Tasty Spiced Chicken

Tasty Spiced Chicken

This is a fantastic spice mix and works well on any cut of chicken – I have used it on Chicken Marylands and baked it for a dinner party, you could use a whole chicken cut into pieces or last night we had it on Chicken thigh fillets barbecued with some coconut oil.  I think it would make a delicious whole roast chicken too.  It’s really very versatile (and so ridiculously easy!!)

Tasty Spiced Chicken

Spiced Chicken Mix

In a bowl mix together the following spices:

  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (cilantro) seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

spices

How to pull it together:

Put the chicken cuts you are using (I used organic chicken thigh fillets) in a clean plastic bag with the spice mix.  Toss well until Chicken is covered.

Cook to your liking!  We barbecued these in some coconut oil  which added a  delicious flavour, and served with some blanched asparagus for a light yet very tasty meal.

Enjoy XX

Eggplant, Rocket (Arugula) and Pine Nut Salad with Yoghurt and Tahini Dressing

Eggplant, Rocket (Arugula) and Pine Nut Salad with Yoghurt and Tahini Dressing

Here is a wonderful light and healthy salad/side dish.  We have had this to accompany a barbecue or alongside a roast chicken instead of the usual roast veggies.  It is simple and quick to prepare, tastes delicious and looks so beautiful!

Eggplant, Rocket (Arugula) and Pine Nut Salad with Yoghurt and Tahini Dressing

(serves 4 as a side dish)

What you will need:

  • 2 eggplants (aubergines)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sumac
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 crushed garlic clove (or 1 teaspoon good quality organic minced garlic)
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper
  • A few handfuls of baby rocket (arugula)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves (I use flat leaf parsley)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (toasted)

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (or more if you prefer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • salt and pepper

How to pull it together:

Slice the eggplants lengthwise about 1 cm (1/4 inch) thick.  (I got about 4-5 per eggplant).  Sprinkle liberally with some sea salt and let sit for about 10 minutes.  You will see the salt will draw out the juices from the eggplant.  Wipe the salt and these juices off with a paper towel.

With a sharp knife score the eggplant diagonally.

Mix together the sumac, olive oil, garlic and a little salt and pepper.  Brush over the scored eggplant.  Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 30-40 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

In the meantime, whisk or shake together the ingredients for the dressing.

Once the eggplant is cooked, lay the slices out on your serving platter.  Top with rocket (arugula) and parsley and pour the dressing over.  Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve!

Enjoy X

 

Jazzing Up Your Veggies – Part 1

Jazzing Up Your Veggies – Part 1

Over summer I posted an article about how to get creative with your salads.  If you want to have a look you can check it out here. I thought now, since  the weather has been a bit colder and we have been enjoying our winter veggies, that  I would share a few ways that we have been cooking them.

1.  Turmeric Cauliflower

Oh my!  I made this as an alternative to potatoes.  It was so simple, yet really tasty.  This went brilliantly with a beef curry I made, but you could just as easily serve it with anything.  It would really jazz up a roast chicken!

I chopped half a head of cauliflower into florets and boiled it in some salted water to which I added 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.  I boiled for 5 minutes.  Then I drained the cauliflower and tossed in a little olive oil (although coconut oil would also work really well here) and baked in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes or until nicely roasted.

turmericcauliflower2.  Cinnamon Baked Sweet Potato

Sweet potato, sea salt and cinnamon is a match made in heaven!  Chop up a sweet potato, lightly coat in olive oil (or coconut oil) and sprinkle with some cinnamon and sea salt.  Soooo yummy!

cinnamonsweetpot3.  Eggplant and Tomato Bake

I posted my recipe for Eggplant and Tomato Bake here.  It is so versatile – goes brilliantly with chicken, fish, my healthy schnitzel (recipe here), steak – or even by itself as an entree.  For Thermomix owners – I have adapted the sauce recipe so that it is Thermomix friendly.

bubabefore

4.  Pumpkin/Cauliflower mash

This is what I use to top my shepherds pie (recipe here).  It is so simple and delicious.  Much more flavour than mashed potato and much better for you.   I have also included a Thermomix version of this recipe here too.

What you will need:

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower (chopped/broken into florets)
  • 1 cup diced butternut pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon organic grass fed butter or Ghee (optional)

How to pull it together:

Steam or boil the cauliflower and pumpkin until soft.  Drain if necessary.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter and blitz in a food processor or with a hand held blender until smooth. You may need to add a bit of liquid to improve consistency (water, stock, milk – whatever you would prefer)

Thermomix version of crust:

If making in a Thermomix cook the cauliflower and pumpkin and about 1/2 cup of water and a tablespoon of Thermomix vegetable stock for 20 minutes speed 1 at 100 degrees.  Make sure it is cooked through.  Add the butter or ghee.  Attach the butterfly attachment and blitz for 20-30 seconds speed 3-4.

5.  Spiced Roast Veggies

Although these make a perfect side dish, this is my current favourite ‘light’ dinner. If I feel that we have over-indulged I’ll make this for hubby and I to have for dinner.  I always wake up feeling cleaner and lighter.

