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The Monster & Me: Quick simple chicken and salad

Somewhere along the way I fell in love with this simple dinner recipe. It’s easy and healthy and so very tasty. And will find its way onto our dining table at least once a week. I can be a bit boring like that. Find something that works and just keep making it.

If you try it you’ll see though, that it’s just too quick, easy and tasty to not put into regular dinner rotation.

You’ll need

750grams of boneless chicken thigh
400gram can of chick peas
1 avocado
1 stalk of celery
1 small cucumber
1 cob of corn, cooked and cut off the cob
1/2 red onion
1/4 red capsicum
1/2 punnet of grape tomatoes
Fresh coriander
Portuguese (or Moroccan) seasoning
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste

To Make
– Trim excess fat from the chicken and coat in seasoning. Pan fry on a medium to high heat, turning frequently.
– While chicken is cooking dice all your salsa ingredients. Try to keep a consistent small dice, with the red onion very fine.
– Drain and rinse the chick peas and add to the salsa.
– Dress the salsa with juice from half a lemon, a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
– Toss through the fresh coriander.
– Once the chicken is cooked, serve hot with the salsa on the side.
– Enjoy!

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Healthy muesli bar slice recipe

Healthy muesli bar slice recipe

Muesli bars are such a tasty, convenient snack for those times when a piece of fruit just won’t do the trick. The store-bought bars tend to be full of sugar and a list of ingredients with numbers instead of names. So after a bit of trial and error I have finally found a recipe for homemade muesli bars that is delicious, easy to make and not packed with processed sugar. The trick is not to eat them all at once!

Ingredients
2 cups of traditional rolled oats
1/2 cup of LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds)
1 cup of mixed dried fruit (I used a combination of cranberries, sultanas and diced apricots)
1/2 cup of mixed seeds and nuts (I used a combination of walnuts, pepitas and sunflower kernels)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of manuka honey (other honey would work)

Directions
– Preheat the oven to 160 C fan forced
– Mix oats, LSA, dried fruit, seeds and nuts and cinnamon together in a bowl
– In a separate bowl lightly whisk together eggs, olive oil, honey and vanilla
– Combine egg mixture with oat mixture until all combined
– Spoon into a slice tray lined with baking paper, smoothing mixture down
– Bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown
– Cool then cut into pieces

Recipe adapted from The Healthy Chef

More recipes.

Handmade Christmas Gift: Cranberry and Cinnamon Cookies

DIY Christmas Gift Idea: Cranberry Cookies

I love handmade Christmas gifts. They speak of time and effort and thoughtfulness. But I’m not a crafty mamma so normally I leave the handmade business to others. However, this year come late December I will be making these cranberry oat cookies. They are chewy and sweet with that hint of festive cinnamon spice. And they are easy to make. Then all you have to do is pop them in a glass jar, tie a pretty ribbon and et voila, a delicious handmade gift!

Ingredients
1 cup plain flour
1 1/2 cups traditional oats
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of milk
1 large egg
115 grams butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup of caster sugar
1/2 cup of cranberries

Directions
(Makes approximately 20 cookies)
– Mix together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder.
– In a separate bowl whisk together milk, egg and vanilla extract and set aside.
– In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Gradually add the milk mixture until well combined.
– Mix in the flour mixture until just combined.
– Gently fold in the cranberries and oats.
– Place the dough in the fridge until firm (I didn’t but it will make the dough easier to handle)
– Preheat oven to 170c (fan forced) and line baking trays with baking paper
– Shape heaped tablespoons of dough into balls with your hands, pressing them down gently on to the baking tray with a fork. Leave space between each cookie for them to spread a little.
– Bake until golden but still soft in the middle, approx 15-20 minutes.
– Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

**Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart**

Rum and Macadamia Nut Brownie Recipe | The Monster and Me

If you’re after a quick, easy and totally delicious brownie recipe, this is it. These squares of chocolate deliciousness are best made for get-togethers and gifts because you do not want to have a box of them sitting in your cupboard at home. They will be eaten. And let’s just say they aren’t exactly health food (but they are seriously yummy!).

Ingredients
– 125g unsalted butter
– 100g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup of castor sugar
– 2 tablespoons dark rum or honey
– 100g plain flour, sifted
– scant pinch of salt
– 125g macadamias, chopped

Directions
– Preheat oven to 180c.
– Butter a 20cm square tin (I used a rectangular tin I had).
– Put butter in a saucepan over low heat.
– When half-melted, add chocolate and stir until it has melted and mixture is smooth.
– Remove from heat and cool.
– Beat eggs and castor sugar until thick and creamy.
– Stir in cooled chocolate mixture and rum, then flour, salt and macadamias.
– Pour into prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes.
– Cool and cut into squares.

Enjoy alone or with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream.

Recipe from the genius of Stephanie Alexander’s The Cooks Companion (if you’re looking for an AMAZING all-round cook book, this is it.)

This Stephanie Alexander creation has become my go-to recipe for celebration-worthy cake. So far it has been made for a friend’s baby blessingway, my mum and cousins’ birthdays and even my own birthday (that’s right, I make my own cake, does that make me lame or totally awesome?). This flourless cake is rich and dense, covered with chocolate ganache and looks complete topped with some fresh strawberries. The grated chocolate is a labour of love, but the end result is completely worth it.

Ingredients
150g bittersweet chocolate grated
150g ground almonds (almond meal)
130g unsalted butter
130g caster sugar
7 egg yolks
9 egg whites

for the chocolate ganache
375g bittersweet chocolate chopped (melting pieces work well too)
1 cup of cream
(this makes a lot of ganache and I nearly always have about a third left over, which isn’t so bad as chilled and scooped into little balls, it makes lovely chocolate truffles)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180c.
Butter and line a 20cm round cake tin.
Combine chocolate and almonds.
Cream butter and sugar until pale, then add yolks one at a time.
Add chocolate mixture.
Beat whites to creamy peaks and fold into mixture.
Pour into prepared tin.
Stand tin in baking dish and fill dish with hot water to come two-thirds up sides of tin.
Bake for 45-60 minutes until cake tests clean.
Cool in tin before turning out.

To make ganache, put chocolate and cream into a saucepan and heat gently.
Stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is quite smooth.
Transfer to a bowl of an electric mixer and beat until cool and thick.
Spread over cake and allow to set before cutting.

Serve with strawberries and ice-cream or cream.

*Recipe from The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander.

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