Chicken Pesto Salad

Normally you can attribute the success of a dish to a particular ingredient. This however lets every ingredient share the stage. You can leave out one or more of the ingredients but each one adds its own voice to the choir.

Using my last salad post as a base, (Check it out HERE) make it a full lunch or dinner with these other amazing flavours. Grilled Chicken gives this the protein to fill you up. Pesto adds a whole new dimension to the original flavour of the salad. Then, my favourite bit, toasted cumin seeds and pine nuts. That flavour from the fennel seeds really boosts the overall outcome of this pretty healthy, quick lunch or dinner.

What do you need

1x chicken breast

1tsp cumin seeds

25g pine nuts

1 tbsp pesto

1x lemon

Handful of spinach or rocket (or both)

1x pre cooked beetroot

5 sun dried tomatoes halved

40g feta cheese

What you need to do

Bash your chicken breast between some cling film to make it nice and even, around 1 cm thick would be good. Season it with a little salt and pepper and then drizzle it with a little olive oil. Add the breast to a hot pan and cook for around 4 minutes on each side (this can obviously vary, just make sure your chicken is white all the way through and there are no pink bits left inside).Once it is cooked through remove it to a plate and leave it to rest.

While the chicken cooks away heat another small pan and add the cumin seeds and pine nuts. Toast them for around a minute. You are not trying to cook them and you don't want to burn them so keep an eye out. All this does is release the aromatic oils and smells out of them both to make them taste amazing.

In a small bowl mix the pesto and lemon juice together.

Now to plate up just toss the spinach and rocket onto a plate and scatter over the beetroot, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts and cumin seeds. Crumble the feta cheese over everything. Slice your chicken breast into strips and lay on top and drizzle over the lemon pesto.

Jamie’s Traybaked Chicken with Smoky Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes

Before making this I thought it was missing something, potatoes, couscous, anything. There didn’t seem to be enough food for a dinner. I’m wrong again. It was satisfying, fresh and super tasty.


Maybe I have conditioned myself that the bigger the plate of food the better, or the more satisfying. In my head your dinner should have meat, potato or some kind of carb and some token vegetables. I don’t feel I have finished my dinner until I have had all three. In the same way I don’t feel that I have had lunch unless I have had the holy trinity of lunchtime foods; sandwhich, crisps and chocolate (eaten in that order) I could eat my sandwhich and crisps and then be given a whole bucket of KFC and I will still need to eat the chocolate before my brain says “ok and now we’re done” However there is some light at the end tunnel.

Besides this dinner being basically chicken, peppers, onion and tomatoes I felt satisfied afterwards. The flavour was as much to do with the olive oil and balsamic as it was about the actual ingredients. 

This is so simple, simply cut your tomatoes and peeled onion into wedges, cut the pepper into chunks. Chuck them all into a roasting pan with the chicken thighs. Squash the unpeeled garlic cloves and throw them in as well. (Don’t worry you squeeze the garlic out of its skin afterwards) Throw in the thyme leaves and sprinkle over the paprika. Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil and one of balsamic. Season with salt and pepper and then without decorating your walls toss it all together so everything is coated. Roast it in your oven at 180C for around an hour. Dress some salad leaves once it has cooked in a little olive oil and balsamic and serve together.

This meal was from our hello fresh box. Www.hellofresh.co.uk

Teriyaki Chicken with Coconut Rice and Bok Choy

Sweet succulent chicken marinated in a warm Teriyaki sauce made with soy sauce, ginger and honey.

Traditionally teriyaki is made with soy, sake or mirin and sugar. The shine that the sugar in the sauce gives is where the first part of the word “teri”derives “Yaki” refers to the cooking method of grilling or broiling. In this dish the sauce is made with ginger, honey and soy and a little sugar. The flavour is strong, sweet and sticky. Its a flavour that tastes more complex than the sum of its parts.

The rice is cooked in water which has had coconut powder added. This is not how i pictured making coconut rice, i’m not sure what i pictured. It worked really well the flavour was light and fragranced with coconut. The bok choi was a welcome natural flavour.

Malay Chicken and Red Lentil Curry


Spice.. in my mind a good (spicy) curry is one that is hot enough for you to question wether it was a good idea to start eating it but stops just short of actually melting your taste buds and stopping you actually tasting any of the dish. Heat is a part of the flavour, not a test of my mascualinity. Now you’re expecting me to say that this dish blew my socks off, well it is the opposite. The malay spice had a great flavour it just lacked that extra punch. Its true it was mild enough to taste the courgette and ginger, the garlic even the onion. It had warmth but to be honest I would rather have had none. It left me wanting more. 

