Grain and butternut squash salad

I made decadent cupcakes yesterday. I mean it… these are good but so darn rich. So I made a grain based salad for dinner tonight, to make myself feel less guilty.

8 oz farro
4 cups chicken stock
1 butternut squash
1 pack of turkey breast strips
1 bunch green onions
juice of one lemon
small handul italian parsley
2/3 cup apple juice sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 tea spoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper
1 tea spoon honey
8 table spoon olive oil


1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Peel the butternut squash. Cut in half and remove the seeds. Then cut into cubes.

2. Toss with 1 to 1 1/2 table spoon of olive oil and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Put on a baking tray in a single layer.

3. Put in the oven until tender but still holding it’s shape, about 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool.

4. Mean while, combine the farro and chicken stock.

5. Bring to a boil then lower the heat. Cook, uncovered until all the liquid is absorbed, stirring once in a while. It took me about 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.

6. Cut the turkey into cubes. Heat 1/2 table spoon to 1 table spoon oil in a skillet. Cook the turkey with the smoked paprika and a bit of pepper.

7. Roughly chop a small handful of Italian parsley and add to the cooled farro.

8. Add the cranberries.

9. Finely chop the green onions and add to the salad.

10. Add the cooked turkey.

11. And as much of the squash as you care for. I added about half of the baking sheet.

12. In a different bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and honey. Add the remaining 6 table spoon of olive oil in a drizzle while whisking.

13. Add the dressing to the salad and mix well to combine.

Spiced carrot salad

Sweet and spicy Moroccan inspired carrot salad. Leave the confit lemons on the side, so everyone can add as much or as little as they care for.

This is great as a side dish, but would be filling enough for a light meal.

2 meyer lemons
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for lemons
8 rainbow carrots
1/2 red onion, diced
1 handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
2 daches cayenne pepper
orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons pine nuts


1. Wash the meyer lemons. Slice them thinly and remove any seeds. Cut the slices into quarters. Put in a single layer in a cold skillet and lightly cover with olive oil. Turn the heat on low and cook for 20 minutes or so, or until caramelized.

2. Pour into a serving dish and set aside to cool.

3. Peel and grate the carrots.

4. Add the red onion and parsley to the bowl.

5. In a small dry skillet, toast the pine nuts.

6. In a bowl, combine all the spices and the pine nuts. Whisk in the orange juice and orange zest. Keep whisking as you pour in the olive oil, to get a nice combined dressing.

7. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well to coat the carrots. Serve with the lemons.

Warm Beets Salad

Something I’ve been meaning to do for a while but kept pushing off. So of course the first really hot day of the summer is when I decide to roast beets for an hour… I can be weird sometimes.

You want an apron for this one, and possibly gloves. And to keep reminding yourself that beet’s juice stains. A lot. Wipe things down as you go to prevent having pink/red stains all over your kitchen.

3 red beets
3 yellow beets
4 cloves of garlic, halved
goat cheese
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt + pepper


1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F

2. Scrub the outside of the beets until they are clean, but don’t peel them.

3. Cut the top and bottom of the beets and put them on top of a large piece of aluminium foil. put the halves of garlic between the beets. Pour some olive oil over all the vegetables. Add salt and pepper then fold the foil as air thigh as you can. Repeat with the yellow beets.

Then put both packets in the oven for 1 hour or until the beets can be pierced with a fork.

4. In the meat time, wash the spinach and prepare a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.

5. Once the beets are cooked, open the foil packets and allow to cool until you can manipulate them.

6. Gently scrape the blade of a knife on the edge of the beets to peel them then slice into cubes.

7. Put the beets on top of the spinach leaves, add as much cheese as you care for and spoon some dressing over the whole thing.

Baby spinach salad with berberé chicken

I like this salad. It’s flexible enough to become a /everything left in the fridge” kind of meal. You can add celery. I’ve swapped the apples for some blackberries in the past. The fruit gives it an touch of sweetness to balance the spice on the chicken.

Baby spinach (about 3 good handful)
4 carrots, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
2 fuji apples, sliced
1 1/2 lemon,juiced
1 orange, juiced
1 small pack of pecans
3 teaspoon of berberé spices
2 chicken breasts, cut in strips
olive oil
1/2 tea spoon of dijon mustard
salt and pepper



1. In a small bowl, mix the lemon and orange juice, the dijon mustard and a good dollop of olive oil. Mix well and add salt and pepper.

2. Rinse the baby spinach. Put in a large bowl with the carrots and bell pepper.

3. Put the pecans in an oven safe dish and put in the oven at broil for a few minutes. Remove when fragrant and allow to cool.

4. Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet (add a bit of butter if you want). Add the  chicken and the berberé spices. Mix well to ensure all the chicken is covered.

5. While the chicken is cooking roughly chop the pecans and add to the bowl with the spinach. Slice the apples and add the to bowl as well. Mix together.

6. Put the salad in shallow bowl and spoon some of the vinaigrette over. Add a few strips of spicy chicken.

Peri-Peri Chicken

This is a lot better grilled, over coals if you can. But I don’t currently own a grill and it is freezing outside in all cases. So I oven baked the chicken. Next time I need to up the heat a bit so the skin gets crispy.

I buy the chicken at the butcher’s so I can ask them to break it into parts for me (2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 thigh, 2 legs). You can make this with any chicken from the store too, off course.

Ingredients :
1 small chicken, broken into 8 parts.
Peri-Peri Marinade


1. Make the marinade according to the recipe here (lemon missing from my picture) :

2. Put the chicken parts and the marinade in a large ziplock bag and put in the fridge overnight.

3. Heat the oven to 375F. Lay the chicken on a cookie sheet and cook for 25 minutes.

All done! so extra recipe for the side salad.

Ingredients :
1/2 Cucumber
1 tomato, sliced
2 celery sticks, chopped
About equal quantities of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper


1. Shake together the oil and vinegar in a sealed container to create an emulsion.

2. Mix all the vegetables together.

3. Spoon dressing over salad, add salt and pepper.