S’mores Cookies: Like a Warm, Cosy Fireplace

S'mores Cookies

I have a little confession to make. I am a little bit of a hoarder. I am hoping later in life/after some traumatic event it doesn’t become a huge issue where I end up on the show, because for now I mainly only hoard one thing: chocolate and sweets. I seem to have a real knack for collecting delicious treats and saving them for a rainy day! So I literally have stashes in my room, around my house and even at work filled with chocolate and candy, just waiting to be eaten later. I guess I always try to have a willpower of steel, and only when I’m really desperate do I crack them open.

S'mores Cookies

In the interest of spring cleaning, I started to go through these stashes, and realized just how much I had. Chocolate from America (I’m talking Hershey’s bars, candy from Dylan’s candy bar, milky ways, Ghirardelli’s chocolate, the list goes on!), Chocolate Coated Macadamias, Malteasers, Easter eggs, the list goes on! They are all completely untouched, which is unbelievable given my obsession with sweet food. I guess it’s a sort of out of sight out of mind thing. So when I finally went through it, I decided enough was enough and I really needed to start either eating or using up my supply. Unless the impeding chocolate shortage is going to happen in the next couple of months, I think there isn’t really a need for my excessive hoarding of chocolate (although that will probably be the saddest day of my life if chocolate does run out, I can’t even think about it).

S'mores Cookies

A few months ago I went to Stanthorpe with my boyfriend, and I bought these American marshmallows from Aldi. Now, in Australia, for all those Americans reading, our marshmallows are about 1/8 the size of yours. So when I found these giant pillows of sugary goodness for sale, I had to buy them, regardless of the price! But despite my best attempts over the weekend to eat all the marshmallows, we only got through half the packet. I kept them in my hoard, because they are made of pure sugar and will always stand the test of time, and they’ve been sitting there waiting for another camp fire. In Queensland, it is always too hot for fires, so this wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. So when I found them in my hoard, I decided that I would try to incorporate them into something delicious to make for the blog!

S'mores Cookies

I stumbled upon a recipe for S’mores cookies, and decided that this would be a perfect one to try! Without giant marshmallows, these cookies were going to be a little hard to make, and so it presented the perfect opportunity for me to give these bad boys a go! I tried S’mores for the first time when I was in America earlier this year. We were in Aspen, and at one of the bars at the ski field you could order a S’mores kit. I’d always wanted to try them because they’re not really a thing in Australia. They were absolutely delicious, and now I am obsessed! What an amazing invention, it’s such a shame they aren’t really a thing here, because I would eat them all the time!

S'mores Cookies

For anyone who isn’t sure what a S’more is, you get a graham cracker (a sort of spiced biscuit), a square of chocolate, and a marshmallow. You put the marshmallow in the fire, and once it is cooked to your liking, you sandwich it with a piece of chocolate in between two biscuits. What you are left with is a glorious, gooey, delicious sandwich that is beyond perfection. So when I saw a recipe that replicated this amazing treat, in a cookie, I was sold! You all know how much I love cookies, so it was an easy sell for me. They were really fun to make, and quite easy all things considered!

S’mores Cookies

S'mores Cookies

Adapted From Martha Stewart
Preparation Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time 12 minutes
Serves 12 medium sized cookies

Ingredients

·         ¼ cup of rolled oats

·         1 cup of plain flour

·         ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

·         ¾  teaspoon of baking powder

·         ¼ teaspoon of salt

·         ½ cup of unsalted butter at room temperature

·         ¼ and 1/8 cup of light brown sugar

·         1 small egg

·         ½ block of good quality dark chocolate, broken into smaller squares

·         6 large marshmallows, halved horizontally

Method

1.       Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 180 degrees Celsius

2.       In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt, and whisk until combined. Set aside

3.       In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes)

4.       Beat in the egg and scrape down the sides in order to ensure it is fully mixed

5.       With the mixer on low, beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

6.       Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Using two spoons, drop balls of the dough on the baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch apart between each. I got each and rolled them with my hands to ensure they were nice and round

7.       Get your chocolate and press lightly into the top of each cookie.

8.       Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden. You may need to turn the baking sheet half way. Remove the cookies from the oven

9.       Turn on your grill in the oven. Add a halved marshmallow to the top of each cookie. Make sure you work quickly, otherwise they might start melting and slide off!

