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Cajun chicken quinoa lettuce bowls: Recipe and playlist

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It looks like I’m on a one woman quinoa crusade at the moment. I can’t get enough of the stuff. Those little nutty grains are just so yummy, and I always feel better eating them rather than pasta or white rice. The lettuce bowls are really easy to do but I think they are a bit more exciting than just serving the chicken with a simple side salad.

Playlist to accompany your cooking

Recipe

Ingredients – Serves two, or one with good lunch leftovers

2 chicken breasts
1 cup quinoa
1 tbsp cajun seasoning
1 larger red onion – cut into slices
2 peppers – cut into slices
6 spring onions – cut into small pieces
1 chicken stock cube
Iceberg lettuce

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C (fan oven).

Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and coat in the cajun seasoning.

Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, wash your quinoa under the tap to rinse off the bitter coating. 

Add the chicken stock cube to boiling water, and cook the quinoa for 15 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, stir-fry the onion and pepper pieces for a few minutes until softer, but still with a crunch. Add the spring onion for the last couple of minutes. 

Drain the quinoa, and toss everything together.

With the iceberg lettuce, carefully peel off to form ‘bowls’ and serve the quinoa inside. 

Dress with a ranch dressing, or olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Photos on the way! They’re currently being held prisoner on my old phone, which doesn’t want to give them up without a fight.

Whiskey and ginger sour: Recipe and playlist

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The sun is shining, the weather is sweet yeah (as a certain Bob Marley sang), which means it’s cocktail time. Yes yes, I know it’s cocktail time all year round, but any excuse and all that… 

While this may not be a particularly fruity, summery number, it is sweet, sour, and you will be wanting more. It works especially well if you’re watching Mad Men, or sat in a smoke-hazed room wearing braces and a hat. Other locations and occasions are acceptable.

Old Fashioned and an Iced tea

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Fresh basil pesto: Recipe and playlist

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The humble pesto: is there anything that isn’t improved by a big dollop of basil? This is one of those recipes that is so easy, and so quick, I’m annoyed at myself for not making it before. I’ve treated myself to the odd jar of fresh pesto at the farmers market, but mainly I’ve ploughed through jar after jar of Sacla.

If you have a spare five minutes, this is perfect for a quick midweek meal, either on pasta, or whatever your pesto preference. And you’ll feel so much more satisfied than reaching for that stockpiled Sacla.  

Pesto on pasta

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Quinoa, butternut squash and halloumi salad: Recipe and playlist

Quinoa, halloumi and butternut squash salad

I bought myself some quinoa a while ago, but it’s just been sat in my cupboard, until today. I decided it was time to give it a go, after all, the sun is shining and cooking with quinoa is about as adventurous as I’m going to get today. If I can get through this recipe without writing ‘buttnut’ again, it will be a success. Read the rest of this entry

Coffee semifreddo: Recipe and playlist

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You should never break a promise, but it appears I have. I’ve left you all hanging (well perhaps one or two of you) with a lack of coffee semifreddo recipe to accompany your chocolate torte. I teased you with the torte, but what’s a torte without semifreddo (still wonderful but that’s not the point)?

As it’s stopped raining 24/7 and is down to around 23/6, this refreshing semifreddo is great in the sun on a lazy summer(ish) afternoon in front of the Olympics.

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Olive and sun-dried tomato stuffed chicken: Recipe and playlist

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Olive and sundred tomato stuffed chicken

This cheeky little main course is actually quite easy to do, but gets a pretty good reception so it’s a good one for a dinner party or to impress friends. There are loads of variations you can try too – substitute the stuffings for cheese and herbs, or go Italian and stuff with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. Perhaps try mushrooms, or spinach and dates – the possibilities are endless.

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Churros: Recipe and playlist

So Christmas has swiftly passed for another year. The turkey’s been eaten and the chocolates are basically gone. Having received Lorraine Pascale’s Baking Made Easy and Annie Rigg’s Gifts From the Kitchen as part of my Christmas-kitchen stash, I have since been salivating over the recipes. As if being a model wasn’t enough for Lorraine, she’s gone on to be a successful food writer and television cook. She owns bakery Ella’s Bakehouse in Covent Garden and is still skinny – I’d love to know how she does it!

After visiting Spain a few times during my teenage years and always enjoying the artery-blocking Churros, I was thrilled to find a recipe for them in Baking Made Easy. For anyone who hasn’t experienced them before, they’re basically tube shaped donuts dipped in sugar and served with a hot chocolate sauce. Heavenly. Perhaps make them before the January diet really kicks in (no-one starts for the first couple of weeks do they?).

Churros and hot chocolate sauce

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