Escape From Tuna Salad

A collection of recipes, put together by an author with a tiny kitchen and a busy life.

Everything you'll find here is fast, fresh and healthy.
Soy Poached Chicken
If, prior to tonight, you had told me that I would be completely stoked on poached chickens with steamed greens, I would have rolled my eyes unhappily at you, but this little number has proved me wrong.
Yes, I understand that this photo is hideous, but I promise you that this is a delicious meal, and super healthy and fast to boot. There’s a much nicer photo at the Everyday Gourmet page where I found the recipe : ).

Ingredients (serves 2)
2x 200g chicken breast

500 ml chicken stock

200 ml water

¼ cup light soy sauce

2 tbs. honey

1 chilli, roughly chopped

2 knobs ginger, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic

1 star anise

juice of a lime

Method
In a medium saucepan, add all ingredients except the chicken. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and add the chicken. Allow to gently simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow the chicken to infuse in the stock. Remove and slice each into four even pieces. Serve with rice and steamed bok choy. And a little of the cooking liquid to each bowl.

I steamed up some broccolini and bok choi in a bamboo steamer on top of the poaching stuff, so it was extra easy and also left the veges lovely and fragrant. 

Also, I served the dish with couscous instead of rice, just to steer it more towards brown carb territory than white carb territory.

Soy Poached Chicken

If, prior to tonight, you had told me that I would be completely stoked on poached chickens with steamed greens, I would have rolled my eyes unhappily at you, but this little number has proved me wrong.

Yes, I understand that this photo is hideous, but I promise you that this is a delicious meal, and super healthy and fast to boot. There’s a much nicer photo at the Everyday Gourmet page where I found the recipe : ).


Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2x 200g chicken breast

  • 500 ml chicken stock

  • 200 ml water
  • 
¼ cup light soy sauce

  • 2 tbs. honey

  • 1 chilli, roughly chopped

  • 2 knobs ginger, roughly chopped

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 star anise
  • 
juice of a lime
Method
In a medium saucepan, add all ingredients except the chicken. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and add the chicken. Allow to gently simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow the chicken to infuse in the stock. Remove and slice each into four even pieces. Serve with rice and steamed bok choy. And a little of the cooking liquid to each bowl.
I steamed up some broccolini and bok choi in a bamboo steamer on top of the poaching stuff, so it was extra easy and also left the veges lovely and fragrant. 
Also, I served the dish with couscous instead of rice, just to steer it more towards brown carb territory than white carb territory.
Chicken with Tomato, Corn & Blackbean Salsa
This is a recipe I learned from the boyfriend, I don’t have the original to hand. Take the quantities as approximate, and enjoy making it to taste - it’s not one that’s too scientific.

Chicken
Ingredients 
400g chicken breast
The spices you like that have a mexican vibe - cumin, mexican spice mix, chili powder - adapt to your taste
Method
Trim the fat from your chicken, cut the breast in half
Apply spices to the outside of the chicken, rub them in with your hands, cover and pop it back in the fridge while you prepare the salad
Spray a griddle frying pan with a light coat of olive oil, heat it up to a pretty high heat, whack in your chicken
Try to just turn the chicken once. When it’s cooked through, let it rest for 5 minutes then carve it into smaller pieces - you’ll have nice soft insides contrasted with spicy crispy edges

The Salsa!
Ingredients
400g tin of black beans (we get ours from Harris Farm)
One nice big ripe tomato
One purple onion (to taste, you don’t need to use it all)
One ear of corn
One juicy lime
A bunch of coriander
Dollop of salsa verde
Salt and Pepper
Method
Cook your corn in your preferred low fat way. We stick it in the microwave for 6 minutes, then cut off the kernels and toss them around a frying pan (you don’t need oil in a non-stick pan) to give it a nice bbq flavour. Pop it in the fridge to cool while you prep the other ingredients
Rinse your black beans and place them in a bowl, add your tomato (diced), onion (cut fairly finely) and coriander (again to taste, cut fairly finely)
Add in your cooled down corn. Squeeze in the juice of a whole lime, and stir through, season to taste with salt and pepper
The last step is optional, and a little bit naughty. I like to add in a dollop of salsa verde and stir through. Technically it’s a bad idea, because you’re giving up control of your ingredients, and it’s probably got some sugar and salt and chemicals. But it’s delicious and adds a real kick and you only use a dollop, so I roll with it.
If you have time, stick it in the fridge for about 20 minutes before you eat it - it’s nice to let it have a chance for all of the flavours to squish together a bit

