Hearty winter salads ready for the January cleanse | Guest Post

Keep a check on your waistline but don’t miss out on the warm filling food we all long for during the frosty months ahead. These hearty salads will satisfy your cravings but pack a nutrient-rich punch and are an ideal way to make up for all those festive indulgences.
Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples and Candied Walnuts
Let’s end the hate on brussels – especially the warm, pan-roasted kind that contrast perfectly against tart apples and sweet candied nuts in this unusual side dish from DietHood that can also be made in bigger quantities and served as a main.
2 tbp butter
2 tbp olive oil
1 pound brussels sprouts, quartered
1 big tart apple, sliced
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 tbp butter
1 tbp sugar
1 tbp brown sugar
30g chopped walnuts


  1. Heat butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat
  2. Add brussels and apples; season
  3. Add rosemary and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until tender
  4. Prepare walnuts by melting butter in saucepan
  5. Add sugars and stir until incorporated; add walnuts and continue to stir around for about 2 minutes
  6. Remove from heat and set aside
  7. Remove brussels and apples from heat and let cool for 2 minutes
  8. Spoon salad onto plate and garnish with candied walnuts

Warm chicken, farro and hazelnut salad
Farro is nutritious and filling, and paired with some bright fresh ingredients it comes to life and this recipe is adapted from a dish published in The Guardian.
2 large chicken thighs, on the bone but skinned
200g farro
2 carrots, topped, tailed and peeled
1 small onion, peeled
1 small head broccoli
2 tbp sherry vinegar
5 tbp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Large handful of rocket
Handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Large handful of hazelnuts (skin off), crushed roughly 
Salt and black pepper

  1. Put chicken, farro, carrots and onion into a pan and cover with water, plus 2-3cm. Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for 40 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, chop broccoli into small florets and add to farro, turning heat to high
  3. After 2-3 minutes strain everything. Pick out chicken thighs, carrot and onion. Discard onion
  4. Tear chicken into bite-size pieces, discarding the bone, and cut the carrot into similar-size chunks
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar with the oil, garlic, lemon juice and seasoning
  6. Roughly chop rocket
  7. Tip drained ingredients into a big mixing bowl and season well. Add parsley, rocket and most of the hazelnuts, then pour over dressing. Serve up with remaining hazelnuts scattered on top

It’s important to keep happy and healthy whatever your age; why not use your retirement to expand your culinary repertoire? Retirement homes often provide meal options for their homeowners as well as state-of-the-art kitchens for those who prefer to cook their own meals so there’s no excuse not to give it a try.
If you love to get in the kitchen then you might also want to check out this great Pinterest competition from retirement homes specialists McCarthy & Stone. They’re giving budding bakers and chefs the chance to win a Kitchenaid mixer and a copy of Mary Berry’s Baking Bible so why not have a go? You could find yourself with a whole new list of things to make in the kitchen!
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