Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

If you’ve been following The Shrinking Hubby for a while now, you may have realised how much I LOVE quinoa!  This salad is absolutely delicious on its own, or as an accompaniment to fish, chicken or beef.  Try it with my delicious healthy BBQ Chook!

The first time I made it, I enjoyed the left overs with a tin of tuna for the next couple of days for lunch – it was really good.

This salad was inspired by food blogger Phoodie, but I have tweaked it a little bit to suit our own tastes.

Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

What you need:

1 cup quinoa

zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

1 punnet grape/cherry or roma tomatoes – quartered

1 bunch parsley leaves chopped

1/2 red onion finely diced

1 cucumber diced

1 red capsicum diced

1 cup of pinenuts or slivered almonds (whichever you prefer) – toasted.  (I dry roast them in a pan until they become aromatic)

2 tins organic chickpeas rinsed well and drained

150 – 200 grams of goats cheese or feta (whichever you prefer)

Dressing

Whisk together (or shake in a jar)  juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon sumac, and olive oil (to taste)

How to pull it together:

Bring 1 cup quinoa, 2 1/2 cups water, zest and juice of 1/2 lemon to a boil and simmer (covered) for about 10-15 minutes or until cooked.  If it gets too dry you may need more water.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the onion, diced capsicum, cucumber, parsley, chickpeas and tomatoes.  Add half the toasted nuts (almonds or pinenuts) and half the cheese (crumbled).

Add the quinoa to the bowl and pour the dressing over and mix well.

Decant into your serving dish and top with remaining nuts and cheese to serve.

Such a healthy and delicious salad – enjoy!

XX

Alix

Healthy BBQ Chook

Healthy BBQ Chook

With summer fast approaching here in Australia this is a great recipe for a healthy barbecue option.  I love using this on a butterflied chicken and serving it with some yummy salads.  It’s always a hit!   It’s so easy because once it’s marinated there is really not much else I need to do (as hubby is in charge of the barbecue!), and since it really benefits from being put together a day before – it leaves me more time to chat with our guests.

This is a recipe from The Food Coach  and is seriously easy but very impressive!   Try it with my warm mushroom, walnut and baby spinach salad or my tasty haloumi, green bean and lentil salad.

Healthy BBQ Chook

You will need:

1 free range chicken (ask your butcher to butterfly it for you)

Marinade: (quantity per chicken – i.e. I double this for 2 chickens)

here50 grams preserved lemon rind (2 wedges makes aprox 50 grams) (check out this link for how to make your own preserved lemons)

Juice of 1 lemon

3 cloves crushed garlic (or 3 teaspoons organice minced garlic)

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon hot paprika

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup chopped coriander (cilantro)

Sea salt/celtic salt to taste

How to make it:

Place the above ingredients in a food processor and blend until it forms a paste.  Using your hands, spread the paste over both sides of the chicken.

chicken-on-barbie

Refrigerate overnight if possible or for a few hours to allow the flavours to penetrate the chicken meat.

Cook on a barbeque and serve with your favourite salads!

 

Enjoy XX

Tasty Lamb, Eggplant and Pumpkin – perfect for entertaining!

Tasty Lamb, Eggplant and Pumpkin – perfect for entertaining!

My sister sent me this amazing recipe which I made for friends on the weekend and then again last night.  It is so healthy and delicious that I simply had to share!  It’s quick, easy and will become part of your regular repertoire I promise!

Piri Piri Lamb with Eggplant and Pumpkin (serves 2)

Marinade:

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

3 Garlic cloves (crushed)

2 tsp piri piri seasoning (Keep in mind this is a spicy seasoning if you are doubling the marinade.  I have used both  Masterfoods piri piri seasoning and Herbies Peri Peri seasoning.  The Herbies one was much hotter than Masterfoods  so maybe only use 1 tsp if this is the one you want to use).