10.   Place the cookies under the grill for one minute, or until the marshmallows are lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool

These cookies were absolutely delicious. The smell of them reminds me of being around a fireplace, so warm and comforting. And the taste was amazing. I was worried they may be too sweet, but because there isn’t that much sugar in the actual biscuits, and because I used dark chocolate, I think this really helped to balance the flavours out. The marshmallows, even when cooled, were soft and gooey, so every time you bit into the biscuit it was like biting into a delicious cloud. And the cookies themselves had a great texture.

S'mores Cookies

I took these biscuits to work and they did not last long! People were going back for seconds because you finished one and it made you want another 4. That’s the thing with S’mores, they are really addictive. I’m not even going to try and pretend that these cookies were healthy, but they were so delicious I don’t even care!

S'mores Cookies

As you might be aware if you have read some of my other blog posts (here and here), I am on a quest to find the perfect cookie. So I have developed a cookie score in order to rank the cookie recipes I try and see which one I prefer the most! Although this one isn’t a traditional chocolate chip cookie, I think that it still fits into the category, because I think even without the marshmallow on top these cookies would still be delicious with chocolate chips through them. So I decided they were worth ranking, to see how they stack up.

Supreme Cookie Awesomeness Score

S'mores Cookies

Simplicity: 6

Gooeyness: 5

Tastiness: 9

Gone Factor: 8

Total Score: 28/40

Even though these cookies were delicious, they aren’t as gooey as some of the other cookies I’ve tried. But I think that’s ok, because you wouldn’t want them to be when they are meant to replicate a graham cracker. So I think although they don’t rank as highly, they were super delicious off my traditional score card and in their own right.

S'mores Cookies

I really wish I had some more of these to get me through today, they were gone so quickly and I could have eaten at least 5 more. Next time I might need to make myself my own separate batch! Good thing I brought them into work, otherwise I would have eaten the lot!

S'mores Cookies

Until next time, happy baking!

Ella xx

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Make Ahead Breakfast for Busy Weeks

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

This week I’ve been away from home for dinner so much that I got to Wednesday night and realized that I hadn’t even thought about what I was going to make this week for my blog! I had a minor freak out moment when I got home late once again and frantically went through my Pinterest for some inspiration. But to be honest, it has been such a busy and stressful week that I was for once not feeling like a big baking session. I know, it is incredibly out of character for me to not feel like getting into the kitchen, even as a stress reliever. But I’m sure this is just a phase and soon I will be back up and running once more, ready to jump in there and cook up a storm!

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

However, it actually struck me how perfect the timing was to try out a recipe that might save me some time. I’ve been so busy this week that it’s been hard to even fit breakfast in, which is an issue because I get hangry if I don’t eat breakfast. This has also coincided with a bit of a heat wave in Brisbane, which has made my usual breakfast of porridge/oatmeal not that appealing. I mean, who wants a hot breakfast when it is already 25 degrees Celsius out? Nobody, you need something cool and refreshing! So it was the perfect occasion for me to try out something that I’ve been meaning to try, but never quite got around to.

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

Pinterest is full of recipes for overnight oats, and I’ve always wanted to give them a go. What’s not to love about chucking a couple of ingredients together of an evening, and in the morning having something delicious you can just pull out of the fridge ready to go? It’s a time saver in the morning, which is always a plus when you are running a little late. Although I am a morning person myself, I sometimes get to making breakfast on a weekday and find I’ve run out of time. At least with overnight oats you can easily transport them, and eat them on the go or when you get to work. It’s a really healthy and easy breakfast to make up at the start of the week, and just eat throughout. And oats are a great way to keep you full for the morning, along with all their health benefits.

