Monday 24 May 2021

Sweet potato buckwheat and greens salad, and vaccine hesitancy

It is not quite salad weather any more but I am happy to share with you a salad that is most welcome in all seasons.  I made this salad on Mothers Day to share with my family when I went to my parents' in Geelong for a barbecue lunch.  We all enjoyed it.  There were even requests for leftovers at the end of the day.

Like some of my favourite recipes, this salad was born out of necessity.  There was a packet of buckwheat in the pantry that led to a broccoli buckwheat salad.  As cooked broccoli does not always age well, I decided to use roasted sweet potato instead.  I added celery for crunch.  I didn't have cucumber so I used some pickled cucumbers, which paired nicely with the sundried tomatoes and feta.  I really liked that the salad did not have a dressing that had to be whisked or shaken.  It just needed some olive oil and lemon juice mixed in at the end.  Easy!  I mean it was easy at the end but a bit of preparation to gather the ingredients with simmering, crumbling, toasting, roasting and chopping!

The day started off with Sylvia who gave me a little mother's day bundle.  We then had pancakes.  It wasn't a flowers and napkins brunch.  I made us fluffy pancakes and ate them in front of Insiders.  I was busy making the salad.  Sylvia was very sweet with the thoughtfulness of her card and presents.  Then she went out to the supermarket to buy us milk, maple syrup and celery.  She sat down with me to eat pancakes with maple syrup and raspberries.


In Geelong, we had a fantastic lunch.  It was good to be sharing some delicious salads, gossip and laughter that reduced us to tears.  My dad and brother did the BBQ and did me some sausages.  My mum made desserts, including a magnificent pavlova.  She is a pretty impressive baker.  So as well as making pavlova, cheesecake and orange cake, she whipped up a batch of scones because my niece said how much she loved them.


One of the main topics of conversation in my life lately seems to be the Covid vaccine.  Australia did such a great job of containing Covid so we can live (almost) normal lives but now the media is all abuzz with stories of vaccine hesitancy.  Living in Fortress Australia being like a being in a gilded cage.  My dad had recently had the vaccine at the Mother's Day lunch.  One fascinating facts I read about buckwheat was that it has a plant pigment called rutin that prevents blood clots.  This made the salad seem quite timely, given that there is a lot of fear about blood clots from the Astra Zenica vaccine. 

Also quite relevant to my family (given we had 4 members present who have been diagnosed with celiac disease) is that buckwheat is gluten free.  I noticed how misleading the name was when I heard my sister tell my celiac niece to avoid the salad.  I had forgot to tell her the salad was gluten free.


In Melbourne we have just had our first community transmission of Corona Virus in 3 months.  It is a timely reminder of just how important the vaccine is to protect against death, disease, and lockdowns,  Coincidentally I had my first Astra Zenica vaccine jab today (booked last week).  As I came out of the magnificent Exhibition Buildings, a woman approached me to ask if I had the vaccine and was it ok.  She was nervous about the vaccine but I admired her for coming to the vacciine hub despite that and stood chatting to her about it for a while.  

 Instead of me wittering on, here are a few interesting (and occasionally entertaining) articles related to vaccine hesitancy:

I would like to write more but I am told I might feel sick tomorrow so should get to bed!  Meanwhile I highly recommend this salad for it's deliciousness and for its anti blood clotting properties.  (I thought of calling it an anti blood clotting salad but that is as gross as my ride to work this morning passing 4 animal carcasses and having a bug fly up my nose!)  I can also attest to this salad being excellent at room temperature for lunch a few days after being made.

More buckwheat recipes:


Sweet potato buckwheat and greens salad
Adapted from Nourish Every Day with some input on cooking buckwheat from Dr Weil

  • 1 cup buckwheat groats or kasha, cooked*
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (approx 500g), diced and roasted in olive oil and salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pickled cucumbers
  • 3/4 cup semi-dried tomatoes, chopped with scissors
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • 100 grams feta cheese, crumbled*
  • 1 handful fresh mint, roughly chopped* 
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped*
  • handful spinach and rocket, roughly chopped*
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to season
 Mix all the salad ingredients.  Stir in the dressing ingredients and season to taste.  Serve at room temperature.  Can be made ahead of time.  Can be kept in the fridge in a sealed container for 3-5 days.
  • To cook buckwheat, toast the groats for 5 minutes in a medium saucepan over medium heat until browned (this makes it into kasha, which you can use and skip this step) and then simmer 15-20 minutes with 2 cups of boiling water and a pinch of salt.  I cooled mine on a couple of large plates because I did this and the sweet potato the night before and wanted to cool it quickly before heading to bed.
  • Use what combination of greens/herbs you have - I forgot about the parsley and mint and just added a little parsley from my garden but meant to add more.  I think dill might be nice instead of the mint, depending on what you have.
  • To make the salad vegan, I would recommend subsituting cooked brown or green lentils for the feta.

On the Stereo:
It: Pulp


  1. How sweet is that Mother's Day bundle?! And the salad looks amazing. It is getting to be salad weather over here and I'm collecting ideas for new hearty salads to make.

  2. Feels like lockdowns are the new way of life :( thank you for thinking about and writing about vaccine hesitancy, and for talking to that lady. I think the rollout here has been really quite bungled, and the community is now really scared. I hope the Melbourne outbreak will be contained soon and also inspire others to get vaccinated! Take care xx

  3. that's interesting about buckwheat and blood clotting! hope you're doing well down there in lockdown again. things will never get 'normal' until we all get vaccinated i guess. just wondering what you are doing about your email subs now that feedburner is turning off their subs service? Think i will go with Follow-it as some other bloggers are doing. take care!


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