Spiced tuna and Tomato Pasta

Tuna pasta dishes are wonderful. They are effortless to make, require very little preparation, and rich in protein. Also all of the ingredients (apart from the fresh tomatoes) were kitchen cupboard essentials  – in my kitchen at least (!) I came up with this particular recipe on Saturday after losing track of time painting and realising that as it was 9.55pm, there was no way I could get to a shop to buy some dinner  before the closing time of 10pm. The problems of being an artist and getting lost in art!

Anyway, with an empty fridge, a broken oven, and a hungry stomach, I needed to come up with something quickly. So, to the cupboard I went! Canned tuna and tomatoes are perfect in situations like that. The recipe for the pasta dish is below. If you have fresh carrots you could add them too for some additional goodness. Also, if unlike me, you’re not waiting for an oven to be fixed, you could bake in the oven for 20mins rather than on the hob. You could even top with a little cheese for additional tastiness.

This recipe makes a generous portion for 1 but could also be split into two smaller meals for lunch etc. The tuna contains about 27g protein so this is a great post-work out dish especially after a muscle focussed session.

Ingredients

Pasta 

1 portion dried Fusilli pasta (wholewheat is healthiest but I used white as it cooks slightly quicker)

Sauce

1 small can tuna chunks
1/2 can sweet corn
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tin good quality tomatoes
Handful cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp oregano
Pinch ground turmeric
Ground black pepper

Method:

For the pasta:

  • Cook pasta according to packaging instructions.
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For the sauce:

  • Add everything except the tuna, sweetcorn and black pepper
  • Cook for 10 mins
  • Drain tuna and stir in
  • Leave to summer for 20minutes on a low heat
  • Add in sweetcorn
  • Leave for another few minutes
  • Taste and season with black pepper if desired
  • Toss in the drained pasta and stir
  • Serve

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Finished pasta

Optional: Top with fresh parsley to serve

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Clean Pizza (Omelette Pizza)

Who likes pizza?! Ok, so this may not be traditional pizza but then this blog is a healthy living blog, and unfortunately, pizzas are not the healthiest of things! This, however, is a recipe for a pizza-type dish that you can enjoy as often as you like without feeling in the slightest bit guilty about eating. (Not that you need feel guilty for eating pizza but if you’re eating it regularly, especially take-away ones, then it’s not going to be doing your body much good.) I made this last night for a quick, late dinner as I realised it had gotten to 10pm and I hadn’t eaten anything proper all evening. The clocks went forward this weekend in the UK so I blame that for messing me up with regards to an evening meal routine! Still, it’s nice to think it’s British Summer Time now. Unfortunately, the message doesn’t seem to have reached the sun itself yet…

Anyway, back to food. This pizza omelette is really easy and versatile to make. You can add whatever toppings you like and it is naturally gluten free as the base is made from eggs rather than flour like a traditional pizza. I made mine vegetarian but you could easily top with cooked lean meat, omega-3 rich fish, or even meat-free substitutes like tofu. It’s clean and lean and can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner and is packed with protein and also has chia seeds which are surprisingly filling and high in fibre.


 Recipe for Clean Pizza

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Base:

  • 3 large free range organic eggs
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

To cook:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or other healthy oil

Suggested topping:Photo

  • Quartered cherry tomatoes
  • Chopped green pepper
  • Feta cheese (optional)

NOTE: If you are using meat or fish as a topping, then to make sure they are re-heated to being piping hot, it would be best to use an oven-proof or grill-proof pan and pop into the oven / grill once you add the topping and heat until the meat / fish is hot throughout.


Method:

Beat the eggs and add the rest of the ingredients               Photo

Place the oil in a pan and heat until hot

Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook slowly – it should be about 3/4 cm thick

Once the top is beginning to set add your toppings and continue to cook making sure the bottom of the base is not getting overcooked (keep the gas low)

Once the topping is cooked, serve.

TIP: Once the top is just about set, flip the omelette in the pan and top with tomato puree. Then add your toppings on top.

(Optional: Add some feta cheese to make it more pizza-ey!)