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

I found a blog post which had a number of options for flavoring your overnight oats and had a hard time picking which one I wanted to try. I mean, it’s hard to choose when all the options sound like you’ll be eating dessert for breakfast! In the end, I decided to go with a ‘blueberry muffin’ flavor. This was because I had a lot of fresh blueberries on hand, as they are in season at the moment, and I thought it would make for a deliciously fresh breakfast. I added a couple of things in as artistic license, which you could most certainly do yourself as well. That’s the great thing about these sorts of recipes, you can add whatever you want and you won’t stuff it up! As long as you have the base recipe down pat, you can add in whatever flavours you want! It’s really up to you how you want it to taste, which makes for a really fun recipe to try!

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

Adapted From Another Root
Preparation Time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 0 minutes
Serves 1

Ingredients

·         ½ cup of Oats

·         ¼ cup of water

·         ¼ cup of milk of choice (I used coconut milk but you could use any kind)

·         ½ teaspoon of lemon zest

·         ½ teaspoon of cinnamon

·         1 handful of fresh blueberries

·         2 teaspoons of sliced almonds

·         1-2 teaspoons of rice malt syrup, or sweetener of choice

Method

1.       In a jar, place the oats, water and milk, and stir to combine.

2.       Add the remaining ingredients: lemon zest, cinnamon, blueberries, sliced almonds and sweetener. Stir to combine completely, ensuring that all ingredients are fully mixed through

3.       Put the lid on the jar and place in the fridge overnight.

4.       To serve: add some additional blueberries, almonds and sweetener of choice

And that’s all you need to do! I told you it was super simple. It was the perfect amount of breakfast, and really nice and fresh. I loved the taste of the lemon zest throughout the oats as it really complemented the blueberries. You could add whatever flavours you wanted to change it up and to suit your taste. If you like it a bit sweeter, add more rice malt syrup, honey, or a little bit of stevia. I think coconut would also be nice to add a little extra crunch, so you could mix some in instead of the almonds and sprinkle some on the top.

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

This breakfast was so fast and simple to make, I absolutely loved it. On top of this, even though it sort of tasted like eating dessert for breakfast, it was actually really healthy. What a perfect way to start the day! I will definitely try making these overnight oats again, and maybe try some new flavour combinations! Once you have the base of oats, water and milk, you really can add any flavours you want. The sky is the limit!

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

This recipe was perfect for my time poor self, as it was so quick to make and meant that I had a delicious breakfast waiting for me the next morning without having to do anything. I could just grab it and go when I was ready to head to work, which saved me a couple of precious minutes in the morning! So what ended up being a busy week where I was worried about what to blog about ended up perhaps changing my life just a little bit!

Until next time, happy baking!

Ella xx

Chicken, Mushrooms and Kale, Oh My!

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

I feel like these past few weeks I might have reformed from my former sweet tooth ways. For I, Ella Penman, have managed to write two blog posts in a row that do not involve baked goods or sugar. That’s not to say that I’ve quit sugar or anything, quite the opposite in fact. I guess I’ve just been in the mood for trying out new dinner recipes lately as opposed to baking things. As depressing as that might be to some, I think it is helping me to diversify my portfolio of recipes. And I’ve read somewhere that diversification decreases risk, or does that only apply to the stock market?

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

Anyway, I seem to be craving mushrooms lately, which isn’t anything new for me, as I seem to be quite obsessed. It seems to link up to my craving for comfort food, partially I think to do with winter being almost over, and also because I’ve been a bit stressed out. So what better to ease stress than some delicious, healthy comfort food? And mushrooms always lend themselves to those rich, comforting flavours. So it really was a win win situation. I could have my cake and eat it to, without actually baking any cake. Actually, there was no cake, which makes me a little sad now that I think about it.

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

I decided to make this dish before coming home and so was able to go to the store and get all the ingredients I needed, which was a novelty for me. But I realised once I had decided to cook this dish that my partner was coming around, and I became concerned that perhaps he might not be too keen on the whole kale thing. My boyfriend does like my cooking, especially the sweet stuff, but he does tend to be a little funny about health foods. He will try it, but he is a little sceptical whenever I make anything too healthy. So I decided that he would become the perfect tester of whether this healthy dish actually tasted any good.

