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.
Are you set on your Christmas dinner menu already? If you are anything like me you’d be changing things the last minute, adding to already existing ones and re-arranging everything from top to bottom. It’s impossible for me to stick with just one recipe for something, I get so distracted by the variety available to me and I want to try them all!
This post is about a stuffing recipe that I invented on a spur of the moment and surprisingly enough it turned out to be delicious. In fact, my husband said he could eat it alone as a meal! It wasn’t something I thought about or planned. I was simply cooking a pork roast one Saturday and I kept adding more and more sides to it. This recipe was born!
You know I actually already have a perfect stuffing recipe that I’ve been making for holidays for a while. It’s hard to beat perfection and why would I mess with it! More importantly why would I mess with stuffing when everyone knows it has a potential to taste like a bland clump of bread! The answer is I get bored when things are the same and I need to spice them up every once in a while. Also when you work with ingredients like these how can it possible not be fabulous?!
Another reason for this experimentation is I love cooking with Spanish sausage- chorizo (and I had quite a bit of it kicking around in the fridge that needed to be used), it gives the dishes such lovely flavour and zing! It also turns everything it comes into contact with yellow or orange which is like a bit of sunshine that the Spaniards share with all of us Northerners! I was curious to see if it would work with this very non-Spanish meal.
Like I said this was not a pre-meditated affair so I had to use ingredients I had on hand. Next time I make it I think I am going to add chestnuts for more texture!
In my humble opinion, there are a few ‘must have’ components of a tasty stuffing besides bread or rice- a sausage of sorts, a variety of herbs, fresh or dried fruit and nuts. All things combined will give us flavour, texture, a bit of spice and comfort!
- Bread -stale French baguette- 2/3 or 200gr
- Butter- 1tbsp
- Onion-1 medium
- Garlic-2 cloves
- Apple-1/2 (grated)
- Chorizo- 150gr
- Dried Figs-10 (chopped)
- Sage-2-3 sprigs (leaves only)
- Rosemary-2-3 sprigs(leaves only)
- Pine nuts-1/4 c.
- Stock (beef, pork or vegetable)-1c.
- Egg-1 large (slightly beaten)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 350F/180C and butter an oven proof dish.
Cube your bread and put it in a large bowl. Chop up your onion and herbs and saute them in the frying pan with butter on a medium heat until translucent but not coloured for about 5 minutes, add garlic and cook for a minute longer. Transfer to the bowl with bread.
Dice chorizo and figs and add them to the bowl with stuffing. Add all the remaining ingredients except the egg. Mix well together adding salt and pepper to taste. Finish off with the beaten egg, mix the stuffing again and transfer to the buttered baking dish.
Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until puffed up and golden.
This stuffing has a slightly sweet and spicy taste. It’s crazy flavourful and although it doesn’t have that traditional and familiar Christmassy taste it’s lovely nonetheless and goes especially well with this pork roast.
I hope you are adventurous enough to add this newbie to your Christmas table. I promise you won’t regret it and your guests will be so impressed with the bold and innovative combination of flavours!