Foodie

Warm Chicken Salad with Ranch Style Dressing

warm chicken salad with ranch style dressingI made this winter appropriate salad for dinner on Saturday night and both my vege-dodging husband and super-fussy friend scoffed this.  In fact, my husband ate so much he complained “I’ve eaten too much” for the rest of the evening. However, this might have something to do with the chocolate fudge self-saucing pudding I made for the kids… That he tucked in to.

When I made this I marinaded the chicken breasts for a couple of hours. That said, I make versions of this salad on week nights and, not being a particularly organised creature, thinking ahead to put the chicken on to marinade is in the too-hard basket. So, as I do when I’m in ‘quick-cook mode’ simply pan fry the chicken sprinkled with some of your favourite seasoning (I love Masterfood’s Tuscan Seasoning, Moroccan Seasoning, or Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning).  Actually on that note, this whole recipe, like many of mine that you’ll find on my blog, is very much of the ‘improvise or get creative’ type. No kumara? Use pumpkin. No green beans?  Use capsicum.  No cashew nuts? Use almonds. No bacon? Leave it out.  Lastly, the ingredients look like a lot – I get that. Take some shortcuts if you like, hell buy a pre-made Ranch Dressing to speed things up (Paul Newman’s is a goodie). 

If you do make the dressing though – save the recipe, you’ll want to use it over and over…

Note: Usually I use a special feature on my blog to layout my recipes, but this app I use is misbehaving itself and I’ve admitted defeat for now. So if you are reading the recipe below and moaning at the layout (and lack of a print button) – sorry! I’ll try redoing it next week,b ut for now, my patience has, errr, expired… Lou x

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Chorizo, chicken & bacon casserole

I’ve been trying to get a bit more organised with week night dinners lately and, at the same time, I’ve been getting creative with my slow cooker. The creativity for this dish started when I scored a six pack of chorizo sausages from Countdown on sale for $4 and figured I’d try my luck with them in the slow cooker. This was the result, purely trial and error – with, ha ha, no error. We’ll be having this warm and hearty dish again!

chorizo chicken and bacon slow cooker

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Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch sauce

sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce

There’s nothing ‘good for you’ about this pudding. It’s wicked. It’s also a crowd-pleaser, easy to make (you can whip the pudding up after your main course in ten minutes, rejoin your guests and dazzle them with your inner domestic goddessness) and you’ve probably got most of the ingredients on hand already. I do LOVE recipes where “nothing special is required”. Just distance yourself from the butterscotch pudding: It’s addictive.  

By the way, in the (unlikely) event that there’s some left, it freezes fine for the next time you want to dazzle your dinner guests. (more…)

Slow cooker BBQ Pulled Pork with Kicked-up Slaw

We’ve been having a fair bit of pork in our house, largely as I’ve been doing a bit of dinner prep in the morning and engaging my slow cooker in an attempt to eradicate ‘6.00pm dinner madness’.   So, as a lover of my slow cooker, pulled pork, and anything with a BBQ sauce (coz everything is better with a sauce, as I’m sure Manu from MKR would agree) I’ve been trying to perfect a slow cooker pulled pork recipe, accompanied by a BBQ sauce that’s got no refined sugar (Sugar Free September last year has changed how I view sugar for life).

Anyhow, I’ve been faffing around in my kitchen trying to perfect this recipe to get it to the point where it’s blogworthy. TAAA DAAA:  My kitchen play time is done: This is a mighty fine dinner I’m rapt to be sharing with you!   Bonus too: The delicious BBQ sauce is ‘sugar free’, though I have used honey to sweeten it (I wonder if apple puree would work? I’ll try that next time).   The addition of kicked up slaw is a must in my opinion: I can’t get enough Broccoslaw (as mentioned in my recent March favourites blog post) or Sriracha Hot Sauce at the moment.

Give this a go – I reckon you’ll rate it as much as we do!

PS: Do I need to mention that a great mayonnaise to use in the Kicked Up Slaw is this one?

PPS: This meal is delicious with cauliflower mash, roast potatoes, or good old fashioned mashed spuds.  Knock yourself out.

slow cooker pulled pork with kicked up slaw

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Zucchini & Tomato Bake

zucchini tomato bakeI used to make this deliciously simple zucchini bake dish all the time but I forgot about it until I was gifted a sh*tload of zucchini last month…I had zucchini coming out the wahzoo. I beavered away in the kitchen making zucchini salad, zucchini chocolate cake, zucchini curry, zucchini fritters (anyone else thinking of Forrest Gump right about now?) when something jolted my memory and a little voice in my head said ‘hang on!’ – what about zucchini/tomato bake? And I’ve made it three times since in the last few weeks, it’s that good.

Note, it might look a tad dry on top, but trust me: Once you cut into it, the moist goodness of the melted zucchini and tomato hits you. I love the crunchy topping as a contrast. Mmmm.

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Bacon, Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad

bacon broccoli and cauliflower saladI’ve been making this delicious salad for years, however it recently got an extreme makeover! My friend Emma sent me her cauliflower and broccoli salad recipe, which is really similar to mine, but it had a few extra ingredients that I just knew would take the recipe to a whole new level.  Emma’s addition of sweetness and vinegar in the creamy mayo dressing, as well as cauliflower a main ingredient, well… Oh yes. See for yourself!

Thanks Emma for the inspiration x

Bacon, Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad Recipe

Salad ingredients
1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
8 slices streaky bacon pan fried till cripsy, cooled, then chopped into little pieces
1/2 cup Craisins (you can use raisins or sultanas too)
1/4 cup sliced almonds (you can sub with other nuts)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (”   “)
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (dry fry them in a frying pan)
½ cup red onion chopped (Top tip: Finely dice the onion, cover it in cold water, drain the water out after five minutes, pat the onion dry with a paper towel. This step takes the acidity out of the onion!)
1 red capscium, finely sliced
2 heaped tablespoons of fresh herbs (you choose, I use any of the following: Flat leaf parsley, basil, mint – use what’s on hand!) – reserve some for ganish!

Dressing
1 cup of my Homemade DIY mayonnaise (click here) – if you don’t fancy making your own mayo, Best Foods or Hellman’s Mayonnaise are your next best options
1 tablespoon cider vinegar (rice wine and standard white vinegar work too!)
1 tablespoon of runny honey

  • Place salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  • Add the dressing ingredients to the salad – mix well. Top the salad with the reserved herbs as a garnish.
  • Chill for half an hour before serving

Couscous with herby feta and pomegranate

I made this yummy and rather festive looking salad over my recent (glorious) summer holiday in Ohope. It would have been gorgeous on the dinner table on Christmas Day – check out those colours!  I actually wanted to make this dish using Israeli couscous but we couldn’t find it anywhere! It didn’t matter a bit, regular couscous worked super well and I’ll definitely be making this again.   Bonus too, as well as being delicious this salad was super easy to prepare.

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Pesto Crusted Salmon

Pesto crusted salmonI’m a little bit excited about this recipe. Salmon is easily my fish of choice – I just can’t get enough of it. Add pesto into the same sentence as salmon and you’ve got me grinning like a Cheshire Cat.  Bonus too – this has sod all ingredients (I know my recipes can get a tad lengthy – so enjoy this!). This definitely falls in the ‘easy mid week’ dinner category – despite looking like it’s something you’d cook for a flash dinner party (that’s my kind of dinner!). (more…)