31 December 2014

Nigel’s Ham, Cheese & Apple Muffins

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

The Christmas festivities are over once again.  Fun was had, there was laughter, crackers were pulled, poppers popped, bubbles drunk & many cheers, a couple of cocktails, a delicious feast consumed & crazy pass the parcel played All the build-up, all the preparation & in a blink of an eye gone until next year leaving in their wake….well ham, lots of ham.  We have a little bit of a ham mountain. I feel I have almost half a pig in the fridge & though much ham has been consumed over the last few days I am not convinced it is getting any smaller.  

Fortunately I love the Christmas ham & have yet to reach my limits.  But a little variety is definitely required.  A take on Jamie’s ham, spinach & cheese tart has been made & it was so cheesy, creamy delicious I will have to share it.  You can even kid yourself it’s a little healthy as it has some of the green stuff in it! So for the next few weeks I may have to change the name my blog to “Ham” & any tasty suggestions will be most welcome!

First up though were these tasty morsels from Nigel Slater; ham, cheese & apple muffins to be precise. Ever so cheesy which is always a good thing, little nuggets of ham & just the hint of sweetness from the apple.

Nigel’s Ham, Cheese & Apple Muffins

Any full flavoured cheese will work here. I also added a little mustard powder as mustard is such a good friend to ham.  I also think a few chilli flakes or a pinch of cayenne wouldn’t go amiss.

Makes a dozen


275g / 10oz plain flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp English mustard powder
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
175g / 6oz yoghurt
200g / 7oz cooked ham, chopped
One small apple, grated
75g / 2.5oz firm, mature cheese, grated
A little grated cheese to finish
You will also need 12 medium-sized bun tins; paper muffin cases


Pre heat oven to 200C/390F.

Line 12 medium-sized muffin tins with paper muffin cases. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, mustard powder and a little salt in a bowl &  mix well together. In a separate bowl, break the eggs & lightly beat them, stir in the yoghurt, the chopped ham &  the grated apple. Fold the cheese into the yoghurt mixture & lightly mix with the dry ingredients. Gently & quickly to keep them airy & light.

Divide the mixture between the 12 cases, grate over a little cheese & bake for 25 minutes till risen & gold & maybe just a few crunchy toasty cheesy bits. Allow to cool, well at least a little before eating.

Nigel says to eat the same day, which would be easy but after all the over indulgence of the past few days there are limits & a desire not to turn in to a muffin! I found warmed through on day 2 with a little butter they made for the perfect tasty breakfast.

Enjoy & have the happiest of New Year’s!

16 December 2014

{Bookshelf} Ottolenghi's Broccolini & Edamame Salad with Curry Leaves & Coconut from Plenty More

I’ve had my mitts on this gem for a little while but the cooking mojo seems to have vacated the premises these last few months even with new Ottolenghi inspiration on hand! Desperate times indeed.  Well actually not so much the cooking mojo; I’ve been cooking & eating just not photographing, writing & blogging. I’ve realised now that these phases come & they go & that I just need to go with it, no need to force it. It’s happy fun place over here & should never feel like a chore.

I am planning Christmas so reading through cook books & magazines over this past weekend I could feel my enthusiasm begin to return as dozens of recipes caught my attention.  There will be a veritable feast! There will possibly be a maple & orange glazed ham, perhaps a potato, fennel & crispy caper salad though Donna Hay’s crispy leaf potatoes with oregano salt or some herb & parmesan roasties are very close contenders.  And on the side; perhaps asparagus with a dill & mustard sauce as I need to make the most of these tasty green spears in their always too short season. Also as we head full throttle in to the silly season the need for some green among the glasses of bubbly & tempting treats.

And who to turn to but the master of greens; Mr Ottolenghi.  He’s an alchemist of all sorts of flavours but he can elevate greens to a whole new level of delicious.  Just search my archives….there’s green couscous, green pancakes with lime butter, swiss chard fritters, herb pie, asparagus mimosa, chard & saffron omelettes & baby spinach salad with dates.

Plenty More delivers plenty more green inspiration & this one will also possibly grace the Christmas table. Another new & inventive flavour combination from the master; broccolini, edamame & coconut tossed with aromatic black mustard seeds, curry leaves, chilli & coriander. It also returns my cooking mojo, thank you once again Mr Ottolenghi.

