Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Avocado and quinoa salad

From Prima, of all places, this is a filling and interesting recipe, perfect for lunch.

Avocado, quinoa, bean and goat's cheese salad

It takes a pack of Merchant Gourmet red and white pre-cooked quinoa, and adds two avocados, fresh beans, and cheese, dressed with oil and lemon juice plus fresh parsley.

I swapped in edamame beans for the listed broad beans, because life's too short to pod broad beans and I can get shelled edamames in the freezer section...  I also used a log-style goat's cheese but next time might use the crumbly feta-style one (I'm not sure what "semi-soft" means here). I omitted the red onion as I hate raw onion in salads, but next time I might try them pickled.

The pre-packed quinoa was OK but a bit bouncy - I prefer the softer texture when it's freshly cooked, but I literally just took the grains out of the packet so perhaps they are better when heated. But essentially this was a very easy and satisfying recipe.

Spicy mango chicken tray bake

A good one-pot, oven-cooked dinner here: mango chicken, bean and rice bake, from BBC Good Food. For once, I don't have any major additions or suggestions!

Marinade: whizz up 4-5 spring onions, 2 large garlic cloves, a thumb of peeled ginger root, a deseeded chilli (optional), stalks of a small bunch of coriander, 1.5 tbsp allspice, juice and zest of a lime, and 2 tbsp oil.

Use this to marinate 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs for an hour or more (or go skin-on, bone-in for more flavour but more fat).

Place 240g rice (I used brown) and a rinsed can of kidney beans in an ovenproof dish, add a peeled and chopped mango, and lay the chicken on top. Make 500ml stock (I used 2 cubes, chicken + ham), use it to gather any remaining marinade (especially if you used a bag rather than a dish), and pour it over in between the chicken. I also added the pulpy scrapings from the inside of the mango peel, so as not to waste any!

Cover the dish with foil, tightly, and bake for 30 mins at 180°C. Then uncover, spoon mango chutney (amount to taste) over the chicken, and bake uncovered for another 40 mins at 200°C. Scatter with the coriander leaves to serve.

Delicious and filling! We served it with peas for some extra veg. As I said, no major changes, but next time I might try it with black beans instead of kidney, and some coconut milk replacing some of the stock. I omitted the chilli as I didn't have one, so would try it with that next time.