Greek chicken with glazed quinoa and feta salad

Greek chicken with glazed quinoa and feta salad
Serves:
4
Time: 50 minutes
Difficulty: Easy to medium

There’s something about cinnamon that awakens the senses. For me, it brings back fond memories of Europe – from revelling in tongue-tingling sangria in Spain to licking the plate of my moussaka in Greece. Yes, I associate cinnamon with travel. And because travel is my number one favourite thing to do, cinnamon has to be my number one favourite spice.

Combining the ingredients of cinnamon, all spice and oregano is usually associated with red meat, but it works just as well with chicken too. Enjoy this dish as a delicious, but innocuous to the arteries mid-week dinner.

Ingredients

For the chicken:
3 good sized chicken breasts cut into approx. 3cm wide strips
2 tsps cinnamon
2 tsps all spice
2 tsps dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the salad:
1 can baby beetroots, quartered
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, cut into 2-3cm pieces
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1 cup white quinoa
2 cups liquid – either water or chicken stock (I like using chicken stock for a more intense flavour)
50gm Greek feta, cut or crumbled into small cubes
½ tbsp honey
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil – for the quinoa
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil – for the vegies
2 garlic cloves, crushed whole
2 springs rosemary (this is optional, but I like adding it to the quinoa for a deeper flavour)

Method

Step 1: In a fine mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa thoroughly with cool water and drain well. Heat the teaspoon of oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add the quinoa. Toast for about 1 minute. Stir in the liquid, garlic and rosemary sprigs. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook covered for 15 minutes. Then take off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, covered. Fluff with a fork, removing the now leafless woody sprigs.

Step 2: Meanwhile, while the quinoa is cooking, slice the chicken. Place the pieces in a deep bowl and combine with the cinnamon, all spice, oregano, salt, pepper and oil. Mix well and set aside to marinate for a few minutes.

Step 3: While the chicken marinates, chop the vegies. In a medium non-stick frypan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Drop the vegies in, tossing thoroughly for 2 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Continue to stir fry.

Step 4: While the vegies are cooking, heat a large non-stick frypan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in batches (I usually do 2 batches) for about 3-4 minutes each side or until golden brown.

Step 5: After the vegies have been cooking on medium-high for about 10 minutes, stir in the balsamic vinegar and honey, then lower the heat to medium. Continue to stir for another 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes glazed and sticky (I usually keep cooking it until my chicken is done).

Step 6: In a medium bowl, layer first the quinoa, then the glazed vegies, followed by the chicken, and finally the feta. Pour over the leftover liquid glaze from the saucepan, and enjoy!

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Brown special fried rice

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BROWN SPECIAL FRIED RICE

Serves: 2
Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ever since I was a child, I’ve had a passionate love affair with fried rice. I remember one time in particular back in my home town of Perth, when my little sister and I had such an enormous craving for it, we were compelled to walk half an hour to our local Chinese restaurant and back again just to satiate our monster craving. And satiate it did – gloriously.

For us fried rice was, and continues to be, that damn good. But unfortunately, also that damn unhealthy. So my ode to this Asian culinary classic is healthier, yet still tantalising on those tastebuds – making it a great lunch recipe.

Ingredients
1 cup brown rice
250g cooked and cleaned prawns
100g deli smoked ham, torn
¾ cup frozen peas, thawed
3 celery stalks, sliced
4 spring onion stalks, finely sliced (3 for the pan, 1 to garnish)
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 red chillies, finely sliced (1 for the pan, 1 to season)
2 tbsp soy sauce, plus extra to season
1 tbsp Shao Xing Chinese cooking wine
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tbsp sesame oil
2 eggs

Method
Step 1: Cook brown rice according to packet instructions. Meanwhile heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large non-stick fry pan or wok over medium-high. Add the garlic and chilli and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the celery, spring onions and ham, stir frying for 2-3 minutes.

Step 2: Add the prawns and peas and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes. Then fold through the rice, stir frying for 2 minutes.

Step 3: Toss in the soy sauce, Shao Xing and sesame oil – stir fry until completely combined. Push the mixture to one side of the pan and crack in the eggs. Let them sit and fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then fold through the rice until the egg shreds are blended through.

Step 4: Serve up the rice in bowls and garnish with left over spring onion slices. Place the remaining chilli slices in a small sauce bowl and pour in the extra soy sauce – serve on the side.

Wake up with a healthy turkey breakfast wrap

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HEALTHY BREAKFAST WRAP

Serves: 2

Time: 10 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ah breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Although, when I was younger, I frequently missed this holy grail of meals because, well, I got to sleep in longer. It wasn’t until my years became older and wiser, that I realised just how essential it is to kick start your metabolism. So now I always make time for it. For an extra ‘kick’ to this start, I add chilli flakes to really get your blood going.

Ingredients
2 wholemeal wraps
6 slices of deli turkey
2 slices of light and tasty cheese
Half an avocado
Light mayonnaise
Barbeque sauce (sugar reduced)
4 eggs
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
Chilli flakes (optional and to your liking)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil spray

Method
Step 1: Put a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Spray with extra virgin olive oil and toast each side of the wraps for about 20 seconds.

Step 2: Put the wraps on plates and add the mayo and barbecue sauce, spreading both about 3-4cm wide and all the way down to about three quarters, leaving the bottom quarter free. Lay three pieces of deli turkey over each wrap. Halve the cheese slices and layer the two halves over the turkey for each wrap – keeping that last quarter free throughout. Turn on your grill to a medium heat, and then place the wraps under the grill, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t crisp.

Step 3: In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, salt, pepper and chilli flakes until the eggs are frothy. In the same pan, add the extra virgin olive oil and scramble the eggs, taking them off when they’re still slightly moist and glistening.

Step 4: Take the wraps out of the grill (the cheese should be melted). Layer the scrambled eggs over each of the wraps. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the avocado and add the final layer. If you’re feeling a little saucy this morning, add extra sauce over the top.

Step 5: Fold up the bottom of the wrap, then fold over the sides. And voilà! They’re ready to dig into.