Broccolini & Edamame Salad with Curry Leaves & Coconut, from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More

*It is a salad & I love chillies & curry leaves, so fresh chillies chopped & tossed through the salad a few more curry leaves added. I also added some crispy shallots for a sweet little crunch.


2 bunches purple sprouting broccoli or broccolini, trimmed
500g / ½ lb green beans, trimmed
200g / 7 oz shelled frozen edamame
4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 ½ tsp black mustard seeds
30 fresh curry leaves, or 40 dried curry leaves
3 whole dried chillies
Zest of 1 lime, plus 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice, more to taste
Zest of 1 lime
1 red chilli, diced (my addition)
⅔ cup coriander leaves
⅔ cup fresh coarsely grated coconut*
Sprinkle of crispy shallots (my addition)

*Fresh coconut would be ideal but I could only fined dessicated, either way it is one delicious salad!


Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil & add the broccolini & green beans. Blanch for 3 to 4 minutes, until just tender but still with a little bite. Use a slotted spoon to transfer vegetables to a colander & run under cold water to stop them cooking & keep their vibrant green hue. Pat dry, transfer to large bowl & set aside until ready to assemble the salad.
Return pot of water to a boil, add the edamame & blanch for 2 minutes. Place in colander, run under colder water, pat dry, & add to the other vegetables. Sprinkle 1/2 a teaspoon salt over vegetables, stir & set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat & add the onion & a  pinch of salt.  Cook for a few minutes until soft & then add the black mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to pop, add the curry leaves, chillies & lime zest. Sauté for a couple of  minutes before pouring mixture over vegetables. Stir & let sit for 10 minutes.
Just before serving, add diced red chilli, lime juice, coriander, coconut, crispy shallots & drizzle with remaining olive oil. Gently stir & serve.


25 November 2014

Chicken Satay & a Fiery Noodle Salad

This is one of Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals & yes it did take a little longer. Maybe 45 minutes which was fine by me.  45 minutes chilling, chopping, whizzing, grilling was the perfect wind down for me after a busy day.  A little me time & at the end of it a fresh, full of flavour, spicy, fresh dinner.

And why not just take a little time?  We spend so much time rushing around. There's really no need to run around frantic just to save a few minutes.  Just take a few & enjoy the process &  you'll have dinner on the table & everyone happy & eating in no time at all. Sometimes you should just take a little time.

I was having a chat with a friend the other day who asked me how I had time to chill out & take some me time. It's simple really I just make a little time for me time, otherwise I would go insane. Sometimes you just need the quiet. Besides I think we will always find the time to do things that we really want to do whether it's to read a book, watch a movie or a favorite TV show, take a yoga class or hit the gym. For me a little me time is good for body & soul, it's a little calm out of the daily crazy.  And if it means a few chores don't get done until later so be it.  There's most definitely more to life than chores & a never ending list of things to be done; a compelling need to always have something you have to do. Just stop for a little.

Here's a wee poem from Rose Milligan that sums it up nicely.

Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better
To paint a picture, or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;
Music to hear, and books to read;
Friends to cherish, and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there
With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself, will make more dust.

So leave the dusting for another day & do something you enjoy & take a little me time.

The cat has the right idea!
Chicken Satay & a Fiery Noodle Salad, from Jamie's 30 Minute Meals


½ a small bunch of fresh coriander
1 fresh red chilli, roughly chopped
½ a clove of garlic, peeled & roughly chopped
3 heaped tbsp good-quality crunchy peanut butter, I used Pics*
Soy sauce
A 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
2 limes

the best peanut butter...ever!

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Runny honey, for drizzling

Noodle Salad
250g dried medium egg noodles (1 nest per person)
100g unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
½ a medium-sized red onion, peeled & roughly chopped
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
A small bunch of fresh coriander
1–2 tbsp soy sauce
1 lime
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp runny honey

2 baby cos lettuce
½ a small bunch of fresh coriander
1 red chilli, sliced
1 lime


Turn your grill on to high & soak the wooden skewers in a tray of cold water.

