Roast Sweet Potato, Cranberry, Rice & Quinoa Salad

This salad is jam-packed full of flavour! It has definitely become my go-to in terms of a quick and easy work lunch lately. I’ve seriously probably made this over 5 or 6 times in the last month. It is incredibly light, full of flavour and very filling! There is just something about the mix of the roasted kumara, and the crunch of the quinoa. The dried cranberries add a little hint of sweetness too, without being too overpowering.

The first time I made this salad, I’m pretty sure I devoured a substantial portion in one sitting. The original recipe has quite a bit of watercress in it but feel free to omit like I did. It is very simple to make and can be served as a main dish or side dish. It is good warm and straight from the fridge – bonus!

Roast Sweet Potato, Cranberry, Rice & Quinoa Salad

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds..
  • 800g sweet potato, peeled, diced into 2cm-ish cubes
  • 2 x 250g pouches SunRice Steamed Rice & Quinoa
  • 55g sweetened dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Put nuts on baking tray and roast for about 10 minutes – keep a close eye on these as they burn easily! Set aside.

Put sweet potato and 2 tablespoons of water in a large microwave dish. Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, then set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, microwave each SunRice packet for approximately 90 seconds each. Transfer to a both, and separate grains with a fork. Add sweet potato, cranberries, nuts, and the chives.

Whisk together orange juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Add liquid to the salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

The salad will last in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days (I think). Mine didn’t quite last that long! Yours probably won’t either…

unnamed

 

Chorizo and Prawn Paella

Well, hello! It’s been a while.

I’ve always wanted to make paella at home. This is one dish I always look for at markets and food-type fairs and it never lets me down – the big large pots they cook it in just look so inviting don’t they and with so much seafood! So GOOD! Most recently I was lucky enough to taste a couple of different paella’s while I was overseas, like this one at the Notting Hill market in London:

And at one stage, I watched a guy at another market making it from scratch. It looked too easy so that was my challenge.

There are a million and one recipes out there for paella and it is easy to spend a lot on all the little bits and pieces (extras, I call them). Me? I wanted a recipe that was easy to throw together, and most of all takes next to no time for an after work meal.

The following recipe I actually discovered in the Countdown app and I really rate it for a first timer! Next time round, I might get a little bit more creative and choose a few variaties of seafood (a weekend affair I believe). I might even purchase some saffron, if I’m feeling a little bit richer!). Saffron is wildly expensive but from what I’ve read, it really does add quite a unique and wonderful flavour to the dish.

For now, I’m happy with this recipe…enjoy!

Chorizo and Prawn Paella

  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • salt & peper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 chorizo sausages, sliced
  • 200 grams boneless chicken, chopped
  • 20 prawns
  • 2 cups short grain rice
  • 400 gram can of chopped tomatoes

Pour 1-2 tbsp of oil in the bottom of a large frying pan.

Put the onion and pepper in the pan, then place on element and bring to a moderate heat. Cook for about 5 minutes to soften slightly.

Add 1/2 tsp salt, paprika, and the oregano, stir and then add the chorizo sausage and the chicken to the pan. Cook briefly, stirring.

Add the rice, and fry for another 5 minutes, stirring continueously so it doesn’t have a chance to stick! Add the tin of chopped tomatoes to the pan, then fill the empty tin twice with water and pour the water into the pan.

Once the liquid has come to the boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover. After about 10 minutes, remove the lid, stir the paella then place the lid back on for another 5 minutes.

Next add the prawns. Stir in the prawns, over and continue to cook over a very low heat for another 5 minutes. Turn off the element and leave covered to stand for 15 minutes.

Serve with a slice of lemon, and a side salad. Delicious!

Pumpkin, Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto

I have a few recipes for Risotto hidden away in various cookbooks. They all look incredibly delicious but unfortunately I don’t always have that much time to rustle up an evening meal.

This recipe is fairly nutritious and one of those really easy-to-make meals.

Pumpkin, Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto

  • 4 to 5 cups of quality chicken stock
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1¼ cups of risotto rice
  • 400 grams of pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
  • ½ cup of fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup of fresh sage leaves
  • 4 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
  • Shaved parmesan to garnish
Place stock in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to simmer. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy-based pan, add the onion and garlic, then cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until soft. Add risotto rice and pumpkin and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
Add a cup of hot stock to the pan and stir until the stock is absorbed. Repeat, adding cupfuls of stock until it is all absorbed and the rice is tender to the bite or al dente (this takes 15 to 20 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parmesan, baby spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fry the sage leaves in a hot pan with a little oil for 30 seconds or until crisp. Serve risotto topped with crisp sage leaves.