Rind and juice of 1 lemon

Whisk the above ingredients together (or shake up in a jar)

Veggies:

1 eggplant diced (I sliced the eggplant lengthwise and salted it for 10 minutes before patting dry  and dicing – this drains the bitter juices)

1/4 Kent pumpkin diced (You could use Kumera/Sweet Potato instead of pumpkin)

1 tin chickpeas (drained and rinsed well)

Lamb:

Lamb rack (I usually serve 4 cutlets to a person)

(you could also use lamb cutlets, lamb chops, backstrap, lamb loin etc…)

Method:

Brush lamb with marinade.

Toss 1/2 of the marinade with eggplant and pumpkin.

Cook eggplant and pumpkin for 20 minutes at about 180 degrees.

At this point put the marinated lamb rack in the oven for 15 minutes (and cook the veggies for a further 15 minutes at the same time.)  If using lamb cutlets/chops or back strap you could BBQ or pan fry at this point.

lambracksforoven

Take out the veggies (after total of 35 minutes) and toss with chickpeas then cook for further 5 mins.

(At this point I blanched a bunch of asparagus to go with it)

Serve lamb on bed of veggies and drizzle with remaining marinade (with added chopped parsley if desired) over top.   Could serve with a dollop of hummus if you wanted to – we did and it was yummy!

 

So easy and so delicious – enjoy!

X
Alix

Spicy Lamb Mince

Spicy Lamb Mince

So it was Andrew’s birthday last week and I was all set to make him a healthy roast lemon chicken for dinner with roasted cauliflower, eggplant and steamed asparagus but he requested my Spicy Lamb Mince instead.

I have been making this lamb mince for years – used to serve it with risotto and toasted flatbreads – so many naughty carbs!!!  The way we eat it now it is just as delicious and much healthier served on a bed of mixed salad greens with a dollop of hummus (yummmmo).

In the unhealthier days Andrew’s requests would have been crumbed lamb cutlets fried up and served with fried rice, or  takeaway pizza, or a huge creamy pasta or a big burger with the works and fries undoubtedly followed by a big tub of ice cream!  For him to request this much healthier meal on his birthday as a celebration meal is an indication of just how far he’s come.

I have added diced eggplant to this recipe as we love eggplant and I am always looking for ways to bulk up a meal with veggies.  If you aren’t partial to eggplant just leave the whole eggplant process out – will still be delicious!

I usually double the recipe and freeze half – it’s a great alternative to takeaway to have on hand!

Please try it and let me know what you think – it is seriously yummy!

Spicy Lamb Mince

You will need

2 onions finely diced

1 eggplant

1 kg (2 pounds) Lamb mince

1tablespoon olive oil (I love using garlic infused olive oil for dishes like this)

3 cloves garlic (or 3 teaspoons crushed garlic – I love the spiral organic crushed garlic)

2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (can get this from Harris Farm,  or delis)

Salt

50 g (1/4 cup) toasted pine nuts

Bunch of fresh mint

Good quality store bought hummus (love the PilPel brand – just make sure there are no nasty additives …)

Bag of mixed salad greens (love the baby spinach and beetroot mix from Woolworths)

For the Spice Mix

1 Tablespoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground all spice

2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon dried mint

Preparation

Slice the eggplant lengthways and lay on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt (I use celtic sea salt for this kind of thing – don’t waste your murray river pink salt!)  Leave for about 10 minutes.  Once your eggplant has started weeping (see pic below) get some more paper towel and wipe the salt and the juices off.  Then cut into small cubes and set aside.

saltedeggplant

Heat up a large pot and add the olive oil.  Throw in the chopped onions and garlic.  Sprinkle some salt and sauté until transparent.  Add the eggplant and toss it with the onion and garlic until cooked through.  Add the lamb mince and mix together.  When cooked, throw in the spice mix and pomegranate molasses and cook until the flavours come together.

Toss through the toasted pine nuts and the chopped fresh mint and then it’s done!!!

Serve on a bed of salad greens, with a dollop of hummus.  It ain’t a pretty dish but it tastes AMAZING!!!!

Enjoy!!!

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