LUXE / HEALTH roast chicken with pesto and pea quinoa risotto…

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If you’ve roasted a chicken (and have no idea what to do with the leftovers), then I promise you this recipe will be a lifesaver.  The quinoa risotto is far simpler than it sounds and the whole dish makes a tasty work lunch alternative to the standard rice and tuna combo we all know and love.  Let me know what you think…

x A

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LUXE / HEALTH Roast Chicken with Pesto and Pea Quinoa Risotto

Ingredients:

For the pesto:
1 bunch fresh basil
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
Sea salt and pepper

Quinoa
Roast chicken (if you can’t be bothered roasting a chook, any protein will work well with the quinoa as a base)
Green peas
Radish
Rocket

Method:

  • If you’re roasting a chicken from scratch, preheat your oven to 180 then pop your chicken in an oven bag and generously rub olive oil, sea salt and pepper into the skin.  Secure the bag firmly then pop in the oven to roast – around 30mins per 500g.
  • Meanwhile, prep your pesto by throwing the basil, garlic, parmesan, lemon juice and pine nuts in a food processor or blender.  Add a good 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Once it’s thick and creamy and tastes delish, cover and pop in the fridge till you need it.
  • For the risotto, rinse and drain well 1 cup of quinoa, then add to a saucepan with 2 cups of water.  Bring to the boil, then cover and lower to a simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the water has absorbed and the quinoa is nice and fluffy.
  • Once the chicken is ready, shred with two forks and set aside.
  • Then, in a large bowl, mix the cooked quinoa with the pesto and add 1 cup of cooked green peas (frozen is fine – just steam them in the microwave for a couple of minutes).
  • To serve, pile your plate with fresh rocket, a few spoonfuls of the quinoa risotto and garnish with sliced radish.  Add a good helping of the roast chicken on top and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.  Simple!

LUXE / HEALTH salad series…

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Another day, another salad!  I promise you though, this one will hit the spot and solve any of those mid-week dinner dilemmas too…

x A

 

LUXE / HEALTH Lamb with Pumpkin and Goats Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

1 lamb backstrap
1/4 Kent pumpkin, sliced into wedges
Handful rocket
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 small Lebanese cucumber, shaved into ribbons (just use your vegetable peeler)
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Small handful pine nuts, toasted
Goats cheese
Olive oil
Balsamic reduction
Ground cumin
Sea salt and black pepper

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 then prep your pumpkin by slicing into thin wedges.  Pop on a baking paper lined tray then drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.  Once your oven is hot, roast the pumpkin for 35-45 minutes until cooked through and tender.
  • Drain and rinse your tinned chickpeas, then place them into a salad bowl with a large handful of rocket, the sliced onion and cucumber ribbons.  Toss with a little olive oil and set aside.
  • To prep your lamb, bring it to room temperature then generously rub ground cumin, sea salt and pepper into the meat.
  • Heat a frying pan or grill plate and once it’s piping hot, cook the lamb for two and a half minutes each side before setting aside to rest.  This will give you nice pink, rare lamb.
  • Once the pumpkin is cooked through, drizzle a little balsamic reduction over the pumpkin wedges – then you’re ready to plate up!
  • Place a couple of pieces of pumpkin in each plate, then heap a generous serve of the rocket salad on top.  Slice the rested lamb and place on top of your salad before sprinkling with pine nuts and a generous (read: very generous!) helping of goats cheese.  Dinner sorted!