Chicken with Tomato, Corn & Blackbean Salsa

This is a recipe I learned from the boyfriend, I don’t have the original to hand. Take the quantities as approximate, and enjoy making it to taste - it’s not one that’s too scientific.


Chicken

Ingredients 

  • 400g chicken breast
  • The spices you like that have a mexican vibe - cumin, mexican spice mix, chili powder - adapt to your taste

Method

  • Trim the fat from your chicken, cut the breast in half
  • Apply spices to the outside of the chicken, rub them in with your hands, cover and pop it back in the fridge while you prepare the salad
  • Spray a griddle frying pan with a light coat of olive oil, heat it up to a pretty high heat, whack in your chicken
  • Try to just turn the chicken once. When it’s cooked through, let it rest for 5 minutes then carve it into smaller pieces - you’ll have nice soft insides contrasted with spicy crispy edges


The Salsa!

Ingredients

  • 400g tin of black beans (we get ours from Harris Farm)
  • One nice big ripe tomato
  • One purple onion (to taste, you don’t need to use it all)
  • One ear of corn
  • One juicy lime
  • A bunch of coriander
  • Dollop of salsa verde
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  • Cook your corn in your preferred low fat way. We stick it in the microwave for 6 minutes, then cut off the kernels and toss them around a frying pan (you don’t need oil in a non-stick pan) to give it a nice bbq flavour. Pop it in the fridge to cool while you prep the other ingredients
  • Rinse your black beans and place them in a bowl, add your tomato (diced), onion (cut fairly finely) and coriander (again to taste, cut fairly finely)
  • Add in your cooled down corn. Squeeze in the juice of a whole lime, and stir through, season to taste with salt and pepper
  • The last step is optional, and a little bit naughty. I like to add in a dollop of salsa verde and stir through. Technically it’s a bad idea, because you’re giving up control of your ingredients, and it’s probably got some sugar and salt and chemicals. But it’s delicious and adds a real kick and you only use a dollop, so I roll with it.
  • If you have time, stick it in the fridge for about 20 minutes before you eat it - it’s nice to let it have a chance for all of the flavours to squish together a bit
Indian-spiced Chicken Quinoa Pilaf
I’ve made this a couple of times now, this time with a heavy tweak, and I feel like I’ve got it pinned. Boyfriend gave it his official seal of approval, which is a good litmus test for healthy recipes. Dog looked very interested, as you can see in the photo above, but she offers this level of interest for all foods, so that doesn’t say much.
Anyway. This recipe’s a cracker. Really warm and hearty, great for a rainy Sunday.
It’s based on this recipe from Taste, but I halve the quinoa they specify and it really makes it extra punchy. 


Ingredients (serves about 3)
1 tbs olive oil
400g deboned chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2cm pieces
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbs finely grated ginger
1 long fresh green chilli, seeded, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup fresh or frozen peas 
1/2 cup of green beans, chopped to about 3cm lengths
1/2 cup toasted cashews and/or almonds
1/2 cup coarsely chopped coriander
Natural yoghurt, to serve

Method
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add half the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until brown all over. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat in another batch with remaining chicken.
Add onion to pan and cook, stirring, until onion softens and begins to brown. Add garlic, ginger, chilli, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and turmeric and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add quinoa, stock and chicken; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat. Scatter peas and beans over quinoa. Set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Add nuts and coriander; gently toss until just combined.
Spoon the pilaf onto serving plates. Serve immediately with a dollop of yoghurt

