Two salads fit for a summer BBQ!

Back in December we had my granddad’s birthday party in his backyard. Our family has the catering gig completely down pat. Usually there is an organiser who decides what we’ll be having and then the goodies are divvied up for us all to make something to bring along. So, for granddad’s birthday, I was on salad duty. Turns out we all were, there was a lot to choose from but these are my two favourites which are both winners every time.
This is what I got to sample on my plate that day. See, we go alright on the catering front hey!
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Beetroot, feta and rocket salad

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1 bunch baby beetroot, trimmed and stalks removed

1 block of your favourite type of feta, I like either goats or Danish personally
2 large handfuls rocket, rinsed
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 Tsp fine salt
Crack black pepper
Trim up the baby beets and throw them into a baking dish, throw over a dash of olive oil and rub them around it, then cover the dish with foil. Pop them in the oven at 200 degrees celsius for 1/2 hour or until soft when pierced with a knife and skins are starting to shrivel slightly. When they’re done, allow to cool, then slip the skins off. This is a messy job, I do it under running water and it doesn’t alter the flavour at all.
Once cool, throw the beets into a serving bowl. Cut them up a little if you like to make them go further. Mix up the dressing – balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a jar and give a good shake – then pour over beets and really coat them. Then, scatter your rocket over the top and crumble up the feta and do the same. Done!
You could throw over some toasted nuts or seeds if you like, walnuts go well as well as pine nuts. Feel free to use baby spinach if you happen to have that on hand instead of rocket, works just as well.
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Orange, macadamia and rocket salad

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This one is a cinch.
2 Oranges, segmented
3/4 cup macadamias, toasted
3-4 large handfuls rocket
1/2 block goats feta
Macadamia oil
Throw the washed rocket into a serving bowl, peel and segment the oranges and scatter over the top. Toast the macadamia’s in the oven for about 10 mins at 200 degrees celcius. Keep a close eye on them though, they turn brown all of a sudden, you only want them lightly toasted. Once done, give them a rough chop with a large knife and scatter them over the top. Squeeze the remainder of the orange over the top of the salad and give it a nice little splash over with the macadamia oil, then top with the crumbled feta and serve.
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Both are great to take to gatherings. They’re that little bit different, but both flavoursome and flavours that most people will like without being too left of field. You’ll have people asking you for the recipes in no time!
Enjoy!
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A throw together coconut chicken and mango curry

Coconut Curry
So, a few weeks back while getting ready for work with what I thought was no food in the house, I had my hands on some left over mango from a smoothie and found some chicken thighs in the fridge and had a bright idea!! I really hate eating plain, boring meals and this was my way of jazzing up something that I’d just thrown together which ended up being a really yummy dish that I’ve since replicated! You really should give it a crack. My only recommendation is to add the curry powder to taste, I like it a little more on the strong side and really missed it when I made it the second time and only had one teaspoon left in the container… Oops!
Coconut Mango Chicken Curry
4 chicken thighs, roughly cubed
1 small brown onion, quartered and sliced
1 Tbsp coconut oil
4-5 Tbsp coconut cream from top of unshaken can
2 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt flakes
2 Tbsp greek yoghurt
Place coconut oil in a medium to large heavy based pan on medium heat. Add chicken and onion and cook until chicken nearly cooked through and onion soft, will take about 10 mins. No need to turn them brown.
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Add the curry powder and stir through until all coated.
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IMG_2889Turn heat down to low and add the mango.
IMG_2885 2IMG_2890 2IMG_2893Stir through until starting to soften, then add the coconut cream and stir through to combine.
IMG_2894Once combined, turn the heat off and stir the yoghurt through gently until well combined.
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As usual, enjoy!!

It’s just a brownie kind of day

You know how sometimes if you can still yourself for a minute, the stars align and what you really need appears in front of you? I’ve just had one of those moments. Let’s just say, its been a challenging week. I’ve had a family member pass away, have had to navigate the tricky family dynamics to try and keep everyone happy with planning a memorial and in the midst of that, have put my neck out not once, but twice!!! This morning I did it for the second time. Not even a good story, the first time I was washing my hair, this morning I was brushing it. Go figure… Clearly my body is holding onto some serious tension and is trying to slow me down. I really felt this morning when it happened that it was a sign I just needed to stop and smell the roses, unfortunately I was running late for work on a day that I couldn’t call in sick and just had to plough on. Poor me, I know, I know… But today is just one of those days where I will succumb to all that is happening and just eat my emotions. So, onto the stars aligning part of the day… I had sworn off getting on my computer tonight because I just wanted some peace and quiet and a chance to slow down and let the anxiety settle a little, but I got tempted for some reason. I started scrolling through my Facebook news feed and what should pop up, but a healthy-ish brownie recipe! I say healthy-ish because I have no intention of portioning this baby, it will just be eaten. I promise to share with my husband though. With plans for dinner to be cooked that just weren’t happening on their own, I had a sudden burst of energy and went with laptop in hand to the kitchen and threw this baby together. As I said, the stars aligned and it just became a brownie kind of day… Here she is!! IMG_2788 IMG_2789 IMG_2790 You can find the recipe here http://thewholedaily.com.au/recipes/rich-chocolate-brownie/ PS. She was just what I needed!