Category Archives: Salad

Day 4 – Tuna Salad

I’ve done the Sydney-Melbourne flight more often than I can count, but it’s safe to say it’s an average of 6-8 times a year. Not much by frequent flyer standards, but enough to know that the food in both airports sometimes leaves a lot to be desired, especially if your budget is fast-food sized (and therefore tiny).

Faced with the usual choices of upsized burger meals and dubious warmed noodles and pastas in bain-maries, I have often opted for a simple coffee and held out for a quick omelette once I get home.

Which is how I stumbled across this tuna salad – buying a coffee.

Promising nothing other than simple ingredients and with NO salad bar or limp lettuce in sight, I got a beautiful blend of texture and flavour all prepared at the last moment in the kitchen. It’s brilliant, tasty, incredibly filling and takes minutes to make, which of course makes it the perfect hot-day standby.

This really does work best if you make it at the last minute, meaning your bread pieces will still be warm, but your tomatoes and salad vegies will be straight out of the fridge and therefore chilled. It’s a wonderful mixture of sweet and salty, tangy and nutty, warm and cool. You’ll never think of tuna salad as boring, ever again.

Tuna Salad

Serves 2 as a main meal.


  • 2 thick slices day-old bread (use a rustic style bread or sourdough if you can)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ Lebanese cucumber, peeled into strips with a vegie peeler
  • ½ red capsicum, de-seeded and finely sliced
  • 2-3 spring onions, cut thinly on the diagonal
  • 185g tin tuna, drained


  • ¼ cup (60ml) sour cream
  • 1 tbsp grated horseradish
  • 1 tsp finely chopped dill
  • sea salt and black pepper


Preheat oven to 180°C. Tear the bread into rough chunks, place them in a small roasting tray and drizzle with the oil. Toast for 15 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

While the bread is toasting, place all the dressing ingredients in a  small bowl and mix together. Set aside.

Drizzle the toasted bread, still in the roasting tray, with the vinegar. Not all of the bread will get a coverage, creating a delicious combination of crunchy and soft, tangy and nutty all at once. Set aside.

Place the tomatoes, cucumber strips, capsicum strips and spring onions in a bowl and toss with your hands to combine.  Combine the tuna and half the toasted bread with half the dressing and toss gently until everything is mixed together and coated.

Spoon the salad vegies and remaining bread pieces into serving bowls. Top with the tuna and bread mixture and pour the remaining dressing over the top. Eat it while it is chilled or barely at room temperature.


$6.40 for two people

Day 2 – Spiced Pineapple Salad

Once, pineapple was a winter fruit, something that seemed to appear from the far north when the rest of the country shivered. Now, the sweetest varieties appear in spring and summer, making this the perfect fruit to enjoy on the hottest of days. Continue reading Day 2 – Spiced Pineapple Salad

Christmas – Colleen's Potato Salad

Last year I spent Christmas with my daughter, her boyfriend and his mum who made this lovely salad for Christmas lunch.  I’ve been saving it ever since, knowing that now is the perfect time of the year to share it with you.

There is much you can make ahead of the day, including cooking the potatoes and eggs, leaving you only to mix it all together at the last minute. Continue reading Christmas – Colleen's Potato Salad

Christmas – Duck Salad

This is the main course in the $50 Christmas Lunch for Four.

Click here for the full menu plus step-by-step guides

I must begin this recipe with a very important disclaimer: To get in under $50, you MUST find a keenly-priced duck. Luckily, Aldi and Coles have 2.2kg frozen ducks for $12-$15 each right NOW. So go out and get one as quickly as you can, freeze it, and come back to this recipe later on. Continue reading Christmas – Duck Salad

Day 11 – Carrot, Fennel and Orange Salad

This beautiful salad was a happy combination of good luck  and good management. I saw a link to a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi on Twitter and bookmarked it the moment I realised I had all the ingredients ready to go.