A note on buying yoghurt
The yoghurt aisle seems so fraught with missteps! So much deceptive labelling, ‘Low Sugar’ filled with fat and weird chemicals or ‘Low Fat’ filled with sugar.
For this recipe I used Jalna BioDynamic Organic Yoghourt. My process for picking yoghurt is pretty much to check the fat and sugar percentages on the packaging and avoid anything gnarly - they should both be under 10%, and the Jalna comes in under 5% for both. You’ll usually find that the ‘natural’ ones are more reasonable than the flavoured options labelled as diet.
I also really dig the Barambah Organics Natural Yoghurt - they do a Bush Honey variety for the sweet toothed among you that is both acceptable in terms of sugar content and totally delicious.

Indian-spiced Chicken Quinoa Pilaf

I’ve made this a couple of times now, this time with a heavy tweak, and I feel like I’ve got it pinned. Boyfriend gave it his official seal of approval, which is a good litmus test for healthy recipes. Dog looked very interested, as you can see in the photo above, but she offers this level of interest for all foods, so that doesn’t say much.

Anyway. This recipe’s a cracker. Really warm and hearty, great for a rainy Sunday.

It’s based on this recipe from Taste, but I halve the quinoa they specify and it really makes it extra punchy. 



Ingredients (serves about 3)

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 400g deboned chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbs finely grated ginger
  • 1 long fresh green chilli, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas 
  • 1/2 cup of green beans, chopped to about 3cm lengths
  • 1/2 cup toasted cashews and/or almonds
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped coriander
  • Natural yoghurt, to serve


Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add half the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until brown all over. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat in another batch with remaining chicken.
  2. Add onion to pan and cook, stirring, until onion softens and begins to brown. Add garlic, ginger, chilli, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and turmeric and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add quinoa, stock and chicken; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat. Scatter peas and beans over quinoa. Set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Add nuts and coriander; gently toss until just combined.
  3. Spoon the pilaf onto serving plates. Serve immediately with a dollop of yoghurt


A note on buying yoghurt

The yoghurt aisle seems so fraught with missteps! So much deceptive labelling, ‘Low Sugar’ filled with fat and weird chemicals or ‘Low Fat’ filled with sugar.

For this recipe I used Jalna BioDynamic Organic Yoghourt. My process for picking yoghurt is pretty much to check the fat and sugar percentages on the packaging and avoid anything gnarly - they should both be under 10%, and the Jalna comes in under 5% for both. You’ll usually find that the ‘natural’ ones are more reasonable than the flavoured options labelled as diet.

I also really dig the Barambah Organics Natural Yoghurt - they do a Bush Honey variety for the sweet toothed among you that is both acceptable in terms of sugar content and totally delicious.

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Feta
Quinoa is high on the list of FOODS I FEEL I SHOULD EAT, but I am still building up a repertoire of ways to use it. Today was my first crack at this salad as a work lunch, and it was pretty successful! I’ve adapted this recipe from Taste to make a batch big enough for two work lunches.
Ingredients 
500ml (2 cups) water
150g (1 cup) quinoa, rinsed, drained
Olive oil spray
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into 4cm lengths
1 large red capsicum, roasted
40g crumbled reduced-fat feta
30g sunflower seed kernels
2 shallots, trimmed, thinly sliced
1 tbs chopped fresh continental parsley
1 1/2 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tsp honey
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 big handfuls of baby rocket leaves
Method
Combine water and quinoa in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, preheat a large chargrill on high. Spray lightly with oil. Cook the asparagus for 2-3 minutes or until tender crisp. 
Char grill your capsicum however you prefer - I just popped mine in our little toaster oven and rotated it until it was black all over, then remove the charred skin and slice it up.
Add the asparagus, capsicum, feta, sunflower seed kernels, shallot and parsley to the quinoa.
Whisk the lemon juice, honey, oil and paprika in a small bowl until well combined. Add the dressing and rocket to the quinoa mixture. Season with pepper and toss to combine.
Note: For work lunches, I separated out the quinoa, the dressing, the rocket and the other stuff into separate containers, then put together just before I ate them. It’s worth the hassle to stop everything getting soggy.

