“When we were working on the new menus for Kitchen, we really wanted to offer some healthy eating alternatives on our menu – that were still totally seasonal and delicious, but not carb loaded.
I must admit I am obsessed with delicious and nutritious foods. I can tell you it is not easy sticking to a healthy eating regime when you are surrounded by wonderful food every day! But it does allow us access to a larder always brimming full of fresh herbs, vegetables, fruit, meat and fish.
Although I don’t ride myself, increasingly I am involved in taking my daughter to smaller shows where the only eating options are hog roasts and burger vans – with no offering for those who want a healthy and nutritious lunch, not ideal before competing or running around an arena.
I am a huge fan of Merchant Gourmet ready to eat pulses and grains, as a working mum I don’t have time to always pre-plan our meals and rarely have time to soak and boil pulses and beans.
And the work that goes into preparing for a show – the last thing on your mind will be ‘oh I must soak my lentils for tomorrow’s salad!’ These wonderful pouches of goodness can be used to create healthy and delicious salads and have become a store cupboard essential in our house.
My favourite at the moment is a puy lentil salad, which needs no cooking – just chop, mix and pop into a dish or Tupperware and trust me, it is totally delicious…”
250g Ready to Eat Merchant Gourmet Authentic Puy Lentils
250g Cherry or little plum Tomatoes (Tip: I always buy on the vine tomatoes if I can, the difference in flavour is incredible)
2 Red Chillis (more or less, depending on your preference)
1 Leek – finely sliced
1 Small Red Onion
200g Pack of Feta Cheese
200g Beetroot (Tip: I particularly love the spicy ones available in supermarkets)
1 Large Bunch of Flat Leaf Parsley (Tip: these are not essential if you don’t have any to hand)
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
Black Pepper and Salt
Chop it all up and mix together – ideally prepare the night before you are planning to eat it, so that all the flavours have time to infuse.
What is great is that you can adapt this – rather than feta cheese, it is equally delicious with a tin of tuna, poached salmon or sliced cold meats.
You can add or adapt with whatever you have got in the fridge, such as celery, baby spinach leaves, cucumber etc. If you are not a fan of lentils, you can make the same recipe with other grains, chick peas or beans – although you might need to add more olive oil and white wine vinegar to taste.