Tag Archives: easy summer dinners

Thai Chicken and Quinoa Cakes with Sweet Chilli Salsa

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finalWell if there is one thing for sure…summer is definitely on its way! With temperatures up in the high 30’s yesterday I could think of nothing worse than slaving away in a hot, sweaty kitchen for hours to whip something up for my parents who just happened to be passing through town! As it turns out, this little recipe creation turned out to be the perfect solution to my dilemma!

Fast, fresh and super healthy, these Thai Chicken and Quinoa Cakes can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes and require minimal cooking time, keeping the heat out of the kitchen and essentially making them the perfect choice for these balmy (almost) summer nights! Not only are they ridiculously easy to make, but they are also gluten free, packed full of high quality lean protein and loads of veggies to further boost their nutrient profile and fibre content.

Thai Chicken and Quinoa Cakes with Sweet Chilli Salsa

(Serves 4 people)

What you need..

– 500g chicken breast, roughly chopped

– 1 large carrot, grated

– 1 large zucchini, gratedIMG_5726

– 1 egg, whisked

– large handful coriander, chopped

– 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped

– 1 clove garlic, minced

– 1 tsp ginger, grated

– 1.5 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

– 3/4 cup quinoa, cooked and drained

– extra chilli flakes or fresh chilli (if desired)

– sesame seeds for rolling

For the salsa:

– 2 roma tomatoes, deseeded, dicedIMG_5728 2

– 1/2 lebanese cucumber, diced

– 1/2 red onion, diced

– 1 tbsp sweet chill sauce

– handful coriander, chopped

– juice of 1 lime

– 2 tsp fish sauce

What to do…

Throw all the ingredients for the chicken and quinoa cakes, other than the quinoa and sesame seeds into a food processor and blend until well combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir through the cooked quinoa. Place in the fridge until ready to roll and cook.

For the salsa, chop the tomatoes into quarters and discard the soft centre parts. Dice the tomatoes and add to a small serving bowl along with the other salsa ingredients. Stir to combine.

When ready to cook, place a large non-stick fry pan on medium heat and add a drop of olive or peanut oil. While the pan is heating up roll the chicken mixture into pattie shapes and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Add a batch of the chicken and quinoa cakes to the hot pan and squish them down with a spatula so that they cook quickly and evenly. Once cooked, remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining mixture.

Team these bad boys with a light summer salad and the zesty salsa and you have yourself one ridiculously tasty, light summer meal in minutes!

Enjoy!

AIMG_5727

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Blackened Cajun Salmon with Mango Avocado Salsa

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salmon and salsa With Christmas (and the peak of summer) just around the corner this dish is sure to be a crowd pleaser, especially on these hot balmy summer nights! Being one of my all-time favourite food combinations – mango avocado and some lovely fresh seafood this dish has quickly worked its way up the ranks of my favourite dinner time creations! Packed with loads of essential vitamins and minerals and heart healthy fats you will be doing your whole body a favour..not just your taste buds! Though it may sound very exotic, this dish is super quick and easy to prepare. So if you’re keen to give this one a whirl please read on…

What you need…

  • 4 x salmon fillets
  • Cajun seasoning
  • 1x sweet potato, thinly sliced
  • smoked paprika
  • Steamed green veggies to serve (optional)

For the salsa:

  • 1 ripe mango, cut into cubes
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed
  • 1 long red chilli, finely diced
  • 2-3 kaffir lime leaves, very finely diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • Juice of a fresh lime
  • handful of fresh mint leaves, torn

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Then rub the Cajun seasoning mix into the salmon fillets and then set aside until ready to cook.

Slice up the sweet potato into thin slices and throw them onto a lined baking tray. Spray over some olive oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika and salt and pepper. Place in the oven and leave for 20-25mins or until soft to touch and slightly crispy and browned across the top.

Meanwhile add all of the chopped salsa ingredients to a serving bowl and then tare up the mint leaves before mixing them through. Squeeze over the fresh lime juice and a light drizzle of olive oil.

For the salmon, preheat a non-stick fry pan  and then add the salmon skin side down. Cook for about 3-4 mins and skin is nice and crispy before flipping and lthe fillets and cooking for a further 2-3 mins or until cooked to your liking. (Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillets.

Grab the sweet potato from the oven and serve up with the salmon and sexy, fresh salsa!
Enjoy!

A

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My Quick Greek Feast!

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greek feastHave I ever said how much I love Greek food? Wellll now you know! I just love the combination of flavours and the tantalising mix of juicy, perfectly cooked meats, fresh salads, delicious dips and soft, fluffy flatbreads….mmm yum I am getting hungry again just thinking about it!

