Poached chicken and orange salad

I have, over the years, accumulated a few kitchen ‘gadgets’ that I would now not be without. My food processor and blender get a decent workout on a weekly (if not, daily, basis) and I am in love with my garlic press and citrus zester.

Recently I added a new gadget to my collection – a spiraliser! A gadget that is in no way ‘necessary’, as such, but one that is proving to be a great and interesting addition to the pantry. I’ve spiralised zucchini for pasta, carrots and sweet potatoes for salads, and on this particular occasion – pumpkin.

On the menu? A poached chicken salad with roasted carrots and broccoli, and spiralised pumpkin. Finished with orange slices, almonds and an orange / ginger dressing.

The recipe was inspired by one I found in a Donna Hay magazine, from memory. The chicken was poached in almond milk, garlic and ginger, which was interesting in itself (and reminded me just how simple yet delicious freshly poached chicken can be). I loved the addition of fruit to the salad too, which gave the dish a wonderfully light Summer feel.

Stay tuned for more spiralised salads I suspect!

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Poached chicken and orange salad
Course Salad
Course Salad
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the broccoli and carrot on the tray, and spray lightly with oil. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Place the chicken, almond milk, garlic and 1 tbs ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then transfer the chicken to a board and shred.
  3. Heat 1 tbs oil in a frypan over a medium heat. Cook the pumpkin for a few minutes, stirring, until just softened. Meanwhile, combine the orange juice, 1 tsp ginger and 1 tbs olive oil in a small bowl to make a dressing.
  4. Divide the baby spinach, roasted vegetables, chicken and orange among serving bowls. Top with flaked almonds, and drizzle with the orange ginger dressing, to taste.
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GF orange polenta biscuits

IMG_8790 You’d be forgiven if you thought that these biscuits look remarkably similar to these ones. For I loved them so much last time, it wasn’t long before another batch appeared in the BBB household. This time, however, I used orange zest in place of lemon zest to create an orange polenta version. IMG_8781 Just mix and spoon balls of the dough onto lined baking trays (flattened slightly).. IMG_8782 Bake for 14 minutes… And then afternoon tea awaits. IMG_8788 I know I have said it before, but I really enjoy the texture of these biscuits. IMG_8794 Soft, delicate, and almost akin to shortbread. IMG_8793 A lovely little sweet treat all round. IMG_8795 Orange polenta biscuits (makes 16-18) – gluten free

  • 80g butter, softened
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 150g gluten free plain flour
  • 1tsp xanthan gum
  • 50g polenta
  • 1tsp granulated sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 170C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Beat butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and orange zest, and beat until smooth.
  4. Add the flour, xanthan gum and polenta, and beat until just combined. (The mixture will be quite sticky).
  5. Roll heaped teaspoons of the mixture into balls, and place on the trays (spaced to allow for spreading). Flatten slightly with a fork, and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
  6. Bake for 13-14 minutes. Allow to cool on tray for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack.

What about you? Done any baking lately?

Buttery orange parsnips

This tasty little side dish was inspired, again, by the veggies received in our weekly veggie box. Parsnips! But knowing Mr BBB is not a fan of parsnip, I had to get creative. IMG_8931 And, I am pleased to report that with the help of 3 other ingredients, he not only ate the parsnips, but even went back for seconds! IMG_8932 Those 3 ingredients? The juice and zest of 1 orange, butter and maple syrup. IMG_8934 Poured over the sliced parsnip, and simmered until the liquid had mostly evaporated. The result? lovely buttery sticky parsnip with a kick of orange and sweetness from the maple syrup. IMG_8937 Perhaps not the healthiest of side dishes, but certainly a tasty one! We served the parsnip alongside some grilled tofu, salad and a small potato topped with leftover bolognaise sauce. IMG_8938 A rather random mish-mash for dinner, but the parsnips were a clear stand out – in all their buttery goodness. IMG_8939 What about you? Are you a fan of parsnip?

