Don’t you feel that lunch is the most “unloved” meal of the day? We are often far too busy to think about what to eat in the middle of the day. The result is we either get an expensive and often unhealthy takeout or eat the same ol’ boring sandwich. In other words, nothing to write home about.
Well, not all is lost and I’ve got an excellent reason for you to get excited about breaking into your lunchbox again. Persian Chicken Salad is a modern update on the timeless classic. This energy boosting salad made with tender and juicy chicken breasts, crunchy vegetables and black smoky olives and seasoned with yogurt and lime dressing and loads of herbs. It’s especially delicious in a wholewheat pita mixed with a bunch of spinach leaves. So fresh and satisfying!
Eating it in a pita pocket is so appealing to children! Here is your school lunch sorted.
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts- 3
- Olive oil ( for cooking chicken)- 1 tbsp.
- Salt-1 1/2 tsp.
- Pepper- 1/2 tsp.
- Plain Greek Yogurt- 1 cup
- Mayonnaise (I used low fat)- 1/3 cup
- Dijon Mustard- 1tbsp.
- Lime juice- from 2 limes
- Carrots (grated)- 4 medium
- English Cucumbers (diced)-2
- Celery (diced)-2 ribs
- Frozen petite peas (thawed)-1 cup
- Red Onion( chopped fine)- 1 small
- Black Olives (halved and pitted, I used Smoky Moroccan Olives but Kalamata Olives will work as well)- 1/2 cup
- Flat leaf Parsley(chopped)- 1/3 cup
- Fresh Basil(chopped)- 1/2 cup
- Wholewheat pitas-4
1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and brown your seasoned with salt and pepper chicken breasts on both sides over medium heat until done, about 5 minutes per side, it might take a couple of minutes longer if your chicken breasts are very thick. Remove from the pan, let it cool until it’s safe to handle and slice crosswise into bite-sized pieces.
2. In a small bowl mix together yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, lime juice and remaining salt and pepper. In a large bowl combine together chicken, carrots, cucumbers, celery, peas, onion, olives, parsley and basil and carefully toss together with the dressing.
3. Serve in a pita pocket or on its own for a gluten-free lunch.
I am telling you I am loving this summer! It’s the first time in a few years I am not working but spending the holiday with my kiddos and having so much fun with them. There is so much going on in our house and all these activities don’t always leave much time for cooking in the evening. I am not a fan of takeaways, they are expensive and frankly, I am hardly ever satisfied with the quality plus who needs to throw away all that money when I can make something inexpensive, quick and delicious at home. Like this giant steak sandwich that feeds the whole family!
So quick and easy made with the ingredients I usually have on hand. I’ve used duck breast for this one but we’ve also had it with sirloin steak and pork tenderloin in the past. Use whatever meat you like or have in the freezer as long as it’s steak quality and you won’t be disappointed!
- Duck Breast ( or sirloin steak, pork tenderloin)-300 gr/8-9 0z
- Gooseberry sauce (optional)- 2 tbsp
- Long Ciabatta loaf-1
- Marinated Red Peppers (from a jar)-2
- Marinated Artichokes (from a jar)- 3-4
- Parsley- 3-4 sprigs
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
Score the skin on the duck breast with a sharp knife (scoring helps with draining of the fat) and season your duck breast with salt and peppers, sear on both sides over medium-high heat in a heavy bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) until golden crust develops- 5-8 minutes on the skinned side and 2 more on the other side. With a pastry brush spread the gooseberry sauce on the duck breast and put it in the oven for 15 minutes for a medium breast or 18 minutes for well-done. Baste it with the drippings and the gooseberry sauce half way through the cooking. The gooseberry sauce works wonders when is paired with duck, its tangy flavour cuts through the richness of the meat and balances it out just perfectly. If you can’t find gooseberries I imagine cranberries would be a tasty substitute.
While your duck is being cooked in the oven. Chop up your red peppers, artichokes and parsley. You can use whatever you like on your sandwich. Marinated mushrooms would taste amazing with these flavours as well. If you can’t find jarred red peppers you can make your own, the recipe for them is found here.
Take your duck breast out of the oven and set it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Put the whole ciabatta loaf in the oven for 5 minutes to warm up.
Before serving: Cut your ciabatta loaf lengthwise and open it up like a book, slice the duck breast.
To assemble your giant sandwich: Spoon the meat drippings with gooseberry sauce that should be caramelised at that point from the bottom of your skillet and drizzle it over the ciabatta loaf, arrange the duck slices and top with the pepper/artichoke/parsley mixture.
Serve it on a wooden board and allow everyone cut a piece. It’s so much fun! A green salad to go along with this sandwich would make for a perfect summer meal.
Note: An inspiration for this meal came from Jamie Oliver’s “30 minute meals”.
Note: I would encourage you to try making this sandwich using a duck breast. It’s incredibly tender and flavourful!
As I’ve mentioned earlier I went on a bit of a cooking spree last Monday. I made a few things and one of the them was Warm Zucchini Salad, which is a bit of a misnomer because it has much more in there than just zucchini.
I received an overwhelming response to this little dish. I am so happy you guys love vegetables! This cute sandwich here is not really a recipe, just an idea of how you can make your lunch more interesting and utilise your last night’s leftovers. I used my zucchini salad to give my grilled cheese sandwich healthy and delicious boost.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich is much loved in our family and although my children are still “grilled cheese purists” (bread and cheese only!) we have managed to diversify their taste; they have expanded from plain old cheddar to gouda and edam. I consider it my personal victory. You would understand if you knew how picky my kids are!
Brad and I, however, like our grilled cheese “posh”. Here is one I had for lunch yesterday. The preparation is as easy as the conventional method. Basically, all you need to do is sandwich your salad filling (make sure it’s not too wet or your sandwich will turn into “soggy cheese”) between two slices of gouda or any other favourite cheese of yours and bread, grill it until cheese is melted and bread is toasted. You can use you sandwich maker, panini grill or any other contraption you might have! Unfortunately, I don’t have any of the above, I I used my stove top cast-iron grill and put another cast iron pan on top of it. And here is the result. Not too shabby!