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Mackerel & Rocket Couscous Salad, Photographed by Elizabeth Andrews

Simple Students Suppers – Spring Salads!

As the weather becomes warmer and lighter, refreshing meals become a lot more appealing. Add some colour to your mealtimes with fresh fruits and vegetables – easy to prepare, and very little washing up afterwards! Having a range of different colours on your plate means you are getting a wider range of nutrients, especially vitamins, which are particularly essential for revision.

Salad 1 – BBQ Chicken Salad

Ingredients (serves 2)4 chicken breasts, approximately 300g BBQ sauce (depending on your preference), 2 large handfuls of lettuce or spinach, 100g Ranch Dressing (or a combination of garlic, onion, buttermilk, salt, herbs, or paprika as available), 1 Lime, 1 large salad tomato, and 2 flour tortillas (cut in to strips).

Method – Grill the chicken for about 20-25 minutes at 200ᴼC until cooked. If you have an onion, finely slice and add these on to the same tray for about 10 minutes to soften. Shred the chicken finely.

To make the dressing, thoroughly mix the ranch dressing (or alternative ingredients chosen), with the juice of the lime (and flesh if you like a stronger citrus flavour), and tomato until it makes a smooth paste. If you like a spicy dressing, add a finely chopped jalapeno.

Add the desired amount of lettuce or spinach on your plate, add a few spoonfuls of chicken and onions (you can add some black bean salsa here if you wish), pour on the dressing and serve with warmed tortilla strips. Enjoy!

Salad 2 – Couscous Based Salads 

Use a selection of your favourite foods to make a healthy, appealing and satisfying salad for dinner. One of my favourites includes the use of smoked mackerel with rocket and olives (see recipe below). However, you can add any ingredients you like. For example: tomatoes, cucumber, other oily fish (scientifically proven to increase brain function), lettuce, watercress etc. The possibilities with this recipe are endless! Use one bowl for the couscous then add in all your chopped ingredients, leaving you with very little washing up!

Ingredients – 2 smoked mackerel fillets, a handful of cherry tomatoes (sundried tomatoes are a nice alternative), a handful of black olives, a large handful of rocket, a drop of olive oil and a pinch of herbs (rosemary and sage go particularly well), half a standard sachet of couscous.

Method – Boil a small amount of water in a kettle, and mix with the couscous (the water level should be just above the couscous level in the bowl). Leave to one side for the couscous to absorb the water.

Meanwhile, finely chop the mackerel, tomatoes, olives, and rocket. Drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil and add in any herbs of your choice. Black pepper or paprika could also be used to give it a spicy flavour. Enjoy!

About Elizabeth Andrews

e.d.Andrews@student.reading.ac.uk'
A third year Food Technology Student, currently on a year's placement experiencing the Big Wide World! Loves researching flavour combinations and recipes, test cooking and, of course eating!

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