Roasted Vegetable Quinoa with Lime and Mustard Dressing

Howdy foodies. Apologies, it’s been a while. I’ve been busy, working, studying and wedding planning. The wedding is just over 3 months away. Eek! Jemima has also been running me ragged, leaving my blog somewhat abandoned. I have been busy in the kitchen though, I’m finding my stride again. And, we’ve been putting the outside kitchen and terrace to use for barbecues, hence this post tonight; to tell you all about a special summer veggie dish I made last weekend.

This really is a super simple and deliciously tasty quinoa dish, and it was a huge hit. Strangely, not only amongst my female guests as one might expect.

Richard often pulls a funny face at the mere suggestion of something like cous cous or quinoa. Like it isn’t manly enough for him or something. That said, he really enjoyed this recipe. Having to admit defeat and confess that it had “loads of flavour” in his words, although it probably pained him to say, no doubt. He sees food like quinoa as a ‘fad’ that nobody actually likes. I admit that plain quinoa would be bland, boring and quite frankly a chore to eat. Throw in the mix though some delicious roasted vegetables and a zingy dressing and it’s transformed into a bright summery dish that is a pleasure to eat.

The dish will serve about six to eight people as a side dish, or it would stretch to four weekday lunches for work. I know I enjoyed the left over portion for my lunch yesterday. I would say this is fine to keep in the fridge for around 4-5 days, just pop it in an airtight container to keep it fresh.



Spiced chicken and sweet potato soup

This is a left over soup, but then isn’t that the best way to make soup? Use what you have left over from a roast dinner and you have an excellent base for which to build your soup.

I cooked a delicious roast on Monday (I was off work, so essentially it was Sunday), and decided to boil the bones for stock, which is the perfect foundation for your soup. See my post below on how to make a simple chicken stock. There was plenty of meat left over so I used this too. Be warned, this recipe makes lots of soup, but it’s great for freezing and eating later so I think it’s best to make a big batch.
Left over roast chicken torn
2 litres of homemade chicken stock (see post below)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 sticks of celery roughly chopped
4 carrots roughly chopped (skin on)
2 onions finely chopped
3 garlic cloves grated
1 red chilli
½ tbsp turmeric
½ tbsp smoked paprika
3 sweet potatoes pealed and cubed
Handful or red lentils
Handful of pearl barley
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the onion, chilli, garlic, turmeric and smoked paprika. Fry over a high heat for 4 minutes until the onion is soft. Do not allow to burn.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat slightly and add the chicken stock, carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, red lentils and pearl barley.
  3. Allow to cook for 10 minutes before adding the chicken, season with Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a further 25 minutes (until all the vegetables are soft).
  4. Using a stick blender, blend the contents to a smooth consistency.
  5. Serve immediately, sprinkled with chopped parsley and crusty bread.

Serves:                              10
Preparation time:             10 minutes
Cooking time:                  45 minutes