Tag Archives: Salad

Shrimpin business

18 Jan

AvocadosaladOr should I say “shrinking. No REAL new year’s resolution. I’m mentioning this because I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about the “I joined the gym, I’m going to lose weight”, ” I’m on a diet, I’m going to lose weight” style of conversations every year. This is just not going to work. In everything, consistency and being serious about your health is key. No crash exercises or diets.

My new year resolutions – 2 things. One is to try my utter best NOT to eat gluten. Unlike most people, I get physically ill when eating wheat, gluten or too much fibre. Its not that I don’t want to eat it, believe me, I’d just stuff my face with it all if I could, but the after effects are so bad that I have vowed to focus and just not give in. The second resolution is not to moan about how bad I feel AFTER I’ve given in. Yes. They’re naughtily tied together.

This means less carbs.. and I REFUSE to buy gluten free products, because I believe these are actually worse for you than eating gluten. Have you seen the expiry dates on those? Most of them are almost a year. You know what they say, the longer it keeps, the worse it is for you. Only fresh and healthy, that is the route.

Luckily I love seafood, and the carnivore lion man does too!! Unfortunately I always have to give him a little piece of toasted bread with some olive oil etc. to make sure that tummy of his is all filled up!!

I love having frozen seafood in the freezer. It never stays in there for too long though. In this case, I just had a pack of cooked shrimp. Many ways to make a yummy salad with those buggers, but in this case I went for a bit of retro shrimp cocktail style salad. Why did we stop making these, they’re awesome, a real classic! This is my take on shrimp cocktail.

Zesty Shrimp Cocktail

salad

Ingredients

500g frozen shrimp

handful of baby radishes

2-3 gherkins / pickles

1 curly leaf lettuce ( or your favourite lettuce)

1 pack of asparagus

1 tablespoon of butter

juice of half a lemon + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice ( for asparagus)

1 ripe avocado

1 tablespoon of tomato sauce

3 tablespoons of mayonnaise to your preference

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Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the asparagus to the pan and toss it around in the butter. Flavour with salt and black pepper. Now add the tablespoon of lemon juice. Keep on tossing the asparagus in the pan until cooked but firm ( al dente).

salad

In the meantime, boil your kettle. Place the shrimp in a colander in your basin and pour over the shrimp.

Finely chop the gherkins/pickles. Mix it in with the mayonnaise, tomato sauce and lemon juice. Flavour with salt and freshly ground pepper.

salad

Roughly chop the lettuce and slice the radishes. Cut your avocado into squares.

salad

Arrange the lettuce in your favourite salad bowl.

Now place the asparagus on top of this and sprinkle the radishes over and around. Finally top it with your shrimp mixture and avocado and voila!!

salad

If you’re like my man, you can enjoy it with a fresh crusty bread or some toast soldiers.

 

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Catch a “falling” chicken… put it in your “pocket”

31 Mar

save it for a rainy day.. because all us have a day like that sometimes – tired, no time, you have to cook supper, but you have no idea and you dont even know where to start. Start with the recipe in your “imaginary pocket” and make some chicken pockets 🙂

I thought of this last night, because Conan made supper, because this eager beaver went to the gym.. returning in pain.. AGAIN. So I noticed he purchased little coriander & garlic pita pocket breads… naturally I have to use them tonight.  So cute don’t you think.. pocket breads 🙂

Literally, I suppose if you wrap them in foil, they will fit perfectly into your pocket and it really is saving for a rainy day, when you need to take lunch to work, unless it is all finished in one evening, which happens almost every night in our household.

This is a recipe that really is easy, believe me, especially if I thought it up trying to think of no effort tonight ;-p

Feeling the effects of a slight flu today, I want to cook something tasty, AND different, because there is a certain someone that says he is so spoiled, he doesn’t know what to answer when I ask him what he feels like for supper. His usual answer : ” I dont know, I’ve had everything, I dont feel like anything” . SO – in a way, this is  motivation really… I have to think of something different to make everytime… until Conan, big man of the household yearns for his favourite dishes again and I can rely on my memory.

Well… that day is not today, so for everyone that has a rainy day – today or any other day when you need inspiration, or you have to make something quick… take this chicken recipe from your “pocket”

Mediteranean chicken pockets

2  1/2  tablespoons of houmous  per pita/ naan bread

2 avo’s cut into bite sized pieces

2 handfuls of broccoli, steamed

1 cup of roasted peppers

1/2 hanful of feta cheese per pocket 

1 teaspoon of crushed garlic

1 teaspoon of chicken spice

salt & pepper for seasoning

2 handfuls of mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 red onion / brown onion, roughly chopped

1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon of fresh mint, finely chopped

1 pack of chicken breast fillets, cut into bite sized pieces

 1 handful of watercress

Garlic & Coriander Naan/ Pita breads or plain pita breads

Olive oil for drizzling

Add your olive oil and garlic to a heated pan. Add your onions and fry gently for 10 minutes. While this is frying, preaheat your oven to 160 C . Place your pita breads in the oven to warm… but keep an eye om them, they can burn easily.

