Chicken salad with pasta and pomegranate

Pomegranate is one thing I enjoy a lot and it’s so festive. It gives a holiday look to everything it’s on and I find it irresistible! So the other day I improvised a bit and put together a not so difficult chicken salad. I used leftover roast chicken, so that’s a plus. But you can use ham or turkey if you prefer. I also added some chorizo that gave it a nice kick.

To make the chicken salad

To make the vinaigrette

In a bowl put the mustard and 3-4 tbsps of the olive oil. Mix really well until the two ingredients are nicely combined. Thereafter, you add the rest of the olive oil and mix again. Finally, add the balsamic vinegar, sesame oil and orange juice and give it a last mix. Depending on the type of olive oil you are using the vinaigrette will be less or more bitter. If it’s too bitter, you can balance it out with more orange juice. Personally, I like it bitter because it gives a nice taste to the salad when poured. Keep in mind that it will dilute a lot when mixed in the salad, therefore the taste will be weaker.

Chicken salad with pasta and pomegranate

I made this chicken salad with green, leftover chicken, pomegranate and pasta the other day improvising a bit I admit. But it came out really good and I wanted to share it with you! It is perfect to complete your holiday table. You can also use ham or turkey instead of chicken. 

  • 150 g (5.3 oz) dry pasta ((uncooked))
  • 500 g (1.1 lbs) chicken meat, shredded ((can also use ham or turkey))
  • 200 g (7 oz) lettuce, roughly chopped ((about 1 small lettuce head))
  • 10 brussel sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 80 g (abt 3 oz) chorizo, sliced
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded

For the vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 tsp mustard
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  1. Firstly boil the pasta according to packet instructions, dry in a colander and set aside.

  2. Secondly chop the lettuce into chunky pieces. Thinly slice the brussel sprouts, shred the chicken meat and slice up the chorizo.

  3. If you have whole pomegranates, slice of the two edges first. Then peel off the skin as if you were peeling clementines then the pomegranate will come apart in pieces. You can deseed it easily. Alternatively you can buy pomegranate seeds from the store.

To make the vinaigrette

  1. In a bowl put the mustard and 3-4 tbsps of the olive oil. Mix really well until the two ingredients are nicely combined. 

  2. Thereafter, you add the rest of the olive oil and mix again. Finally, add the balsamic vinegar, sesame oil and orange juice and give it a last mix. 

Depending on the type of olive oil you are using the vinaigrette will be less or more bitter. If it’s too bitter, you can balance it out with more orange juice. Keep in mind that it will dilute a lot when mixed in the salad, therefore the taste will be weaker.

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Chicken Soup with Wholegrain Fusilli

This wasn’t supposed to be a post about chicken soup. Yup, it was supposed to be breakfast eggs with tomato. But more often then not, we bloggers have to improvise for various reasons. My reason today, was that Rob (my husband) woke up with a cold and a sore throat. And I know that chicken soup is the best remedy. So, change of plans. After a morning visit to the playground with James, I went back to the grocery store for more shopping. That’s what’s so great about blogging, it’s flexible.

So if you, my friends, are feeling a little bit under the weather, or if you just want something hearty and warming after a long day, please come along with me and make this chicken soup.

Cooking the chicken

Now if you prefer, you can use ready made chicken stock. Most supermarkets sell good quality stocks. In which case, you either just quickly cook your chicken meat on the stovetop. Just get a few pieces of boneless meat and cook it in a pan for 20 mins. Or you can also use ready roast chicken. My local market has excellent quality roast chicken that I often bring back home with me.

Or make it from scratch:

Get a whole chicken, cut in pieces and wash it. In a Dutch oven or big pot bring water to boil and add the chicken. Have enough water to cover the meat. Boil it for 20-25 mins. Do the fork test. Pinch it all the way down and if no red/pink  juice comes, its ready.

Put it aside to cool when done. Once cool, remove the skin and shred the chicken. Discard the skin and bones.

 

Making the soup

In the same broth add some more water and bring to boil. Add the chopped carrots, sliced leeks and chopped onion. Add also the wholegrain pasta in the pot. I love wholegrain pastas. Much healthier and they are less processed than the regular pasta, therefore they contain more fiber. They also contain vitamin B and several minerals which are vital for our health. But honestly, I love how they taste, so flavorful! Check out for yourselves, boil some wholegrain pasta, strain, add salt and pepper and parmesan cheese. Then tell me if you loved it or not.

Anyway, back to the recipe! I am a rambler :). So your veggies are boiling in the pot together with pasta. Season with salt and pepper and a little bit of smoked paprika. This gives the flavor another dimension. After around 15-20 mins they should be done. So 1-2 mins before the end, sprinkle in some parsley. Remove from heat and add the shredded chicken.

