The weather is so sunny, it inspires me to make a salad. But as the first week of lock down nears an end, my fresh produce supply is getting low.
Then I remember a salad recipe I found over the winter. It’s made (almost) completely from larder cupboard ingredients, so can be prepared all year round.
The star ingredient is the humble butternut squash.
Before we relied on refrigerators and aeroplanes, squashes were traditionally grown to ripen by Autumn and stored over Winter to provide valuable nutrition to families, where other fresh produce was limited.
Butternut squash can typically last, in a cool place like a shed or garage, for many months without rotting. That’s why it’s perfect self-isolation food.
You can tell by the beautiful orange colour of a squash that it’s going to be good for you.
Butternut squash is high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene (the orange colour). This powerful combination vitamins provides a boost to the immune system. The role of vitamin C in protecting against viral infections was shown in a recent review here.
The insoluble fibre content (of the butternut, puy lentils and brown rice) in this recipe also adds bulk, which helps our digestion and preventing constipation. Getting bunged up can by a side effect of eating too much dried pasta and not having enough exercise (more on that later).
1 butternut squash cut into chunks roasted in olive oil
Two cups of cooked brown rice
Two cups of cooked puy lentils
1/3 jar sun dried tomatoes – chopped into small pieces
Handful of any leaves or herbs you have handy (I used coriander and some lettuce the kids are growing)
½ finely chopped red onion
This salad recipe is certainly not an exact science. Combine all the above ingredients. Dress with the juice of one lemon, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 small chopped chilli (optional), and salt and pepper.
Have you a healthy recipe that uses larder cupboard ingredients? I’d love to hear about it. Please get in touch.