Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mediterranean Salad

As the days warm up, I find myself thinking about having a salad for lunch more and more. I usually take a packed salad to work for lunch, which is why I need my salad to be more than a salad. I need to keep going through the rest of my work day. I have found that when I opt for a salad over other options for lunch, I feel refreshed and ready to go through the remainder of the day. I'm always on the lookout for new combinations and flavours.

This (sort of) Mediterranean Salad came together thanks to a colleague who put me on to the wonderful combination of roasted peppers, grilled eggplant and feta. She was putting together a sandwich for lunch using these lovelies and I thought to myself, I could make this into a salad and see how it works out. So on my way home, I stopped by my local Coles and went straight to their deli section and picked up some Danish feta and grilled eggplant. I have yet to work out how to make this eggplant at home. While I strongly believe that made from scratch is way better than store bought, sometimes you need to be open to using a store bought shortcut, especially when you haven't made anything for lunch and need something real quick. Enter, store bought fire roasted peppers; another thing I want to make at home. I have made this at home in the past (you can see the post here) and need to whip up another batch.

Back to the salad. It essentially is made up of veggies, the condiments mentioned above and feta - that's it! No dressing or anything. The best part is you wont even miss the dressing. The feta is soft, creamy, sharp and salty, so it takes the salad to a whole new level. Feel free to add or take away from this salad and make it your own. I have made this salad a few times and both, my husband and I love it. I made it with and without olives, so feel free to use them, or not. Also, toasted pine nuts on the salad would be divine. I don't know why I didn't think of that sooner, but I fully intend adding them to the salad when I make it next. This salad would make a wonderful addition to any barbecue as well.



Mediterranean Salad

A couple of handfuls of Salad leaves (I use the 4 leaf mix from Cole's)
1 fresh tomato, cut into chunks
Sliced cucumber (about 1/2 cups worth)
A few slivers of thinly sliced red onion
2-3 slices grilled eggplant, roughly chopped
A few slices roasted peppers, roughly chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Danish feta, to taste

Place all the ingredients except the feta in a bowl and toss together.

Crumble the feta over the salad and lightly toss.

Serve.

** This salad also makes a lovely veg. sandwich.

Disclaimer: I haven't been compensated for this post either monetarily or in kind. I just happen to shop at Coles and that's why the mention.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

SRC: Thai Inspired Chicken Patties with Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce

I'm glad to have you join me today. This is the last SRC reveal for 2015 and how this year has flown by. It's hard to believe that December is here. Its my favorite time of the year. Christmas decorations are starting to appear all over the place. Christmas carols have started playing. Bloggers have started holiday baking and cooking. Everything starts feeling festive. Shoppers are going nuts in most stores. There just is such a buzz this time of the year you cannot replicate at any other time. Have you started your Christmas planning, decorating and shopping yet? I'd love to hear about it.

For this month's SRC reveal, I was assigned Andrea's lovely blog Adventures In All Things Food. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through it. Andrea and her family have moved from the city to her husband's family farm and blogs not just about recipes and the food she cooks, but about life on the farm as well. I loved reading about it. I don't think I ever mentioned this before, but my husband has always dreamt of working the land. So these posts felt really special. I was spoiled for choice this month. She has so many delicious recipes, both sweet and savory. I had a hard time narrowing it down. I can't wait to try out her Gyoza, Tiramisu Cheesecake, Roasted Vegetable Tart, Pea and Leek Risotto and her Cherry Pie Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies, to name a few :)

For the reveal I decided to try out her Thai Inspired Chicken Patties. There is so much to love in this recipe. For starters you use ground meat. You sneak some veggies into the patties and you could tell the kids that these are Christmas confetti patties, with the green from the zucchini and reddish orange of the carrots speckling the patties. They are full of flavour and yes, please remember to serve it up with some sweet chilli sauce. That is a combination you will love. These patties will be a part of my weeknight dinner rotation. I stuck to the recipe but used just 1lb ground chicken instead of 1 1/2lb. since thats all I had. And used lemon juice instead of lime zest.

Thanks Andrea, for a lovely recipe.



Thai Inspired Chicken Patties

1lb. Ground chicken meat
1/2 large white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 red/green chilli (I used birdseye because we like our food hot)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Sweet Chilli sauce, for dipping
Salt, to taste

Sprinkle some salt on the grated zucchini and keep aside for about 5 minutes. Drain all the liquid and place in a large bowl.

Mix with all the other ingredients except the sweet chilli sauce.

Heat a griddle pan or the grill.

Lightly spray with some oil.

Form the mix into patties about 1/2 inch thick and sear both sides about a couple of minutes.

Place on a baking sheet and finish off in a 350ยบ oven for about 5 minutes or till they cook through.

Serve with the sweet chilli sauce and a large salad.





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