Flourless Jaffa Cake

Sunday was all about my two of my favourite things, biking and baking. And while I have shared the biking with you, its time to share the baking. The baking that was a little more time consuming than the meals I have made recently, and certainly used more than 1 bowl, but the results of which were oh so delicious. IMG_6338 Even if I do say so myself. So what’s under that cover??? IMG_6327 Why its a Flourless Chocolate and Orange Cake. Or as I like to call it – a Flourless “Jaffa” Cake. You can find the recipe here. IMG_6284 What I love about this recipe, is that you use two whole oranges. Not cut. Not segmented. But boiled whole for 30 minutes or so, then pureed (skin and all) into the most fragrant, delightful orange paste. IMG_6287 Combined with some other tasty ingredients – chocolate and almond meal included – IMG_6286 To create a rich, indulgent batter… IMG_6295 Baked for 1 hour 20 minutes… IMG_6314 And you are rewarded with a rich cake, and a house that smells like a patisserie. IMG_6334 Finished with a dusting of icing sugar and some flaked almonds. IMG_6326 You know, to make it pretty. IMG_6328 I am not kidding when I say that this was one rich cake – so much so that you really only needed a small slice. The chocolate and orange were such lovely flavour companions, although we did make the dessert even more indulgent by adding a good dollop of double cream when serving. IMG_6424 Luckily there were lots of hungry mouths to feed at our Sunday night dinner, and willing recipients to take a few extra slices home with them. IMG_6425 The remainder, however, still graces our countertop, and has been a rather tasty afternoon tea for me this week. What about you? What is your favourite cake? I really do love flourless cakes – which are so very dense and delicious, and also wheat free!

Homemade holiday treats – chocolate bark

I don’t know why chocolate bark is not all that common in Australia. Sure, we have our fair share of biscuits, rocky road, slices and other sweet treats, but chocolate bark rarely seems to make an appearance. So when I came across chocolate bark on other blogs, and I realised that it would transport well, I just knew that I had to give it a try as part of my homemade holiday treats series. holidaytreats Actually, I was so excited to try it, that I decided to make two varieties…. bark Candy cane and orange pistachio. Starting with…the candy cane! IMG_4013 Just milk and white chocolate – melted and mixed. IMG_4026 Candy canes – crushed. IMG_4014 And sprinkled. IMG_4027 IMG_4030 And next…the orange pistachio. IMG_4016 Dark chocolate melted, and an orange zested. IMG_4020 Spread… IMG_4021 And topped with pistachios and more orange zest. IMG_4024 IMG_4025 Allowed to set then broken into pieces. The candy cane… IMG_4044 IMG_4045 And the orange pistachio… IMG_4041 IMG_4042 Oh my … these turned out to be quite the taste sensations. Very dangerous indeed. I was pleased to discover that not only is chocolate bark super easy to make,  it is also super versatile. IMG_4038 For it seems that no matter what you are craving, you can make a variety to satisfy. IMG_4040 Lollies, nuts, fruit…. IMG_4043 The options for toppings are endless! All I know is that many a piece of these two varieties has been sampled already. You know, for quality assurance Winking smile  So much so that I am not sure how many pieces will actually make it to our Christmas festivities safely…. What about you? Do you have a favourite chocolate bark flavour combination?

Orange tofu stir-fry

IMG_3752 Can you believe there are only 4 weeks until Christmas. How very wonderful – and crazy – all at the same time. Here’s hoping that my work schedule and ‘life’ calms down a little between now and then, so that I can get some quality "Christmas baking" time in….. Tonight’s dinner continued my recent ‘quick and easy’ theme, and what is quicker and easier than stir-fry! An orange tofu stir-fry. IMG_3748 I came across a similar recipe in one of my cook books, and with a few modifications, converted it to a BBB-style recipe. Starting with the tofu marinade… IMG_3749 Orange zest, juice and tamari. Combined and poured over diced tofu, allowing it to marinade for a good 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, I prepared other vegetables… IMG_3750 which tonight were capsicum, carrot and asparagus. Throw them all into a wok with some rice vermicelli noodle, as well as some orange segments and green onions at the last minute. IMG_3751 Let the wok do its magic, and voila. Dinner is served. IMG_3752 Truthfully, both Mr BBB and I were rather apprehensive when the fresh orange segments were added. IMG_3753 But, you know what? IMG_3756 They were my favourite bits! Juicy, and sweet, and the flavour worked quite nicely with the tamari tofu. IMG_3757 For a rather random stir-fry – this one is certainly a keeper! What about you? What is the weirdest ingredient you have put in a stir-fry?

