blueberry Salad

World Foods – Sri Lanka – Cantaloupe and Blueberry Salad

By Amila Wickramarachchi from Food Corner

Who doesn’t like a refreshing salad in a hot summer day?

This Cantaloupe and Blueberry salad is a really simple and quick dessert I tried with some yogurt and honey over it. Specially during a hot summer day, having a healthy snack with some fruits is a perfect idea and melons come to my mind first. I have tried many recipes with different melon types and this is one of the easiest and quickest desserts I have ever tried!

World Foods - Sri Lanka - Cantaloupe and Blueberry Salad

I used a melon baller to scoop cantaloupe, but it is not necessary. Instead use a fruit knife and cut cantaloupe into small bite size cubes of similar size. Taste of blueberries was really good with cantaloupe balls and yogurt added some rich smooth flavor to it. I used natural low fat yogurt to keep it healthier.

World Foods – Sri Lanka - Cantaloupe and Blueberry Salad

Over the fruits, I added some fresh lime juice. Lime juice gave a good flavor to this salad. Once honey is drizzled over, it looked perfect and delicious. I couldn’t wait until I finish the whole bowl.

Below is the simple and quick recipe for Cantaloupe and Blueberry Salad. Try this when you are in need for a snack or a dessert in a hot summer day!

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • ½ of a Cantaloupe
  • 1 cup Blueberries
  • 1 cup Natural yogurt
  • Honey to drizzle
  • 1 tsp. Lime juice


First scoop melon with a melon baller (or cut into cubes)

In a bowl, mix cantaloupe balls together with blueberries and lime juice.

Add natural yogurt over it.

Drizzle over some honey as per taste.

Cantaloupe and blueberry dessert is ready to serve.

Mix other fruits together with cantaloupe balls for different tastes.


World Foods - Sri Lanka – Cantaloupe and Blueberry Salad

About the author:
Amila Wickramarachchi is a Food Blogger who loves to share her recipes and moments of the culinary journey in her Food Blog Food Corner. Food Corner is mainly a collection of Sri Lankan recipes; however there are recipes from other lands as well as other kitchen related posts.

If you would like to know more about Sri Lankan food please visit Amila blog Food Corner or Facebook page or follow @slfoodcorner on Twitter.

Link up your recipe of the week


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#UniformFoodies Challenge – Salad in a Bun a.k.a. Calzone

#UniformFoodies Challenge – Salad in a Bun a.k.a. Calzone

To celebrate the launch of the Uniform Foodies App in connection with Uniform Dating we were asked to create our own recipe suitable for uniform workers in line with their favourites. Apparently police officers and doctors favour fish and chips; fire fighters and the armed forces opt for an Indian curry and nurses’ first choice is a salad.

Mark is a uniform worker so we have some firsthand experience with long hours, missed breaks and we totally understand the need for a good nutritional meal to keep them going.

As first we wanted to create the curry, and then come the idea of lovely fish and chips but in the end we decided to show off a twist on the salad… we call it a salad in a bun… the real name is a calzone.

Our idea might be a bit out of the box, but we wanted a meal which can be enjoyed hot and cold; something which can be eaten whilst sitting down but if needed you can just grab it and munch it on the way before you reach your destination point; we wanted something which will be suitable for everyone, no matter if you are a vegetarian or not, there is always a filling which will suit your desires. We wanted a recipe which can be prepared in stages to suit your shift work pattern and most importantly it is not taking hours to cook. We thought long and hard and calzones are the best option we could come up with.

For this challenge we picked a healthy filling option of three cheeses, tomatoes, basil and ham (if you are a vegetarian replace the ham with Quorn or just skip the ham part). These ingredients by themselves would make a nice simple salad but if it’s for your main meal of the day it wouldn’t be very filling, so we decided to enclose it in pizza dough thus creating a calzone.

First step the pizza dough


  • 250ml of lukewarm water
  • 25g of fresh yeast
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 350g- 400g plain strong flour


Place the yeast into a warm bowl and add the water. Stir in the sugar and allow to stand until the yeast has dissolved and starts to foam.

Using a wooden spoon mix in the salt and 1/3 of the flour and stir vigorously. Gradually add another 1/3 of the flour and mix/stir until the dough forms a mass and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Remove the dough from the bowl and begin to knead (remember to sprinkle some flour on your work surface so the dough doesn’t stick). Knead for about 10min adding the remaining flour slowly until the dough is no longer sticky to your hands, after this time your dough should be smooth and elastic.

Now if you want to eat in the near future place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl with some cling-film over the top or a damp teacloth and place somewhere warm till it has at least doubled in size, this will take an hour or two. Mark makes these when he is on nights and places the dough in the fridge before going to bed. When he wakes up the dough is ready for processing into Calzones. This has the additional effect of giving a much richer, tastier dough as it has risen so slowly.

Now as your dough is ready all you need is to create the filling.

Ingredients:#UniformFoodies Challenge – Salad in a Bun a.k.a. Calzone -Ingredients for the filling

  • 350g ricotta cheese
  • 175g mozzarella cheese
  • 4 tbsp of freshly grated parmesan
  • 175g ham, cut into small dice
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • Good handful of basil leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for brushing


#UniformFoodies Challenge – Salad in a Bun a.k.a. Calzone - Filling

Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.

