Thursday, 28 May 2015

#CaptureTheSunshine......{Tipsy Paprika Chicken}

How wonderful is it that the sun has been shining so much recently? Makes me really happy and one the best things about the warm weather is the opportunity to eat alfresco - nothing like it! I swear food tastes better when it's eaten outside in the fresh air.  And what better to accompany your alfresco meal then a nice glass of Lindeman's wine? I love the variety in the wine my favourites being the Chardonnay and if I'm in the red wine mood I'll go for the Shiraz - Perfect!

So thinking about your alfresco dining this is my suggestion for a perfect Spring menu, and hey if it rains (we are in England after all, not sunny Hunterland in Australia where the folks at Lindeman produce their lovely wine) just #CaptureTheSunshine in the comfort of you warm dining room!

My Spring Menu

(perfect for nibbling on with a glass of wine)
Tipsy Paprika Chicken
(See recipe below)


The perfect combination for the perfect meal in my humble opinion! And here is the very simple but very tasty White Wine Paprika Chicken. Lets face it no one wants to spend hours slaving over a stove when it's a beautiful day which is why I've kept the menu pretty easy but full of flavours - you can also make a lot of it in advance - Enjoy!

Tipsy Paprika Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts
11/2 tsp paprika
salt & pepper

2tbsp olive oil
3tbsp butter
2tbsp fresh thyme leaves
3 large garlic cloves, finely diced

2 handfuls chestnut mushrooms finely sliced
300ml Lindeman's Bin 65 Chardonnay white wine
2 handfuls spinach

4 tbsp double cream

season the chicken breasts with the paprika, salt and pepper rubbing it evenly over both sides. melt 1 tbsp butter and the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. add the chicken breasts and cook on one side for three minutes, until golden brown and then turn over. turn the heat down and after 3mins add the rest of the butter, the thyme, mushrooms and garlic. cook continuously stirring the thyme, mushrooms and garlic around, for approx 2 mins before adding the wine. bring to a gentle simmer and let cook for 20 minutes - you may need to add wine if it dries up to much (but adding wine is never a bad thing!). add the spinach and cream in and season with S&P make sure chicken is done and serve with new potatoes, salad, cous cous, rice - whatever takes your fancy! Great accompanied with another glass of wine!

Disclosure: I’m entering this recipe into the #CaptureTheSunshine competition run by Foodies100 in conjunction with Lindeman’s wines.

For that Special Occassion.....{Chilli Crab Linguine}

I love eating crab and it really comes into season in May and June so this is the time when I really start to use it in my cooking. I’ve found sourcing crab meat from an online fishmonger is the easiest way to get hold of really fresh produce and it works out a lot cheaper, often I'll do a job lot and get some yummy clams as well. I use Fish for Thought and have found their service to be wonderful, cannot fault them and their fish is delcicious!  So on to the food - many crab linguine’s use just the white meat but I find that the brown meat is full of flavour and so I use both for this dish. The quanities I have given serves around 6 people.  

Chilli Crab Linguine

600g linguine (I use dried but feel free to use fresh!)
2 TBSP Olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 banana shallots, finely chopped
White wine, just a splash!
300g brown crab meat
250g white crab meat
1 lemon – zest of half and juice of whole

Parsley, finely chopped

cook the pasta according to instructions (I like mine slightly al dente), drain the cooking water but reserve a few spoonfuls for the sauce. meanwhile heat the olive oil in a pan and fry off the garlic, shallots and chilli until softened but not browned. add in a splash of white wine, lemon juice and lemon zest and then stir in the brown crab meat.  let it warm through and add in the reserved pasta water if it looks a bit too thick. stir the white crab meat in gently and then toss in the pasta. season and add the parsley. serve!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Healthy Weekday Meal #11..........{Fish Tacos with Avocado and Mango Salsa)

Sometimes it's really hard to get back into the swing of things after a holiday and this blog has probably been the biggest casualty of my holiday blues. Oh how I miss the sun and sea and food of Italy. At some point I will actually get round to doing a post on our time there but until then i have a lovely healthy fish taco recipe for you which is perfect after a week of eating a lot of pasta!

Fish Tacos with Avocado and Mango Salsa

selection of fish - I used a piece of cod and a couple of handfuls of raw prawns 
2 limes
2 large tomatoes, diced 
1 medium avocado, diced
1 red onion, diced
1/2 red chilli, finely diced
1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped 
1/2 mango, cubed
lettuce leaves
mini tortillas 

season the fish and squeeze over juice of 1/2 lime, cook of in the coconut oil and leave aside to cool. in separate bowl mix together the tomatoes, avocado, onion, chilli, coriander and mango. season and squeeze over the juice of 1 lime. warm the tortillas in a dry pan. take the tortilla wrap, add a handful of lettuce leaves, a couple of spoonfuls of the salsa and then top with the fish (which i shredded up a bit). Serve 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

A healthy cake?........{Lemon & Chia Seed Cake}

My friends! Apologies for the absence, I have been sunning myself in Italy and eating lots of yummy Italian food. Seriously was the best holiday and I have the holiday blues now I am back! I promise to do a holiday recap soon but until them I have a little recipe to keep you going!

Lemons are such a summery fruit to me and I use them a lot in my cooking and especially in my baking. This cake always goes down a treat and by replacing the fat with yogurt and olive oil and the sugar with algave syrup I also like to consider it a little bit healthy?! When I make this as a pudding, I make the limoncello syrup to serve with it but you can omit this if you only want it as a teatime treat! 

Lemon & Chia Seed Cake 

(Serves 6 with plenty left over for seconds!)

4 large eggs 
175g full fat Greek yoghurt
110g plain flour
110g ground almonds 
50g Chia seeds (or you can use poppy seeds)
1 ½ TSP baking powder 
½ TSP salt
10 TBSP Algave syrup
50ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lemon – zest of whole lemon, juice of half
1 TSP vanilla extract

5 TBSP caster sugar
Zest and Juice of ½ lemon 
50 – 75ml limoncello  

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a loaf tin with grease proof paper. Mix together the flour, almonds, chia seeds, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl pour in the syrup and add in lemon zest. In another bowl whisk together yogurt, eggs and vanilla and then add the lemon juice – keep whisking until it’s all combined. Stir in the zest and syrup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix together. Fold in the Olive oil. Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth down the top. Bake for 50mins until top is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Warm the sugar, zest and lemon juice over a low heat until syrup if formed. Remove from heat and whilst still warm stir in the limoncello. Use a skewer and make a few holes across the top of the cake and then pour over some of the syrup and reserve the rest for serving alongside the cake. It also goes well with a little glass of limoncello!