I’m sure a lot of people know how to cook rice. I thought I did. Put the rice in a pan, fill said pan with water boil till rice is soft. Drain the water, BAM rice done. Wrong. It always stuck together and was more like rice pudding. Here we had 175g of basmati rice. We brought to the boil 350ml of water with a pinch of salt. When the water was boiling we added the rice, put a lid on and reduced the heat to medium. After letting it simmer for 10 minutes, remove it from the heat and leave it to steam for a further 10 minutes with the lid on. When its done just flake it up with a fork and you are left with a bowl of rice that is perfectly cooked and each individual grain is separate from the last. 

Rosemary Glazed Chicken with Purple Mash and Buttered Leeks

Succulant crispy chicken on a bed of buttered leeks, and covered in a Rosemary glaze. Served with purple potato mash.

There isn’t much to report on this this meal but there were a couple of things worth mentioning. Firstly though the chicken was pan fried skin side down a while to get that lovely crispy skin. Finished off in the oven it was juicy and tender. The leeks were lovely, cooked in butter their mild flavour almost became one with the chicken. 

Now onto the purple potato. In taste and consistency it is almost identical to a regular potato. Purple potatoes are rich in the antioxidant, anthocyanin. This flavonoid is most often found in blue, red and purple produce such as berries and pomegranates and has been shown to be great at boosting the immune system. Here we mashed ours with some spring onion and a little butter. 

For me though, the Rosemary glaze was the star of the show. It was made by melting Rosemary jelly with some remaining stock in a pan. It had such a nice flavour. I have never heard of Rosemary jelly before. When I first saw it I assumed it was just Rosemary encased in jelly and used as a way of storing and portioning the Rosemary. When cooked, the jelly melts away and you are just left with the Rosemary in your pan. This is the case, however there were other flavours captured in the jelly as well. I imagine garlic and onion powders and as it had a beautiful sweetness there must have been some sugar. I will definitley use it again I’m thinking with lamb where that sweetness will match the flavour of the meat perfectly.

Jamie’s Paprika Spiced Chicken Thighs with Herby Bulgher and Skinny Slaw

Succulent chicken, flavour packed bulgher salad, tangy carrot and apple slaw and fantastic feta cheese crumbled all over.

It’s hard to know where to begin with this dish. There were so many flavours, yet they all managed to fit cohesively together. I’ll start with the chicken. Chicken thighs are our new favourite piece. There is so much more flavour and it is so much more juicy than the breast. For this we coated them in paprika and a little oil and pan fried them.  Once they were rested we Sliced them into 1 cm thick slices.

The Bulgher wheat was cooked in stock. While it was cooking I chopped the spinach, spring onion, chilli and parsley, some olive oil and half a lime’s worth of juice. Once the Bulgher wheat was cooked, drained and cooled slightly, it got mixed in with the herby mixture.To make the slaw we just grated the carrot and apple together added some chopped parsley some of the lime juice and a little olive oil.

With all these flavours going on its hard to imagine that you could improve it but then along comes the feta cheese. Every now and then you get that salty tang that comes with real quality feta. Apparently in 2002 feta became a protected designation of origin product. This means only cheeses produced in a traditional way in particular area of Greece, that are made of sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep’s and up to 30% goats milk (from the same area) can be called feta.

This meal is from our HelloFresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk

Jamie’s Spiced Chicken Noodles with Chilli and Chinese Leaves

So much flavour and colour in this dish that you’ll forget how good it is for you. Cabbage, sugar snap peas, garlic, ginger and chilli all mixed in a fantastically good, good for you dinner.

It’s hard to pick anything specific about this meal that makes it so nice. There was plenty of flavour and textures. The sugar snap peas were a great edition, as was the lime. The warmth from the chilli rounds everything off nicely.

This is not a hard dish to make but there is a lot of prep work. There is so much to chop I’m sure some people will be put off, me however loves this part. There is nothing more satisfying than chopping and slicing. It does help having a really sharp knife. See my previous post for my knives if you are interested.

This meal was from our hellofresh box www.hellofresh.co.uk