All posts filed under: Light lunch

Chicken and beetroot quinoa salad

I’m feeling profoundly inarticulate today, my brain having melted to within an inch of its life. Never have I been so hot and not at a beach. I’ve even given up lusting after picnics and parks. There’s a stretch of boiling tarmac and a sweaty underground transport system between me and the outside world. No. I’ll drink iced tea and wait for this all to blow over instead. I was going to share with you a very easy recipe for baked chicken with quinoa, but after sticking my head in the fridge to cool off I realised the leftovers could be used to make something far greater: chicken and beetroot quinoa salad. I didn’t plan for any of this, and you probably shouldn’t too. Even thinking about turning on an oven in this heat is tiring enough, but if you do so happen to have some leftover chicken and quinoa (and who doesn’t!) please make this. You’ll need some roasted chicken thighs and cooked quinoa (I used the three colour kind which has a wonderful texture). For the roasted vegetables, feel free Read More

Lentil and Chickpea Stew

Suffolk rolls past the window. Fields and sky and buttercup studded meadows. The clouds are hemmed with pink and a line of cypress trees stand bold against a mottled sky, casting long shadows as dusk approaches. I’m travelling on a train from one home to the other now, wishing that I could stay in the calmer, brighter, greener one for a while longer. I have a shorthand exam coming up this week (let’s not talk about it) so it was a slightly guilty weekend, but oh so good. I went to the beach, ate fish and chips and met up with friends who I haven’t seen in six years. I also realised that Norwich is beautiful – by the cathedral there’s a tangle of cobbled streets that give off a dusty golden glow in the early evening. Exactly what I like in a city. The recipe I’m bringing you today has become a lunchtime staple. I tampered with a recipe for Moroccan lentil soup and came up with this mongrel – maybe with the cumin and piece Read More

Pulled pork and tabasco

Hot sauce reminds me of almost passing out in New Orleans. Here’s an important lesson for you, kids: when a bottle is ‘XXX-rated’ don’t try dipping a cracker into it. It will only end in chilli-infused tears and heartache. Tabasco is a slightly less dangerous pepper sauce but just as synonymous with Louisiana. The home of Tabasco is Avery Island, situated about 140 miles from New Orleans and you’ll find bottles of the stuff on any self-respecting Southern table. I learned a little about the history of “that famous sauce Mr McIlhenny makes” at theAbout Time x Tabasco Bloggers Brunch, in between drinking Bloody Marys and chatting to wonderful food bloggers.   It turns out that the brains behind the operation, Edmund McIlhenny, was first inspired to create a pepper sauce to liven up the bland food of the Reconstruction South. 146 years later and the careful process of making Tabasco has largely remained the same, even if our uses for it are expanding wildly. At the brunch we were encouraged to think outside the box Read More