Warm Roasted Pear, Fennel & Blue Cheese Salad
One of our favourite salad combinations is Pear and Blue Cheese – sometimes I roast walnuts and add these delicious nuts for some crunch. That works well on a cold salad; this salad is warm however so no nuts required!
Blue Cheese is an acquired taste and many people steer clear of it – I think the ‘mouldy’ look is the first problem and then they smell it, and think it really is off! If you are new to Blue Cheese then start your journey towards a life-long love affair with the Blue Cheese with a mild, and creamy version. Once you are hooked (and you will be for sure be a little adventurous; there are lots of varieties to love.
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 6 small pears, cored and quartered
- 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced
- 1 cos lettuce, trimmed & cut into eighths
- 130g mesclun or mixed salad greens
- 80g creamy blue cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil, extra
- 2 tbsp lemon juice & honey
Preheat the oven to 180°c and line a roasting tray with baking paper
Mix the honey, olive oil & seasoning in a bowl and toss with the pears and fennel to coat them evenly
Arrange the pears and fennel on the prepared tray in a single layer and roast them in a preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, tossing them once, until the pears are softened and glazed. Set the pears aside to cool for about 5 minutes.
Arrange the cos and mesclun on a serving platter and top with the roasted pears and fennel. Dot the pears with slices of the blue cheese.
Whisk the oil, lemon juice and extra honey together – season to taste. Spoon the dressing over the salad just before serving.
Happy salad munching! xx
We have been blessed with another long weekend in New Zealand – Waitangi Day falling on Monday creating this welcome three day break from work 🙂
Now for those of you reading from outside of New Zealand, Waitangi Day is a significant day in our history. On the 6th February 1840, representatives of the British Crown and over 500 Māori chiefs signed what is often considered to be New Zealand’s founding document. The day was first officially commemorated in 1934, and it has been a public holiday since 1974.
For some people, Waitangi Day is a holiday; for many, and especially for Māori, it is the occasion for reflecting on the Treaty. Since the 1970s the style and mood of the commemorations on Waitangi Day have been influenced by the increasingly heated debate surrounding the place of the Treaty in modern New Zealand.
Waitangi Day is recognised as New Zealand’s national day, and the date is an important marker in the country’s history. Recognition of the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi as the nation’s founding document will continue to encourage leaders, communities and individuals to mark the day in new ways.
So that’s my history lesson for today!
But back to the kitchen where our long weekend began with a late start and a weekend brunch of spicy Spanish eggs. I wish you could smell the aroma of the lovely chorizo sausage as it sizzled quietly in the pan ahead of the other ingredients. It certainly got the ‘Chief Taster’ moving through the shower quickly!
Spanish Spanish chorizo is made from coarsely chopped pork and pork fat, seasoned with pimentón – a smoked paprika – and salt. For this recipe you need very little of the spicy sausage as a little goes a long way.
- 100-150g chorizo sausage, chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely sliced
- 2 eggs (I use Otaika Valley Organic eggs)
- Handful of chopped fresh spinach
- 2-3 fresh tomatoes (or use canned)
- 1 red capsicum, sliced or chopped
- 1 tbsp Chipotle sauce or to taste
- Cracked pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
Heat the oil gently in the pan and add the chopped chorizo – sizzle gently for a few minutes before adding the sliced onion, red capiscum and chopped tomato.
Next comes the chipotle sauce – and salt & pepper to taste. Let the pan bubble along for a few minutes then taste it before seasoning.
Add the chopped spinach and stir through the tomato base.
Make a small indent with the back of a soup spoon for the eggs – and crack each one gently into the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and let simmer gently for 3 minutes.
Today we had cumin & coriander pita breads toasted on the side – any fresh crusty bread is good to soak up the yummy juices to be honest 🙂
ps…if you are on a low carb diet, ditch the pita bread and substitute in a slice of your favourite keto-friendly bread.
Happy ‘brunching’ xx
Creamy Pesto Chicken Spaghetti & Zucchini Noodles
Combining spaghetti with zucchini noodles reduces the carbs with deliciously quick & easy weeknight dinner – a sauce made with Light & Creamy Cooking Milk & Pesto, sliced chicken breast and grated parmesan cheese complete the dish.
I have not made zucchini noodles for a while now – no real reason for this other than I overdid this new food craze a few months ago! I was reminded of how easy they are to make as well as a healthy eating option when you should be watching your waistline 🙂
- 2 large (300g) large zucchinis
- 200g spaghetti
- 500g chicken breast, sliced thinly
- 1 brown onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 375ml Light & Creamy Cooking Milk
- 2 1/2 tsp cornflour
- 110g good-quality basil pesto
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup (40g) finely grated Parmesan
- Cracked black pepper
Top & tail the zucchinis, and then use your spiraliser to create some noodles (if you don’t have one of these cool gadgets cut the zucchini into long thin ribbons, then use a sharp knife to cut each ribbon into thin strips)
Cook the spaghetti in a big pot of boiling salted water.
Heat a large frying pan – I used by deep wok!, and cook the onion, garlic and chicken for 5 minutes, or until golden & cooked through.
Blend the cornflour with the Light & Creamy Cooking Milk, add to the pan. Stir through the pesto & lemon zest.
Toss the zucchini and spaghetti with the pesto sauce, then season with cracked black pepper.
During the working week having something quick & easy to prepare is important for me – but above all it must taste terrific otherwise what is the point of cooking or eating? Give this recipe a shot; I think this is one even the children will like 🙂
Happy cooking xx