Spring Salad Series #5

SPRING SALAD SERIES

Roasted Vegetables and Poached Chicken on a bed of herbs and Kamala Olives

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This salad is pretty simple but it incorporates basically all of our favourite foods so we’re pretty excited to share it with you guys! Who doesn’t love garlic-y roasted veggies, tender poached chicken, herbs, avocado, olives and olive oil?! We absolutely love all of these ingredients and make a version of this salad often at home. Grilled salmon or finely sliced lamb backstrap or even a nice eye fillet steak goes wonderfully.

It’s one of our staple dishes so make it with love and enjoy with close friends and family

Ingredients Opt for organic ingredients if possible

– 2 small to medium potatoes

– 1 fennel bulb

– 2 to 4 carrots

– 1 beetroot

– 1 leek

– 3 cups of finely chopped herbs and greens of choice. We used parsley, fennel leaves, rosemary, chives and spinach 

– 10 pitted Kamala Olives

– 2 organic chicken breasts

– Half an avocado

– 2 tbsp of Olive oil (the the dressing and for the roasting)

– 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar

– 1 teaspoon of cumin

– Himalayan salt

– Pepper

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Method

1. Set your oven to about 175 degrees Celsius.

2. Cup on all your root veggies into generous sized chunks. Scatter onto an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil, himalayan salt, pepper and cumin. We also added a few  rosemary sprigs, a few a couple of cloves of garlic (leave the outer skin on) and some thyme from the garden.

3. Once oven is ready, place your veggies in. They will take about half an hour to get nicely roasted and golden. Thats you’re prep for your roasted veggies done, now you can work on your greens. You really can use any herbs that you may have on hand for this salad. We have heaps of parsley, chives, fennel leaves, spinach and rosemary so we roughly cut them all up and scattered them onto two plates.

4. As your veggies are roasting, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. As you are waiting for the water to boil, slice your two chicken breasts into about 2 centimetre pieces. You should be able to cut about 4 to 5 pieces per breast.

5. When the water is boiling, add your chicken. The pieces will be readily poached when they sort of start to float to the top. Around 5 to 10 minutes (its a bit of a guessing game to be honest! so keep checking them – you don’t want to ‘over poach’ them as that will make them dry and chewy!)

6. Your veggies and chicken should be done around the same time. Distribute the veggies evenly onto the two plates (with the already made greens) and top with your nicely poached chicken.

7. Now for the finishing touches. Add around 5 olives to each plate, plus a quarter of an avocado. We like to create an ‘avo slide’ by finely slicing the avocado and melding it into the shape of a ‘slide’ Refer to the photos

8. We keep our salad dressings simple with just olive oil, apple cider vinegar, himalayan salt and pepper.

9. Eat

M + S xx

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Spring Salad Series No# 4

Spring Salad Series

Shaved Beetroot and Shredded Chicken Salad with Quinoa and Spiced Cumin Yoghurt. 

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Recently we’ve been experiencing a croissant craving. Now, we don’t usually get immense food cravings as we eat a pretty balanced diet, incorporating all food groups and tune into what our bodies need on a daily basis. For some reason however, we’ve been really wanting to indulge in the buttery-ness and crispness of a freshly baked croissant. We’re thinking it’s the fact that we leave for europe in two months time (omg!) in combination with our desire to visit our favourite bakery in Melbourne – Tivoli Road Bakery. Literally the best bakery. We absolutely love everything about it. Mmm their smoked trout on rye is to die for. As well as their fruit toast (apparently, we’re yet to try it)

So last night we decided that this morning we’d make the long over due visit to our favourite bakery and indulge in the buttery-ness and crispness of their famous croissants.

Best Decision Ever.

After our delicious breakfast we stopped by the markets and bought some fresh deli sicilian olives, goats feta and organic grass fed lamb straps (for dinner tonight!)

With the beetroots, chicken and quinoa that we already had in the fridge, we put together this fun, italian inspired spring salad. To go with our french inspired breakfast of course. 

