Tuesday 20 December 2016

easiest ever salmon with variables

Monday evenings are hectic to say the least. Big'Un goes out before 5pm to help with our local Rainbows pack. She's a young leader and working towards her Queen's Guide award.
Little'Un then goes to Brownies which runs straight after the Rainbows at 6pm, and  sometimes Big'Un stays to help.  Especially in the winter, I walk back and forth with the girls to the church hall for each club, and everyone in the house needs to be fed - and all at different times!  This is the only day when I will make different meals for each person, and as Littl'Un is allergic to most fish, this is the day that the rest of us often indulge in a fish-based meal.  As all 3 kids now have a hot meal in school, I don't feel too bad about giving them sandwiches or something cold, especially Big'Un who needs to eat as soon as we get in from school at 4 in order to be ready! She usually makes herself a sandwich or a Chinese noodle packet or pot, and then has another snack later.

Tiny is really fond of salmon, and as Papa sells fish, this is our usual go-to choice.  We used to get the skinless fillets in the oven cook bag, often with a flavoured butter, but this started to get boring after a while.  I then stumbled upon a 3 ingredient recipe page, and saw this very simple suggestion, cooked it in the halogen which gave deliciously charred and crispy bits, and then I tried variations so we don't get bored.  Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.  If you don't have a halogen oven, obviously you can use a standard oven, but a grill might give a better result as the recipe states.  I make half this amount - one each for me, Papa and Tiny.  You could always marinade the full amount, and cook half one day and the other half for lunch the next day.

  • 6 x 6 oz salmon fillets, skin on or off
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce, divided
  • 2 - 3 tbsp spring onions, chopped
  • Cooking spray 

  1. In a large baking dish, lay down salmon fillets in a row. Each fillet - sprinkle with a pinch of salt and top with 1 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce. Brush or rub with your fingers to coat fish with sauce evenly on top, bottom and sides. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight is the best (up to 24 hours).
  2. Turn the grill to High and position top oven rack 5" - 6" below the heat source. Line large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, spray with cooking spray and place salmon fillets skin side down (if any). Coat with remaining marinade from the dish (if any).
  3. Grill for 8 minutes, rotating baking sheet once. Remove from the oven and brush top of each fillet with 2 tsp of Thai sweet chili sauce. Return to the oven and grill for another 5 minutes or until salmon has caramelized. Serve hot garnished with the spring onions, extra sauce (if desired) with brown rice or quinoa on a side, and maybe some steamed green veg.
  4. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days.

My even simpler variation was to just use Franks Buffalo Wings Hot Sauce, (I didn't even leave it to marinate) and serve with steamed rice and greens. You are limited only by the sauces in your fridge and pantry though.  Go to town with your favourite sauce!

Thanks to http://ifoodreal.com/ and Buzzfeed for the inspiration.

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Every week easy chicken

So it's all change round here once again. This Mama is now in full time paid work! But I'm incredibly lucky to have a fabulous job where I work from home with split hours so that I work around my kids and am still here for them as needed. Holidays are tricky, but they are great kids and we juggle life, and manage.
So meals are simpler so that I can help the kids with their various after school needs - reading eggs, coding practice, home-learning, colouring, and more.  I do judiciously use prepared ingredients a few times a week, the meals are still very reasonably priced and unprocessed; as good as from scratch, and healthy and nutritious.  I don't feel guilty for helping myself with occasional shortcuts, and spending that saved time with my kids.

have made this particular meal pretty much every week since I first tried it out, and it's a huge hit. It's so easy and tasty and low maintenance, try it out and I'm sure you'll add it to your regular list too.

My plateful
You will need:

1kg pack of chicken thighs, or a mix of drums and thighs, or leg portions would also be fine.
2 packs of ready prepped cubed sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Other prepped roasting veg would work too, or if you have more time to hand then feel free to peel and chop your own choice of veg. 
500g baby potatoes 
Some green veg as desired. 
Spray olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 200 deg C.
Line a roasting tray with either a nonstick baking mat/silicone mat, or oil sprayed foil and spread the roasting veg over it.  Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and place it skin side down onto the veg. 
Spray it all with the oil and pop it into the oven for 25 mins. 

Now I use my halogen for the potatoes - I prep them the same way: spread on a foil lined tray, spray with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, then baked for about 20-25 mins in the halogen at 175 deg, but you could do them on a separate shelf in with the chicken for slightly longer. I don't try this as my oven is very old and variable and I don't think the potatoes would cook properly. 

After the first 25 mins, turn the chicken pieces over and shuffle the roasting veg if needed, and cook for another 20 mins or so until crispy and cooked through. 

Serve with the potatoes and the steamed green veg of choice. 

Tiny's portion