Healthy, Poultry

Spinach and Ricotta Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Serves: 4

So you have a new baby and cooking lobster tet-a-tet on a Monday night is no longer the priority.

Or possible.

And so you have this dish.

A dish which is simple, healthy and newborn-in-the-house friendly.

We speak from experience!

It isn’t going to set the world on fire though conversely, season well and serve with some steamed green beans and you have a really respectable Monday night dinner on your hands.

And lunch the next day for when the new baby is still at it and lobster tet-a-tet is remains off the menu.

Ingredients

250gm baby spinach
4 tbsp (light) ricotta
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Three pinches of nutmeg
4 chicken breasts
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
50gm fresh breadcrumbs, seasoned
3 zucchini, cut into batons
2 red peppers, seeded and sliced
2 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
250gm vine cherry tomatoes
4 garlic cloves (left in skin)
Steamed green beans to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200c.
  2. Put the spinach in a large colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water to wilt. Allow to drain for a few minutes and then squeeze out as much water as possible. Chop, put in a bowl and beat in the ricotta, lemon zest, nutmeg and plenty of seasoning.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut a slit into the side of each chicken breast and use your fingers to make a pocket. Spoon the spinach mixture into the 4 breasts. Rub with some of the olive oil and press the seasoned breadcrumbs on top. Arrange the chicken in a roasting tin.
  4. Put the vegetables in another tray baking tin and drizzle with oil and season well.
  5. Back the chicken and vegetables for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring the vegetables occasionally. Remove once the chicken is cooked through and the breadcrumbs are golden.
  6. Remove the softened garlic from the vegetables and remove the flesh; mash the flesh with the lemon juice, mix through the roasted vegetables and serve with the chicken and steamed beans.
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Healthy, Poultry, Stew

Spiced chicken, spinach and sweet potato stew

Serves: 4

So, between the time of writing this and next Friday (4 days away), Maxy Ashes Beerworth will be born.

A little man destined to make – and break – our lives, at least in the short-term. (The making will be a much longer-term affair though the immediate focus is on the cannonball that will interrupt any concept of sleep, dancing with tequila in the kitchen late at night or eating out on a whim.)

But kids are a long-term game and I am so bloody excited, words do not describe.

But back to the short-term play.

We will need food and at a time when the sous vide and micro herbs probably won’t play a part.

Herein starts a short series of posts dedicated to Maxy, our sanity and eating well.

And this bloody marvelous stew is a great way to kick it off.

It takes a while and I have adjusted the recipe to add a touch more spice – of which you could certainly add more – and I recommend it it without hesitation if your little Maxy is about to enter the world.

Or you just want an awesome, super-healthy stew for lunch.

Seriously, she is good.

Ingredients

Stew

1 tbsp olive oil
3 sweet potatoes, cubed
200gm baby spinach, fresh
8 chicken thighs, chopped
500ml chicken stock

Spice mix

2 red onions, chopped
2 red chillis, chopped with seeds
1 tsp paprika
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
400gm can tomatoes
2 preserved lemons, deseeded and chopped

To serve

Coriander
Pumpkin seeds, toasted

3 preserved lemons, deseeded and chopped
Warmed naan bread

Method

  1. In a food processor, blend all of the spice mix ingredients until very finely chopped.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the spice mix for around 5 minutes until thickened.
  3. Add the chicken and cook until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Add the stock and reduce over a medium heat until thick; an hour at least, likely two. You want a thick stew and the chicken breaking apart.
  5. Meanwhile, boil the sweet potato for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  6. Season the chicken with pepper, add the sweet potato and spinach. Combine for a minute or two.
  7. Serve with coriander, pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of chopped, preserved lemon.
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Poultry

Spinach and Feta Chicken Sausage

Serves: 4 – 6

If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, do yourself a favour and get the mincer and sausage stuffer accessory.

Because homemade sausages are a win on all levels.

They’re fun to make and you can involve the kids. You know what is going into your sausage; and what isn’t going into your sausage: snouts, sawdust, car parts.

And suffice to say, you can make some pretty crazy, pretty amazing sausages.

Nobody doesn’t love sausages. Master one of the greatest food types there is and never look back.

Ingredients

1.5kg chicken breast, chopped
280gm frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp marjoram
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp fine ground black pepper
2 tbsp minced fresh garlic

Method

  1. Combine, mince and stuff.
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Healthy, Vegetarian

Spinach and feta muffins

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With some melted butter, served warm? Heaven.

Spinach and feta muffins

Serves: 12 – 15 muffins

The boys have loved these muffins ever since Oliver – and then Tom – were capable of eating muffins.

Until last weekend however, it has been awhile since I’ve cooked a batch.

The good news is that good things never change and the boys were just as enamoured with them as they were the first time they had them; warm with some butter and they are literally savoury heaven.

They’re great the next day either and tick all the boxes as a healthy, filling, lunch-box treat.

And they certainly aren’t just for kids.

Try them and enjoy.

Though do yourself a favour and have at least one warm with butter.

Ingredients

Canola oil/spray, to grease
2 ½ cups self-raising flour
250g chopped baby spinach
150g low-fat feta, crumbled
½ cup chopped semi-dried tomatoes
2 tbsp finely grated parmesan + 2tbsp to sprinkle
330ml (1 ⅓ cups) milk
90g butter, melted
1 egg
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Brush/spray 12 muffin pans with canola oil to lightly grease
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl. Add shredded spinach, feta, tomatoes and parmesan and stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, using a fork, whisk together the milk, butter, egg and dill until well combined, Add milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently until just combined.
  4. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin pans. Sprinkle with extra parmesan and bake for 20 – 30 minutes until golden and cooked. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

 

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Healthy, Seafood

Salmon with mustardy celeriac mash

Serves: 2

All I can say here is don’t judge a recipe by it’s cover.

Because what this recipe seemingly lacks in ingredients it quite commensurately makes up for in flavour and of course, ease of preparation.

Celeriac might be a bit hard to find – as hard as finding a Harris Farm – though that really is the hardest thing about it all. And at about 300 calories each for the celeriac and maybe another 200 for the salmon, it is a healthy dinner to boot.

This dish really surprised us. Very pleasantly so.

Ingredients

2 salmon fillets
700gm celeriac, peeled to remove all the skin and cubed
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
100g baby spinach leaves
Pinch of sugar
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

Method

  1. Brush the salmon lightly with olive oil and season. Set aside ready to grill.
  2. Boil the celeriac until tender; about 12 to 15 minutes and drain, reserving 1 tbsp of the water.
  3. Whisk together the mustard and lemon juice, sugar, 1 tbsp olive oil and season.
  4. Heat the grill or a pan and cooked the salmon on both sides for a few minutes and cooked to your liking.
  5. Return the celeriac to the pan and mash; alternatively, use a food processor or a ricer. Heat the celeriac over a low heat, adding the spinach until it is wilted. Stir through 1 tbsp mustard mixture and reserved water and season.
  6. Spoon the mash onto two plates, place a salmon fillet on top and splash with the remaining mustard mixture.
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