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

So here it is, my recipe for a perfect one pot Chicken, Mushroom and Kale dish. This has fresh and comforting almost Italian flavours, thanks to the garlic and lemon, and is quite easy and quick to make, which is always a plus in my book. It also involves minimum washing up, which is another even better plus! I was surprised by how well the ingredients came together into something so delicious, so without further a do, here is the recipe:

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

Adapted From The Roasted Root
Preparation Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time 15 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

·         1 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil

·         6 cloves of garlic, minced

·         2 teaspoons of dried thyme

·         3 cups of brown mushrooms, or anything on hand, roughly chopped

·         500 grams of chicken breast, sliced into thin strips

·         ¼ teaspoon of salt (plus extra for seasoning of the chicken breast)

·         ¼ teaspoon of pepper (plus extra for seasoning of the chicken breast)

·         Zest of one large lemon

·         4 cups of kale leaves, roughly chopped

Method

1.      In a medium fry pan, heat the olive oil on a medium heat.

2.      Add the minced garlic cloves and thyme, and cook for 1 minute until it starts to sizzle and brown.

3.      Add the mushrooms in and stir frequently for about 5 minutes, until they have browned and started to go soft.

4.      Season the chicken breast with some additional salt and pepper, and add the chicken to the fry pan and brown both sides, this should take about 3 minutes.

5.      Add the chopped kale and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through.

6.      Stir in the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional minute and remove from heat.

7.      Serve with potatoes, vegetables or with pasta.

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

This most certainly passed the boyfriend test for tastiness. He really enjoyed it, despite the absence of cheese or pasta, and when normally he complains when something is a little too healthy, he was actually telling me that he really enjoyed it. So I think this dish might be boyfriend safe, if his reaction is anything to go by! The flavours were delicious, even if they are a little simple, this really made for a tasty and comforting weeknight meal. And I mean what’s not to love about something that’s easy, healthy, fast and tastes great? It ticks all the boxes for me, and I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did if you try to make it!So as you can see this is another one of those great quick dishes that is perfect for a weeknight meal. It is a really simple recipe, and more importantly it is really quite healthy. It’s full of good ingredients and doesn’t really have anything fatty in it. Plus, I’ve heard kale is a ‘super food’, whatever that means, so it must make the dinner extra good for you. I find kale a lot easier to eat when it’s cooked in garlic and thyme and served with mushrooms, so this dish is a perfect way to introduce more ‘super foods’ to your diet.

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

Until next time, happy cooking!

Ella xx

Five Minutes to Chocolate Heaven

Chocolate Lava Mug Cake

First of all, I’m sorry I haven’t posted this week. I’ve let time get away from me as I’ve been away from home for work! It was quite difficult to get enough time to write a blog post surprisingly, even though I was certain I would have enough time undisturbed in my hotel room. But I’m afraid socialising won out, and given because I’ve been to Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney this week, I think the lack of time at home has meant my blog has suffered!

I guess time is a big thing, especially with cooking. I find a lot of my friends always complain that they never have any time to cook, or bake, or blog. I fall into the habit too – I find myself scrambling at the end of the week sometimes to figure out what to cook, and I think if I didn’t have this blog as a project I would just keep doing my usual thing of stir fries and grilled chicken. I think this is why I am enjoying this blog so much, because it is pushing me to try new things and make time for cooking and baking, which is something I really enjoy!Chocolate Lava Mug Cake

I found myself on Saturday night at home packing for a week away, and contemplating what I should cook for this week’s blog post. I knew because I would be in a hotel room for most of the week, I would seriously lack the tools needed to bake for the blog. And this was married with my slight depression at being home on a Saturday night doing something boring like packing. I had to leave the Gold Coast just to pack, and to me that is reason enough for a delicious dessert!Chocolate Lava Mug Cake

So I decided to fill the void with something delicious, because I am not an emotional eater or anything. But I knew it had to be something quick because I really did need to pack, and something that I could make as one serve, because I would be the only one eating it. I’ve always wanted to try a microwave cake, because the concept to me seems so strange. I’ve always enjoyed the process of baking so I never normally want to speed it up. But this I do have to say was quite fun. There is something really satisfying about making a cake batter in a mug, putting it in the microwave for 2 minutes, and getting instant gratification. It does scare me a little though because now I know cake it so easily accessible to me in single serving form, I think dieting is going to be a lot harder!Chocolate Lava Mug Cake

This mug cake was gooey in the centre and the perfect size. The original recipe I used was for 2 serves so I halved it, because no one wants to share mug cake. That’s the kind of stuff you make for eating while watching a chick flick in your pajamas, and I promise you that if you are home alone watching a chick flick, the addition of this mug cake will make your night a million times better!

