Coconut, Lemongrass and Chicken Salad

Hello Dear Reader,

As I mentioned yesterday, we had a hot start to Spring and had already started making lighter salads for dinner. This is another one I made while it was just a tad too hot for Spring. Our Summers are long and hot, so having a Spring that is also unbearably hot makes us miserable. It rained all day yesterday again though and I wish I had more water tanks to catch all the glorious rain! This morning looks like a bit of blue sky is trying to peep through the clouds, we'll see what today brings.

This is a very light "coleslaw" type salad in that it is based on Wombok with oodles of texture and flavour, again bordering on Thai flavours. I made this recipe with three chicken breast fillets but two would have been ample as they were huge. This made a very, very big salad and did us for one dinner and four lunches. Again there is a bit of slicing and prepping but it is easy and very yummy.

Ingredients to poach the chicken-2 or 3 chicken breast fillets, a good squeeze of lemongrass or minced fresh lemongrass if you have it growing and one can of coconut milk

Add all ingredients to a large saucepan, bring to a gentle simmer on medium heat and then turn to lowest heat and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked. Don't hurry the chicken or it will be tough, you want to meat to just fall apart. Once cooked through, set aside to cool and then shred chicken into smallish pieces, reserve 2 tablespoons of coconut poaching liquid for the dressing and set aside until needed

 Ingredients to assemble the salad, clockwise from top right-cooled shredded chicken, 1 red onion, sliced into half moons, 250 grams of snow peas, topped and tailed and sliced, 1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts, a good handful of mint leaves, chopped finely, a good handful of coriander, chopped finely, 1 carrot cut into matchsticks, 1/2 a wombok, finely shredded/sliced

Put all ingredients into a large bowl, toss well

For the dressing 
In a bowl combine-2 tablespoons each of fish sauce, lime juice, rice wine vinegar and brown sugar, 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped and 2 tablespoons of reserved coconut poaching liquid from the chicken.

Pour over dressing and toss well

Yet another colourful, filling and yummy chicken salad, for when the weather turns hot again. Any day now...


My Thai Chicken Salad

Hello Dear Reader,

Our Spring started out with a heat wave and no rain but now it is blustery and wet, wet, wet. Now, I am not complaining about the rain, in fact I have been dancing in it! Rain is magical and transformative to the dry garden, but with the rain has come cold winds, so we are, again, feeling like warming comforting dinners. In fact, last nights dinner was a comforting Sweet Potato and Chickpea Dhal with steamed basmati rice and papadums.

Anyway, that is along way of saying, that while it was hot, hot, hot, we had started to eat more salads and today's recipe, is a beauty. All fabulous flavour, with lots of texture and plenty of delicious protein in the form of marinated chicken breast fillets, which are sautéed in a medium-hot, heavy based frypan to give them a golden kiss. There is a bit of cutting and prepping, but it is really easy and quite the most delicious salad.

Ingredients for Thai Chicken Salad (the chicken part) clockwise from top right-
2 chicken breast fillet cut in half length ways, 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 cup lime juice, a good squeeze of lemongrass paste or freshly minced if you have it growing, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 tablespoon fish sauce


In a bowl combine all the above ingredients except the chicken. Lay the chicken fillets in a glass or ceramic bowl and pour over 2 tablespoons of this dressing/marinade. Let marinate while you are prepping the salad part

For the salad, clockwise from top left-
2 Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, a good handful of coriander, chopped finely, another good handful of mint leaves, chopped finely, 1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts, 200 gram small tomatoes of choice, 1 smallish red onion, thinly sliced and 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced, 

In a heavy based frypan, heat a few tablespoons of oil to medium-high heat and sauté the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and let rest, then slice thinly

Meanwhile combine the cucumber, capsicum, onion, tomato, coriander and mint in a large bowl and drizzle over remaining dressing/marinade

Lay the gorgeous golden chicken slices over dressed salad, sprinkle over peanuts and serve

So delicious, filling and nutritious

What is the weather like in your part of the world and what do you feel like eating at the mo?

