Toasted buckwheat grains, or kasha, makes a pleasant change from rice and pasta. By including plenty of fresh raw vegetables, such as sugarsnap peas, cucumber, fennel and radishes, you add not only colour and flavour but valuable nutrients, too.
Use mange-tout in place of sugarsnap peas. * Instead of mixed seafood, use 400 g (14 oz) skinless boneless chicken or turkey breast, or lean beef or lamb steak, cut into thin strips. Stir-fry until cooked and lightly browned, then toss with the dressed kasha and vegetables. * For a kasha and ham salad, replace the seafood with 250 g (8½ oz) lean cooked ham, cut into strips. Make a soy-based dressing by whisking together 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tsp light soy sauce, 2 tsp clear honey, 1 tsp wholegrain mustard and seasoning to taste. Instead of sugarsnap peas, fennel and radishes, add 2 finely chopped carrots, 170 g (6 oz) shredded Chinese leaves and 1–2 finely chopped or coarsely grated courgettes with the cucumber. Finish the salad with a sprinkling of 3–4 tbsp sunflower seeds rather than nori seaweed.
Buckwheat, native to central Asia, was introduced into Europe towards the end of the Middle Ages. It contains useful amounts of vitamin A and some of the B vitamins. * Sugarsnap peas are a good source of vitamin C and they contain more dietary fibre than ordinary peas. This is because the edible pod contributes to the fibre content.
B12, copper, selenium, zinc * B1, B6, C, E, niacin, iron, potassium * A, B2, folate, calcium