Chocolate Lava Mug Cake

Chocolate Lava Mug Cake

Adapted From Cleo Buttera
Servings 1
Preparation Time 3 minutes
Cooking Time 2 minutes

Ingredients

·      1/8 cup of plain flour

·      1/8 cup of caster sugar

·      1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder

·      ¼ teaspoon of baking powder

·      Pinch of Salt

·      1 and ½ tablespoons of melted butter

·      1 and ½ tablespoons of milk at room temperature

·      1 small egg

·      ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract

·      14 grams (or a few squares) of dark chocolate, broken up

·      ½ a tablespoon of water

Method

1.     In a microwave safe mug, using a fork, whisk together to flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until combined.

2.     Pour the melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla into the mug. Whisk well with the fork until combined, ensuring that there is no flour mixture stuck to the bottom.

3.     Place chocolate pieces in the centre of the mug, ensuring you don’t push down on them. They will sink as it bakes.

4.     Drizzle the water over the top of the cake mixture.

5.     Cook into the microwave for between 1 minute 20 seconds and 2 minutes, or until the edges of the cake look set. It took mine about 2 minutes, but it will depend on the temperature of the microwave. After 1 minute 20 seconds keep checking the cake and putting in for 5-second intervals, as you don’t want to overcook the cake. It should slightly stick to the finger when touched, and look slightly wet but not raw.

6.     Allow the cake to cool for a couple of minutes if you can, to avoid burning your tongue. It will also allow the sauce to thicken.

7.     Eat straight out of the mug with some ice cream on top to really get the full mug cake experience.

See what I mean about it being easy? A little too easy and quick I think. I mean, now that I know I can make a delicious chocolate dessert in 5 minutes, I’m a little worried I’ve opened up my world to a lot more dessert. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, given how delicious this little pudding was. I never thought that I would enjoy a cake made in the microwave, but once again a recipe I’ve found on Pinterest has pleasantly surprised me.Chocolate Lava Mug Cake

The result of this recipe is absolutely delicious, and a great addition to a cold winter night, where you are snuggled up in front of the TV. The cake is gooey and full of chocolate, and tastes great with a bit of ice cream on the top. You can see below that I followed my own advice: Chocolate Lava Mug Cake

Would you give this recipe a go? I think out of all the ones I’ve tried, this one is the easiest and quickest. So give it a go and see what you think!

Until next time, happy baking!

Ella xx

Italian Chicken Skillet

Italian Chicken SkilletI’m always on the hunt for delicious weeknight dinner recipes. I find that although my expectation of cooking is that every night I will be able to whip up extravagant, time-intensive masterpieces, the reality is that when you work full time, you just don’t have the time! By the time I get home from work, I’m a. already hungry, and b. although I’ve set aside time in the day to plan a meal out, I never actually do this. I’ve found Pinterest to be good for this, and often when I come home trying to think of what to cook, this is where I will go first.

Enter this delicious chicken skillet. Its what I think might be a perfect weeknight meal. I mean, you only need one pan, you can chuck in virtually any vegetables you have, and within half an hour you have a delicious one pot, hearty dinner. It’s a perfect dinner for winter as it has the feel of a casserole, but is quick and easy. It’s also super healthy, so your body will love it too! I always try to cook healthy in the week so I can eat whatever I want on the weekends, does anyone else do that?

Italian Chicken Skillet

I do have to admit; with this one I did make a mistake. In my haste to get food underway, I started chopping up mushrooms and accidently cooked up shitake mushrooms with the dish instead of your regular brown/swiss mushrooms! It was a little strange having them in there, and it didn’t really work. But I have cooked this one before with regular mushrooms, and its really delicious! So there is my little confession to you valued readers. I can’t believe I did that, but hey, we all make hilarious mistakes in the kitchen sometimes. It’s part of the fun of cooking!