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Feta

Quinoa is high on the list of FOODS I FEEL I SHOULD EAT, but I am still building up a repertoire of ways to use it. Today was my first crack at this salad as a work lunch, and it was pretty successful! I’ve adapted this recipe from Taste to make a batch big enough for two work lunches.

Ingredients 

  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 150g (1 cup) quinoa, rinsed, drained
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into 4cm lengths
  • 1 large red capsicum, roasted
  • 40g crumbled reduced-fat feta
  • 30g sunflower seed kernels
  • 2 shallots, trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh continental parsley
  • 1 1/2 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 big handfuls of baby rocket leaves

Method

  • Combine water and quinoa in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, preheat a large chargrill on high. Spray lightly with oil. Cook the asparagus for 2-3 minutes or until tender crisp. 
  • Char grill your capsicum however you prefer - I just popped mine in our little toaster oven and rotated it until it was black all over, then remove the charred skin and slice it up.
  • Add the asparagus, capsicum, feta, sunflower seed kernels, shallot and parsley to the quinoa.
  • Whisk the lemon juice, honey, oil and paprika in a small bowl until well combined. Add the dressing and rocket to the quinoa mixture. Season with pepper and toss to combine.

Note: For work lunches, I separated out the quinoa, the dressing, the rocket and the other stuff into separate containers, then put together just before I ate them. It’s worth the hassle to stop everything getting soggy.

Kimberly Snyder is a nutritionist-to-the-stars, and at the core of her platform is the glowing green smoothie.
I’ve adopted it as a low-fuss high-nutrition breakfast, and I love it.
I add a handful of mixed frozen berries to help it taste a bit less green, and I’ve played with adding different herbs. Mint is excellent, and parsley is surprisingly good too.
I make the recipe with half of the ingredients listed below, and it lasts me two days.
Here’s the recipe, as it appears on Kimberly’s site.
Ingredients (64 ounces / 2-4 servings)
1 ½- 2 cups very cold, filtered water
6 cups spinach, chopped
5 cups organic romaine lettuce, chopped
2 stalks of organic celery
1 organic apple, cored and chopped
1 organic pear, cored and chopped
1 organic banana
1–2 Tbs. fresh organic lemon juice
Optional Ingredients
Ice cubes (the extra coldness can help newbies with the taste)
1/2 cup of organic cilantro
1/2 cup of organic parsley
Directions
Add water, spinach and chopped romaine to the blender. Starting the blender on a low speed; mix until smooth.
Gradually move to higher speeds and add the herbs, celery, pear, and apple. Add the banana and lemon juice last.
For 1 serving, cut out one of the fruits and the celery.

Kimberly Snyder is a nutritionist-to-the-stars, and at the core of her platform is the glowing green smoothie.

I’ve adopted it as a low-fuss high-nutrition breakfast, and I love it.

I add a handful of mixed frozen berries to help it taste a bit less green, and I’ve played with adding different herbs. Mint is excellent, and parsley is surprisingly good too.

I make the recipe with half of the ingredients listed below, and it lasts me two days.

Here’s the recipe, as it appears on Kimberly’s site.

Ingredients (64 ounces / 2-4 servings)

  • 1 ½- 2 cups very cold, filtered water
  • 6 cups spinach, chopped
  • 5 cups organic romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 stalks of organic celery
  • 1 organic apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 organic pear, cored and chopped
  • 1 organic banana
  • 1–2 Tbs. fresh organic lemon juice

Optional Ingredients

  • Ice cubes (the extra coldness can help newbies with the taste)
  • 1/2 cup of organic cilantro
  • 1/2 cup of organic parsley

Directions

  • Add water, spinach and chopped romaine to the blender. Starting the blender on a low speed; mix until smooth.
  • Gradually move to higher speeds and add the herbs, celery, pear, and apple. Add the banana and lemon juice last.
  • For 1 serving, cut out one of the fruits and the celery.