A short-term cake alternative: Courgette ribbons, tomatoes + parma ham salad

Light dinner, Quimple (Quick and simple), Vegetables

I think a little bit of me dies each day I don’t bake. This has been going on for almost 2 weeks now all because I have a 10 km race coming up on Sunday, so I’ve decided to cut off SOME refined sugar and carbs from my diet. It definitely has to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done especially because I wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread almost everyday (metaphorically speaking, my mumma’s the snake tempting me to take a bite of that calorie-filled apple/sweet bread roll). So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make something  light and delicious as well as healthy that my body will be thanking me for when I complete that race on Sunday.  And then after that I can stuff myself with everything sugar-filled in this world…until I’m ready to start training for another 10 km race in February.

Some good things about this salad:

  • It is extremely versatile because you can eat it by itself, with spaghetti, on toasted ciabatta bread or with whatever floats your boat.
  • It is obviously nutritious. I mean look at all those vibrant natural colours! And my gosh it tastes extra extra fresh. Fresher than the prince of Bel Air.
  • It is a great meal to make when you’ve got leftover vegetables just chilling in your fridge. Simply slice them, throw them together and bish bash bosh, you’re done!
  • Also, lately my body hasn’t been responding well to starchy foods; I instantly feel bloated and uncomfortable and it doesn’t help that these carbs represent majority of what we eat in this house (my brothers need all that because they go to the gym a lot and play rugby etc and my mumma loves them more than she loves us girls and our low-carb needs). So this salad saves me from a lot of discomfort.

The salad tasted so good…ALMOST as good as a chunky slice of chocolate cake! I normally dislike courgettes so I wanted to see what else I could do with them. The zingy lemon dressing with the crunchiness of the courgettes complemented the cool sweet taste of the tomatoes. The creamy eggs and salty anchovies married with the chewy parma ham made it more perfect. Gone are the days of trying to stomach a bland-tasting lettuce-filled salad. If this courgette salad was a person, it would be Michael Jackson; charming, modest and totally bad ass.


For the dressing

  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1tsp wholegrain mustard or dijon mustard
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

For the salad

  • 1 courgette, peeled and sliced with a vegetable/potato peeler
  • 1 large plum tomato, chopped
  • 2 0r 3 slices of Parma ham
  • 1 hardboiled egg, quartered
  • 4 anchovy fillets

Boil the egg for 13 minutes; on high heat for 10 minutes then medium/low heat for 3 minutes.

While the egg is boiling, whisk all the lemon dressing ingredients together.

In a bowl, pour some of the dressing over the courgette strips and tomatoes, and toss with your fingertips or a fork.

Throw in the slices of parma ham, eggs and anchovies.

Drizzle with a bit more dressing.


Nothing can beat a lovely slice of cake but do you have any cake alternatives?

Posted by

Hello, I’m Aisha and I am a foodaholic. If weight gain does not correlate with food intake, my whole life would be about food. I’d eat (more of) it, breathe it, swim (although I can’t swim) in it, drown (since I can’t swim) in it. I’d speak the language of food and my body would be food. I’d probably end up eating myself. My brain is occupied with food thoughts 84.74% of the time. If I didn’t go running at least 4 times a week like I do now then I’d definitely be 90kg or 14 stones or 1000000 stones or more. And I wish I didn’t care because I’d be the happiest fattest person ever as long as I eat good food. So welcome to the virtual food side of my brain and let’s get virtually fat together.

10 thoughts on “A short-term cake alternative: Courgette ribbons, tomatoes + parma ham salad”

  1. Oh man that all looks amazing!!!!! I’m sorry you’re dying a little each day but just think how awesome you’ll feel Sunday afternoon! Good Luck.


    • Thank you so much Caroline! I’m actually looking forward to the race, I just can’t believe I’ve got 3 days to go…3 days closer to eating some caaaake!


    • Thank you! I loved the Parma ham as well, perhaps next time I’ll grill it a bit for the its flavours to develop before putting it on the salad, we’ll see!


    • Definitely one of the most delicious and surprisingly easy salads I’ve ever made. Thank you!


  2. Yes, it doesn’t take much to prepare something as delicious as this! I’m a huge fan of Jamie Oliver’s 15-minute meals on the TV, and you know how good he is! I like your food photography…. :O)


    • Thank you very much Janina! I love Jamie Oliver so much and everything that he does, he makes everything look so easy. Funny enough a couple of days after I made this he made some sort of courgette salad on his show using different colours of courgettes, looked magnificent! Mine didn’t even come close lol


      • The Japanese certainly know about how food presents on a plate makes us want to eat the food thereon; yet, sometimes the rustic nature of some food combinations makes it more important about how the food tastes, after all that’s why we eat a meal, not just for the looks alone! I have no doubt this salad of yours was most delicious. Keep up the good food photography (nice and sharp is the way to go and, remember, not everything photographs well). Happy New Year to you, Aisha! 🙂 Will read you more regularly….


      • Japanese precision when it comes to food is so admirable and you’re right flavour combinations are always a bonus.

        Thank you very much Janina, I appreciate and happy new year to you too, hope you’re making the most of it (:


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s