August 07, 2011

Summer Vegetable Salad with Chia Seeds

Recently I shared a post on Facebook about Chia Seeds.  I love finding “new” ingredients (well it’s been around for some time but it’s still new to me), especially those with added nutritional benefits.  Although I don’t claim to be a total health junkie, I do try to incorporate as many healthy and natural ingredients into my recipes.  Chia seeds are one of those ingredients.  They’ve been called nature’s complete superfood – rich in Omega 3, Dietary Fibre, protein and antioxidants.  Being plant based and gluten free, they are also an excellent nutritional source for vegetarian, vegan or gluten free cooking.

Chia seeds look like tiny sesame seeds but don’t really have any taste so you can easily incorporate them into your everyday diet as a nutrition booster, plus they look great sprinkled onto foods.  Use them in breakfast cereal, salads, soups, breads, muffins – the list is endless.  They also come in black or white seeds, both with the same nutritional value.  Looking at the Australian manufacturer’s website, you can also buy the product in bran or grounded form.

Inspired by what I read about the product, I decided to purchase a pack and test it out myself.  In the recipe below, I’ve combined some simple summer baby vegetables – baby red potatoes, baby marrow and baby corn – together with the Chia seeds, makes a light, tasty and nutritious cooked summer salad.   This is such an easy ingredient to use and will definitely be incorporated into many more of my everyday recipes.


Serves:  2

500g baby red potatoes (Cherie)
4 - 5 baby marrows, thickly sliced
1 small packet baby corn, halved
Extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon, to taste
1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (coriander, parsley or basil)
1 tbsp white Chia seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pierce each potato and steam or boil for about 15 minutes or until done.  Place the hot potatoes onto a work surface and with a tablespoon, gently squash each potato so that they split open.  Place in a large serving bowl and set aside.

Steam or boil the baby marrows and corn for 5 minutes or until tender but still firm.  Transfer vegetables on top of the potatoes in the serving bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.  Sprinkle over herb, Chia seeds and season.  Toss lightly to coat and serve warm or at room temperature as a side dish.