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Ingredients (Serves two as a main dish)

-3 small beetroots

– 6 leaves of rainbow chard

-1 cup of pre cooked quinoa (we make big batched and leave in the fridge)

– Half a punnet of strawberries

-1 chicken breast (poached and then shredded with a fork)

– 10 sicilian olives

– 2 – 3 tablespoons of full fat greek yoghurt

– 1 teaspoon of cumin (can use less if you find cumin too strong)

-1 teaspoon of tahini

– A few leaves of flat parsley

-Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

-1 teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees celsius. Whilst you’re waiting for the oven to warm up, leave the beetroots whole and cover them with aluminium foil. Finely chop your rainbow chard and layer evenly on two plates.

2. When the oven is ready, place the beetroots on the middle rack and bake for about half an hour.

3. As the beetroots are in the oven, heat up a saucepan of water on the stove with a tad of salt and bring to the boil. As you’re waiting for the water, you can prep your chicken by dicing up the breast into generous sized pieces. (You can also poach the chicken whole, however this will take you more time)

4. When the water is boiling, pop in your chicken. It will take about 6-8 minutes to poach (depending on the size of your pieces). It is important to keep a close eye on it as you don’t want it to over cook!

5. As the beetroots are in the oven and the chicken is poaching, heat up your quinoa on the stove (ours was pre-cooked so we just had to quickly re-heat) and start to prep your yoghurt. Grab a small bowl and scoop in two to three tablespoons of full fat yoghurt. Add your cumin, tahini and pepper and mix together. Set aside. You can also slice your strawberries either in halves or quarters.

6. The chicken should be ready by now so remove from the stove and drain. Poached chicken should be extremely tender so shredding with a fork should be relatively easy. Basically just ‘stroke’ the pieces with your fork so they almost rip apart. (Sorry that’s a little hard to explain). Set the chicken aside on a plate

7. Remove the beetroots from the oven and test whether you can insert a knife through the middle. If you can they are ready to be finely shaved with either a sharp nice or a large grater. Finely shave the beetroot and place half onto of the rainbow chard that you have already placed on the plates.

8. Evenly distribute the quinoa onto the two plates, alternating with beetroot, shredded chicken, sicilian olives and strawberries. You’re basically layering your ingredients.

9. Now top with a dollop of your yoghurt that you set aside just moments ago and garnish with himalayan salt, pepper and parsley. You can also drizzle with some olive oil if you wish!

10. EAT

We hope you enjoy it! Please let us know what you think!

Oh and also, head over to Tivoli Road Bakery in Melbourne and indulge in one of their croissants.

M + S xx

Spring Salad Series #2

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We’re off to Europe in exactly 10 weeks. It’s no secret that we are completely, 100% obsessed with everything to do with the European culture. The fresh food, old buildings, their train systems, cute bakeries, red wine (lots of red wine), the coop (only a few people would understand this), friendly people and most importantly our family in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

Our love for Europe has come to a stage where we are trying to set up camp over there, permanently. This means a lot of research, visas, Italian passports, what do we do with our clothes?! how much money do we need? etc. It has been quite a headache. But so worth it.

Amongst this research, we have been taking our time in the kitchen, cooking and creating beautiful recipes to share with the world. As we have started our Spring Salad Series, this week we had to come up with salad number 2! Feeling a bit sluggish today, we opted for a lighter salad, bringing us back to our European summers.

Hope you enjoy this meal! Make sure to share it with family and close friends, no one likes eating alone.


Fennel, Celery, Rocket and Sardine Salad with black Sesame

Organic Ingredients

Serves two

Half a fennel

One celery stalk

Two handfuls of rocket

Two small oranges (we picked these from our garden)

One can of sardines in olive oil

One teaspoon of black sesame seeds

Few sprigs of fresh parsley

Two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil

Himalayan salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)


Method

 Quite simple, no need for the stove or any other appliances

– Wash fennel and celery thoroughly

– Roughly (julienne) slice the celery and fennel

– Prepare two plates, and place one handful of rocket on each. Then top with the fennel and celery

-Peel the two oranges, and slice into thin circles (we’re not too sure how to explain this but we’re sure you will understand what we mean..). Place oranges onto the plates

– Divide the can of sardines in half and top onto the salads

– Sprinkle with black sesame, EVOO, pepper and salt. Oh and don’t forget the parsley!

