Quick Quinoa & Haloumi Salad

I’ve already told you I’m lazy, right? Well this dish (it changes every time) is one of the easiest I know to make when I want something substantial – and slightly warm. Lunch in a hurry today…

I’m loving quinoa (most of you know by now its pronounced ‘keen-wah’ not ‘kwin-o-ah’) as much as the next healthy foodie and I’ve worked out it’s because it kills two birds with one stone: it has ‘complex-carb-functionality’ but an incredibly higher protein content than your average rice or couscous serving. So it makes for a great base to what would normally be a primarily veggie-based meal (what salad isn’t? Oh yeah….pasta salad. Urgh.)Food Fervour

You can throw in whatever you like, considering there are a couple of processes involved (oooh, very technical and not-so-lazy of me!) but make sure you pack in the vege. I’m loving the stronger flavour of red quinoa at the moment but the usual kind will do.

For a single serve of this messy little concoction (pictured) you will need:

1/4 cup rinsed -or previously soaked- red quinoa, 1/2-3/4 cup water, coconut oil, 1-2 tbspn cornflour, approx 100gms haloumi cut into chunks, 1/2 small red capsicum roughly chopped, 2 kale leaves de-stemmed & finely chopped, a decent handful of rocket or spinach roughly chopped, 1-2 tbspn pine nuts (toasted if you can be bothered), 1/2 avocado sliced diagonally, juice of 1/2 lime, 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, Himalayan salt (if required)

Place the quinoa & water in a saucepan, bring to the boil then reduce to simmer partially covered for 12-15 minutes. (I actually use my Thermomix for this because it cooks quinoa than I ever have been able to). Meanwhile, pop the oil in frying pan over a medium heat and quickly roll your haloumi chunks in the cornflour. Add them to the pan along with the capsicum and cook for about 4-5 minutes, turning the browning cheese and stirring the capsicum. Add the kale, combining with the capsicum and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until the kale has wilted.

Make a bed of the rocket/spinach in your serving dish, dump the quinoa on top, then the capsicum & kale over that (we’re not about ‘Looks’ here!). Arrange your avocado slices & haloumi chunks on top then sprinkle over the pine nuts. Add lime juice & olive oil separately by hand, or mix them if you want to add to the washing up.

Salt if you need it, and chow down.

 

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Chicken Massaman

So I had a few chicken tenderloins left in the fridge that HAD to be used, and I realised I hadn’t made a curry in awhile…and not at all in my Thermomix as yet. So I ‘tweaked’ the Red Thai Chicken Curry recipe in the Everyday Cookbook to suit what I had available. Hmmm, only Massaman curry paste in the fridge? Ok!

Now I could bang on about how much time I saved using my Thermomix (literally 20 minutes in total, including most of the washing up done too) but I know this is going to wear thin pretty quickly, so I’m going to provide the recipe for those who sadly don’t have one.Food Fervour

Curries are REALLY easy if you are a lazy twat like me and buy your curry pastes ready-made. No, I have not actually ever made my own, but I know this won’t be the way forever. In the meantime, I choose carefully when I am buying them pre-made: scouring the ingredient lists for sugars, certain oils and of course additives.

This recipe will only feed one (hungry) person without rice, but may satisfy two if you add that. Remember, I’m not a specific cook so you’ll have to pay attention to the state of your food as it’s cooking.

You will need:

50gm massaman curry paste, 200ml coconut cream/milk, 1-2 kaffir lime leaves, 250-300gm chicken tenderloins (thinly sliced) 1tbspn fish sauce, 60gm roughly chopped snow peas, 80-100gms broccoli florets, 1 zucchini (chopped), 50gms peanuts, 10-15 fresh basil leaves

Grab a large saucepan, and mix the curry paste with about 60mls of the coconut cream/milk over a medium heat, stirring for about 1 minute. Add the remainder of the coconut cream/milk and the lime leaves and bring to a boil. Add the chicken strips and reduce the heat to simmer, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce & vegetables then cover and let simmer for approximately 8 minutes. Add the peanuts & basil, stir and cover again for about 2 minutes, then serve immediately.

 

My Newest ‘Go-To’ Salad

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I can thank my Thermomix for bringing raw beetroot back into my life: it was too laborious (not to mention messy) grating it for salads in the past, so I’d gotten into the habit of roasting it. But that takes a lot more time & therefore effort to happen.
Those with Thermies will know this recipe well, but for those who don’t, it’s really pretty simple: you’ll just have to use a little elbow grease in the chopping process.
One beetroot, half an apple, one carrot and some red onion, finely chopped and mounded atop a bed of rocket. Drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar & Olive Oil, and sprinkle with as much feta as you like.
On this occasion, I’ve made a true meal of it by adding some plain grilled chicken tenderloins (organic of course).
Sensational!

Welcome to My Passion

This has been a long time coming. And I mean LONG.

I didn’t realise how obsessed I was with food until I recently began looking back over diaries from my youth. I’ve always had this ‘thing’ with food. Lucky for me, my career path led me toward Health by way of the Fitness Industry. Nutrition goes hand-in-hand with fitness so my exposure to the subject deepened. I read, I researched, I experimented. But it was the brief encounter I had with something called Epigenetics that truly awakened my passion for Food, for Clean Eating, but I’ll bore you with that at another time.

Suffice to say, it’s all about Whole Food to me. I subscribe to the Low HI philosophy (credit Dr John Tickell)… Low Human Interference. The more packaged and processed a ‘food’ is, the less benefit it is to you. Fewer processes, fewer additives, fewer nutrients lost. I’m all about nutrient-density and really basic COMMON SENSE eating.

So I’m blogging to give you ideas. I’ll be excited, especially with my new best friend the Thermomix, so I hope my enthusiasm, my fervour, is infectious. But a couple of warnings: I’m blasé and lazy. I often ‘bastardise’ recipes and rarely measure anything, so if you’re hoping to follow my lead, please have patience and moreover, TRUST that whatever happens, you’ll end up eating something that is way better for you than you would get out of a packet.

Let’s do this!

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My sister & I chowing down on Jelly Tip ice blocks in the early 70’s. My, how much has changed.