Oven Baked Biltong, Citrus & Thyme Chicken Schnitzel

I saw a post on Facebook a few weeks ago which asked…what is healthy eating…there were so many different answers, and all great ones…then I stood back and thought to myself, what is healthy to me…and I remind myself of my motto for healthy eating…choose right

I chose right when I made this healthy alternative to a deep-fried chicken schnitzel.  This is an easy, healthy and quick light dinner for the beautiful summer evenings we have been experiencing…let’s hope it lasts (touch wood)

Oven Baked Biltong, Citrus & Thyme Chicken Schnitzel
Makes 2

2 chicken breasts, about 130g each
135g bread crumbs
3 tbsp biltong powder
zest of one orange
2 tbsp thyme, chopped
seasoning
2 eggs
1/8 cup water
1 cup flour
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Butterfly the chicken breasts.  See end of post for tips

In a bowl mix the bread crumbs, biltong powder, orange zest, thyme and seasoning

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and water together (this is the egg wash)

Place the chicken breast in the flour, then into the egg wash, then into the bread crumb mixture.  Make sure the chicken breast is well coated in the flour and egg to ensure the bread crumbs stick to the chicken breast.

Place on an oiled baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, place in the oven for 15 – 25 minutes, until cooked and has a good gold colour to it.

Serve with sides of choice, I enjoyed this with rosemary and garlic baby potatoes and a Greek salad.

** Store the left over bread crumbs in an air tight container for next time.

How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast
Lay the boneless & skinless chicken breast on the surface of your cutting board.  You can remove the tenderloin or work around it.  With the edge of your knife parallel to the cutting board, begin cutting down the length of the side of the breast. Carefully slice the breast in half, almost to the other edge. Open the chicken breast like a book.  If you have ticker parts of the breast, repeat the process until you have a nice thin chicken breast.

What could be better than a BLT

When I lived in the USA, I use to attend college at night, often finishing around 9pm, so on the way to class, I would grab a sandwich, being one of my favourite BLT from Arby’s, however, on one occassion I managed to also pick up a case of food poisoning which put me off Arby’s and BLT’s. 

Getting back into the BLT’s, I love the simplicity of this sandwich and the little twists you can gourmet it up with.

My BLT today has a small twist…
makes 2

6 slices bacon (cut off the fat if you want to be healthier)
lettuce, I used mixed Italian pack with watercress
20 cherry tomatoes
mayo
balsamic vinegar
seasoning
2 whole grain pita pocket, cut open and toast lightly

Dry fry your bacon, if you rather fry in oil, let sit on a paper towel to drain off excess oil
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and pop into a hot pan, let blister a little, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and cook off until nice and sticky. Season yiur tomatoes.
Now build your BLT, I dont use butter but feel free to butter your pita pockets, spread mayonaise on each side, place some salad leaves on the bottom slice, a few cherry tomatoes, slices of bacon and finish off with more cherry tomatoes and a little of the sticky juices from the pan.

Garnish and enjoy

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Chicken Stir Fry with a quick Sweet & Sour Sauce

I have a confession…I am a preserve addict.  When I walk into any shop that sells a “homemade” preserve, I have to purchase it.  I have things like Cherry & Guava Jelly, Pickled Habaneros, Pineapple Marmalade and something that is the star of this post…Pineapple & Gooseberry Jam.

So what do we do with jam…put it on toast?  I am a little bored with that idea…I use jams to make sauces.  One of these sauces is a quick sweet & sour sauce for my chicken stir fry.  It goes a little something like this…

Pineapple & Gooseberry Sweet & Sour Sauce
makes 4 portions

2 tbsp Pineapple & Gooseberry jam (you can substitute  this with Apricot jam)
½ cup spirit vinegar
1 tsp fresh ginger grated
¼ cup boiling water

Place all ingredients into a pot over medium heat.  Let cook out and the ginger will infuse beautifully.

With a stick blender, blitz up to a pourable consistency.  This can stay in the fridge, so  make a whole batch for later use.

With my sweet & sour sauce, I made a quick Stir Fry.

