Mexican Chicken Salad

 

Beardy’s new favourite. I didn’t think this would go down too well with the kids but I do love giving them new things to try, so did it anyway!

Neither of them have found their spice tastebuds yet, if it’s got even a hint of spice to it, they’ll find it. They don’t like dressing on their salad, pepper on anything, Mayo, mustard, anything like that, but like all kids will happily smother tomato ketchup over EVERYTHING! So….I was totally expecting a meltdown when they saw Mexican salad on the menu…..

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Salad leaves
  • 1/4 Cucumber
  • 8 Baby tomatoes
  • 4 Spring onions
  • 1/2 small tin of Sweetcorn
  • 1 Avocado
  • Cheddar – grated
  • Bag of Nachos
  • Ranch or Caesar dressing
  • Black pepper

Method

  • Coat the chicken in the Cajun seasoning and pop on a baking tray into the oven on 160 for 20-25 mins
  • Meanwhile get a big bowl and chuck all the salad leaves into it
  • Chop the cucumber and avocado into small chunks, tomatoes in halves and slice the onions. Put them, along with half the tin of sweetcorn, into the bowl with the leaves.
  • When the chicken is done slice into strips or chunks and put into the salad bowl along with 2 handfuls of grated cheese.
  • Drizzle your dressing over, just enough to coat the salad, and toss well.
  • Scrunch up 3 handfuls of nachos in your hands and sprinkle into the mix with a couple of grinds of black pepper. Toss again and serve.

YUMMY!!!

So….I actually went out of the room while the kids ate this (they seem to eat better when I’m not there to moan at)…I hid round by the stairs, pretending I was doing something. 

‘Is this new food?’ Bear shouted, ‘erm…kind of’ I replied….they were quiet..’will we get a monster if we eat it?’ Boo shouted, (they get monsters on their reward chart for eating new food), ‘yes!’ I shouted back (with my hand cupped round my mouth, giving the false impression I was further away than I really was, (cunning!)) unbeknown to them I was actually right by the door, spying on them! I went and sat down in the den for a few minutes. I felt weird, they’d been eating for 10 minutes and no complaining. I was confused and felt like I was in someone else’s house. 

Another 5 minutes passed in silence so I walked back into the kitchen. 

THEY HAD FINISHED THE WHOLE LOT! BOTH OF THEM! PLATES CLEAN! Sorry for the shouting but reliving this moment is very exciting for me!!! 

So, then came the marks out of 10.

Bear – 9!

Boo – 25! 

Beardy – “this can definitely go on the menu every week!”

Woop! A hit all round…..and no ketchup in sight. ūüôā

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Chorizo and Broad Bean Risotto

chorizo risotto

Mmmmmmmm…..this is possibly the yummiest thing I have ever cooked in my entire¬†life!

I cooked enough for 2 but Beardy¬†was out so I kept going back to get¬†more until there was only one bean¬†left, then I felt sorry for it and ate¬†that too!¬†Ummmm, I know, naughty me, but I couldn’t help it – it called to me, and it’s rude to ignore. I didn’t even feel guilty, I would have done if I’d left it there all alone with no-one to talk to though, so I figure I did the right thing.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 1/2 – 3/4¬†ltr Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 White Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove of Garlic (crushed)
  • Large handful of grated Parmesan
  • Half a Chorizo Sausage (halved and sliced)
  • 1 cup frozen Broad Beans
  • 1 tbsp Double Cream
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Knob of butter

Method

  • Melt the knob of butter in a saucepan big enough to hold the whole risotto and chuck in the onion, garlic and rice and stir until the rice looks a bit translucent.
  • Pour in the Chicken stock ladle by ladle and intermittently stir vigorously¬†until you’ve used about half of it. The rice should soak up all the stock and you should have a creamy pudding rice consistency.
  • Put in half the Parmesan and¬†all the Chorizo¬†and continue to add in the stock, stirring the whole time.
  • After about 10 minutes of stirring add in the remainder of the stock along with the Broad Beans and remainder of Parmesan and cover to simmer for a few minutes, checking the whole time to make sure the rice doesn’t stick. If it does, just add a bit more boiling water.
  • When the rice is done, pour in the Double Cream and allow to heat through, adding Salt and Pepper to taste (I like lots of Pepper!)
  • Sprinkle with a dusting of Parmesan, if you fancy…and I do.
  • All done.

This should take about 20-25 minutes to cook in total and although is not particularly healthy, is SUPER YUM!

Rolling a Wrap

I tried to instil a bit of healthy eating into my children last week and gave Boo a wrap instead of sandwich for her lunch, a nice healthy alternative to bread. What a nightmare I had trying to  roll it! It flaked as I rolled and I knew Boo would struggle eating it but still gave it to her anyway, she picked it up, and as kids seem to have no concept of how to hold food properly, she picked it up like a dainty teacup and obviously it all fell apart and the filling fell all over the table and floor, she cried. I laughed. Evil Mummy. So I thought, right, enough is enough, I am not having a wrap beat me and upset my children, I will conquer this, so I looked up some videos on how to do this on YouTube and I tried again.

I did actually take a video of me doing this to see if normal¬†people (rather than chefs) could do it as easily¬†but Beardy found¬†it and cracked up laughing, which then¬†made me totally paranoid I looked a complete wally and decided against putting it on here! lol. I can tell you this though, it’s not as easy as it looks!

