Easy Chicken Caeser Salad

BA8C8F26-12C3-4FFF-8129-CAB53621D120.jpegI love a Caeser salad. One of my favourites to take with me when I’m out and about during the day. But I do like to add some protein to it to make it more filling and to change the dressing somewhat so it’s not so massively full of fat. Being in my forties now, I am not scared of fat the way I was in my 20s through 30s. I am not going to eat cheese all day (much as I would love too), but I don’t avoid it the way I sometimes used too. Fat helps prevent me from getting migraines and headaches, it keeps me in a good mood and is nice and filling too, not to mention the nutritional benefits of the ‘good’ fats , However it’s always important to find a balance and I find lots of Caeser dressings are way too rich for me so I’ve come up with a slightly lighter version. When I order it out in a restaurant , I tend to get the dressing on the side so I can add Just the right amount to the salad. Here’s my new Caeser recipe below. The magic trick is to replace some of the mayo with no fat Greek yogurt

Serves 2

1 egg, just hard boiled

1 Slice of rye bread (or what you have to hand) chopped into large bite sized chunks

2 chicken breasts cut into large bite sized chunks and seasoned well

3 handfuls of romaine or Cos lettuce ripped into large pieces plus a few cavolo Nero or kale leaves cut into small pieces. (You can of course just use all romaine/cos lettuce

Some oil for pan-frying

DRESSING

1 Clove of garlic, very finely chopped

2-3 anchovies mashed up

3 tbsp of low or no fat Greek yogurt

2 tbsp of mayonnaise (can use low fat too)

2tbsp of freshly grated Parmesan

salt and pepper

Pan fry the bread chunks in a little oil over  medium heat until crispy then set aside to drain on kitchen paper

Pan-fry the chicken in a some oil until cooked through and set Aside to cool.

Divide the leaves between two bowls.

Mix the salad dressing ingredients together well using a mini food processor if you have one, otherwise just do by hand. If you want your dressing thicker add a little more cheese or anchovies and if you want it thinner just add more yogurt.

Add as much dressing as you like to the salad. Toss the leaves in the dressing. Add the chicken , egg and the Croutons and serve.

You can garnish with thin slices of Parmesan and a couple of anchovies if you wish too. I also added some chilli flakes and a few herbs (mint) as well.

Enjoy.

big love

Lorraine xxx

This beautiful salad was made my six senses Laamu.

Quick roast Spatchcock balsamic, rosemary and garlic chicken with schezuan pepper

I have been ordering a lot from the delivery service. Shame on me. With all the rushing around, there has been very little time to shop and cook. So this weekend, I wanted to get organised and make some chicken that I could just pick on during the week. As I get older I am very conscious of eating healthy as much as I can, as often as I can. Especially when I have been baking. When I bake it is impossible for me not to eat the cake mixture and the resulting bake, so these days foods that fill me up more, without doing too much damage to my waist line are key. This is a lower fat version of the roast but I have included options for both in the recipe at the end of these pictures. Opening up a chicken in this way makes it cook more quickly which in turn means that it does not dry out so much. If you have not ‘spatchcocked’ a chicken before, I have included a step by step way to do it below.

Take all of string off the chicken and flip it over so that the more rounded side (the breast side) is down on the board.

Use the scissors to cut either side of the back bone. You will need to use some force as cutting through the bird is pretty hard work. Be sure to cut either side of the backbone rather than on it or it won’t be easy to do!

Remove the backbone. You can use this to make a delicious stock. I like to save them all up and pop them in to the freezer so that I have plenty for a good pot of stock. Once I have made the stock, I like to reduce it down (boil it until the quantity has reduced by half) and then freeze it in ice cube trays for easy use when I need it later on.

Your bird should now look like this.

So next, flip it over so it looks like this.

And place it in a roasting tin.

Next make small cuts all over the bird and put bits of the rosemary and the garlic in. This is  key to making this roast taste gorgeous.  Then take the Schezuan pepper and bash it up a little. You can use a pestle and mortar for this task. Sprinkle the bashed up pepper over the chicken and then pour over the balsamic vinegar also. Season well with salt and regular black pepper if using and drizzle over the oil and honey (if using). Then pop in to the oven and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove it from the oven, and close the oven door quickly so you do not lose too much heat. Then baste the bird with the juices which have formed in the bottom of the tin. Then pop back in to the oven for 25 minutes more so that the chicken will have had  45 minutes in total at 200c. After 45 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and check that it is cooked to check to see if it is ready, insert a sharp knife into the thickest part of the leg and press the knife down a bit. If the juices run clear and are not pink, then the chicken is cooked. If it is not quite ready, then give it a little more time. Then keeping the bird in the tin, cover it with tin/aluminium foil. Leave to rest for a good thirty minutes to an hour. This way the  chicken becomes so moist and tender and juicy.

Once the chicken is completely cool, place it on to a plate and then pop in to the fridge covered and enjoy. It will be good for 3-4 days in the fridge if stored correctly.

Recipe below

1x  1.6kg approx, Chicken, preferably Organic and added hormone free

3 sprigs of rosemary, chopped in to small trees

1 bulb of garlic, broken up in to cloves and roughly chopped

4 tbsp of balsamic

1/2 tbsp of schezuan peppercorns bashed up a little

1 drizzle of honey (optional)

A couple of big glugs of oil (optional)

salt and pepper

 

Big love!
Lorraine xxx

ps; If you spot any typos, do let me know in the comments below. Thank you.