Have a lovely day


Cheesy Chicken, Quinoa and Black Bean Bake

Hello Dear Reader,


This is a corker of a recipe from Mel over at "Mels Kitchen Cafe" it is hearty, delicious and easy, all big ticks in my books. I had prepped most of the ingredients days before actually making this wonderful meal, so it came together very quickly. I have tinkered with the original recipe to reflect the ingredients on had on hand.

The weekend before I had roasted a chicken in the BBQ while it was lit, grilling some steaks, I then broke the chicken down and froze down 3 cups of chicken meat (the boys had the rest for lunches). I cooked a big batch of black beans in the slow cooker on that same weekend as well and froze the cooked beans down into 300 gram lots. The quinoa was cooked the afternoon before, ready to go. So by prepping a few core ingredients, well before needed, I was able to have dinner on the table in record time. 

Ingredients for Cheesy Chicken, Quinoa and Black Bean Bake, clockwise from top right-2 cans of Black Beans, drained and rinsed (or homemade equivalent), 3 cups cooked quinoa, 1 jar of salsa, juice of 1 juicy lime, 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion and 2 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane, 3 cups cooked chicken, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon chilli powder (more or less depending on how hot you like it), 450 ml of tomato passata and 2 cups of grated cheese of choice

In a large bowl combine everything except the cheese

And give it a good stir

In a greased casserole dish (23cm x 33cm) spoon over half the mixture and sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese

Continue layering with other half of mixture and the rest of the cheese on top

Bake in a preheated 190C oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly

There you go, a delicious dinner, that with some prepping, of the core ingredients, was fast and easy. I am totally won over by this fabulous recipe and will be making it again soon.

What do you prep ahead of time to make your life easier in the kitchen?

Have a terrific Tuesday

One Year Ago-Oat, Chia and Yoghurt Breakfast Pots

PS. A little note about the cheese I used in todays recipe. I didn't have any tasty or matured cheese to grate into this dish, like I normally would. I had a block of some really crumbly vintage cheese which just wouldn't grate as it was so crumbly, so crumbly cheese it was. It worked a treat but grated cheese would have been easier😏

Roasted Tomato and Bacon Pasta

Hello Dear Reader,

I have been making quite a few pasta recipes lately, mainly because we love pasta but also because we have a glut of fine egg noodles. I bought another packet of them when I went up to the "Golden Circle Factory Outlet" a few week ago. They are fantastic value for money and I love that you can take out as many "nests" as you need to cook. One nest in one serving. They also take less that 2 minutes to cook which is fabulous when you are trying to get dinner on the table, fast. 

This is just a throw together recipe really, roasting the tomatoes and bacon on the same oven tray, making up a quick creamy sauce and then combining it all with the cooked pasta. Please don't be frightened of the raw egg in the sauce, when you mix everything together the egg cooks and loses it's "eggy" taste. All you are left with is a light layer of delicious sauce on the pasta.

Ingredients for Roasted Tomato and Bacon Pasta, clockwise from top left-
250 grams of small tomatoes, 350 grams of pasta of your choice, 4 slices of bacon, a good handful of parsley, finely chopped, 1/2 cup of light sour cream, 1/3 cup of grated parmesan and 2 egg yolks

Slice the bacon rashers in thirds, length ways and cut the eye of the bacon in half width ways, or just cut it up so the pieces of bacon are approximately even in size. Lay bacon on a lined oven tray and bake in 200 C oven for 10 minutes

Meanwhile add the egg yolks, parmesan cheese, light sour cream and parsley to a large bowl and mix well. Pop the pasta on to cook, drain and set aside, reserving about 1/2 a cup of starchy cooking water

After 10 minutes of cooking, turn the bacon over and pop the washed tomatoes onto the tray as well, now roast for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Or until bacon is golden and crispy and the tomatoes are just starting to soften. Remove from oven and slice the bacon rashers in to smaller pieces

Add the hot pasta to the eggy sauce and mix gently to combine, adding extra cooking water if needed

Top with roasted tomatoes and bacon and again, mix gently to combine

Serve immediately with a good grind of pepper

This is a super easy and delicious week day dinner that takes very little time to come together. Full of flavour, filling and fabulous. I find bacon makes everything better!