Now, after the onions have cooked for 10 minutes, add your mushrooms to the pan and fy for about 7 minutes. Add your chicken and chicken spice. Cook the chicken until almost done, and add your sundried tomatoes and mix through. Now add the roasted peppers and the broccoli and mix through gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut your pita pockets open halfway, allowing enough space to place your filling inside.

Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.

Take half of the houmous and put it in the pita.

Now, add your filling – chicken, mushrooms and onion.

Take the other half of the humus and layer it over the chicken filling.

Top off with the avo, watercress, feta and some of the mint. Season with black pepper and salt.

You can serve it with a plain and simple side salad. How quick was that… and almost no washing up  🙂

Super food for my superman!

10 Oct

We all know superman has a weakness… kryptonite! Well MY superman’s weakness is flu. Over here, it is almost impossible to avoid it! When he gets it, I get it! I really want him to stay my superman and be my hero ;-p

So he mentioned to me today that he is not feeling well and he is definitely getting the flu. Hearing the feared words.. it kicked me into overdrive!! Most of the time, he loses his appetite, so I have to think of something that is tasty, really healthy and light, because I have found that this, and of course, chicken soup, makes him feel much better!! And of course the extra pampering & love and care he is receiving ;-p  So, I sat thinking about vitamin C, good fats, protein and crunchy and fresh greens!!Don’t forget some lovely, fluffy RED rooster potatoes!!

Yup, they’ll get you back on track just like a rooster wakes you up in the morning! ;-p  Ahhh, salmon my old friend!! Salmon has taken a bit of a back seat for a while, because I think I overdid it a while with my pink friend… but, if there ever was a comeback… it’s now!! Maybe it is also because salmon is easy to make, a lovely, oily and healthy fish and it feels like comfort food…. yes, comfort food to me!!! So for everyone out there feeling weak, under the weather and in need of a little comfort food… let us all hope your loved one cooks this for you too!!

 

300 g fresh salmon

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Salt & pepper according to your taste

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

2 small radishes, finely sliced

1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard

50ml of milk / soya milk

4 twigs of chives, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of grated parmesan

2 handfuls of watercress & rocket salad mixture

 

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Season your salmon with salt & pepper and the lemon juice. Place in the oven. Boil some water and put some salt in it.  Now add your potatoes and boil them until soft, but still firm.

Heat the milk in a small saucepan and add your mustard. Mix through gently and add your chives. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes and add your parmesan. Flavour with black pepper. Now, dish up!!

 

Place your radish on a plate, with your salmon ( I broke mine roughly into piecies) on top of that.

Place the potato around the salmon and sprinkle over the watercress & rocket. Drizzle over the sauce and enjoy!!!

 

Colour me beautiful…because I’m worth it… (on a budget)

6 Jul

Colour! I am one of those that wake up in the morning and think of what colour I am going to wear… note, colour, not clothes! I believe that colour plays a great role in our lives. Who wants to wear black everyday!? For goodness sake, you’re not mourning your life away!! Besides the point, but whenever I have been on a budget, I will go and buy cheap, BUT colourful clothes and they have made me feel like a beautiful, spring flower! ;-p  After being at home for quite a while, I have relied on my colourful thoughts and creativity to come up with different and lovely colourful recipes.

I dare to say that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy colourful, delicious and beautiful food in your own home and this is a budget meal to prove it. We all deserved to be pampered.. and we’re all worth it.. aren’t we 🙂 This is where the hubby comes in…. Before we got married, he ate tuna almost every day. This also had to do with the fact that he was saving and unlike me will not spend most of his money on food… this reminds me again, all is not well up in my head. Anyway, there are a lot of things you can do with tuna, however, he is not really one for chopping and fussing and thinking about food the whole day like I do. When that beautiful tummy of his is full, he is happy, no jokes! Easy to please isn’t he! However, the hungrier he gets, the grumpier he gets, so no fantasizing about new recipes in his head!

After this loooooonng explanation, it comes down to the fact that half of our food cupboard is stacked with Tuna. And not just ANY tuna, note the “Tesco Value” label on the tuna tin ;-p…. wait for it… BUDGET!  This (most of the time) hungry man of mine, thought it quite clever to point it out to me that he can’t remember the last time he had tuna, which would imply the last time was probably before we were married! tsssk tssssk! This was definitely a suggestion ( in his own language) that we should start eating all this tuna. After all, some idiotic female singer once called it “chicken from the sea”, not that it is, but basically stating that there is a lot of protein in this. Healthy!

