Thursday, 19 March 2015


Greek Pitta Salad
Time taken: 20 minutes
Ingredients: 1 wholemeal pitta bread, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, ½ a tin of red kidney beans, ½ a cucumber, 3 spring onions, a big handful of fresh parsley leaves, a tablespoon of lemon juice, & 50g feta cheese.

Hi readers,
The weather is… sublime. Possibly, this is the first day in Newcastle that could outrightly be described as “warm and sunny”. It’s finally happened! So, this morning the weather looked promising but I thought nothing of it. Then, around lunchtime when I finally looked out of the window at work… I couldn’t believe my eyes! Clear blue skies!
Here's the sky in Newcastle today
Then, the printer in the office disastrously broke (While I was using it! Everyone says I did nothing to break it… but I think my mere presence contributed :s) and after that there was little work we could do without a printer. SO THEY SENT ME HOME.
Readers, I stepped out of the stuffy office and, no joke, it was like all my dreams had come true at once. There was fresh, warm air and birds were singing and flowers were in bloom. The sky was still blue! I’m a summer baby through and through… and today has felt like life is at last starting again.
Since I left work? I opened every window in the house… changed into floral clothing… poured an ice cold glass of juice… and seated myself in the sun! Right now, I’m very happy with life. And all the kids on scooters and bikes that keep tearing down the road? They seem pretty happy, too!
How about for you?? How do you feel today? Is the sun shining in the sky like it is here in Newcastle? And is it shining inside you like it is in me? I really, really hope so. And, even if you’re stuck in the office today, think of all the wonderful things that lie in store for you this summer! Today, summer feels closer than ever before. Good times are coming, readers. And perhaps they start today.
AT THE VERY LEAST… this seems the perfect day to launch some tasty summer food, no? Go on! You can’t end a day like today with pie… or soup… or a bloody casserole. No no NO. Not today, readers! Summer is for eating outdoors on delicate garden seats, with a white wine in your hand and the sun starting to dip. Or tucking in on a picnic rug, surrounded by friends and family, on freshly mowed grass with bees buzzing about. Or, heaven forbid, for barbequing on a beach with sand in your toes and salt in the air, while your food sizzles on a grill.
It’s hard to imagine right now at the end of winter, but those are real situations that real people find themselves in each summer. In real life. And eating in summer is THE BOMB. Can you remember, readers?? I’m going to jog your memories of summer food, today, with a simple recipe for a new salad for you to try out.
And before you groan! This salad isn’t rabbit fodder. Or the vision of deprivation. It’s not a selection of leaves with a novelty array of fruit thrown over them to compound your disappointment. No sirree! This is a WARM salad with lots of really strong flavours and CHEESE AND CARBS ARE INCLUDED.
Still reading? Well, today I’d like to introduce you to the Greek Pitta Salad. This is a recipe I came upon online last summer when on a hunt for new, light and healthy meals that I could throw together after work without spending too much time in the kitchen. Because, as much as I love the kitchen, when it comes to summer I think we’d all rather be sat out in the sun!
So, I adapted this recipe slightly, but you can find the original HERE on the website of an American celebrity called Martha Stewart. Have I heard of her? Honestly, no. But she has some cracking recipes so check out her blog!
Here’s how Greek Pitta Salad looks in Martha’s kitchen…
And here’s how to toss together your very own Greek Pitta Salad, in just ten easy steps…
1. Heat your grill.
2. Open your tin of kidney beans, tip them into a sieve and then rinse them under a cold tap.
ChefBeHere Top Tip:  Give your beans a thorough rinse to get rid of any brown gunk that came with them in the tin. This doesn’t taste pleasant!
3. Spoon half of your beans into a Tupperware, to save in the fridge and use on another day. Spoon the remaining half of your beans into a serving bowl.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: What to do with your spare half a tin of kidney beans? There are so many options! You could cook up a big pot of veggie chili, perhaps? Or maybe have a bash at bean-packed fajitas or enchiladas?? Be inspired and go Mexican!
4. Slice up half of a cucumber and then cut each slice into quarters. Take a few spring onions and chop them finely.
5. Add your onions and cucumber to the bowl containing your kidney beans, along with a big handful of fresh parsley leaves.
6. Spoon one tablespoon of lemon juice and two tablespoons of olive oil over your bowl of salad, and then toss everything together so that it all becomes well coated in your dressing.
7. Drizzle both sides of your wholemeal pitta bread with olive oil and season with salt.
8. Pop your pitta under the grill to toast for a minute or two, and then when the bread begins to turn golden flip it over so that the underside of the pitta can toast.
9. Meanwhile, take around a quarter of a block of feta cheese and crumble this over your bowl of salad.
10. When your pitta has toasted, tear it into pieces and add to your salad. The season with salt and pepper and your Greek Pitta Salad is good to go!
One of my very own Greek Pitta Salads came out looking like this…
And it tastes great! Really, readers, I know I have greater patience for salads than most people do, but this is really one that you shouldn’t miss out on. And if you aren’t a regular salad muncher then this is a great salad to start out with! Greek Pitta Salad has loads of really strong flavours and I think they all come together very well in this dish.
PLUS, you’re on a student budget? This is so cheap! All of the ingredients here cost so little to buy. And you can freeze a pack of pittas then keep thawing one whenever you have the need, so none go to waste and they last you for weeks!
Readers, I strongly recommend a trip to the shop today for your ingredients and a chilled bottle of white wine. Then throw open every window, get out of your work clothes and toss together your first summery salad of the year! Because who knows how long our glimpse of summer will last??

Salad safely,


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