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Serve on it’s own or with a baby kale and rocket salad.

Other topping ideas:

  • Olives, anchovies, and sundried tomatoes
  • Cooked chicken breast pieces, red onions, feta, and finely chopped fresh sage
  • Feta, tomatoes, basil, and spinach
  • Baby kale, avocado, and tomato
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Apologies for all the low-lighting in the photos – I took them at night and the lights in my kitchen are atrocious at the minute!!

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Copyright©HLDCblog // Helen Redman 2015.

 

 

Tasty Side Dish

This is a quick post passing on a recipe I have just discovered saved in the ‘notes’  in my phone from a while ago. I clearly forgot to ever actually upload this recipe of mine! Anyway, thought I would share this now before I forget again or delete the note by mistake.

Ingredients (serves 2)

A couple of handfuls of:

  • Mushrooms
  • Sliced courgettes
  • Red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Black pepper

Optional:

  • Rocket, to serve

Method:

Saute sliced mushrooms and courgettes in olive oil. Add rosemary and thyme and a generous twist of ground black pepper. Continue to cook until the mushrooms and courgettes are beginning to soften. Add in some chopped red pepper and stir for a little longer until the rest of the vegetables are cooked through.

Serve while the red pepper is still quite crisp.

Serving tip:

This is a great accompaniment for turkey.

It can be plated with rocket added too.

Enjoy,

Helen x

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Copyright©HLDCblog // Helen Redman 2015.

 

Wondering what to have for dinner? Read this


Everyone has days when they don’t have a clue what to buy for dinner, let alone what to cook for dinner. I’ve even gone to a shop with the intention of buying something for dinner but ended up with a conglomeration of random foods, none of which had the potential to be put together to form a decent meal! That’s why it is never a good idea to go shopping after a day of revision and exams… Ah, university life! Way before I started this blog, I used Instagram as a platform for sharing many of my daily meals and culinary creations in the hope of inspiring others to eat healthily, and I still do. Now I have this blog, though, I thought it would be good to do a post, or perhaps a series of posts, of some pictorial inspiration for meals. As I’m a very visual person, I feel pictorial inspiration is the most effective and I hope it encourages each person who reads this to try something different for their evening meal.

I always try to come up with different meal ideas and I try rarely repeat a meal on Instagram. I love the variety that comes with creating new dishes and serving ideas. Now that I’m in my early 20s I find I’m happy to eat the majority of foods and certainly wouldn’t say I’m too fussy about food, providing it’s reasonably healthy and not full of chemicals! I used to really dislike olives, for example, but now will happily eat them. The reason for my initial dislike was that many years ago when I was at a childhood friend’s party, I mistook a bowl of olives for a bowl of grapes. Olives could not be more different in taste to grapes and so the hatred of olives was born! That is, until I tried them again a few years ago, the first time since the childhood incident, and discovered they are actually quite nice so long as you aren’t hoping to bite into a nice plump, sweet, juicy grape.

Digressions on olives aside, the following meal ideas consist of various sources of protein and a range of sides. Hopefully they will give you some idea as to what you would like to have for dinner:

1. Salmon with pea and lemon risotto 

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Basic method:

Salmon

Simply bake salmon, seasoned how you like it, wrapped in foil for 18-20 minutes at 180C in a fan oven.

Side 1

Bake tomatoes and yellow peppers too, with a little olive oil, in either the same or a separate foil parcel. Use a separate parcel if you’d like the side to have more bite and bake in the oven 10mins before the salmon is ready.

Side 2 (makes two sensibly-sized portions)

For the risotto, make up a quantity of stock from one low-salt organic vegetable stock cube (follow instructions on packet or use about 500ml of homemade stock). Then fry arborio rice in unsalted butter for a few minutes before adding the stock one cup at a time. Each time you add the stock stir well until it is all absorbed in the rice. Once nearing the end of the stock add a handful of frozen peas and the juice from a wedge of lemon (or more depending on your preferences). Stir in the remaining stock and add a little more lemon to taste. Finish by seasoning with freshly ground black pepper.


