Cooking doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult. With many of us working long hours these days we often forget to leave time to cook healthy tasty meals, resulting in us throwing away lots of food on a weekly basis and opting for the quicker easier option of takeaways and fast food. I got to a point where I realized I was spending twice as much each week on food as I needed to and had actually stopped enjoy the food I eventually ate for dinner. I decided to put a stop to this and started looking at the items I kept in my fridge, freezer and cupboards. You will be surprised by how many meals can be made in minutes from just a few store cupboard essentials, for example with some chicken breast, spices and some fresh salad a meal can be russled up in no time. This may sound very basic but tasty food does not have to take hours or a culinary degree…….everyone can produce a tasty meal.
Tonight I returned from work, walked into my kitchen, opened my fridge and stared into the minimal selection of food I now keep. My first thoughts were to forget the food and reach for the bottle of red wine calling to me, but then, reminding myself that I am in fact on a healthy eating diet I decided to start pulling things out of the fridge and hoping inspiration would strike. It didn’t take too long before my mind was concocting recipes and I was reaching for the spice draw.
Tonights recipe: Butterflied Cajun Chicken with a herb salad
One secret to cooking meat more quickly is to decrease the depth of it. With chicken this can be done by a process called butterflying or in simple terms cutting the fillet in half nearly all the way through horizontally and opening it out like a book. It is then easy to season with a number of different herbs and spices. This time I chose a nice homemade Cajun spice rub to complement the chicken, giving it some smokiness and a little bit of a chili kick. I seasoned both sides of the chicken breast and placed it on a baking tray ready to go into the oven that I’d preheated to 200 degrees. Popping it onto the middle shelf I knew I had about 20 minutes to make a salad to accompany it. So, I reached for the cherry tomatoes, coriander, rocket and some red onion and proceeded to chop and arrange it on a plate, a simple balsamic dressing is all it needed to bring the flavours to life. Now it was finally time for that glass of red as I added the perfectly cooked Cajun chicken to the plate, I think I deserved it………