– Serve with fresh dark bread (we had ours with some wholemeal organic spelt crackers)

– Bon Appetit!

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Autumn Chickpea and Veggie Stew

As mentioned previously in our green soup post, we’ve just entered Autumn. Despite the beautiful colours and cosy evenings, this change in season has left us feeling a little ‘under the weather‘ so to speak. After a long day at uni all we wanted to do was curl up on the couch with a big bowl of warming stew. So guess what, that is exactly what we did. 

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Well, that’s kind of what we did. First we had to get changed out of our uncomfortable uni clothes (hello tight jeans and winter boots), unpack our uni bags (weighing what feels like a small house) and drive to the shops to buy the ingredients……eugh. 

Anyway, once back home, we put together this chickpea and vegetable stew with immune boosting spices to combat this change in season. This recipe is super easy to put together, especially on those ‘I just can’t be bothered cooking anything’ kind of days and it’s extremely nutrient dense which makes it a wonderful nourishing dinner. 

Your house will be filled with a comforting fragrance and your tummies will be filled with an array of nourishing veggies. Need we say more?

Ingredients

– One broccoli head

– 2 carrots

– 1 zucchini

– A bunch of asparagus

– Half a cup of organic frozen peas

– Half a medium sized purple sweet potato

– 1 can of organic, reduced salt* chickpeas

– 2 cans of organic reduced salt* whole tomatoes

– Half a diced brown onion

– 2 garlic cloves (minced)

– 1 small knob of ginger finely sliced

– 2 teaspoons of turmeric

– 1 teaspoon of cumin

– Half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper

– 1 Bay leaf

– 1 teaspoon of coconut oil

– Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

– Shredded spinach and kale

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Method

1. Wash and chop all the vegetables into two centimetre pieces

2. In a medium sized pot, heat the coconut oil for a minute or so. Add the onion, garlic and ginger with a dash of water. Stir till the onion browns without it burning.

3. Add a little more water plus all the spices. This should create a paste like consistency

4. Add the vegetables (Except the chickpeas and tomatoes) and mix through with the onion and garlic paste.

5. Once the veggies have tenderised a tad, add the two cans of organic salt reduced tomatoes and bring to the boil.

6. Once boiled, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the chickpeas.

7. Cover the pot and cook for 15-20 minutes.

8. Once cooked, stir through the spinach and kale.

9. Serve either on it’s own or with some steamed brown rice or quinoa.

The loveliest meal filled with immunity boosting properties. Perfect for a cosy autumn evening

M + S xxx

Creamy Pesto

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So, for our dad’s birthday we decided to have a relaxed night and cook him dinner at home. The menu was decided the day before – oven baked atlantic salmon on a bed of fresh spinach, roasted vegetables and blistered tomatoes. To us – this sounded wonderful. Not sure if many of you are aware, but atlantic salmon is by far our most favourite meal.

Anyway, a few wines into the night, we decided to start on dinner. Everything was going well until Mel asked ‘Sarah, what do we do about a sauce…?’.

The thing is, we never add sauces or condiments to our meals when cooking for just the two of us. We’re not saying we like plain food (…ew), we consider our cooking more along the lines of gourmet. We live by the philosophy that simply food, in it’s purest form – is the best. You know, herbs and veggies from your garden, good quality cheese, plump olives, heaps of good quality fats, home baked bread – you get the picture.

Also, due to our Italian background (thanks mum), we probably cook with a bit of mediterannean influence. Lots of olive oil , fresh herbs and red wine. Despite these lovely flavours, we never add ‘sauces’. If you appreciate the versatility of olive oil, you’ll understand this.

Back on track…as we were cooking for our food loving father, we thought a sauce would be more than ideal. SO in a frenzy amidst our food prep, we rushed to the herb garden and picked some beauties to make a lovely pesto. By the way, we cooked a dinner for four after three glasses of red. Go us..

This creamy pesto is full of life and love.

Just the way italians like it.