When I was small, my mom – and I’m sure most parents,  told me to eat my veggies and fruit because I’ll get bright, sparkly eyes, beautiful skin and hair like an angel…. (Not THAT magical, I thought it was like a magic potion and will turn you into a beautiful princess with long hair!) and stupidly enough, I still believe one little bite of fresh veg or fruit will make me beautiful!     ;-p What you put in you get out, right…. right?!!??

So after painting again, I almost wanted to paint with my food too!! I worked on this recipe in my head the whole day already…. cheap, crunchy, fresh, colourful and most of all, like the hubby would say… “beaaaauuuuuuutiful”!  Most of these ingredients all of you have in your fridge… besides radish. Probably the only reason why this was included in my choppy and cheeky tuna salad is because it has a beautiful pinkish-red colour!! I think this is one of the few vegetables that don’t really have a lot of taste, but combine it with the other ingredients and the apple and your hubby might think you put a spell in this special little bugger of a salad! Everything fresh and healthy, so no guilt here.. only more beauty! Watch out for the curly hair and rosy cheeks! After all, you’re worth it!  ;-p

1 pack of back bacon

1 spring onion

handful of cherry tomatoes, halved and halved again

1 carrot grated with a vegetable peeler

1 baby gem lettuce or any salad leaves of your choice

5 small radishes, finely sliced

1 apple, finely sliced

1 tin of tuna chunks in brine

handful of crumbled feta

Dressing:

handful of mint, chopped

5 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of vinegar

3 tablespoons of mayonaise

1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard

juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper to taste

Put your bacon on a tray and grill in the oven until crispy. Put aside to cool. Wash your lettuce and shred it in a beautiful bowl. Add your cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes and apple. If you’d like, drizzle your apple with a little bit of lemon juice, it will prevent it from going brown.

Now break the tuna slightly apart to toss in your salad.

For the dressing, add all the ingredients together in a shaker and shake it all about!! If your bacon is cooled down by now, break it up in little pieces and scatter in the salad.

Toss the salad around with your hands. Lastly, drizzle over your salad dressing and enjoy with some lovely freshly baked ciabatta! 🙂

Light spring pasta with a spring in my step :-)

15 Mar

Move over Bree, Nadia’s arrived! You heard it!! Not only do I work full day, I now come home, cook and…. wait for it…. do exercise from my excersise home dvd!!

Yes, I have turned into a modern-day Jane Fonda – without the small waist!! hahahaha! Coming soon – small waisted Nadia!! So, I wanted to make something tasty, light, beautiful and filling for the hubby’s tummy. Say no more – that means anything with pasta! He’s not called the “carb man” for nothing ;-p He loves pasta!! Not as much as pizza, but the two are very close.

So I rushed to make this dish, of course because I still had to do my excercise and spend time with the hubby. How do we do it??? It is a little insane. However, after sitting at my desk today, and literally feeling my muffintop… yes, muffintop !!!! – I decided excercise will also be on the menu tonight!! However, I am very proud of my dish I made tonight, because it contains no cream!!! It’s still very tasty!!! Another reason for the spring in my step – the hubby came home with a bunch of red roses and a kenwood chopper!! How lucky am I???

More lucky than the “acorn obsessed” squirrel in Ice Age when he is surrounded with all the acorns he can imagine!! Yup, I even have the crazy eyes!! My hubby is the beeeeeessssstt!!! So of course I have to give him great food, sprinkled with love 🙂 So here we go:

1 pack of chicken thighs diced

4 slices of bacon cut into little slices

1 leek, chopped

2 teaspoons of garlic

100ml white wine

3 tablespoons olive oil

5 sprigs of fresh thyme

4 teaspoons of lemon juice

Salt & black pepper

1 cup of frozen peas

2 cups of penne pasta

grated parmesan

Salad to serve

Get hold of your mortar & pestle. Add the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of garlic, the lemon juice, thyme leaves and sprinkle in a pinch of salt and black pepper. Mix with your pestle. Now allow the chicken to marinate in this. It gives a beautiful flavour. While it is marinating, drizzle a little bit of olive oil in a heated pan and add the remaining garlic. Start frying your leeks. After about 7 minutes, add your bacon. Now add your chicken and the marinade. Fry for 10 minutes and add the white wine. Simmer for 1o minutes. While this is simmering, boil water for your pasta. Follow the instructions on your past packet. Now add the peas and mix through gently. Simmer for 5 minutes. Drain your pasta and mix it through with your chicken and peas. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and allow to stand for about 7 minutes.

While all the flavours are mixing together in your pan, make a simple salad to serve with your pasta dish. When your salad is done, remove the lid from your pan, transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle over your grated parmesan. Enjoy!! 🙂