Chicken Salad with Couscous

I like to use up leftover roast chicken in this simple and healthy chicken salad.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 large handfuls couscous

1 lemon, juice only

Couple glugs of olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Handful of chicken meat from a leftover roast chicken

Handful of chopped fresh chives

Handful of fresh basil leaves

Handful of peas

Method

Put the couscous in a bowl and pour over some boiling water (it should cover the grains by a couple of centimetres or so). Leave for about 15 minutes, until the couscous has absorbed the liquid.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice with the olive oil and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding more olive oil if desired. Pour the dressing over the cooked couscous and let it soak the dressing up for about 10 minutes.

Cook the peas. Boil (2-3 minutes - use the minimum amount of water needed, and don't add salt, as they'll toughen up). Steam (1-2 minutes).

Meanwhile, chop the chicken and herbs and when the peas are cooked add to the couscous and mix gently before serving.

LUNCH

Garlic Basil Tomato Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped

1 cucumber, sliced
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 avocado, cubed

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped, or minced

4 leaves fresh basil

Method

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Serve as a deliciously healthy lunch or light dinner.

Roasted Asparagus & Tomato Salad

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 bunches of asparagus

250g cherry tomatoes, halved

60g olives, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

Method

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

 

Snap off and discard ends of asparagus, then lay on a large baking tray.

 

Scatter the tomatoes, olives and garlic over the asparagus and then drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 15-20 minutes, until the asparagus is tender and the tomatoes have softened.

To server

Finely grate the lemon zest over the top.

 

Serve as a deliciously healthy lunch or light dinner or even as a side to a meat dish.

Caramelised Onion and Goat's Cheese Tartlets with Balsamic Syrup

This also makes an excellent starter for a dinner party.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large sheet of puff pastry

1 organic, free-range egg yolk, mixed with a splash of milk

4 tablespoons of caramelised onion jam

175g organic goat's cheese, cut into 1.5cm thick rounds

4 sprigs of thyme, plus extra for garnish

Salt and black pepper

250ml balsamic vinegar (use the best you can get)

3 tablespoons of brown sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 200ºC

Using a small bowl as a template, cut four rounds of pastry and place on large non-stick sheet. Score a 2cm border around the edges of the rounds, being careful not to cut all the way through. Prick the bases all over with a folk, avoiding the border. Brush the borders with eggs wash.

Put 1 tablespoon of caramelised onion on each pastry round. Place a round of goat's cheese on top and scatter with the thyme leaves and season.

Bake for 20mins or until the puff pastry borders are golden and risen and the bases of the tartlets are cooked.

Meanwhile, place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half. Add brown sugar and simmer until the mixture becomes syrupy - it should coat the back of a spoon when it's ready. Set aside to cool and thicken.

Serve the tartlets drizzled with the balsamic syrup and scattered with thyme sprigs.

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