2. Ballotine of chicken breast 

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 Basic method:

Chicken

There are many ways to fill a ballotine of chicken breast. Some suggestions are as follows:

  • caramelised onions and goat’s cheese
  • asparagus and parma ham
  • sun blush tomatoes, basil, and reduced fat mozzarella

Here is one of my recipes for ballotine of chicken breast with the full method of cooking: click here

Rice

Boiled white rice or, the healthier option, brown rice.

Baked peppers and tomatoes 

Same as Dish 1. You can also add some balsamic vinegar before baking.  Can you tell I like having that side? It is just so wonderfully simple yet scrummy and quick.


3. One pot clean-eat creamy veggie bulgar wheat

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This dish is great on its own as a vegetarian dish or can be used as a ‘bed’ on which to serve a turkey breast steak or chicken breast. It would also be a nice accompaniment for a fillet of pork.

The full method and recipe for this can be found in one of my earlier blog posts: click here

NOTE: This dish can easily be made gluten free by using quinoa instead of bulgar wheat.


 

4. Duck with deliciousness!

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Basic method:

Score the skin of the duck in a criss-cross pattern. Pan-fry the duck and keep draining the fat off (for timing see the packaging of the duck you buy, it varies with size – approx. 6-8mins). Transfer the duck to an ovenproof dish skin-side down and cook for to your preference of rare or medium or well-done. (Again consult the packaging of the duck for timings.)

Sides:

Steamed fine green beans, boiled blend of puy lentils and quinoa, and salad leaves (including rocket and red chard). The salad and blend of grains was dressed with a simple honey and mustard dressing.


  5. Tuna salad

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This is ideal if you have under 5 minutes to prepare something to eat. It is very quick and really nutritious making it a perfect pit stop dinner in a hurry. It also contains 2 of your 5 a day.

Basic method:

The salad consists of a combination of a tin of tuna chunks, 1 portion of cooked pre-cooked quinoa (use a microwaveable packet or cook in advance), 1 portion of sweetcorn, 1 portion of peas, a tbsp dried cranberries, and homemade lemon juice, black pepper and natural yoghurt dressing. If you’d like less sweetcorn and peas half each quantity. Note: This will mean you only have 1 of your 5 a day rather than 2.


 6. Three Bean Chilli

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This is a really good nutritious meal packed with plant-based protein. It contains 4 of your 5 a day too. It can be as hot as you like or can easily be made milder by adding just a dash of chilli or excluding it completely and using smoked paprika instead of chilli for a rich smoky tomato and pepper flavour.

Note: If you like a lot of heat, why not add some tobacco sauce.

It is really easy to double or triple the ingredients in this and re-heat it the next day or you could serve it cold as a filling in a tortilla with some raw baby spinach leaves for lunch.

I have blogged the recipe for this dish in the past which you can see by clicking here.


 

7. Salad Nicoise style dish

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Basic method:

The photo of this meal is pretty self-explanatory. I used flaked cooked salmon for this and served it with:

  • 1 sliced boiled egg
  • a handful of spinach
  • approx. a 1/3 cup sweetcorn (either use frozen cooked then cooled or tinned that has no, or minimal, salt/or sugar added)
  • 1/4 sweet red pepper sliced
  • 2 medium-sized cold sliced new potatoes

Seasoning:

Black pepper and lemon juice over the salmon and pepper on the potatoes.


If you have enjoyed this post then click the ‘follow’ button under the blog logo to subscribe to the blog meaning you’ll get all future blog posts emailed to you or into your WordPress feed if you have a WordPress account.

Additionally, you can find me Tweeting over on Twitter (here) where I post a daily healthy living tip, Facebooking (here), or Instagramming mouthwatering foodie photos here!

Have a great day,

Helen x


 

Copyright©HLDCblog // Helen Redman 2015.

A Traditional Burns Supper

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For this post, I thought I would write a little bit about a traditional Burns Supper which is eaten by many every year in Scotland on the day of, or close to the late bard (poet) Robert Burns’, birthday January 25 called Burns Night. It is a supper (evening meal) which typically consists of eating a traditional Scottish dish, toasting with whisky (for the adults), reciting poems written by Burns, and the playing of bagpipes. Suppers vary in formality and can sometimes just consist of eating the dish.