For the satay place the coriander (stalks & all) into a food processor; I used my trusty Russell Hobbs.  Add the chilli, garlic, peanut butter & a splash of soy sauce. Just add a splash for now & then you can add a little more if need be, it’s a lot easier to add then take out & you don’t want it to overpower the satay.  I found a splash to be plenty. Add the ginger, the zest of both the limes & the juice of one. Add a couple of splashes of water & whizz to a spoonable consistency. Season to taste & adjust if need be. Spoon half the satay into a little bowl & place on a large platter.

Cut the chicken in to bite sized pieces & thread them on to the skewers.  Scoop the rest of the satay mix from the processor into a roasting tray, add the chicken skewers & toss with your hands to coat, rubbing the flavour into the chicken. Put on the top shelf of the oven, under the grill, for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side, or until golden & cooked through.

Trim the bases off the little lettuces & get rid of any wilted outer leaves. Pick the rest of the leaves off, halving the cores, rinse & dry& place on a platter. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil & cook the noodles according to the packet instructions.   Place a medium frying pan over a low heat & add the cashew nuts & toast, tossing occasionally until golden.  But keep an eye on then as they can go from toasty to totally charred very quickly.

Rinse out your food processor & pop the red onion half in with the chilli & the stalks from the coriander.  Pulse until finely chopped & then place into a large serving bowl with 1 or 2 tablespoons of soy sauce & a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime & stir in 1 teaspoon each of sesame oil & fish sauce. Mix well, then taste & adjust the seasoning if need be. Drain the noodles in a colander, refresh quickly under cold water, drain again & add to the bowl.

Toss your cashews & turn the heat under them up to high. Add 1 teaspoon of honey, mixing & tossing the nuts in the pan. Once dark golden, tip them into the serving bowl & add the coriander leaves. Toss everything together & place on the platter with the lettuce & satay sauce.

Turn the skewers over, drizzle with a little runny honey & place them back under the grill for 8 to 10 minutes more or until cooked through.

Roughly chop the coriander leaves and finely slice the chilli & pop them in to little side bowls & add them to the platter along with some lime wedges.  Pile the chicken skewers on the platter & serve alongside the noodle salad.  Scoop up a lettuce leaf & fill with chicken, a little satay, chilli, coriander, noodle salad & a squeeze of lime & eat.

Bright, fresh & just a little fiery!

For all things Russell Hobbs head here.


17 November 2014

{Just Photos} Taste Auckland

Bracu's yellowfin tuna with potato, lemon, & chorizo bolognese

So we were checking the weather every day but as Saturday grew closer it just didn’t look like the weather gods were going to be on our side.  Come Saturday we were; “please just don’t let it rain”.  Our prayers were almost answered & besides we weren’t going to let a little rain & wind spoil our.  The wind did eventually win forcing the organisers to shut Taste for the afternoon & cancel the evening session altogether.  It was a tough call but there were some mighty fierce gusts that were blowing upending tables & chairs & flinging them around so really the only call they could make.

Harbourside's Scallop; sweet, sour & salty with tamarind & chorizo caramel, avocado, creme fraiche & rice puffs.

But up to that point we managed to find shelter whenever the rain became more than a little drizzle or the wind a little too gusty.  We still tasted a lot of delicious food & sipped on some delightful tipples. The Man O War Dreadnought the perfect red for the blustery day. Even better the closing early meant free tickets for the Sunday session so we were able to return on a sunny Sunday afternoon to taste what we’d missed on Saturday.  All’s well that ends well & we left warmed by the sunshine & bellies full of deliciousness.

The Commons cured kingfish, gin, blood orange, wild fennel & horseradish

Beef short rib, butter poached crayfish, wasabi, asparagus & samphire from Cable Bay

My favorite of day 2 were the smoked beef cheeks by Mikey Newlands from Bracu. Meltingly tender & so much flavour. The pecans adding the perfect sweet crunch.

Bracu's smoked beef cheeks, butternut, roasted yoghurt & pecan.

We'd also somehow missed the small producers on day one, not quite sure that happened but it did. However it did make for tastings of more delicious morsels. Stand outs Smokey Seafoods & the Hungarian Artisan Co's smoked & spicy sausage.
And some of my favourites; Culley's Hot Sauces, Jenny's Kitchen Tamarind Chutney from Waiheke, The Damson Collection, 

And to finish there had to be dessert. This one was light & delightful. A lemon mousse cheesecake with digestive crumb & the most wonderful burnt orange sorbet!

