Baked Chicken, Tomato and Yoghurt Casserole with Broccoli Rice

Chicken, tomato and yoghurt bake with broccoli rice

This is one of the easiest and most delicious recipes to make when you only have a few minutes to spend on preparing dinner. It’s fresh, tasty and healthy, and only takes 5 minutes to put together. Then it cooks for about 45 minutes, while you go off and do other things, before needing another 5 minutes at the end to finish up and serve.

It’s also versatile in that you can serve it with many different options of “starch”. If you’re going low-carb, it works really well with cauliflower or broccoli rice, as I’ve served it here, or cauliflower or broccoli mash. You can also go more traditional and serve it with mashed potato or sweet potato, or rice of any description and/or lightly steamed green beans.

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Chicken with Coconut and Sesame Sauce

Chicken with coconut and sesame sauce

This easy and delicious dish has a slightly Asian flavour but it’s not overwhelming. It uses coconut milk, sesame oil and lemon juice to make a thick sauce that’s a wonderful base for the other ingredients.

I’ve used chicken and sugar snap peas here, but you could equally well do a completely veggie version, and use something like baby marrow, spinach, sweet potato, butternut, carrot or a mixture of just about any other veggies. I’m not sure about beef, but I can imagine that pieces of pork with veggies would also work really well.

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Quiche with a Potato Crust

Cooked quiche

Quiche is one of my favourite go-to dishes when I need to take something savoury to a get-together. It’s light and yet still filling, and so incredibly versatile since you can put just about anything in it: spinach and feta, chicken and mushroom, roasted butternut and bacon, courgette and sweetcorn, sweet potato and goats’ cheese (a combo I tasted just the other day), and the list goes on and on…

Aside from whatever other ingredients I might have on hand, I almost always use sautéed onion (sometimes caramelised) and cheese/s of some description, which give the quiche a kind of luxurious feel (that’s the best way I can describe it). You can also use all cream or all milk if you prefer or if that’s what you have in your fridge. Obviously the more cream and less milk you use, the richer it will be.

Usually I make shortcrust pastry for the base, often with some proportion of whole-wheat flour in it, but recently I experimented with potato slices instead, which worked really well. It’s a great alternative if you prefer not to use or can’t manage wheat.

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Dukkah Chicken and Mango Salad

Top with onion, feta and nuts

One of the best things about summer is all the wonderful fresh fruit that’s available. Visiting any farmers’ market or even the fresh produce section of the supermarket is a feast for all the senses!

This recipe is a combination of two of my favourite flavours – mango and dukkah – yum, yum!! And you’ll notice that the quantities are deliberately vague so you can up-size or down-size as you please.

Mangoes galore

Mango is fantastically versatile and can be served just about any which way: with Greek yoghurt and toasted sunflower seeds; blended into a smoothie with a banana, ginger and mint, or the same mixture frozen and made into ice-cream; used in savoury dishes with meat; or as part of a salad, as we’re doing here. The variations are endless! Since they’re in season and getting cheaper by the day (if you live in South Africa, anyway), now’s a great time to experiment.

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Chicken, Leek and Sweet Potato Pie

Chicken, leek and sweet potato pie

If you’re looking for something different to serve to your family and/or guests this holiday season, this is a great dish to go for. The puff pastry gives it a festive air (especially if you make pretty patterns on it) and it’s substantial and delicious, without being too heavy. It only needs a salad or other light veggie dish to make it a meal, and perhaps some crusty bread if you have really hungry people at your table.

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Tip: Using Left-overs

Herb salad with left-over spinach, beetroot and cranberry White Rock
Herb salad with left-over spinach, beetroot and cranberry White Rock

I get weirdly excited when I can use up a bunch of left-overs or small quantities of fresh food that were just a little more than I needed for the original dish. In fact, I often buy/cook more than I need so I can actually create left-overs and then use them in something else.

Examples of left-overs could be meat or chicken from a roast, rice, grilled veggies like sweet peppers, onions or aubergines, the dregs of a can of sweetcorn, the last bits of cheese, the end of a packet of mushrooms or baby spinach, or the last spoon of cream cheese. Obviously the key with many of these ingredients is not to leave them too long before you use them, and definitely sniff them beforehand! Continue reading

Lemony Spinach and Potato Frittata

Frittata ready to eat

Eggs are such a handy go-to ingredient when you want a quick, satisfying and high-protein meal that will keep you going for a while. A frittata is one of my favourite ways of cooking eggs as it has all those qualities, plus it’s a great way of using up left-overs.

What makes this version slightly different is the optional squeeze of lemon juice, the idea of which popped into my head literally as I was busy cooking it. The potato seems to hold the lemony taste, which lifts the whole dish. Continue reading