The two videos I followed were these below, if, like me, you suck and rolling wraps this is very useful……

Although I found both of these helpful, I also found a tip somewhere that said to heat your wrap first before rolling as it makes it more pliable, which I would definitely recommend! The only trouble with this is that the butter melts when you put it on obviously because the wrap is warm, but butter is paramount for the sticking, bit of a catch 22 really. I had also never put butter on before, but can confirm that this is definitely needed!

I found the tucking in of the ends in the first video a bit of a problem, it kept breaking on me and I think now in hindsight I may have left too much room and tried to tuck too much of the wrap in. I did this 3 times and only one of them turned out ok, could just mean more practice needed.

The other thing I tried was to copy the second video (easier) and wrap it in foil, I left one end open and twisted the other end so the filling wouldn’t fall out, kind of like a¬†Twister from KFC (if you’ve ever had one) and¬†as you eat you tear away the foil. This also worked pretty well but it’s a bit of a pain having to keep tearing away the foil so not ideal by any stretch, especially for kids.

In conclusion, I would say;

  • Heat the wrap, but only for 10 seconds (it does make it easier to roll).
  • Butter the middle of the wrap, not the edges to start with, just where the filling goes.
  • Roll up and butter the edges¬†at the end of the process¬†to stick down (i.e. after the wrap has cooled)
  • Don’t tuck in the edges (copy the second video) but trim the ends, or if you do want to tuck the edges in, don’t leave too much, about an inch at either end is ok.

Boo ate both of these well with her tiny fingers, dropping hardly any at all.  Happy Boo Boo, Happy Mummy.

 

 

 

Asian Stylie Salmon Scrumptiousness!

salmon close up

I adore fish, especially Salmon. I also adore Bill Granger and his fantastic Asian inspired recipes. This dish is pretty much his recipe, except I’ve altered his measurements slightly according to our tastes and he puts it with Trout I think, I can’t quite remember because I don’t use his book anymore; we have this so often I know it off by heart.

Both Beardy and I love this, there is something about this dish that’s so fresh and healthy but with the added bonus of being bloody delicious!

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 Salmon fillets
  • 1 whole cucumber
  • 2 bunches of asparagus (chopped into about 2 inch long pieces)
  • 2 good handfuls of coridander
  • 1 good handful of mint
  • red chilli (or dried chilli flakes if you don’t have a fresh one)
  • 4 Shallots (or 6 spring onions as I used last night because I forgot to buy shallots!)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fine caster sugar
  • juice of one lime

Method

  • Boil a kettle of water
  • Pop a frying pan on with a glub of oil and stick your salmon on a low heat to fry (you want the skin nice and crispy so start skin side down and just leave for about 10 mins)
  • Whilst the salmon is frying, cut up your asparagus into 2 inch long pieces and pop into your already boiled water on the hob to continue boiling for about 4 minutes
  • Meanwhile, in a separate large bowl, get your potato peeler out and peel the cucumber, lengthways, all the way down so you get long ribbons of cucumber (see below)
  • drain your asparagus and plunge into cold water
  • slice your shallots/onions, chop your chilli up and tear the coriander and mint and put it all in the bowl with the cucumber
  • drain off your asparagus and turn your salmon over
  • in a separate jug combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, caster sugar and lime juice and stir well
  • put your asparagus into the salad mixture and toss
  • grab a handful of the salad mixture and place in a bowl with the salmon on top (I find sometimes the chillis and onions hide at the bottom so make sure everyone gets their fair share of everything!)
  • pour the dressing over

cucumbersalmon and asp

I could eat this every night. I never tire of this dinner and again, as all other receipes I put on here and my love of quick easy meals, it really doesn’t take long at all. I reckon about 20 minutes. There is absolutely no down side to trying this dish (apart from it making your wee smell lol!) I would urge everyone who likes Asian food to try it. And to Bill Granger – I love you!

 

 

Easy Cheesy Mushrooms on Toast

cheesy mushrooms

It’s all about simple, quick dinners this week. Beardy has abandoned me for a week on a business trip, so I’m cooking for one and really can’t be bothered with anything that’s going to take longer than about 10 minutes…and yes! Shocker! I actually remembered to take a photo!!!

After Beardy, Bear and Boo, Cheese is my next big love (if you’re a follower you’ll know this already), then comes Mushrooms, so what better than a plate of Cheesy Mushrooms on Toast! Not very interesting you might think, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. No measurements, no messing, no mucking Рjust chucking! Hmmm, might make that my new motto.

Ingredients

  • Pack of mushrooms (I like to break them up with my fingers¬†rather than cut with a knife as like mouthfuls of rustic chunkiness)
  • Butter
  • Handful of cheddar cheese
  • Couple of slices of brie (I had this left over so chucked it in)
  • Half a ball of mozzarella, torn up
  • Half a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard
  • Lots of black pepper

Method

Basically, fry off the mushrooms in a bit of butter for a few minutes and then chuck everything else in until you have a big gooey cheesy mess of loveliness (did I mention I love cheese?), pop on top of your toast/bagel/muffin and enjoy! Job done. Yummy in my Tummy.

(also yum with some blue cheese in place of the mustard).