Ingredients 

– Half a cup of basil leaves

– Three twigs of rosemary (about a quarter of a cup)

– Thyme leaves (we just added a few as we were short for time and the leaves take a while to pick from the stem. If you have your own herb garden you’ll understand – terrible we know)

– Two cups of spinach leaves

– A third of a cup of walnuts (macadamia nuts would also work)

– A quarter of a cup of goats cheese

– A pinch of himalayan salt (do not use table salt! Table salt os very bad for you, we will be blogging about this shortly)

– Pepper to taste

– A quarter of a cup of extra virgin olive oil

– A quarter of a cup of water

Method

Look it would be great if we could post some long description as to how to actually make this marvellous spread in an attempt to make it look sophisticated and complicated but it really is too simply…Literally chuck all the ingredients into a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor on hand, a blender will work perfectly.

Serve this spread as desired. We loved it on our fish, but it would go lovely on a piece of freshly baked bread.

Done and Dusted.

M + S xx

 

Raw Crunchy Green Salad with Poached Chicken

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So you know those days when you feel a little sluggish and gross? Those days when you feel like a salad but the usual roast veggie throw together is just too heavy for your poor little belly? Well, we have come up with a simple, refreshing and light green salad to ease away your tummy sorrows.

If wanting to keep it vegetarian (as protein can be a little heavy if you’re having digestive issues) – then omit the chicken….but it really is nicer with chicken – just saying! 

Here is goes..

Ingredients: We try and use organic produce whenever we can, especially for the chicken!

2 small broccoli heads or one large (raw)

Half an avocado

Around six asparagus sticks (raw)

Half a zucchini (raw)

1 + 1/5 medium chicken breasts

Haloumi

Parsley and Mint (we grow our own, definitely recommend growing your own herbs)

1/4 of a Lemon

Olive oil (around a tablespoon per serve)

Pepper and himalayan salt (to taste)

Method:

1) Place some water and salt in a pot and bring to boil

2) In the meantime, cut chicken breast into small cube-like chunks (try and get the pieces the same size so they cook at the same rate).

3) Wash all the vegetables THOROUGHLY.

4) Cut up the vegetables any way you like, we tend to simply break up the broccoli and then cut it into smaller pieces (even the stem). With the zucchini and asparagus we also cut them into small bit sized pieces.

5) When the water is ready place the chicken pieces in for around 4-6 mins. You will have to test a piece to ensure they are not too pink inside. You want the chicken to be soft enough if you wanted to shred it. However we do not tend to shred ours, we prefer leaving them in cubed chunks. But each to their own! 🙂

6) Cut up haloumi into small rectangular pieces. Pan fry until golden on both sides. You can use some coconut oil if you wish, we never do as we don’t see the need to.

7) Dice the avocado

8) Now its time to get your hands dirty and mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl! Add the olive oil, lemon, pepper and himalayan salt. And finally top it off with your herbs!

Very simple – Great detoxifying foods that will leave you feeling refreshed and satisfied!

Prawn and Kale salad

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Hey guys,

We came up with this recipe to conquer the 40 degree day that was literally melting everything in our pantry (…our coconut oil is now an actual oil..).

Anyway, this salad can be enjoyed on a hot day, for a light lunch or even a side dish to a dinner. Ohhh it could even be used as an entree, at a dinner party! Now, we’re getting too excited.

This recipe serves two. Obviously as the ingredients compliment each other well, you can add or subtract as much or as little as you want. But here is what we thought matched nicely;

– Prawns (washed and peeled)

– One head of broccoli (keep raw)

– 8 pieces of asparagus (keep raw)

– One pomegranate

– Half an avocado

– 2 teaspoons of sunflower seeds

– 2 tablespoons of organic greek yoghurt (we use five:am brand)

– A leaf of kale

– 1 cup of spinach (or more if desired)

– 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar

– A few mint leaves (we got ours from our organic garden!)

Method;

Combine all ingredients except for the apple cider vinegar, sunflower seeds, pomegranate and yoghurt in a large bowl and mix with your hands (give it a try it’s quite sensual)

Once you’ve mixed all ingredients together and have delicately placed them in a bowl/plate, then you can add the reminder of the ingredients on top (make it look nice guys). As you can see in our photo, the last ingredient we’ve added are the seeds. It just looks better that way for all you instagramers out there…

Simple huh?

M + S xx