Lunchbox Tricolore pasta and three bean salad with pine nuts and rocket

A super quick 8 minute pasta dish for a simple lunch dish which I ate today.  This is  incredibly filling with a lot of protein in. This kind of food keeps me full from lunch until dinner with no snacking in between. I felt it was lacking in colour somewhat and the chilli flakes did not really show, but it does have lots of flavour. You can add some cherry tomatoes or red pepper/red onion if you fancy it.

Pasta

1 handful of buckwheat pasta

1 handful of lentil pasta

1 handful of spirulina  tagliatelle spelt pasta

Dressing

A good drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 small handful of toasted pinenuts

salt and pepper

optional- chill flakes

Beans

2 tbsp of black eyed beans drained

2 tbps of black beans drained

2 tbsp of green lentils drained

1 handful of rocket

optional- a few basil leaves

salt and pepper

Put the pastas on to cook.

Drain off the beans and add to a serving bowl

Mix together the olive oil, garlic, pinenuts, salt, pepper and chilli flakes if using and set aside.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain well and add to the beans and toss together. Drizzle over the dressing and mix well and then sprinkle the rocket over the top , season with salt and pepper if required and serve.

Big love

Lorraine Pxxx

PS: If you see any typos do let me know and I will correct them. Thank you.

 

Black bean pasta with herb, and red pepper salad and ginger dressing

I have had to adjust my diet recently. I will write more about that in a post soon, so I am experimenting with different ingredients. I wrote in my healthy eating book ‘eating well made easy’ that cutting out whole food groups is not a good idea, which I still believe in and it is all about the balance. I always eat lots of fish, sushi maybe once a week and then sardines, tuna, prawns, scallops, salmon and sea bass during the rest of the week. Around 5 or 6 times a week. As I don’t like eating too much red meat (not for any reason other than it is not my favourite), and chicken can be so bland fish has always been my go to. There are so many reports of tofu not being so great also, so I have been looking for a good high protein alternative. 

I went to Wholefoods and found this black bean pasta which has a massive 45g of protein per 100g of dry weight pasta. Perfect for high protein post workout gains.

I found this gorgeous Rainbow Chard, such colour!

Which I like to serve finely sliced and uncooked.

I don’t like broccoli but thought I would try broccoli sprouts which tasted really good.

And to up my vitamins, I added a whole load of both parsley and coriander.

Serves two

100g of black bean pasta dry weight

1 bunch of parsley roughly chopped

1 bunch of coriander roughly chopped

3 leaves of rainbow or Swiss Chard finely sliced

1/4 cucumber finely diced

1/2 red pepper finely diced

1 large handful of organic broccoli sprouts (optional)

3 large handfuls of rocket

1 avocado finely diced

Dressing

1cm piece of ginger finely chopped

1/2 red chilli finely diced

2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar

6 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Put the black bean pasta on to cook. It only takes about 5 minutes. Once it is cooked, drain it off and leave it aside.

Add all of the salad ingredients (except the dressing) in to a large bowl and the mix together. Add the pasta to the salad, I found the best way to do this was to take small portions and tuck it around the salad rather than just mixing it all in. Mix together the dressing ingredients, season with salt and pepper and pour over the salad and the pasta and then serve.

Big love

Lorraine xxx

Ps: If you see any typos just let me know in the comments below and I will do correct it. Thank you

Sesame and chia seed crusted chicken with blueberry and black bean salad

I read an article recently about how to live a longer life and to become ‘immortal’. It spoke of us having less focus on the number of vegetables we eat and more focus on the Polyphenols which are the chemicals that are found in certain foods. Everything we read about food being ‘anti-inflammatory’, ‘improves fat metabolism’  or things like ‘stabilising blood sugar’ are all down to the polyphenols in the food we eat. I have taken some of these ‘immortal’ foods and made a lunch dish for you. Best to cook it the evening before and then take it in a lunch box to eat at work.

I love the light and the dark contrasting colours of the seeds

I actually cheated and bought these chicken strips ready cut. I do not eat much chicken but when I do it is  always organic. Pricey, but worth it. It is good to look out for the chicken which is added hormone and steroid free also.

I thought that the chia seeds may burn as it is the first time I have cooked with them in this way but they just crunched up and become even more toasty. Full recipe is below.

Serves 1 large portion or 2 small

4 tbsp of sesame seeds

3 tbsp of chia seed

salt and pepper

(optional 1 tsp of fresh thyme)

2 large chicken breasts cut into strips

Oil for pan frying (I use avocado oil).

2 large handfuls of asparagus tips

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

2 large handful of blueberries

1 yellow pepper, diced

Dressing

4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

2cm piece of ginger, finely chopped

1/2 clove of garlic finely chopped

salt and pepper

Put the sesame seed, chia seed and thyme if using on a plate along with some salt and pepper. Put the chicken on the plate and press it down well so it is covered on one side and then flip it over so it is covered on the other side and then put it to the side.

Put some oil in a pan and heat up. Also put a pan of water on to boil ready for the asparagus. Once the oil in the pan is hot, cook the chicken for about 3 minutes on one side and then flip it over and cook it for around 3 minutes on the other side or until the chicken is cooked through. As this is cooking get your salad ready. Put the black beans and the blueberries in serving plate along with the yellow pepper and the asparagus once it is cooked and drained and set aside.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and place it on top of the salad. Mix together the dressing ingredients together and season to taste and then drizzle over the salad and serve.

Enjoy!

Please let me know what you think of the combination of ingredients? Have you ever used Chia seed before in this way? Your comments really help and encourage me to want to write more so do leave one even if it is a little one!

Big love

Lorraine xxx

Ps: If you spot a typo let me know in the comments and I will correct it.