The purpose of the supper is to celebrate the life and poetry of Robert Burns. Burns was a 18th Century Scottish poet who is regarded by many as being the best ever Scottish poet. His legacy is thus celebrated greatly in Scotland. Each year, in the approach to his birthday, school children across the country practice reading and learning Burns’ poems in order to recite them in class. There is usually an award for the best recitation. Personally, I never did too well. I blame it on the fact I’m not wholly Scottish, and was actually born in England!

If you’d like to read some of his poetry to find out what the Scots language is like and what his poetry is like, then this is a link to a website with all of his works: http://www.robertburns.org/works/ As this is a food blog, however, I will now give a wee (Scots word for small) description of the dish which is traditionally served. It is comprised of three elements.


Haggis

The main part is haggis. Haggis is a somewhat odd food, and is frequently met with suspicion from visitors to Scotland! It is made from various organs of pigs or sheep, mixed with grains, usually barley or oatmeal, and a blend of spices and salt. They come in varying sizes, from small individual ones to high ones to serve a large dinner party. It is, unsurprisingly, the ‘organs’ part that causes suspicion and also the fact that the mixture is cooked in a sheep’s stomach. It really doesn’t sound very appealing when it is described initially but it is actually very tasty, I think so anyway. The main taste when eating is that of the spices and salt so you can easily forget that the not-so-appetising ingredients are in it! It is certainly a food, nonetheless, that is often a ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ one. At formal Burns Supper, it is traditional for the haggis to be ‘piped in’. This means that the haggis is brought to the table while a bag piper plays.

Haggis


Neeps

‘Neeps’ are a Scottish root vegetable. ‘Neep’ is short for turnip but outside Scotland, turnip tends to refer to a different root vegetable, similar, but different in flesh colour and size. (Swede is the more common word for neeps outside of Scotland.) The neeps are peeled, cut up, and boiled until soft and then mashed. They have a sweet taste and a look, when cooked, similar to mashed sweet potato – a rich orange colour.

Neeps


Tatties

‘Tatties’ is the Scots word for potatoes. These are boiled and mashed with butter and milk and served along with the haggis and neeps. There is a nice contrast in textures and taste in the three components of the dish. The haggis is meaty and salty, the neeps, sweet and juicy, while the tatties finish the dish off with a neutral-type savoury taste.

Tatties

Here is the full Burns Supper dish when served:

Burns Supper

To follow the haggis dish, a Scottish dessert such as Cranachen is usually served. Cranachen is delicious and is one of my not-so-healthy treat foods! It consists of lots of cream, berries, toasted oatmeal, and (sometimes) lashings of whisky.


The supper is frequently concluded with toasts to the memory of Burns and comes to a close with the singing of Auld Lang Syne (history and words here), a famous traditional Scottish song. All the guests will stand and link arms while singing.

Hope you have enjoyed this wee whirl into Scottish culture,

Helen x

For more of my foodie pics, info. and cooking tips, you can follow me on: TwitterFacebook | Instagram.


External links for more information on Burns Supper and Scotland:

http://www.robertburns.org

http://www.scotland.org/features/the-history-and-words-of-auld-lang-syne/

http://www.visitscotland.com/about/ 


Copyright©HLDCblog2015.

Traditional British Christmas Dinner

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 One of my favourite meals of the year is always Christmas Dinner. In the UK it is traditionally eaten at midday but my family always has it in the evening for evening meal. Because I have readers from around the world I thought I would share what I had for Christmas Dinner. Everyone knows how much I love food so by writing this blog post I can re-envisage the delicious meal all over again! Although this is a mainly a blog with the aim of inspiring healthy eating, variety and balance is key, and I do not only eat healthily but indulge in plenty of treats now and again. Some of the components of Christmas dinner provide example of that but at all times of the year I have about an 80:20 (healthy: not-so-healthy) diet. Now, with that qualification out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff – foodie goodness! First of all, here’s a picture of the dinner I had on Christmas Day itself.

