Warm Cajun Chicken Salad

Header Graphic by HCRHere in Scotland, there has been a remarkable run of sunny days since around Easter Weekend. This has made me more in the mood for salads and maintaining a good, clean, diet. Clear blue skies and sun from sunrise to sunset have been making me feel like it’s summer already! It is mainly during summer that I have loads of salads and less hot, cooked, meals as I seem to go off hot food and also don’t require so many calories to keep me warm due to the warmer climate. This salad is served warm so is perfect as an evening meal at this time of year when, despite the sun, there is a distinctive drop in temperature by early evening from moderately warm to noticeably cool. Serving a warm salad is thus in the middle, not too hot and not too cold! (Writing that sentence has just reminded me of the children’s story, Goldilocks and The Three Bears)

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Recipe for my ‘Warm Cajun Chicken Salad’

Ingredients

To make 1 portion:

  • 1 chicken breast (cut into chunks or diced)
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Coconut oil
  • Two mini sweet peppers (try and go for two different colours) A plateful of mixed salad leaves (spinach, watercress, lambs lettuce, and radaccio is great)
  • Black pepper
  • Balsamic glaze

Method:

In a frying pan, heat the coconut oil and add the seasoning. Add the chicken and cook until piping hot throughout and no pink remains. Spread the salad leaves on a plate. Cut the peppers lengthways, remove the middle, and quarter. Arrange on salad leaves. Top with the cooked chicken and glaze with the balsamic.

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Image 2 Warm Cajun Salad

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Serve with garlic pitta bread or on its own.

Tip: For extra protein, add mixed beans or cooked lentils.

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Enjoy,

Helen x


©Copyright HLDCblog // Helen Redman 2015.
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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.

 

Herb Chicken and Puy Lentil Salad

It is now officially the season of spring and what better lunch to have on a sunny day than a tasty salad? (I may be a bit biased, of course, as this is my own recipe…) This salad is packed full of protein and will leave you feeling like you have had a proper lunch not just some leaves as some people seem to think is the sole constituent of a salad! Chicken breast provides lovely lean protein and Puy lentils provide plenty of fibre as well as plant-based protein. The salad also has baby kale which is my new addiction. I love traditional kale, too, but the baby variety is perfect for salads. The addition of pepper adds some sweet crunch to the salad. The salad is quick to assemble but the chicken will have to be cooked in advance. I had chicken curry on Sunday and while I was cooking the curry on the hob, the chicken for the salad was cooking in the oven. This made it perfect for knocking up this quick salad for lunch on Monday. You could easily have this salad for dinner too.

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Recipe (serves 1):

For the chicken:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil

Sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken, drizzle with oil and wrap the chicken in foil.

Bake the chicken in the foil for 25-35mins at 200C. (Make sure it is white throughout and piping hot in the centre.)

Leave to cool and then refrigerate

For the salad:

1 serving of baby kale

1/4 of an orange pepper (cubed)

80g Puy Lentils (I often use pre-cooked lentils for quickness but the dried lentils are cheaper and can easily be cooked up and used to make a salad for a couple of days, just store it in the fridge.)

Herb chicken breast (sliced)

Dressing:

Extra Virgin Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Assemble the salad on a plate loosely layering the baby kale and lentils before topping with the chicken and pepper.

For the dressing, simply combine equal amounts of the oil and vinegar to make a simple vinaigrette. You can omit the dressing if you wish.

TIP: If cooking lentils from scratch, cook the lentils in vegetable stock rather than plain water to add extra flavour. Add a bay leaf too as it adds great flavour.

Hopefully the sun is out when you make it so you can enjoy it with the sun streaming down on you as you eat it like I did

image_zpski7kzxmkHave a great day,

Helen x


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Copyright©HLDCblog // Helen Redman 2015.

Pina Colada Style Drink

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This is a superbly delicious drink which is made from only three ingredients and takes just a few minutes to prepare. It is cool, creamy, and sweet yet has a hint of heat from the stem ginger adding a subtle kick. As a non alcohol drinker, this is a great alternative.

I have seen a few pineapple and coconut ‘juice drinks’ sold in shops which consist of pineapple juice from concentrate, sugar, sweeteners, water, coconut ‘flavouring’, and sometimes even added colouring. Pineapple and coconut is, in my opinion, a match made in heaven so in creating this recipe, you can enjoy the taste of the two flavours combined, but in an entirely natural and wholesome way free from anything artificial.

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This is the sixth smoothie recipe in my January smoothie series aiming to help you kick off the new year in a healthy way. Links to the previous recipes can be found at the bottom of this page. Back to this post now.

Pina Colada Style Smoothie

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Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup chopped pineapple (either sweet fresh pineapple or drained unsweetened tinned pineapple)
  • 1 cup chilled coconut milk (I tend to use a coconut milk that is made like other nut-milks, such as almond, i.e. it has water added and is not the sometimes high fat tinned versions)
  • Approx. 1 1/2cm slice fresh stem ginger

NOTE: The amount of ginger varies depending on the size of the root, and of your liking of ginger – add more or less as desired)

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Method:

Add everything to a blender and blitz until thoroughly blended and smooth.

Garnish with a sprinkling of desiccated coconut and/or a wedge of pineapple.

Sit back and enjoy!

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Tips:

  • For an extra cool drink add 1/2 cup ice cubes before blending
  • If you would like an alcoholic version then add some rum

Here are the links, as promised earlier, for my previous smoothie recipes:

  1. Creamy Green Energy Machine
  2. Tropical Dream
  3. Breakfast Smoothie with a Kick
  4. Good Morning Smoothie
  5. Detox Green Smoothie

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Have a nice day,

Helen x


 Copyright©HLDCblog2015.

Smoothie 1: Creamy Green Energy Machine

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Smoothie 1: Creamy Green Energy Machine

This is a rich, creamy and very filling drink full of energy and nutrients. Bananas are a fantastic source of potassium, vitamins, manganese and fibre. Similarly, avocados are a great source of fibre and vitamins, such as A and E, while, on the other hand, they are also sources of folate and pantothenic acid. The creaminess comes from the creamy, buttery consistency of avocados as well as the soya milk which for some reason gives smoothies a great creaminess which you’d almost think would have to come from cream but in fact is entirely from the soya itself. This makes a great quick breakfast, on-the-go snack, or part of a breakfast. The main ingredients, banana and avocado, successfully provide good nutritional content for both pre and post-workouts making it ideal to drink on the way to the gym or after the gym.


Recipe for: Creamy Green Energy Machine

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a super-ripe avocado
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened soya milk (make sure it is made from non-GM whole soybeans) or use unsweetened almond milk
  • Optional: 1/4 cup water to make it slightly less thick
  • Crushed ice-cubes
  • 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds

Method:

1. Remove stone from avocado and scoop flesh out and into a tall jug or a smoothie maker. 2. Add the peeled banana in chunks and pour in the milk If using chia seeds add these too 3. Blitz for a few minutes with a hand blender or smoothie maker until smooth

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Serve as it is, or, if you would like it thinner, add water /or ice-cubes Enjoy the tasty goodness!

Helen x

For more delicious recipes, tantalising food pics, and general foodie fun, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and PinInterest.


Copyright©HLDCblog2015