So the weather did not dampen our Taste experience.  It may have left us a little windswept but also full & happy.  Bring on next year!

06 November 2014

Fush & Chups

Fush & chups….quintessentially kiwi.  I never used to really like fish & chips until I got here. I wasn’t really a fan of fish full stop.  Childhood memories of not being allowed to leave the table until I’d finished seemed like tortuous & put me off fish for quite some time. That & too many chewy batters & soggy chips & god forbid mushy peas on the side adding to the totally non crisp factor.

However I am a total convert; not much beats a good fush & chups & we are blessed with delicious fish here in the land of the long white cloud; snapper, blue cod, terakihi, hapuka…they even sound more exotic than haddock! To note I am also a convert now when back home too as many delicious little fishes to be had in the mother country too.

The perfect fish & chips…or fush & chups if we’re talking in newzeald.
Golden, crispy, light batter, moist fresh fish. A sprinkling of sea salt & a squeeze of lemon.  Chips golden & crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside & for me dowsed in salt & vinegar for a sharp kick, the one remnant I enjoy from the mother country. A little mayo & ketchup on the side. Eaten with fingers a must & preferably outdoors,  perfection being on a beach on a balmy summer evening, the sun setting. And if you’re going for full indulgence white bread & butter to make a chip butty out of any remaining chips!

The real star is of course the batter.  Cooked through, well seasoned, light, golden, crunchy & no soggy or chewy in sight.  And here’s where we went in search of the best batter. To add baking powder or yeast, or something fizzy, sparkling water or beer, that was the question.

A little research revealed Rick goes for baking powder & ice cold water, Jamie goes for flour, baking soda & cold beer & Nigel gives a twist with plain flour, pear cider, oil & egg whites for a totally different variation. Cold seems to be the key for light, bubbly crunchy batter. In the end we went for cold beer & cold flour with a little baking powder & it was delicious, as delicious if not more so than those up there from the local chippy.

Sadly if watching one’s waistline one can’t be indulging this way every night of the week, but the good news is that you can still indulge & have quite delicious fush & chups!

These one’s from Donna Hay went down a treat & will most definitely be making a few encore appearances when treat but healthy desired. Fish is topped with herby lemony bread crumbs & grilled & spuds & kumara are baked. On the side a bursting with flavour yoghurt tartare.

Fush & chups, tweaked from Donna Hay Fast & Fresh


For the chups
2 medium potatoes, peeled & cut in to chips
1 medium kumara, peeled & cut in to chips
Pinch chilli flakes
1 tbsp olive oil

Yoghurt tartare
1/2 cup thick plain yoghurt
2 tbsp cornichons, chopped
1 tbsp capers, chopped
1 tbsp dill, chopped
2 tbsp white wine vinegar

For the fush
1 1/4 cups coarse bread crumbs*
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Pinch chilli flakes
8x 120g firm white fish fillets
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil

Lemon wedges to serve

Salt & pepper

*I always have some in the freezer, left over bread just gets whizzed up in the food processor & added to the big bag in the freezer.


Pre heat oven to 200C/390F

Place the potatoes & kumara on a baking tray & sprinkle over a good pinch of salt & pepper along with the chilli flakes. Drizzle over the olive oil & toss to combine.  Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden & crisp.

For the yoghurt tartare place the yoghurt, cornichons, capers, dill & vinegar in a small bowl.  Add a little pinch of salt & pepper & mix well to combine & set aside until ready to serve.

Place the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, parsley & chilli flakes in a bowl, season with salt & pepper & mix well.  Place the fish on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Top with the breadcrumbs. Mix the lemon juice & olive oil together & drizzle it over the breadcrumbs.  

Cook the fish under a preheated grill for 5-7 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden & crisp & the fish is cooked through.

Serve the fish with chips, a little tartare & wedges of lemon.

Enjoy, maybe even with your fingers!