When you serve, sprinkle the bowls with some more parsley (or whatever herbs you like) and chopped spring onions. Bon appetit!

Chicken Soup with wholegrain fusilli

if you are looking for a hearty, easy soup recipe to warm up your tummy, look no further. Make this delicious chicken soup with wholegrain fusilli and smoked paprika. The wholegrain pasta is such a healthy option and so delicious. Also, the smoked paprika adds such a beautiful depth to the chicken soup. 

  • 1 whole chicken cut in pieces
  • enough water to cover the chicken
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pack wholegrain fusilli pasta (250 g / ard 8 oz)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • bunch of parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 spring onions, sliced

Cooking the chicken

  1. Get a whole chicken, cut in pieces and wash it. In a Dutch oven or big pot bring water to boil and add the chicken. Have enough water to cover the meat. Boil it for 20-25 mins. When you pinch with fork the liquid should come out clear. 

  2. Put it aside to cool when done. Once cool, remove the skin and shred the chicken. Discard the skin and bones.

Making the soup

  1. In the same broth add some more water and bring to boil. Add the chopped carrots, sliced leeks and chopped onion. Add also the wholegrain pasta.

  2. Season the soup with salt and pepper and smoked paprika. 

  3. Cook the soup for 15-20 mins more. Just before the end, sprinkle with some parsley.  Remove from heat and add the shredded chicken. Sprinkle with spring onions on top.

 

Chicken Salad with Kale and winter veggies

This salad came to be as my plan B ­čÖé

salad-1

I went to buy blood oranges for a blood orange yogurt breakfast recipe. And surprise surprise, they were out. Hence Plan B. Chicken Salad with Kale and winter veggies. Some of the best things in life happen by accident. Though I have to confess here that it wasn’t a complete accident. I was working on chicken salad with winter veggies in my mind. And I found this gorgeous tender Kale. Brighter green in color, kind of purplish around the stem. Perfect for salad! Had some really nice heirloom carrots in the fridge. So voila, my tasty plan B in action.

The first thing to do is cook the chicken. Simple process. Wash the chicken breasts and grind some salt and pepper on each side. In a cast iron skillet (or any oven safe pan) heat up some olive oil. Saute the breasts both sides until they are nicely browned, around 10 mins on medium high. Stick the skillet in the oven for about 20 mins at 180 C / 350 F or until they are thoroughly cooked inside out. Set aside to cool down. Slice it later on for the salad.

salad-1-10

While chicken is cooking, prepare the Quinoa. Bring water to boil and add the quinoa. Let it cook for around 20 mins over medium fire. It should be relatively crunchy at the end.

Prepare your vegetables also. Wash them all very well. Cut the kale in big pieces. Peel the carrots and grate them finely. Cut the red cabbage in fine slices carefully with your knife.

salad-1-7-5

Make the dressing. In a bowl mix extra virgin olive, mustard, almond oil, white vinegar and orange juice for some natural sweetness (if you have blood oranges, even better!). It should be a fairly thin mixture when done. If its too thick, you can always add some more orange juice.

Get a nice and big bowl. Add the quinoa, kale and carrots. Sprinkle on top with the red cabbage slices. Add a little bit of salt and pepper. Scatter the chicken all around and drizzle over the dressing. I guarantee you, you will love this dish!

salad-1-7

Serves 2-3

Time: 40 mins in total

 

INGREDIENTS

 

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa + 1.5 cups water

2 medium chicken breasts, about 300 g / 10.5 oz

60 g / 2 oz fresh kale

2 medium carrots, about 160 g / 5.5 oz, finely grated

1/2 cup red cabbage, finely chopped

seasalt, pepper

 

For the Vinaigrette

3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

3 tsps plain mustard

3 tsps almond oil

3 tsps white vinegar

2 tbsps orange juice

 

DIRECTIONS 

Wash the chicken breasts and grind some salt and pepper on each side. In a cast iron skillet (or any oven safe pan) heat up some olive oil. Saute the breasts both sides until they are nicely browned, around 10 mins on medium high. Stick the skillet in the oven for about 20 mins at 180 C / 350 F or until they are thoroughly cooked inside out. Set aside to cool down. Slice it later on for the salad.

While chicken is cooking, prepare the Quinoa. Bring water to boil and add the quinoa. Let it cook for around 20 mins over medium fire.

Wash your vegetables very well. Cut the kale in big pieces. Peel the carrots and grate them finely. Cut the red cabbage in fine slices carefully with your knife.

Make the dressing. In a bowl mix extra virgin olive, mustard, almond oil, white vinegar and orange juice. It should be a fairly thin mixture when done. If its too thick add some more orange juice.

In a big bowl add the quinoa, kale and carrots. Sprinkle on top with the red cabbage slices. Add a little salt and pepper. Scatter the chicken all around and drizzle over the dressing.