Chop up a variety of your favourite veggies – I like to use whole button mushrooms, diced eggplant, cauliflower florets, zucchini (courgettes) and pumpkin.  A couple of chopped tomatoes would be nice too.  I toss the veggies in some olive oil with about a teaspoon each of cinnamon, ground corriander, turmeric, sea salt, chilli flakes and cumin – but feel free to play around with the quantities of the spices.  It’s a great blend!

If you like you could add a dollop of pesto (my recipe for basil pesto is here) or even some hummus or a little creme fraiche (a little bit goes a long way).

I hope you enjoy some of these ideas, my repertoire is constantly expanding so watch out for the sequel to this post 🙂

Coconutty Salmon, Quinoa and Greens

Coconutty Salmon, Quinoa and Greens

This is one of my favourite go to meals.  It is quick, easy, tasty and healthy – so it ticks all boxes!  The coconut oil gives it a delicious coconutty flavour.  I love making this on the weekend for us for lunch, or it makes the perfect lazy dinner.  I love it with quinoa, but it is delicious with brown rice too …

Coconutty Salmon, Quinoa and Spinach

(serves 2 – but easily halved/multiplied depending on how many you are feeding)

What you will need:

1 cup cooked quinoa (or cooked brown rice if you prefer) *

2 fillets of fresh salmon

1 tablespoon coconut oil

a couple of big handfuls baby spinach leaves or rocket (arugula), or  baby kale works well too

Fresh lemon juice (to taste)

Salt and pepper (and chilli flakes or sambal to taste)

How to cook your quinoa:

In a saucepan add in a ratio of 1:2 quinoa and liquid.  (I.e. 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water).  Bring to the boil and reduce heat.  Simmer, covered for 15 minutes.  You should end up with fluffy perfectly cooked quinoa.  (You can cook with a squeeze of lemon juice, some grated lemon zest, or in chicken stock for extra flavour if you like.)

I like using both white and red quinoa, but whatever you can get your hands on is fine.

How to pull it together:

Steam the salmon fillets for 5 minutes or until cooked to your liking.  You could also poach in boiling water for 5 minutes.  When done,  chop it up or pull apart into flakes with a knife and fork.

In a large pan heat the coconut oil.  Add the quinoa (or brown rice) and toss until well coated.  Toss through the flaked salmon, greens and lemon juice and stir until the spinach has slightly wilted.

Divide into bowls and serve with more lemon juice and chilli (if desired).

Enjoy XX

 

My Greek-Inspired Shepherd’s Pie With A Cauliflower and Pumpkin Crust

My Greek-Inspired Shepherd’s Pie With A Cauliflower and Pumpkin Crust

What can I say – this was absolutely delicious!  It is The Shrinking Hubby’s new favourite meal and is a great one to make double and freeze half, or take to work for lunches the next day.  The flavours work really well here and make a refreshing change to the traditional shepherd’s pie.  The cauliflower and pumpkin crust is really yummy but you could definitely add your own touch with what you use here (think zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli etc).  Who said you needed a potato crust on a pie?  You wouldn’t even know!!

Greek-Inspired Shepherd’s Pie

With A Cauliflower and Pumpkin Crust

What you need:

For the Base:

  • 1 kilo lamb mince
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped (I used 2 tsp organic minced garlic)
  • 2 onions diced
  • 1 700 ml bottle passata (tomato puree)
  • 1 tablespoon homemade vegetable stock paste (I made mine in the Thermomix) (or you could use a good quality bouillion powder like Marigold, or  1/2 cup chicken or beef stock – but you may wish to use 1/2 cup less of the passata mixture if you don’t like your sauce too liquidy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons choped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 carrots peeled and finely diced
  • 2 zucchinis finely diced
  • sea salt and cracked pepper

For the Crust

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower (chopped/broken into florets)
  • 1 cup diced butternut pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon organic grass fed butter or Ghee (optional)
  • a small handful of cheese (tasty, feta, parmesan) – optional

How to pull it together:

For the base

In a large pot heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the onions, garlic and a sprinkle of sea salt (to stop the onions burning) and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until soft.  Add the carrots and zucchini and cook for a further 3 minutes stirring frequently so that the onions don’t burn.  Add the lamb mince and cook until browned.  (about 5 minutes).  Add the tomatoes, stock, cinnamon, mint, parsely, salt and pepper and cook for 15-20 minutes or until reduced and thickened.  Taste for seasoning and set aside.

Moussaka bubbling away on the stove

Moussaka bubbling away on the stove

For the crust

Steam or boil the cauliflower and pumpkin until soft.  Drain if necessary.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter and blitz in a food processor or with a hand held blender until smooth. You may need to add a bit of liquid to improve consistency (water, stock, milk – whatever you would prefer)

Thermomix version of crust

If making in a Thermomix cook the cauliflower and pumpkin for 20 minutes speed 1 at 100 degrees.  Make sure it is cooked through.  Add the butter or ghee.  Attach the butterfly attachment and blitz for 20-30 seconds speed 3-4.

To assemble, place the meat evenly along a deep baking tray.  Top with the mash and sprinkle with a tiny bit of grated tasty cheese, parmesan or feta (optional).  Bake in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes until the crust is brown and bubbly.  Enjoy!

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