What is your go to, quick and easy weekday dinner?

Have a lovely day

Here and Now 6

Hello Dear Reader,

Here and now, we have finally had some rain, it rained on and off yesterday and we had some big showers overnight, loud enough to wake me up, so we must have had quite a lot. There is something magical about rain, it nourishes the plants and soil so much more than water out of the tap can and I just love it. I also love this monthly check in on how things are going with this "Here and Now" post.

Loving//The magnificent sunset of Friday evening and of course the rain yesterday and overnight




Eating//A few lovely light salads for dinner this past couple of weeks




Drinking//More water and less tea

Feeling//Happy that I have a long weekend. I have tomorrow off as an ADO


Making//A new Chocolate Brownie Recipe today, if it's really good, I will post the recipe


Thinking//How quickly Christmas is coming up and that it won't be long until the tree goes up again


Dreaming//Of a time when I don't have to go back to work, ever. I know I have used that one a lot, but it always seems to be on my mind.


Lovely Sarah from "Say Little Hen" hosts this monthly mindful topic of "Here and Now" why don't you head over to her blog and check out the other bloggers, posting their own "Here and Now's" 

Have a lovely Sunday

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Hello Dear Reader,

And hello weekend! I just love my weekends, I also have Monday off as an ADO, so hello long weekend for me! I have just written up my list for today, things I haven't had a chance to do while at work all week and the usual weekend jobs. Todays list goes like this-

Tidy tupperware(plastic containers) draw
De-hair lounges
Cut up ripe red paw paw
Tidy pantry
Walk dogs
Washing
Water garden ( I am hoping for rain though)
Remserv a phone bill (claim on salary sacrifice)

And that should just about do me. Lovely Hubby is away over on Moreton Island, having a catch up with his best mate, so it is just our son, his lovely girlfriend and me at home. As they pretty much do their own thing, dinner wise, I won't really need to worry about dinners too much until lovely hubby comes home on Monday evening. It's like a little holiday for us both.

Now on with what we bought, spent and ate this past week.

What we bought
Meat from Marjax meats and whole chicken from Aldi. While the BBQ was lit on Sunday cooking the steaks, we popped the whole chicken in, as well, to roast. It is a charcoal BBQ and once it is lit it holds its heat for many hours, we thought we might as well take advantage of it. The roast chicken was used for lunches and to go in the Quinoa and Black Bean Bake on Thursday. I just broke the chicken down and froze the meat for later

Shopping from Aldi, Coles and Northside Discount Fruit Barn

What we spent
Aldi-$41.90
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$34.60
Marjax Meats-$44.20
Coles-$10.35 + $6.00 later in the week for snow peas 

TOTAL-$137.05-I am happy it is under $150!!

What we ate
Friday-Mexican beans on toast with sour cream and grated cheese. Fridays are our easy night in
Sunday-BBQ with creamy potato bake and Nigellas Upmarket Mushy Peas

Monday-Roasted Tomato and Bacon Pasta

Tuesday-Coconut and Lemongrass Chicken Salad, this made a huge quantity and did us for lunches for two days as well as this dinner

Wednesday-Tempura Whiting with steamed Basmati Rice and snow peas. For some reason we didn't buy asian greens in the grocery shop, so I had to go to Coles on the way home for some green veg.

Thursday-Cheesy Chicken, Quinoa and Black Bean Bake, this is a corker of a recipe which I will be posting soon. It is quick and easy

So that was the week that was at our place, want to join in? 

Have a wonderful weekend

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