Christmas dinner photoTurkey

Slices of lovely delicious turkey crown


Pigs in blankets

My favourite part of the dinner – pork chipolata sausages wrapped in slice of smoked bacon. So. Good.


Roast potatoes

Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside.


Bread sauce

A seasoned, thick and creamy sauce made from breadcrumbs.


Cranberry sauce

A lovely, rich, sweet sauce. The perfect complement to roast turkey breast.


Stuffing

Can come seasoned in a variety of ways. We had stuffing made with sage and onion. It is traditionally used to ‘stuff’ the turkey but we had ours baked separately.


Roast vegetables

A selection of sweet potato, swede, baby carrots and parsnips. The vegetables we had were  infused with honey and clementine juice – perfect.


Brussel sprouts

People either love these or hate them. I love them! They must be very fresh and not-cooked too long for maximum ‘sprouty’ goodness!


Gravy

Gravy is also popular but we did not have any. The bread sauce and cranberry sauce were enough.


I’d love to see what Christmas dinner is like around the world so Tweet me a pic (@hldcblog) if you’d like to share 🙂

Hope you had a great Christmas,

Helen x

P.S You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and PinInterest.

Nutritious Salad

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This is super easy to make as it simply involves assembling the ingredients in an attractive way on a plate. The dressing is minimal but satisfying and the dish is suited for lunch and dinner alike. It also features the fruit with which I’m most obsessed at the moment: avocado!

Ingredients (to serve 1):

  • 1 portion of cooked prawns (about a handful)
  • 1/2 an avocado (peeled and chopped or sliced)
  • 2 handfuls of shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 wedge of fresh lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 nest of rice noodles
  • 1/2 tsp reduced salt light soy sauce

Optional:

  • 1 handful of baby leaf spinach

Method:

1. Cook the rice noodles according to their packet.

2. Stir in the soy sauce and some black pepper

3. Arrange the lettuce and/or spinach on a plate and top with the avocado

4. Scatter the prawns over the salad and serve the noodles on the side.

5. Finish by squeezing the lemon juice over the prawns and salad leaves and season with black pepper to your liking.

Enjoy!

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Feel free to follow my blog to gain email updates of new posts or follow me on Instagram or Twitter. Use the hashtag #hldcblog to show me which of my recipes you make as I’d love to see!
Have a lovely day,

Helen x

Baked salmon with lemon and dill

Baked salmon with lemon and dill served with roasted vegetables

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This is a great weekday evening meal after a busy day at work. It is quick to prepare, quick to cook and requires minimal washing up at the end (always a plus point in my book!)

Ingredients:

For the salmon:

  • Juice from a quarter of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dill (or enough to lightly dust the top of the salmon)
  • Black pepper
  • Balsamic glaze
  • 1 salmon fillet

For the vegetables:

  • 4 or 5 medium sized mushrooms or a handful of button mushrooms
  • 1 large plum tomato cut into wedges
  • 1/2 a red pepper sliced
  • Olive oil

To serve:

  • New potatoes
  • Salad leaves

Method:

1.Pre-heat a fan oven to 180 degrees.

2.  Place salmon fillet on a medium sized piece of foil.

3. Drizzle the lemon juice over the top then sprinkle the dill, some of the paprika, and black pepper over the top.

4. Add the vegetables to either side of the salmon fillet and drizzle some oil over the top (around 1-1 1/2 tsp).

5. Sprinkle on the remaining paprika and some black pepper. Add some balsamic glaze too.

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6. Wrap the foil around the salmon to make a parcel and place in the oven to cook for approx. 18mins.

7. While the salmon and vegetables are cooking cook the potatoes.

8. Serve with salad leaves or uncooked baby spinach.


Hope you enjoy this recipe. Feel free to tweet me @hldcblog or check out my Instagram (@HCRinstacam) which is updated daily with tastbud-tempting food pics prepared by myself!