Indian Feast – Part 3

Training: Body Balance Ok – so you would think that after the paneer, dahl and salad, our Indian Feast would be complete. But what feast is complete without dessert?? IMG_7867 Particularly when that dessert is a Persian Orange and Almond Cake. OK we deviated from the Indian theme slightly 😉 IMG_7862 Would it be bold of me to say that I think we saved the best for last???? IMG_7860 Because after one bite of this gluten free orange cake…. IMG_7916 I was sold. IMG_7864 Sweet, slightly bitter and moist… IMG_7859 Delish! What intrigued me about the recipe (which I got from here), was that it used 2 whole oranges. And no – not just the rind or the juice…. IMG_7812 Two whole oranges! IMG_7805 Boiled until super soft then chopped… IMG_7813 Processed… IMG_7815 IMG_7817 and added straight to the cake batter. IMG_7826 IMG_7827 IMG_7858 But the orange theme did not stop there. Accompanying the cake was a sweet orange syrup. IMG_7850 Juice, zest, sugar and water. IMG_7851 Simmered until thick and luxurious! IMG_7853 And then drizzled on serving dishes… IMG_7900 Adding an extra citrus kick to an already flavourful cake. IMG_7915 Soft and almost fudge-like on the inside… IMG_7905 You’ll struggle to stop at just one piece… IMG_7931 I know I did 😉 Overall, this cake offered a lovely end to our Indian Feast! We had a lot of fun planning, cooking and, of course, eating these dishes. Made all the more delicious given they were  shared in the company of good friends! I wonder where our next dinner party will take us?? Happy Baking 🙂

An ode to oranges

Wow I was really impressed by your cardamom suggestions! There was Hannah’s desire to make cardamom icecream, Phil’s tip to use the pods to infuse rice when preparing it in a rice cooker and Carol’s thoughts to use it in a pear cake.  S uses cardamom when mixing chai spice for her chai cheese frosting, and Lorraine adds cardamom to her Norwegian pancakes – both of which also sound positively delightful! Training: Bike Wednesday’s are commuting days, so I was up at around 5.30am and on my bike just before 6.00am. It was actually quite a struggle to get out of bed this morning, and it took a fair while for my legs to warm up on the ride. The ride home was a lot better – and I completed the 31km round trip in approximately 1hr 20. Followed immediately by a ‘sludge’ monster, made with spinach, oat milk, frozen cherries, chocolate protein powder and a spoonful of peanut butter. IMG_0538 Which despite all appearances was pretty damn tasty.  Kinda like a choc-cherry thickshake, minus the calories but rich in nutrients! Mystery Box I have two meals remaining on this week’s meal plan but I wasn’t sure which one I wanted to cook this evening. After much deliberation, I decided on the first of the two – pork with orange and harissa. Which had been inspired by the Mystery Box of course… IMG_0509 Orange! IMG_0537          Did you know? Oranges originated in Southeast Asia,  and are hybrids of ancient cultivated origin, possibly between pomelos and mandarins. IMG_0542 When I drew Orange from the Mystery Box, I initially had grand plans of making something exotic like ‘duck a l’orange’. But then I remembered that I don’t even really like duck (unlike Mr BBB who would eat it for every dinner if he could), so I went in search of an alternative recipe to showcase this delicious fruit. It didn’t take me long to find a recipe that was both exotic and did not involve duck! As directed, I removed the zest from the oranges and placed it into a saucepan with stock  – and set aside to infuse. IMG_0540 Rather than use couscous (for obvious wheat reasons) I added quinoa to the orange infused stock and cooked it as normal. IMG_0541 I also made a marinade using the juice of the oranges, mixed with harissa, garlic and parsley. IMG_0543 In went the pork cutlets, which I then allowed to marinade. IMG_0547 IMG_0548 After 15 minutes or so, I heated a little olive oil in a frypan and cooked the pork with some of the marinade for 2 minutes each side, then placed in in the oven for 5 minutes at 180C. IMG_0551 IMG_0555 Just before serving I added pinenuts and parsley to the quinoa. IMG_0553 And then it was ready to serve! Presenting … pork with orange and harissa. IMG_0564 Served with orange infused quinoa. IMG_0561 And a side of veggies – because no meal is really complete without some green! IMG_0562 My oh my – I really enjoyed this dish. The pork was juicy, and had subtle citrus flavours from the orange and a good amount of spice from the harissa. The ‘crunch’ of the orange infused quinoa also added a nice texture to the overall dish. What about you? Do you like to cook with oranges? Happy Baking 🙂