So, to cure my cravings for all things Greek, last night Mark and I whipped up a delicious, healthy Greek feast and I thought it was probably only fair that I shared it all with you! Loaded with fresh salad veggies, home grown lamb backstrap grilled to perfection on the barby and some tastey home made tzatziki, this Mediterranean inspired meal is not only delicious but it is super nutritious and heart healthy as well! Oh and did I mention it only takes about 20mins to prepare?? Healthy Fast Food at it’s best!

What you need…

1 lamb back strap

2 cloves garlic

fresh or dried oregano

olive oil

1 lemon

1-2 large roma tomatoesgreek salad

1/2 lebanese cucumber

handful of pitted kalamata olives

half a red onion

crumbled low fat fetta

handful of roquet

1/3 cup fat free natural yoghurt

store bought tabbouleh (from the deli section… OR if you have time you can make your own! All you need is some cooked burghul wheat or quinoa, a HEAP of chopped parsley, diced tomatoes, red onion, olive oil and some fresh lemon juice!)

What to do…

Crush your garlic and add most of it to a bowl with a handful of chopped fresh oregano (or good sprinkle of dried oregano), a squeeze of lemon juice, a good splash of olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Cut your lamb into thick slices and add to the bowl of marinade, mixing well. Set aside until ready to cook. Don’t forget to turn on your BBQ at least 10-15mins before you’re ready to cook!

Cut your tomatoes, cucumber and onion into bite sized chunks and throw into a serving bowl along with the roquet leaves, a splash of olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Tzatziki mix your yoghurt with the remaining garlic and a small handful of diced cucumber. Feel free to throw in some fresh herbs too! I used parsely but you could use mint or coriander instead.

To cook your lamb, rub some olive oil over the hot plate and then cook the meat for about 1-2 mins on each side, or until cooked to your liking!

And you’re done! Delish!

A

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Tuna Sashimi Rice Paper Rolls

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If you are after something fresh, tastey and super healthy then I have just the thing for you!! These rice paper rolls are devilishly delicious and super easy to put together! All you need is a good fish monger who sell good quality tuna (or salmon) and wakame seaweed salad. I made these today for a lazy Easter Monday lunch and I’m not going to deny they were a bit o f a hit! Now unfortunately I can’t really take all the credit for this recipe as it is pretty much my take on the ricepaper rolls from my FAVOURITE Vietnamese takeaway joint in the world..Miss Chu, which now have stalls in Melbourne and Sydney..(am praying Brisbane is next on their hit list!) But either way they are delicious and sure to cure any sashimi craving!

What you need…tuna rolls 2

150g of fresh sashimi grade tuna

small rice paper rolls

rice vermicilli noodles

coriander

1/2 an avo

1/2 lebanese cucumber

wasabi

sesame seeds

1 small container of wakame salad

handful of basil leaves

Low fat mayonnaise

For the dipping sauce…

1 tbs fish sauce

1 tsp sugar

juice of 1 lime

2 tbs rice wine vinegar

hot water

1/2 red chili

sesame oil

What to do..

To make your dipping sauce, add the sugar and a splash of boiling water to a small bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then add your fish sauce, vinegar, lime juice and a splash of sesame oil. Slice your chilli into thin slices and sprinkle over the top of the dipping sauce along with a handful of chopped coriander.

Firstly boil the kettle with hot water and pour some over a bowl with your rice vermicilli noodles and leave them to cook for 5 or so minutes. Meanwhile slice your tuna into thick slices and drizzle over some sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Mix through and leave in the fridge til ready to assemble! Cut your avo and cucumber into thin slices. Once your noodles are soft drain them and set them aside. Lastly add a tablespoon of mayo to a good tsp (or 2) or wasabi and mix together.

Now you’re ready for assembly! So basically this part is entirely up to you as to how you want to build your rice paper rolls but this is pretty much how my assembly line looked..

Use a bowl of boiling water to soften a sheet of rice paper (don’t leave it in there for more than a couple of seconds as it will go soggy and wont stick together properly!). Then start with a couple of basil leaves followed by a small handful of rice noodles and wakame salad. Then add a couple of slices of tuna and spread a thin layer of wasabi mayo over your sashimi before topping with a couple of slices of your avo and cucumber. Finally sprinkle over some chopped coriander and then you’re ready to roll!

If you’re struggling with the rolling part.. start by putting all your fillings close to one side of the roll. Then start rolling from that side, turning your sides in just before you finish rolling up the last part of your sheet of ricepaper! Easy peasy! Oh and try not to eat them all before they even make it onto the serving plate! Believe me..it’s harder than it sounds!

Have fun and happy Easter Monday everyone!

A

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