Oat Berry Salad with Mayo Yoghurt Dressing

 

 

 

During the summer term at St John’s Primary School, I ran a Friday afternoon cookery club based around cooking with vegetables. Food in Community is a local charity that collects surplus organic produce, mainly from Riverford, and redistributes it to community groups and organisations. They kindly donated a box to the cooking club each week.  This means what we cook depends largely on what we get.

Initially, the box came on a Thursday giving me a day to plan for the Friday club. Then it changed arriving on the day, about 30-40 minutes before we started, so I really had to think on my feet.

One week I decided we’d make something using oat groats or oat berries from Grown In Totnes. When cooked they have a wonderfully soft, chewy texture which works really well with lots of crunchy veg in a salad. To make it a little more appealing for the children I created a competition, with the winning recipe to be published online (ie here…).

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We had a lovely mixed box of veg that day and a variety of ingredients to make a dressing. I encourage kids to cook without a recipe and to experiment with flavours. We’d been looking at the five tastes and thinking about these when we cook as well as different ways to cut and prepare veg.

The three teams came up with a tomato dressing, yoghurt and mint and yoghurt and mayo combos, all were delicious. We called on Mrs Connolly to do a blind tasting and choose a winner! It was incredibly close but the winning recipe was…..

Oat Berry Salad with Mayo Yoghurt Dressing

Recipe by Jaz Davey and Poppy Bastin

Salad Ingredients

  • 300g Oat groats
  • 400-500g vegetables: they used tomato, pepper, carrot, broad beans, finely chopped cabbage and spinach, and celery

Dressing – quantities very approximate

  • 3 tbs Olive oil
  • 1 tbs White wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbs Natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbs Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey or sugar
  • Salt and Pepper

(Had garlic come in the box, they would have used that, too!)

Method

  • Cook the oat groats in a pan of water for about 30 mins until soft. Rinse, drain and leave to cool.
  • Cut or chop your vegetables. Blanche the broad beans and slip them out of their skins.
  • Add the dressing ingredients to a jar, whisk with a fork to combine.
  • Put the oat groats in a large serving bowl with the vegetables. Pour over the dressing and gently mix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Omuraisu

Omuraisu

Omuraisu

Photograph: Elena Heatherwick for the Guardian
 

Omuraisu is favourite with kids in Japan: fried rice with chicken, seasoned with ketchup served in an omelette covered with more ketchup.

I do it slightly differently adding different vegetables, using tomato puree or passata in the rice and saving ketchup for a token drizzle on top. You can add any finely diced vegetables and use brown or white rice. Tofu or tempeh is an easy sub for chicken.

I also sometimes use passata or puree with a little soy sauce and honey in a squeezy bottle in place of ketchup. And I’m experimenting with a fermented version at the moment!

But sometimes a little ketchup is OK and my kids enjoy squirting different shapes and making little flags to stick in as they do in Japan.

 

This recipe was a winner in the Guardian Cook’s kid issue.

 
·      1 onion
·      150g chicken, diced 
·      2 carrots, finely chopped
·      ¼ red pepper, chopped
·      4 mushrooms, finely chopped 
·      2 spring onions, sliced
·      50g peas
·      400g cold, cooked rice
·      2-4 tbs tomato puree
·      4 eggs
·      Ketchup or more spring onions to serve
 
Serves 4
 
·      In a large pan heat some oil over a medium heat
·      Sauté the onion and chicken to brown
·      Add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes
·      Add the rice and stir for 5 minutes to heat through
·      Add the tomato puree, season with salt and pepper and mix well
·      Turn off the heat and put to one side
·      In a frying pan, heat a little oil over a medium heat
·      Beat one egg in a bowl and season 
·      Add to the pan and swirl to spread evenly in the pan
·      Cook until just set, slide onto a plate
·      Place a quarter of the rice on half the omelette
·      Fold over the empty side over to cover the rice and let your little ones squirt ketchup on top
·      Repeat with the remaining 3 eggs
·      Grown-ups may prefer a sprinkling of spring onion