2 chicken Breasts (optional or substitute with Tofu)
400g stir fry of choice
2 pks Two minute noodles (toss out the spice that comes with it!) – cooked according to packet
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
seasoning
olive oil
3 tbsp sweet & sour sauce from above
fresh chilies, chopped (optional)

Heat a wok until scorching hot.  Fry off the chicken in a little olive oil, add vegetables, thyme and seasoning. Fry off for about 5 minutes, you want your vegetables to still be crunchy.  Add the sweet & sour sauce, ensure the chicken and vegetables are coated in sauce.  Add cooked noodles, toss and serve.

This dish can be served hot, or as a summery salad.

Enjoy!

New Age Bangers & Mash

How often does the “what’s for dinner” conversation go down in your house?  When do you actually decide what you are going to make for dinner, whether you are going to cook or go out?  These are all important questions, for those who are faced with the daunting task of having to decide what to feed your family.  You don’t want the boring same old same old, having said that, if you are anything like me, having to go to the store to buy ingredients just for one meal makes me rather grumpy.  Unfortunately, the love to shop card is not part of my make up, so it’s a task and a half.

So for my New Age Banger & Mash I dug around in my freezer and just used what I had in the house.

I love potatoes, I can have potatoes done any way, but I wanted something different…

500g baby potatoes
1 onion, roughly diced
1 generous tsp garlic, chopped or used crushed garlic
50ml brandy
1 tbsp sugar
handful of parsley, chopped
Olive oil
salt & pepper

Parboil the baby potatoes; you want them just soft enough that you can squash them between your palms.  Set aside to cool

In a pan, fry off your onions over a medium heat, add the sugar and let caramelize.  Add the brandy to deglaze the pan, add garlic and briefly cook until all the liquid has cooked out.

Squeeze the baby potatoes between your palms just to break them, you looking for a rustic kind of look.  Add to your pan with onions, toss around until well combined.  Add the parsley, season and set aside.

Now to put something together on a plate!

Pork bangers – boil off your bangers and fry off in a little olive oil.  If you want to keep it slightly healthier, set your oven to 180° C, after boiling them off, just pop them in the oven until nicely the bangers have a nice colour. Healthier but it does take slightly longer.

I popped a packet of peas into a pot, a knob of butter, orange zest and a splash of orange juice.  Cook just until the peas are heated through.  The fresh citrus flavours with the peas are a lovely combination.

Stuffed Chicken Breast served on a bed of Pasta

The weather is all over the place, just as we get a taste for the Spring that is promised, we are reminded that Mother Nature is still in charge and when she is ready, we may bask in the Spring weather and that Summer time we all ling for.

With Spring comes the start of many new things, I am organizing at the moment, want to do a Spring clean, toss out the old, start with the new…and I will be starting on my closet.  But more about that in another post…

I love pasta…so versatile.  Pasta often find place on our dinner table.

Stuffed Chicken Breast

Serves 4

4 Skinless Chicken Breasts
½ packet of lean bacon
½ cup of cut mushrooms
1 cup of spinach
½ onion, diced
5 tbsp crumbed feta
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
¼ tsp nutmeg
seasoning to taste

For the Sauce
½ onion, roughly chopped
½ tsp sugar
1 time whole peeled tomatoes
1 sprig of rosemary chopped finely
½ cup white wine

1 Packet of your favourite pasta, or 500g of freshly made pasta.

For the Sauce
Fry off the onions, with a little sugar, add the whole peeled tomatoes, white wine, rosemary, season to taste and let simmer on a low heat.

Preheat oven to 180°C

Fry off your onions, bacon, mushrooms and spinach, rosemary, in a dash of olive oil.  Set aside to cool and add the feta and nutmeg, and season to taste.

Using a sharp knife, create a pocket from the top of the chicken breast, do not slit the whole breast open. Fill the pocket of the chicken breast with your spinach filling, and close opening with a toothpick.

Place on a baking tray and into the oven for 23 – 35 minutes.

Cook your pasta according to instructions on the packet.

Remove chicken from the oven and let rest for 2 – 4 minutes.

Slice chicken and place on a bed of pasta, and cover with your homemade tomato sauce.

Simple dinner that sounds complicated but is so easy