Have a great day,

Helen x

Bean Chilli Hotpot

Here’s a tasty  bean chilli perfect for this time of year when nights are getting darker earlier and temperatures are lowering. I created this recipe back in June 2014 but now that it’s autumn it seems like now is a more apt time to post! It has around 4 of your five a day, 5 if you add the pepper, meaning it’s just bursting with vitamins and nutrients!


 

Bean Chilli Hotpot

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Serves 2

Ingredients:

    • 1 tin of tomatoes247634_777262758986773_6512152553743555052_n
  • 6tbsp tinned red kidneybeans

  • 6tbsp tinned black eye peas
  • 6tbsp tinned sweetcorn
  • 1 clove finely chopped garlic
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 1tsp chilli powder (less if you want it milder or more if you like it hot!)
  • 1/4tsp paprika
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Drizzle of agave syrup or honey

Optional

  • 1 fresh red pepper chopped

 

Method:

1. Sauté the garlic in a drop of oil and then add the tinned tomatoes.

2. Season with the spices and add the remaining ingredients apart from the red pepper, if using.

3. Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for 40-50 minutes or until it thickens. (Note: If you’re in a rush you can serve earlier but it will be a soup-like consistency, really good for a cold autumnal afternoon or a cosy winter evening by the fire!)

4. Add any final seasoning you wish – more chilli, cracked black pepper etc. Serve with either fresh crusty bread, brown rice rice, or in tacos.


 

Enjoy!

P.S Remember I’m on Twitter @hldcblog and Instagram: @hcrinstacam

Helen x

Ballotine of chicken stuffed with a blend of cheeses

This dish has a great source of lean protein in the chicken and fibre and balanced carbs in the brown rice but obviously the cheese aspect is less healthy. Cheese is something I will always eat, though, as it’s deliciously tasty! You could use feta or a similar cheese instead of the ones I have suggested if you’d like it healthier but I love the combination I used so I’ll be sticking to that in this post.


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Serves 1 (Can easily be doubled, tripled etc.)
Time to cook: 25mins

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

  • 1 Organic free-range chicken breast
  • Grated mozzarella
  • Soft-cheese (I used Philadelphia but any brand is fine)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the vegetables:

  • A handful of sliced cherry tomatoes or, my favourite, baby pomodorino tomatoes (about 1 portion of your 5-a-day)
  • A handful of chopped sweet red pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar / balsamic glaze
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Ground black pepper

To serve:

  • Brown rice

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C (I use a fan oven so if you’re using a conventional oven then adjust)
  2. Start cooking the rice (or if using microwave rice you can do this at the end as it only takes a couple of minutes)
  3. Butterfly the chicken by slicing through the middle but make sure to not go all the way to the edge. You want one piece of chicken which when opened resembles butterfly wings, hence the name of the technique!
  4. Lightly sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper over one side of the opened chicken breast and then place the cheeses on top. (Add as much or as little as you fancy as the amount will vary depending on the size of the chicken.)
  5. Using cocktail sticks (about 4/5) fold the chicken over and push through to the bottom piece of chicken so as to hold the two ‘wings’ together and add some more ground pepper over the top. photo ScreenShot2014-09-07at193830_zps0b21896f.png
  6. Place on an ovenproof glass dish.
  7. Prepare the tomatoes and peppers by placing them on foil, lightly coating with the oil, balsamic vinegar and seasoning, and pinching/folding up the foil at the top. (TIP: toss them in a bag with some oil and vinegar to coat them evenly and avoid using excess)
  8. Cook the chicken and vegetables in the oven for around 25 minutes but make sure to check when you take it out that it is fully cooked – that the juices run clear)
  9. Carefully remove the cocktail sticks and slice the chicken as shown in the photo. Serve as shown and drizzle the juices from the roasted vegetables over the chicken.

Optional extras:

  • Serve with a handful of fresh raw spinach
  • Add some olives to the chicken
  • Add some fresh rosemary to the top of the chicken before cooking

P.S As usual if you cook this I’d love to see, so share on Twitter by tweeting me @HldcBlog or #HldcBlog. Alternatively, tag me on Instagram @HCRinstacam or #HCRinstacam or #HldcBlog!

Hope you enjoy!
Helen x