Italian Chicken Skillet

Adapted from The Wanderlust Kitchen

Italian Chicken Skillet

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 500 grams of chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 300 grams of mushrooms, sliced (make sure you don’t use shitake like I mistakenly did!)
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced finely
  • ½ cup of olives, preferably pitted
  • 1 (500g) can of diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnishing

Method

  1. Cut your chicken breasts into smaller chunks. I had about 6 portions from 2 breasts. Then season with salt and pepper
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or pan over a medium heat. Once this has heated up, add the chicken and brown on each side. This should take 3 minutes on each.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate. Add the remaining oil and garlic, onion, thyme and oregano. Cook until the onion starts to go clear.
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes until they have begun to soften. Be sure to stir them to avoid any of the herbs sticking to the pan and burning.
  5. Add the celery and carrots to the pan, along with about a quarter of a cup of water, if the pan is looking a little dry. Cook for about 5 minutes on the medium heat, until the carrots have started to soften.
  6. Next, add the can of tomatoes, along with another quarter of a cup of water. Add the olives, and stir the mixture to ensure the tomato is mixed through. Get this to come to a slight simmer, about 2 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper to your taste.
  7. Place the chicken in the pan; ensuring it is covered by some of the tomato mixture. Cook the mixture on the stovetop covered by a lid until the chicken is cooked through completely, and the sauce is bubbling. This should take about 10-15 minutes, but ensure you check the chicken to see if it is done.
  8. Serve hot, garnished with parsley.

And that’s really all you need to do. I love how simple this recipe is, as you can really just chuck everything in and make it your own, based on what is in your pantry. The first time I tried this recipe I went by the book, but I really felt like experimenting this time, and I think it paid off. Sometimes by taking a recipe you find and changing it up, you discover something equally if not more delicious (although perhaps some might prefer the original version). This recipe is one of those ones that is nice and simple, and you are unlikely to mess up as long as you stick to the basic sauce and herb combinations.

I really hope you all like this one! I’m trying not to cook too many sweet things for the blog, so hopefully you enjoy some more savoury, healthy dinner recipes! Let me know in the comments below if you would love to try this recipe, and how you might do a little spin on a simple Italian chicken skillet.

Until next time, happy cooking!

Ella xx

Teriyaki Turkey with Asian Greens

When I got home from work and looked at what to cook for dinner, I had some turkey breast defrosted. Now, I don’t really tend to cook with turkey breast, unless it’s at Christmas. It’s hard to know what to do with it, I mean there is the obvious baking, but I wanted to try something different. And after some hunting I found an interesting Pin for Teriyaki Turkey. I guess it is an unconventional combination; turkey doesn’t really come up in Asian cuisine after all. However, turkey is such a lean, healthy meat with surprising versatility, therefore it really should have use beyond roasts and slow cookers. So given that I managed to have all the ingredients on hand for once, I set out to give this unconventional pairing a go!

This recipe is quick, simple and yields a really tasty, healthy dinner. It is a great mid week meal when you need a quick recipe that is healthy without compromising on flavour! In fact, it really packed so much flavour punch that I think I need to back off on the sauce next time! So let that be a warning to you when cooking this recipe.

I pretty much followed the Pinterest recipe, however I served mine with steamed veggies and with the sauce. I was worried it would be too dry without the addition of the sauce, but completely up to you whether you use it or not!

Teriyaki Turkey with Asian Greens

Teriyaki Turkey

Preparation Time: 10 minutes + 20-30 minutes marinating

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Serves 4

Adapted from The Lemon Bowl

Ingredients

Turkey and Sauce

  • 500 grams of turkey breast (about 2 breast fillets) – you could use chicken if you wanted, I can imagine the result would be about the same
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, grated finely
  • ½ Cup of Soy Sauce – I used original, but you can use the salt reduced kind if you want
  • ½ Cup of Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice – I did this as we had oranges, and I think this is much better for you. However, if you do have bottled orange juice on hand it would be simpler
  • ½ tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon of chilli flakes – you could add more or less depending on your taste for spicy food. 1 tablespoon made gave the sauce a bit of a kick!