 

 

LOVE…

It’s almost been a year since me and my love said ‘I do’ – but seeing it in print makes it feel like yesterday.  Thank you to Cosmo Bride for the gorgeous feature!

x A

Event planner & Stylist – Hayley from Hayley & Co.
Photography – Paul Tatterson
Flowers – Josie at Sweetpea Weddings

Cosmo Bride – Issue 48, on sale now

LUXE / HEALTH grilled peach and bocconcini salad…

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There’s nothing better than summer fruit on a hot day and with Sydney currently sweltering through a heat wave, I am craving light and tasty salads for dinner.  This wee dish is super simple, but the combo of sweet sticky peaches and fresh bocconcini is too good not to share.  The perfect side dish for your next barbecue!

x A

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LUXE / HEALTH Grilled Peach and Bocconcini Salad

Ingredients:

2 peaches (yellow or white is fine – just make sure they’re not too ripe)
1 small bag of rocket
4-6 balls of baby bocconcini, sliced thinly or torn roughly
Handful of green beans
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar or reduction (whatever you have handy)

Method:

  • Start by prepping your peaches by halving them and removing the stone.  Lay them on a board and drizzle over a little balsamic reduction or vinegar.
  • Heat your grill, I used the barbecue, but a grill pan would work just as well.  Once it’s piping hot, place your peaches sticky side down and cook through for 3-4 minutes until golden and glazed.
  • Meanwhile, steam a handful of green beans then run under cold water to cool.  Drain well.
  • Toss your cooked beans with rocket, sliced bocconcini and a little olive oil.
  • Pile the salad onto a serving platter and once your peaches are ready, place them gently on top before drizzling with a little extra balsamic to taste.
  • Devour immediately! 

New beginnings + goal setting…

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Happy New Year LUXE-lovers!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break and are feeling refreshed and ready to give this year all you’ve got.  It’s been a while since I posted on the blog, but I have to admit, a semi digital detox over the holidays was just what I needed.  In so many ways 2016 felt like the year that would never end and for me, there were as many incredible highs as earth-shattering lows.  So while it’s tempting to sprint off into 2017, it’s important to sit back and mindfully reflect on the last 12 months before setting some new goals and intentions for the year ahead!

I’ve always found the process of goal setting incredibly helpful, but I truly believe that when reflecting on those goals, it’s important to acknowledge them with an open mind.  While you may not have achieved everything you set out to on January 1, every success, failure or new path taken should be seen as an opportunity for growth – and it’s these lessons which are important to carry into a new year.

With that in mind, here’s a quick guide on how you can map out your year from a goal setting perspective.  Whether you want to categorise your goals into different segments of your life – for example, health, career and personal – or simply bunch them together in one long list, I promise these three simple tips will see you on the path to success.

  • Specific + Realistic – if nothing else, it’s vital your goals are both specific and realistic in order to stay on track.  Anything too vague and you’ll feel less likely to commit so be clear, be succinct and get right to the point.
  • Measurable + Attainable – next, you need to ensure that each goal is measurable so that you can actively create a timeline you can follow in order to achieve that goal.  This in turn will also make your goal feel more attainable as you begin to clearly picture your path to success.
  • Prioritise + Focus – the final point to note is that no matter how many goals or intentions you set for yourself, you MUST prioritise.  You might have a handful of goals you wish to realise in the short term, whereas others may roll towards the end of the year or even into next year.  That’s okay!  Just be clear about which goals you want to achieve first and you will naturally feel more focussed.  Having too many challenges on your plate at once will only leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Here’s to a beautiful 2017!

x A

 

LUXE / HEALTH bircher muesli…

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Without a doubt, bircher muesli is my favourite brekkie, especially during summer!  While there are a zillion and one variations for this classic dish out there, I assure you this one is super simple and will take you less than five minutes to throw together in the morning.

x A

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LUXE / HEALTH Bircher Muesli

Ingredients:

2 cups organic rolled oats
1 cup almond milk
1 cup coconut water
2 Granny Smith apples, grated
1/2 cup raw almond, roughly chopped
Honey
Greek yoghurt (optional)
Berries

Method:

  • In a large bowl, mix the oats with almond milk and coconut water.  Cover and pop in the fridge to soak overnight.
  • In the morning, add grated apple, chopped almonds and a generous squeeze of honey to the oat mixture and stir well.
  • Serve with extra nuts, fresh berries and yoghurt.
  • Store any leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days.