This is a sensational salad worthy of your consideration even though you might think that salads are only enjoyable in the heat of summer. If it helps you, think of this as some warm roasted vegetables tossed with a piquant orange dressing. Continue reading Day 11 – Carrot, Fennel and Orange Salad

Day 8 – Lovely Chicken Salad

It’s the night before payday and the next big grocery shop is still 24 hours away. The pantry is suspiciously bare except for some penne, some olive oil, an old red onion and a tin of lentils.

Continue reading Day 8 – Lovely Chicken Salad

Day 9 – Mediterranean Quinoa 'Risotto'

To my mind, and palate, there is something all meat-free meals should have: Umami. Difficult to define, umami is the earthy, full-flavoured mouth-feel that gives depth and a subtle oiliness to one’s palate – and yet it doesn’t contain oil at all. Mushrooms are packed full of umami, which has been best described as food with a pleasing brothy flavour. It goes a great way to explain why we always feel full after eating mushrooms. Quinoa also has umami – it’s somehow meaty, even though it’s a seed. Continue reading Day 9 – Mediterranean Quinoa 'Risotto'

Day 2 – Chicken and Ruby Grapefruit Salad

One of the great things about illness is that it concentrates both mind and body towards healing. It forces you to do its bidding.

While in hiatus I couldn’t, no matter how much I wanted to, avoid the need for an afternoon nap. After a week or two of thinking I was giving into premature old age, I gave in and surrendered to deep and dreamless sleep, a throw rug pulled up over me, waking in time for dinner. By which time I would be ravenous.

i craved certain foods. I was mad for dark chocolate, strawberries, eggs, but only cooked as simply as possible, not fried; I wanted ginger, a sprinkle of salt across everything (prompting me one afternoon to make the salted caramel in the previous recipe) and a salad with every evening meal. Most days I ate bananas.

Then I went shopping and stopped short in front of a huge display of ruby grapefruit and on impulse I bought two. Ordinarily, I hate grapefruit. Now, I wanted to add them to that evening salad. Continue reading Day 2 – Chicken and Ruby Grapefruit Salad

Day 11 – Salmon with Warm Fennel and Orange Salad

Citrus Australia sent me a beautiful crate of navel oranges and asked me to participate in a simple challenge; eat an orange every day for ten days and note the difference it makes to my health and well being.

I was coming down with a head cold when they arrived so it wasn’t a tough ask.

Aside from the simple pleasure of eating a fresh orange every morning, there are many ways you can incorporate oranges into your meals. While cakes and sweet treats will always be popular, I’d also like to encourage you to add an orange or two in your winter salads. Their sweetness is the perfect partner to fragrant fennel and salty salmon and with a few extra vegetables thrown in, it’s easy to create a warm salad that you can enjoy for dinner as well as lunch the next day. Continue reading Day 11 – Salmon with Warm Fennel and Orange Salad

Day 3 – Beetroot, Apple and Mint Salad

It started with a simple task: My friend, coming to town for Easter, asked me to find a venue for lunch on Good Friday. After three attempts to secure a booking, when every restaurant greeted my enquiry with Are you kidding? We’re closed!, I gave up. It was only then that I was struck with what could only be described as the bleeding obvious.

Cook her lunch. Invite her back to your place.

The next day, I had coffee with another friend of mine, recently moved here from Sydney. He is a mutual friend of my interstate visitor – follow me here – and a foodie to boot. I invited him to lunch to catch up with our interstate friend and so it snowballed.

The truth is that as much as I love having people over to eat, I haven’t actually hosted a big lunch or dinner for lots of friends for nearly two years, constrained as it has been with regular moves and living in other people’s houses. I didn’t realise until that moment how much I missed it. I love cooking, but what gives me unparalleled pleasure is sharing the meal with people whose company I really enjoy. The invitations went out: Eight people said Yes! within hours. Continue reading Day 3 – Beetroot, Apple and Mint Salad