Vegetables and Accompaniments

  • 1 large capsicum
  • ½ a bag of snow peas
  • 2 Buk Choys or other leafy chinese vegetables
  • Optional: 1 cup of rice, pre cooked (this is if you have boys in the family that can’t possibly eat dinner without carbs)
  • ½ cup of coriander, chopped.

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix all the sauce ingredients bar the turkey. Whisk to combine well. IMG_7113
  2. Cut the turkey into small pieces, about 4 pieces per breast. I did this to ensure the turkey would cook quickly, and that more of the turkey would be marinated, as I had limited time to let it sit. If you do have the time, feel free to leave the breasts whole and cut later, as this will give you more tender meat. However, in the interest of time, I opted for smaller pieces, and still had a good result.IMG_7116
  3. Place the turkey in the bowl and cover with plastic. Marinate for at least 20 minutes, 30 minutes optimally, and overnight if you are really organised! I only had a bit of time so I marinated mine for 20 minutes.
  4. Turn the grill on in your oven to a medium – high heat. Grab a grill tray and place some foil underneath to catch the drips,
  5. While you wait for the turkey to marinade, cut your vegetables up into bite sized pieces, and cut the tails off the snow peas. Place in a steamer. You could do these in the microwave, however I opted to steam them over the stovetop. If you decide to do this, heat the water until boiling, but wait until you place the turkey in to add the vegetables to avoid overcooking.IMG_7120IMG_7122
  6. When your turkey has finished marinading, lay the pieces out on the grill tray. Put the tray in the oven and give the turkey 7-9 minutes each side. Ensure you constantly check the turkey, and turn over when its looking quite brown on top. When ready, I noticed that the sauce caramelised and went crispy so keep an eye out for this.IMG_7124
  7. While you are waiting for the turkey, put the veggies in to steam. Leave them in the steamer for a maximum of 10 minutes, or until cooked through. I placed the leafy tops of the Buk Choy in at the end as they really only need a minute to cook.
  8. With a few minutes to spare, place the remaining marinade in a saucepan on a medium heat. Cook until the mixture boils, and then simmer for a couple of minutes. Turn off after this, otherwise the sauce will be too strong.
  9. When you think the turkey is ready, get it out of the oven. I sliced through the thickest slice to check, as I didn’t have a meat thermomotor on hand. Once it’s cooked through, let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes.IMG_7127
  10. For serving, place rice, if desired, in the bottom of a bowl, and layering the vegetables on top. Next, finely slice the turkey and place slices on top of the vegetables. Spoon a tablespoon or two of the sauce over the bowl, depending on how strong you want the flavour to be. Finally, garnish with coriander.IMG_7128

How much sauce you put on at the end is really up to you. I found it needed a little bit of sauce otherwise it would have been too dry, plus its always nice to have a nice sauce with rice. If you like strong flavours, feel free to add more. You can also use whatever vegetables you have on hand, as most vegetables would go quite well with this dish. As I said, it’s meant to be a simple, easy weeknight dinner recipe, so feel free to add or omit whatever you want. I had it without rice and it was really yummy. Plus I had some extra for my lunch the next day!

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Let me know if you try this recipe, and whether you like this interesting take on turkey! I loved how lean the meat was, and I think it’s a really good option for a healthy, quick meal!

Moroccan Inspired Roast Chicken and Vegetable Salad

This week I thought I should probably look at posting a recipe that wasn’t a. Christmas themed or b. a dessert. I have to try particularly hard to get excited for blogging about things that aren’t treats. But luckily I tried out an excellent recipe for dinner that I just had to share.

Sometimes it’s hard to get motivated to cook a nice meal when you get home from work, particularly if it’s a late one. I usually end up going to my staple recipes rather than looking up something to cook due to time restraints. But I think this little blogging project is really helping me to actually utilise the recipe stores that I’ve been building up on Pinterest.