 

LUXE / HEALTH loves…

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We pick up the keys to our new home in exactly three weeks, so needless to say I’m starting to get super excited about setting up our new abode.  While styling our home will no doubt be a long, slow process – it can’t hurt to find a little inspiration in the meantime…

x A

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(All pics via Instagram – atelje18, Naima Barcelona, One Teaspoon, Blacklist Studio, Pella Hereby)

LUXE / HEALTH chilli pork noodles…

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This dish is currently on high rotation in our kitchen as my obsession with Shiitake mushrooms continues…  But vegetables aside, this dish is a winner as it’s packed with flavour and literally takes 20 minutes from prep to table.  If you don’t like pork, simply replace with chicken mince.  Enjoy!

x A

LUXE / HEALTH Chilli Pork Noodles

Ingredients:

500g lean pork mince
2 bunches Pak Choy (or whatever Asian greens you have in your fridge), sliced
6 spring onions, finely sliced
Handful Shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
1.5 inches fresh ginger, grated
1 generous tbsp. chilli bean sauce (find this at your local Asian supermarket)
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsp. gluten free soy sauce
1 tsp. coconut sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 Lebanese cucumber, peeled and chopped into matchsticks
Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 packet rice noodles

Method:

  • In a small jug, mix together chilli bean sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, coconut sugar, garlic and 1/2 cup cold water.  Set aside.
  • Heat a little coconut oil in a wok, then add the pork mince, spring onions and mushrooms to the pan and toast for a few minutes until the meat starts to brown.
  • Add the chilli sauce and reduce heat to medium.  Cook for 5-6 minutes until the pork is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Meanwhile, cook rice noodles according to packet directions.  Rinse well, drain and set aside.
  • Add the sliced Pak Choy to the wok and toss until greens are cooked through and wilted.
  • Divide rice noodles between two bowls and spoon over pork mixture, including a generous spoonful of the chilli sauce.
  • Serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander and cucumber on the side.

LUXE / HEALTH ginger chicken and shiitake bowl…

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My current foodie obsession is the humble Shiitake mushroom – and now that my local supermarket seems to stock these beauties on a regular basis, I am chucking them in everything!  Not only do they add a richness to any dish you pop them into, but the benefits of Shiitake mushrooms are well documented.  In fact, these little morsels are said to boost your immune system, fight cancer, reduce inflammation in the body, support heart health and give you a good dose of B vitamins in the process.  Enjoy!

x A

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LUXE / HEALTH Ginger Chicken and Shiitake Bowl

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup Tamari (or light soy sauce)
4 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. mild mustard (Dijon is my fave!)
1 generous tsp. coconut sugar
2 inches ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
Handful of Shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 bunches Pak Choy, sliced into thirds
6 spring onions, finely sliced
Soba noodles
Coconut oil
Black pepper
Toasted sesame seeds

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180C.  Then in a bowl, whisk together the tamari, sesame oil, mustard, coconut sugar, ginger and garlic.
  • Pop the chicken breasts in an ovenproof dish and pour over half the marinade.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Once the chicken is cooked, slice finely and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, prep vegetables and heat a little coconut oil in a wok.  Add spring onions and mushrooms and toss for a few minutes until softened.  Add the remaining marinade to the pan, then add the Pak Choy and finally, the sliced chicken, tossing to coat in the marinade.  Season with black pepper.
  • At the same time, cook Soba noodles according to packet directions then rinse, drain and divide into two bowls.
  • Pile the chicken and vegetables on top of the noodles and sprinkle with extra spring onions and sesame seeds before devouring immediately!

Three ways to tone your arms…

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With summer just around the corner, it’s time to get active!  So, if you want to tone up your arms, here are three super simple moves you can do anywhere – and all you need is a resistance band…

x A

Shoulder Press – aim for 3 x sets of 10

Upright Row – aim for 3 x sets of 15

Bicep curls – aim for 3 x sets of 20