28 October 2014

Thai Chicken with Crunchy Asian Slaw

This is a great speedy supper for the longer lighter, though not quite warmer days. I’ve still had the heat pump on  & been snuggled in my big fluffy, cosy dressing gown this past weekend so a little hit of heat from the chilli & sriracha was most definitely welcome.  In fact writing this now I’m all snuggled & cosy under the heat pump. We’ve just had Labour weekend here, which is the kind of unofficial official start of the summer season, traditionally the weekend to plant tomatoes in time for a summer crop. 

Testament to the chilliness…this is the prime directly under the heat pump spot…

However there seems to be some wires crossed somewhere & it still somewhat not very summer like. We’ve yet to have more than the odd day of balmy evenings, not that that will stop us getting the BBQ out!  There’s been BBQing in the wind & rain as we defy mother nature.  Handily the BBQ doubles as an outdoor heater so we’re all good there.

Light, a little sweet, a little aromatic & with a spicy kick this chicken packs a punch with sweet chilli sauce, sriracha, kaffir lime, lemongrass & fresh ginger.  I’ve been buying up ginger at every opportunity as new season ginger has just arrived here.  Quite different from the usual dried specimens on offer; it’s light & bright & a little shiny. I’m just going to keep buying it & freezing it. You can then just grate it whenever you need it to add a little zing to all sorts.

Thai Chicken with Crunchy Asian Slaw, adapted just a little from Healthy Food Guide

For the chicken
4 skinless chicken breasts
4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce*
2 tbsp sriracha
1-2 stalks lemongrass smashed & finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger
2 kaffir lime leaves, stem removed & very finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt

*I like Culley’s - good kiwi stuff!

For the slaw
¼ red cabbage, thinly sliced on mandoline or with very sharp knife
¼ white cabbage, thinly sliced on mandoline or with very sharp knife
2 carrots, grated or do it in a moment in food processor*
2 spring onions, chopped
1 red or green chilli sliced, seeded or not depending on how much heat you like
6 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp brown sugar
Salt & pepper

2 cups cooked white rice**
Coriander leaves & chilli

*Again my nifty Russell Hobbs lent a hand here, that little bowl on top is just the ticket to quickly get grated carrots in seconds.

**For perfect rice go here, seriously perfect every time.


Score each chicken breast. Mix all the marinade ingredients together & pour over the chicken.  Give it a bit off massage to make sure it is well coated & pop in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight if organised!

For the slaw place the cabbage, carrots, spring onion & chilli in a bowl & mix together.  Pour over the rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sugar & toss everything together.  Taste & season with salt & pepper.

You can grill chicken on the BBQ or on a griddle pan or even pop it in the oven.  To grill, cook for 10 minutes or so until cooked through & the juices run clear.  To oven bake pop in a 180C/350F oven for 15-20 minute, again until cooked through & the juices run clear.

Serve the chicken with the rice & slaw & scatter over some coriander & sliced chillies.

For all things Russell Hobbs head here.


22 October 2014

Shaved Melon, Fennel & Olive Salad

So I am still in the midst of my 4 weeks of healthy living.  Actually bang smack in the middle as just now heading in to week 3, so just over the half way mark.  It has actually flown by & feeling great! It is just good to get back in to some of the good habits.  The good news is I’ve still been able to have treats! That is thanks to Snack Packs.  5 tasty little snacks delivered to work each Monday morning, different each week so we have variety, good for you & very treat like.  It is now quite the treat to receive that little parcel each Monday morning not knowing what delights it is going to contain!  It also means I’m not buying up crackers & hummus & nuts in the weekly shop & usually buying too many that all get scoffed.

This week we’ve got mint condition & apricot coconut Amazeballs…they are really quite amazing. Plus grain crackers with almond butter, a cashew & apricot energy bar & the crusher; a mix of dried apricots, dark chocolate & walnuts. Snacks & treats well & truly sorted for the week.

Much as we’re on a somewhat healthier kick I still need variety & need to veer off the regime now & then with a few experiments & this salad was just the ticket for something a little different. A little sweet & a little crunchy & refreshing on one of the first sunny days of the almost summer season.

Shaved Melon, Fennel & Olive Salad, from Bon Appettite


1 tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1 gala or honeydew melon, rind & seeds removed, shaved on a mandoline
1 fennel bulb, shaved on a mandolin
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
2 tbsp roughly chopped fennel fronds
¼ cup brined green olives, very coarsely chopped


Whisk together the orange & lemon juice along with the olive oil in a large bowl.  Season with salt & pepper & add the melon, fennel & olives. Toss to combine & coat in the dressing.  Scatter over the orange zest & fennel fronds , drizzle with a little olive oil  & serve immediately.