I decided tonight that a nice salad was in order. It’s been quite muggy in Brisbane, plus my whole family is eating quite healthy at the moment, so I needed something fast, healthy and delicious. And I found this great recipe for a Moroccan chicken salad. I ended up altering it a little as my family is using a particular diet cookbook currently, but you can have a look at the link if you would like to see the full original recipe. I decided to stray from the recipe cookbook mainly because I felt the way the recipe I had on Pinterest cooked the chicken and the vegetables they used were better. I also didn’t have all the ingredients for either recipe, so I decided to just chuck together something based on what I had on hand. But feel free to do whatever you feel. I will present to you my hybrid version of the two, which was actually really delicious.

This recipe creates a nice fresh salad with some delicious roast vegetables and roast chicken. The chicken was juicy, and both the roast vegetables and the chicken had a great flavour. If you are really time poor you could fry off the chicken, but I found by the time you had roasted the vegetables the chicken was cooked perfectly. You might also want to add more chicken, or a grain such as quinoa or cous cous if you are looking for something with more substance. As I said, our family is dieting and so the portions are a little less than what you might eat.

Moroccan Inspired Roast Chicken and Vegetable Salad

IMG_5797Adapted from Bev Cooks

Serves 4

Ingredients

Spice Mix

  • 1 Teaspoon of Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon of Salt
  • ¾ Teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon of Ground Coriander
  • ½ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon of Ground Allspice
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Ground Cloves

The Salad

  • 400g of Chicken Breast, cut into 4 100g Portions
  • 1 Medium Sweet Potato, Peeled, and cut into medium diced pieces (small enough to be put in a salad
  • 4 Carrots, chopped into chunks (I made these a similar size to my sweet potato pieces)
  • 40g of Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups of Baby Spinach
  • The Juice of One Lemon
  • A Cup of Chopped Coriander Leaves
  • Greek Yoghurt to Serve

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Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius/430 Fahrenheit.
  2. To make the spice mix, put all the spices into a large bowl. Mix these together and then take about half of the mix and put it in another, smaller bowl. This is what mine looked like:IMG_5779
  3. Pop the chopped carrots and sweet potato into the large bowl, along with half of the olive oil. Mix with your hands until all the vegetables are coated with the oil and spice mix.
  4. Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread the vegetables out on the tray evenly. Place in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.
  5. Get your chicken pieces and place in the second bowl, along with the spice mix and the rest of the olive oil. Mix the chicken around until it is coated with the oil and spice mix evenly.
  6. Get another tray and line with baking paper. Place the chicken out on the tray, ensuring it is evenly spread. I spooned any of the remaining spice mixture out onto the chicken.
  7. Place chicken in the oven alongside the vegetables for the remaining 25 minutes of the cook time (Depending on your pieces, you may want to give them more or less time. This was perfect for mine, but I would recommend checking constantly). Make sure half way through the time you turn the chicken over and stir the vegetables to ensure even cooking. Here’s mine in the oven:IMG_5780
  8. Meanwhile, get a salad bowl and place the baby spinach, coriander leaves and the lemon into this. Mix to combine and so that the lemon juice coats the salad (If you would like to add some olive oil to this feel free). Split the salad across 4 bowls evenly, like so:IMG_5787
  9. Once the 30 minutes is up, get your chicken and vegetables out of the oven. Cut the thickest piece of chicken with a knife to check if it is completely cooked through. If it isn’t, throw it back in the oven for a few more minutes. If it is, you are ready to serve. Here’s what mine looked like when I pulled it out of the oven:IMG_5788IMG_5789
  10. Place the carrots and sweet potato over the top of each of the 4 salads, ensuring each salad has an equal amount.
  11. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces on a chopping board, and spread evenly amongst the bowls.
  12. Serve with yoghurt drizzled over the top of the salad, which you can then mix through the leaves as you go. Here’s how mine looked before I served it:IMG_5793

The result of this was a quick (30 minutes cook time and only about 10 minutes of prep), fresh and healthy weeknight meal. The chicken and vegetables had a crust of delicious spices, which gave a little kick. But the addition of yoghurt really balanced this, as well as the lemon dressing. If you are looking for something that will make you feel super good after you have eaten it, look no further than this recipe!

Until next time, happy cooking!

Ella