Chicken and Brown Rice Warm Salad with Mint, Yoghurt and Honey

Chicken Brown Rice Yoghurt Mint Honey

A couple of things people often say to me when they find out about my alter-ego as a dinner snapping food enthusiast is that they would love to cook but ‘don’t have time’ or that it’s too expensive to buy all the ingredients these days.

I try and smile in agreement, but inside I’m wrestling with the urge to reply “bullshit”. I don’t of course, it would be rude, but the point stands that preparing decent food doesn’t have to be expensive, nor time consuming.

I swear other than a little bit of marinading, this took no more than 25 minutes (with a little attention) and cost no more than a fiver. We got two dinners and lunch out of it so that’s £1.66 per head. Now if people say they can’t be bothered, then fine, I respect that it isn’t for everyone, but this is very doable.

This warm salad, much like the Monarchy has a distinct Greek accent with yoghurt, lemon, oregano, tomato and olive oil but I’m not sure it features in any Taverna. I worry about these issues too much though as I was actually quite pleased with the outcome and think the balance of flavours was just about right. Healthy too if you go steady with the salt.

The superb honey I used was a gift to Helen by her colleague James, whose folks keep bees, so a gratuitous plug is due:

Yorkshire Honey

The rice, with a bit of kettle boiling, takes the longest to prepare. I will stick my neck out though and recommend that if time is tight, you could always use one of those pre-cooked packets. Before you start pelting me with cries of “hypocrite!”, the plain varieties are mercifully just rice, oil and salt….

A little yoghurt and mint dressing and some of the warmed honey drizzled over the top finished it off nicely.

Serve 2-3

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced thinly
  • 100g brown rice
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • A couple of handfuls of broccoli
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Dried oregano
  • Thyme (dried or fresh)
  • 3 or 4 tomatoes, diced
  • About 100g feta cheese, finely diced
  • 1 lemon
  • 3-4 heaped tbsp yoghurt
  • 1-2 tsp mint sauce
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • Oil for frying
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt

Marinade the chicken in the juice of half of the lemon, a little olive oil, the garlic (sliced thinly), salt, and about 1 tsp each of oregano and thyme. 20 minutes should do as a minimum.

Chicken marinading

Meanwhile cook the rice in salted water.

Prepare the vegetables, and the mint dressing (just mix the yoghurt and mint sauce with a little salt). Set aside.

Diced vegetables

Precook the broccoli a little by steaming a pool of shallow water until softened (but still firm). Leave to cool. Drain the rice and rinse under the cold tap

In a large pan or wok, fry the chicken/marinade ingredients in hot oil until coloured. Add the vegetables and season. Cook until the chicken is just done. Add the broccoli and rice to heat through. Taste and season some more if needed.

When just done, add the tomato, and other half of the lemon juice.

Mix well and plate up. Sprinkle over the feta and drizzle with the yoghurt. Heat the honey in a small milk pan and spoon a little over too (not too much or it will be too sweet). A final dusting of oregano and a little decent olive oil finishes it off.

See, not too bad?

Chicken Brown Rice Yoghurt Mint Honey

Advertisements

Lamb Kebabs with Greek Style Brown Rice Salad

Lamb kebabs and brown rice salad

Firstly, an apology! I’ve recently realised that email subscribers get a full copy of my posts as they are published. The problem is, time being tight as it often is, I usually publish first and make any corrections later so as it doesn’t go out too late at night. This means some rather ‘rushed’ copy goes out there initially. I’m not a very accurate typist, so I’ll bear this in mind in future *slaps wrist*.

So anyway – food. The sun’s out and the cover is off the barbecue. Happy days!

Instinctively then, I started thinking of Mediterranean type dishes of late and I was also inspired by a local sandwich shop/takeaway.

I pass this place most days coming back from work and stopped there the other afternoon as I was in the area. I got chatting to the owner who’s keen to make his menu as healthy as possible, being based around wholewheat wraps, brown rice and salad. It tasted good too and whilst I’m sure there are plenty of these places in the trendier parts of London, it is a bit unique round my way – I hope he does well.

And so having some minced lamb in the fridge, I made these kebabs with a brown rice Greek style salad and a quick Tzatziki.

The smell was great on the grill outside….

Makes 4 kebabs:

  • 500g minced lamb, no too lean or it’ll be dry
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, or 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • Salt about a pinch per person (so – 4)

Just a quick tip, but I tend to mix everything, going easy on the ingredients, and fry a small bit first to taste.

For the Greek style brown rice (serves 4)

  • 200g brown rice
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced. Red onion would have been better.
  • 1/2 a red pepper, diced
  • A handful of chopped coriander
  • 100g of goats cheese (Feta works well)
  • Juice of the other 1/2 of lemon
  • Green and/or black olives.
  • 4 good tomatoes, quartered.
  • Extra virgin olive oil

For the Tzatsiki – I used this recipe at the BBC. Nice.

Cook the brown rice first, it takes a little while longer than white rice.

Meanwhile, mix the kebab ingredients. By hand works better. Roll into sausage shapes and thread onto some wooden skewers. If using a charcoal BBQ, probably best to soak the skewers first.

IMG_8831

Cook until done and keep warm – they don’t take long with the lid on. 10 minutes or so.

IMG_8843

Finally, tip the cooked rice into a bowl and mix in all the ingredient for the salad. Serve it up with the kebabs on top, a big side of Tzatsiki and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil. Summer on a plate!

 

 

Quick Brown Rice and Feta Salad

Aside

Brown Rice and Feta Salad

Another quick post as I must admit I liked this one more than I thought I would. Isn’t this normally the way?

This started off a dinner this evening but ended up as tomorrow’s lunch. It’s a very simple salad of brown rice, feta and vegetables. It’s best served with the rice slightly warm.

  • 200g cooked brown rice
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 80g Feta cheese, diced
  • 1 onion finely sliced.
  • About two handfuls of mixed thinly sliced peppers (I used three whole mini versions)
  • 1 stick of celery very finely sliced
  • One carrot, grated
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 ‘glug’ of garlic infused oil (sorry workmates!)
  • 1 handful of chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper

What could be easier! Just prepare the vegetables and mix together in a bowl. I fried the onion to soften and sweeten it up first. Add the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper (to taste) and mix well.