Now you have both dough and the filling so let’s make some calzones.

Preheat the oven to 250C.

Prepare a lightly oiled baking sheet.

Punch your dough down and knead it lightly.

#UniformFoodies Challenge – Salad in a Bun a.k.a. Calzone - The Dough

Divide it into 4 even portions (or more if you want your calzones to be child friendly size).

#UniformFoodies Challenge – Salad in a Bun a.k.a. Calzone - Making the dough

Roll each ball into a flat circle about 2-3mm thick.

#UniformFoodies Challenge – Salad in a Bun a.k.a. Calzone - Filling the calzones

Place your filling on one half of each circle, leaving around a 2cm border all around.

Fold it over and crimp the edges making sure that it is sealed, just like a pasty.

#UniformFoodies Challenge – Salad in a Bun a.k.a. Calzone.

Place on your baking tray.

Brush the top lightly with olive oil.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20min or until golden brown.

#UniformFoodies Challenge -- Salad in a Bun a.k.a. Calzone

Remove from the oven and ideally cool on the cooling rack, to avoid the “bottoms” getting moist.

It might seem like a long and complicated recipe but it really isn’t. It is fairly straightforward and simple to follow.

I hope that you will enjoy our idea of a salad in a bun 😉

#UniformFoodies Challenge – Salad in a Bun a.k.a. Calzone!

And remember you are not limited to this filling, your imagination is your limit… you can fill it with whatever you like… just remember calzones aren’t baking for very long so do not stuff it full of raw meat, precook it first. As for members of the armed forces and our brave fire fighters you could even make them with the left over curry which you adore, hmm spicy Calzone, I think we may try that one as well!

Uniform Foodies
* I was provided with shopping vouchers to cover the cost of all ingredients.


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What’s Cooking – Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

From what I can gather Caesar Salad Dressing is one of the most popular dressings used by English people.

At first I wasn’t a big fan of this taste, but as the years passed by I simply got used to it and now I cannot imagine a salad without it. You can buy it in just about every food shop I can think of but what about making it from scratch? It is actually very quick and easy and once you have all the ingredients you can create it in the matter of minutes. Mark uses this as a base recipe and fiddles with the ingredients depending on the taste desires of those eating such as in/decreasing the amount of anchovies.

Ingredients list to create your very own Caesar Salad Dressing

Ingredients list to create your very own Caesar Salad Dressing

Ingredients list:

  •  1 egg – we used a duck egg but a chicken egg will do just fine
  • 4 anchovy fillets, buy the best you can afford it makes a big difference
  • 100ml of olive oil
  •  1tbsp of lemon juice
  • Few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  •  2 cloves of garlic
  •  Salt
  • Pepper

Now for the method:

Place an egg, garlic and anchovies in your food blender.

Time to blend it up...

Time to blend it up…

Pulse mix until just combined. Add the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce and continue mixing. Whilst your blender is running slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture looks smooth and has the consistency of double cream.

Almost done...

Almost done…

Add salt and pepper to taste. Try your creation and if you don’t screw your face up then place the dressing into an air tight container and keep in the fridge until needed.

That’s all!

You just made your very own homemade Caesar salad dressing. Enjoy!



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What’s cooking – Traditional Polish Cooked Vegetable Salad

Sałatka jarzynowa” – for most Polish people  this Traditional Polish Cooked Vegetable Salad reminds us of our childhood. It has been a part of Polish tradition since time began, and most of us cannot imagine holidays like Easter, Christmas or a family gathering without it.

The weirdest phenomenon about this dish is the fact that you can never repeat the making of it to achieve exactly the same taste. If you take 10 people and give them the same ingredients and quantities to make it, all 10 salads will taste ever so slightly different. A small dice will give a totally different taste to the finished salad than a larger dice will.

I tried in vain to find some information as to when and where this recipe came to be but unfortunately it has not been a successful search so far.

Vegetable Salad

Traditional Polish Cooked Vegetable Salad

So if you fancy having a go with something Polish people have enjoyed for years, here is your chance. You will need:


–      5 large potatoes

–      3 large carrots

–      1 parsnip

–      1 apple

–      5 boiled eggs

–      1 small tin of green peas

–      1 large tin of sweet corn

–      1 jar of gherkins in brine

–      Mayonnaise

–      Salt

–      Fresh ground pepper

–      Sugar


–      Small onion

How to make it:

Wash all vegetables and cook in their skins, in large pot of salted water the potatoes, carrots and the parsnip. Make sure the potatoes are not overcooked, you want them firm. Drain and let them cool completely and then peel them. Dice the vegetables to your chosen size (remember small dice or a bigger dice will give a different taste to the finished salad).


Hard boil the eggs. Cool completely and peel and dice. Peel the apple and dice it. Take the canned peas, canned sweet corn and place in sieve for a while, so all the excess liquid is drained off. Now time for the gherkins, these will need to be diced as well, and add them to the sieve for draining.

Now take the largest bowl you own and gently mix all the ingredients together, add mayonnaise, salt, sugar and pepper to taste and mix again till well incorporated.

Use any spare vegetables you have in the kitchen to make a garnish (see photo above for ideas).

Serve chilled.

Enjoy 😉 and please let me know what you think about it.


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