Despite staying 80% faithful to my Paleo diet (I’m a big believer in the 80/20 rule) there are some exceptions I have come to accept. In my opinion the beauty of Paleo is that it can be what you make of it: I began with the very bare bones of the diet but have included a couple of food groups to fit my lifestyle. Dairy is one of these. It’s not something I eat to excess – a splash of milk in tea, some goats cheese on my salad – but eating it doesn’t effect me negatively, so why would I stop?
Yogurt is an ingredient that I use a lot more in cooking than I did before. I always buy the plain low-fat variant (as well as the fromage frais version which are always pink and Peppa Pig themed) so find it to be a great base for salad dressings, puddings, breakfasts and meal accompaniments, my favourite being raita with shedloads of garlic and cucumber. The plain yog, not the Peppa Pig one obviously. Yummo.
We have the first ever yogurt week coming up (put it in your diaries! 19-25 May!) and to celebrate all things white and creamy the people at the Yogurt Council have asked me to share one of my favourite recipes using this magic ingredient. It’s a fabulous addition to a healthy diet like Paleo: yogurt contains a range of nutrients important to a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. For further information visit loveyogurt.org and follow loveyogurtuk on Facebook and Twitter.
One of my all-time loveliest staple dishes is this Ottolenghi-inspired Aubergine and Courgette salad with Pomegranate and a yogurt dressing. It’s so easy to throw together and does me on its own for lunch, or with a protein if I’m having it for dinner (I love it with my easy lamb koftes, without the wraps these days of course. Sadface… though look! Tzatziki! More lovely yogurt!).
I love the crunch of the salad with the soft veggies, the pairing of the slightly smoky dressing and sweet pomegranate seeds and the aromatic handful of herbs on top. It’s a salad of queens, this one!
Here’s how you can use your yogurt to turn your Aubergine into something worthy of KMiddy. You can thank me later, after yogurt week:
- 1 aubergine
- 1 courgette
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large handful mixed salad leaves
- 1 dessert spoon full pomegranate seeds
- 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
- pinch smoked paprika
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp honey
- small handful each of parsley and mint, roughly chopped
- Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
- Slice up your aubergine and courgette as uniformly as you can and mix in a large bowl with the olive oil until coated.
- Spread on a large baking tray, trying not to overlap too much. Season with salt.
- Roast on the top shelf for 20 - 30 mins until golden brown.
- Meanwhile mix the yogurt, paprika, honey and lemon juice together in a bowl and season to taste.
- Spread your salad leaves on your plate and when out the oven top with your roasted veg.
- Drizzle the yogurt dressing over and add the pomegranate seeds. Garnish with your herbs.