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Recipe of the week - no. 2

Inspired by today's lush weather I have been preparing an al fresco meal with 0% meat and 100% yum! So here are two dishes; both very quick, which was essential as I'd spent the day grafting away removing brambles, planting, sweeping, tidying, and making the garden 'oven-ready' (apologies for anyone now feeling the understandable rush of nausea at this quote from everyone's favourite disgraced political caricature), and completely lost track of time. Oops!

Luckily these salads go with any BBQ'd ^item^ (ahem, obviously you'll be using plant-based burgers and sausages right?). I chose halloumi as it's tasty, full of calcium, and holds together really nicely in an air fryer or on a BBQ. Fairtrade charcoal please, and don't forget to let your neighbours know in case they have washing out :-)

First up: potato salad - a classic right? Well friends, this 'ere version is a no-mayo one. Ready? Let's go!

2 handfuls of new potatoes. Don't be tempted to chop them up!

1 clove of garlic. Yes I'm sure.

Olive oil

Cider vinegar

Any fresh soft herbs: chives, mint, sorrel, dill, etc...

Cook the potatoes and garlic clove in boiling water for about 10 mins. You'll need to poke them with a fork to check they're soft in the centre. There's no place for crunchy spuds at a civilised garden party, so my butler tells me.

Once done, drain the potatoes (and save the garlic clove). You are now allowed to cut them in half if they are wide loads. Mash up the garlic in a bowl with 3 tsps olive oil and 1 tsp cider vinegar. You can make more dressing if you need to; just remember the 3:1 ratio. And that's it! Garnish with chopped herbs. And if you've invited work colleagues round and want to impress for that long-awaited promotion, a little sprinkle of lemon zest will really do the trick. Nice. Now, sit back, open your beer (ideally something with eco-credentials, such as my favourite BrewDog), and get ready for salad number two...

Coleslaw. Another classic. Ok, hands up - I've used mayo here, but only to appease all the coleslaw zealots out there; basically my (lovely) friends!

1 carrot

red cabbage (some)

1 spring onion

1 tbsp vegan mayo. Make your own using this recipe, or you can buy ready-made.

1 tsp mustard (any type will do - don't fret about this)

Grate the carrot at an angle, so that it's almost vertical in your hand; this way you get nice long strands. Finely chop the cabbage and spring onion., and mix with the carrot in a large bowl. I've tried various sizes and either it ends up all over me or the floor, or there's no room for the mayo. Speaking of which, mix this with the mustard, and then pour onto your veggies. I sometimes add courgette too, or finely sliced sugar snap peas. Anything goes!

I promise this is taste loads better than supermarket coleslaw, and it'll be nice and fresh too.

Give it a try, and let me know how it goes...

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