Bright, fresh, a little salty from the olives & a little sweet from the melon...a quite delightful addition to the salad repertoire.


12 October 2014

Lemon & Rosemary Chicken with Fennel & Cabbage Slaw

Not really sure where the last few weeks have gone.  I have been cooking & eating, but just enjoying rather than photographing every concoction hence the lack of posting here on Toast. Sometimes it is good just to enjoy rather than be thinking about every meal being a blog post.  There’s been some wonderful seafood including quite spectacular Vietnamese scallops with soy, garlic & lemongrass dipping sauce & prawns with a spicy mango & tomato dipping sauce.  Plus a wonderfully spicy Thai green curry & a Mexican fiesta; guacamole of course, spicy grilled prawns to start & then chilli & honey BBQ racks of lamb washed down with some quite delicious Mexican Mojitos.

Not to mention a couple of ladies lunches...including Ladies Lunch at Soul.  Sadly by the time you read this you will have missed Ladies Lunch at Soul & will just have to wait until next September!  Sorry!  However you should really head down there any sunny day for a lazy lunch.  The perfect spot by the water where the food is delicious & service always fantastic.

And after all that Spring is really here, well finally really here this weekend.  It’s felt like a long time coming.  A little tease every now & then over the last few weeks with a random sunny day before the southerlies return to blow us away with their icy gusts & rain, lots of rain!  But this weekend, it’s warm, the days are longer & the BBQ is getting it’s first proper work out of the season.

And with Spring here & Summer fast approaching time for a little healthier living.  No diet per se just cutting out the should be treats that seem to have become the norm & a little less wine, well for a few weeks anyway!

Fortunately my gym BodyTech has put together a programme that will keep me on track for the next 4 weeks, well 3 more we’re already one week down, & kick me back on track.  In a nutshell for the next 4 weeks, super slow weights 3 times a week, lots of water & some very tasty, healthy meals.  The only thing really cut out is the wine.  For me I just needed a few weeks structured & planned out to get me back on track post all those winter indulgences.  The one treat for me is no cardio! Yes you heard right this one’s really all about converting fat to muscle to make me a leaner & more efficient me.  I have done it before & it works, promise. But any excuse for no cardio works for me.

Like I said no diet per say; no one food group is cut out so that works for me. I just can’t do the no diet, no carbs no sugar no fat paleo Atkins no taste no joy or whatever the latest trend is on what we shouldn’t be doing.  I’d rather do what we should be doing.  This is just tasty, healthy fresh food. More common sense eating than anything else.  Last week included couscous salads & Mexican beef & bean pies for lunches & dinners included stir fired honey chicken, baked fish with potato & watercress salad & this bright, tasty super healthy chicken; lemon & rosemary chicken with fennel & cabbage slaw.

Lemon & Rosemary Chicken with Fennel & Cabbage Slaw, adapted slightly from Healthy Food Guide


2 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
Pinch chilli flakes
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
4 x 120g skinless chicken breast fillets
2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
Fennel frond, optional
1/4 small red cabbage, trimmed, finely shredded
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Cooking oil spray
1/4 cup salt-reduced chicken stock
Juice of half a lemon
Salt & pepper


Pre heat oven to 180C/350F

Place the  rosemary, chilli flakes, lemon zest & olive oil on a plate, season with salt & pepper & mix together. Press each side of the chicken breasts in the mixture to coat & place in a baking tray. Pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. It will depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts so just check on them.  When ready the juices will rub clear.

While the chicken is cooking make the slaw. Place the fennel, fennel fronds, cabbage & parsley in a bowl & mix to combine. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil & a little salt & pepper. Drizzle over slaw & toss to combine.

Remove the chicken from the oven & cover with foil to keep warm while you make the sauce, well more of a drizzle really. Place any juices from the baking tray in a small frying pan & add the chicken stock & lemon juice. Bring to a simmer & let it heat through for a moment or 2.

To serve place the slaw on plates, top with the chicken & drizzle with the sauce.

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