Summer holidays have come to an end, for myself it’s a little bitter sweet. Whilst I am over the sibling fighting and constant complaints of boredom I actually really enjoyed having my kids home these holidays. We have spent a lot of quality time together over the past two months swimming, fishing, boating, days at the beach, theme parks, bike rides, movie dates, picnics in the park we really have done it all. Continue reading “Quick and Easy Weekday Dinner Chicken Pesto Fusilli”
This is such a handy spice recipe to have I use this on a variety of chicken dishes such as whole roast chickens, chicken drumsticks, chicken burritos and these char grilled chicken skewers. You have the option to have it hot and spicy or by leaving out the Cayenne Pepper you can have it mild for the kids if they prefer.
Serve it with some soft tortillas, charred lemon or cooked corn cobs but my favourite now is with my Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Basil Pesto . A family feast to satisfy a hungry brood.
The cooler weather is vast approaching that mean it’s soup season. One thing I do love about the cooler weather is not only hibernating indoors cuddling up watching a riveting tv marathon but definitely that I get to put the salads aside for a while and make some warm nourishing soups again. There is something so comforting about a bowl of chicken broth full of goodness making us feel utterly satisfied.
With cold and flu season upon us it is important to keep our immunity strong as any sign of weakness and our bodies concede to viruses around us. It’s a good idea to start stocking up on the vitamin C enriched foods such as most citrus fruits, leafy greens like spinach and broccoli is also loaded with vitamins. Garlic, ginger, turmeric and sunflower seeds are immune boosting so it’s worth adding some extra in the morning smoothie or juices. Chicken has a high level of B6 vitamin which helps with the symptoms of colds and flues and plays a vital role in helping your body fight infection and boost immunity. So there is more to this feel-good soup than meets the eye, it actually does make us feel better.
This is a quick and fast recipe takes under 30mins to cook from start to finish. If you don’t have the time to make chicken stock from scratch (like most busy people these days) as it does take a little extra time to prepare than this recipe is for you.
Chicken Meatball Zoodle Soup
500-600g chicken mince
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 brown onion finely chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan
handful parsley finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 tbs olive oil
2 L chicken stock (store-bought or homemade)
2 carrots finely diced
3 sticks celery finely diced
4 zucchini spiralised into noodles (this works better with room temp zucchinis)
Note: If you don’t have a spiraliser you can just dice zucchini and add with vegetables or you can substitute for noodles
- To make the meatballs place chicken mince, half the garlic and onion, grated parmesan, egg, parsley and salt and pepper in to bowl. Mix well to combine, roll into small balls set aside. (you may need to wet your hands a little so they don’t become sticky)
- In a large stock pot heat the olive oil and add the remaining onion and garlic saute until soft. Add carrot and celery and cook for 1-2mins.
- Add chicken stock and bring to the boil. Slowly drop chicken balls into the stock turn heat down to low.
- Simmer for 10-12mins until meatballs are cooked through.
- Add the spiralised zucchini cook for 2 mins.
- Divide soup between bowls and top with extra parmesan cheese and parsley and salt and pepper if required.
Summer has come to an end sadly and what I will miss the most is the tropical fruit we are so lucky to enjoy here in Australia especially Mangoes. My grandfather has the most spectacular mango trees in his backyard which they planted over 40 years ago. Each year he harvests around 600-800 mangoes during the summer most the size of small footballs. The juicy flesh of these delicious fruits are so sweet nothing quite compares.
The mangoes that you buy from the grocery shops are picked well under ripe like most commercially grown fruit so the flavour doesn’t have the time to develop as much as homegrown making these mangoes the absolute best (non biased of course). He even has had people help themselves to his tree uninvited to my grandfathers displeasure. At 85 years old he still hobbles around his yard every morning quite literally collecting and admiring the fruits of his labour. So proud in fact that he keeps a journal and records how many he has harvested each year even the ones that the bats have taken. Bless his heart ♥
Mangoes are a great source of vitamin C which aids a healthy immune system. Helps with digestion as it contains enzymes that help to break down protein in your body. Lowers cholesterol, clears the skin, keeps your eyes healthy and there is even research that suggests the compounds in mangoes have cancer preventing properties. In case the sweet flavour of this fruit isn’t enough to get you indulging in them the nutritional benefits speak for themselves.
Finishing off the season I decided to make a summery mango salad to accompany the kids sweet chilli chicken they love. Very simply put together with fresh lime and olive oil as the mango just shines on its own.
Now to embrace the cooler weather ahead well not quite yet, here in Queensland they weather stays quite warm till end of April so we still have time to enjoy the sun and afternoon swims for a little while longer.
Sweet Chilli Chicken with Mango Salad
A sweet and summery meal that the whole family will enjoy
500g chicken tenders
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce preferably one with low sugar
1 clove garlic crushed
1/2 lime juiced
200g mixed lettuce leaves
1 large mango seed removed and sliced thinly
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lime juiced
salt and pepper
- In a bowl place chicken tenders, sweet chilli sauce, lime juice and garlic. Mix well to coat chicken and place in the fridge till needed.
- Prepare dressing, place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and set aside
- In a serving bowl place lettuce leaves and sliced mango
- Heat a grill pan on medium to high heat and cook chicken tenders for 3-4 mins each side until cooked through
- Arrange chicken pieces on top of the salad and pour over the dressing. Season with extra salt and pepper if needed.
+You can also add some cashew nuts for some extra crunch.
The New Healthy Parmigiana…
I’m all for quick meals at the moment, with this sweltering heat we’ve been having no one feels like spending hours in front of a hot stove even me!
Still always trying to keep dinners healthy for the family, so this version of chicken parmigiana came out of the recipe files. Replacing the bread crumbing with quinoa flakes making it gluten-free and added benefits of a superfood. Baked in the oven over fried (always a good idea) Then topped it with cherry tomatoes and bocconcini cheese, making this ordinary pub grub meal into a healthier summer family favourite the whole family will love.
Served with a simple side salad and some pan cooked asparagus or your families favourite veggies.
Quinoa Chicken Parmigiana
4 chicken breasts (organic preferably)
2 eggs beaten
1 1/2 cups *quinoa flakes
salt and pepper
2 tb olive oil or coconut oil
10-12 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
2 large buffalo bocconcini sliced or 10-12 small bocconcini balls sliced
- Preheat oven 200’C
- Slice chicken breasts in half lengthways
- Place eggs and quinoa flakes with the salt/ pepper in two separate in a bowl
- Coat chicken pieces first in the egg mixture then immediately in the quinoa flakes making sure to coat generously and evenly.
- Place in a baking tray drizzled with a little oil then drizzle little extra over the chicken
- Bake in the oven for 20mins turning half way through
- Top with tomatoes and bocconcini and place back in the oven for a further 5-10 mins until melted and chicken is cooked through.
- Serve with a simple side salad and you favourite veggies such as pan cooked asparagus or steamed broccoli
*Quinoa flakes are quinoa steamed rolled flat to make thin flakes. Can be found in major supermarkets or health food stores