Tag Archives: BBQ

Mint and Lime Quinoa Salad

26 Apr

I’ve been making this salad lately its quick, tasty, contains a superfood and is a fab accompaniment to BBQ meats especially lamb.

If you follow me on twitter you’ll be aware that I made a holy show of myself recently attempting to cook quinoa. I added 1 cup grain, 2 cups water and brought to the boil for 7 min but the grain wasn’t performing as usual, that is to puff up and become somewhat translucent .. so I continued to boil it … and boil it and boil it! I was SWEATING as my guests were arriving in no time. It was only after a number of very panicked tweets asking had anyone else EVER had UNCOOKABLE quinoa did the dreadful truth dawn on me…. Wait for it …. I had picked up the wrong bag and was boiling .. SESAME SEEDS. I did not know whether to laugh or cry … I seriously considered deleting my twitter account such was public shame! But there were more pressing matters … my guests were still going to arrive so I had to burst off to the supermarket to acquire some actual quinoa (of course there was only frightfully expensive organic sort in kilo bags for sale…of course!!!!) ..everything worked out fine, the salad was gorgeous and I had a great story to tell over dinner. I did however look like I’d been dragged through a ditch backwards as I’d spent my allotted “getting ready time” rally driving back from the supermarket!

The lessons learned are as follows: 1. No matter how much you cooked sesame seeds they will not become quinoa 2. If buying your grains/seeds in bulk and inclined to be an eejet, label the bags!

Mint and Lime Quinoa Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 2 limes
A handful of fresh mint leaves chopped
A handful of fresh corinader or italian parsley chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons diced red onion- or use 2 chopped spring onions
1 garlic clove, minced
Boil the quinoa in 2 cups fresh water with a pinch of salt for seven minutes
Drain, retaining as much water as possible, topping up with boiling water from the kettle. (There needs to be sufficient water to steam and not dry out, but not so much that the sieve is sitting in the water)
Steam the quinoa for a further 7 min in the sieve over the boiling water, cover with a double layer of kitchen paper and place saucepan lid on top. This will result in lovely fluffy and light quinoa.
Scoop the cooked quinoa into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Toss lightly with a fork until combined.
Taste test and adjust seasonings.
Cover and chill.
This salad can be eaten warm (as it was in the story above) but is also really good cold and lasts a few days in the fridge
Adapted from this recipe 
SJ x

Helloooo 2013!

10 Jan

Pinterest NY Fireplace

Happy New Year everyone,

The first ten days of the new year have been lovely so long may that continue. Here in Perth there was a heatwave over Christmas and New Year and I found myself longing for bitterly cold weather, the grass is always greener on the other side!

Christmas was really lovely, both our big dinners were lots of fun. Bread sauce was a revelation and I will be attempting to recreate it at some point in the future, a pot luck dinner party is a really great idea as everyone shares the stress and there are lots of different and new foods to try. On Christmas Day we had a delish dinner with my relatives in the evening both the turkey and ham were cooked on the BBQ then served with roast potatoes and an array of hot and cold salads. The pudding was lit and served later on in the evening and it was a lovely relaxed day over all with a nice swim in the ocean before dinner. A success over all! I received some beautiful gifts which I will do a post on soon, two new cookbooks if you don’t mind along with lots of other great stuff!

New Year’s Eve was spent drinking french champagne with our lovely neighbours by the pool, it was so hot that we had to keep jumping into the water to prevent spontaneous combustion or melting! There weren’t any fireworks as I had thought, it seems Perth does a huge display on Australia Day which is January 26th so NYE is a more low key affair in the skies!

I would imagine I am similar to lots of people with new year’s resolutions to eat healthier, lose weight, do more exercise and drink less! My plan is to set myself a challenge each month as I feel a month is doable. So this year I am embarking on a Dry January inspired by the lovely EnglishMum. So far so good … although the hot evenings are not helping as I would love nothing more than a glass of white wine by the pool but I’m holding firm! I am going to break it for Australia Day though, my reasoning being if you are allowed to break lent for St Patrick’s Day then its only fair. When in Rome …

My plan for both February and March is to eliminate sugar from my diet. I’m spending this month reading up on it and slowly getting prepared food wise … so once I know exactly what I am at I will share the details. For anyone interested in trying this Sarah Wilson’s Blog is a good place to begin.

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So how was everyone’s Christmas and New Year?? Any exciting new year’s resolutions?

Any suggestions as to what I should do per month after March,with a health benefit? All suggestion gratefully received 🙂

Here’s to a healthy and happy 2013


Salad Season: Minty Peas with Feta & Warm Potato Salad

1 Nov

These make a great side for BBQs or even as a lunch in its own right with a crunchy green salad!

Warm Potato Salad 


800g baby potatoes – well cooked in salted water

2 spring onions – sliced, use it all right up to the dark green part

1/2 chilli – sliced (this is optional if you’re not a chilli lover)

handful of fresh coriander – chopped including stalks

1 clove of garlic – crushed

squeeze of lemon juice

2 dessert spoons of mayonnaise

1 dessert spoon of yoghurt – I used full fat greek as its the only decent sugar free yoghurt I can find in my local supermarket but any good creamy yoghurt will work

1/2 teaspoon wholegrain mustard – I didn’t have any today so used dijon instead and it was differnt but still good

When potatoes are cooked run a knife through them in the pot roughly, aiming to halve most but not all of them, we want a rustic look!

Chop the spring onions, chilli & coriander together add the garlic and squeeze over the lemon juice .. give this another chop together mainly to get the gorgeous smell from all the herbs then add to the hot potatoes.

Followed by the mayo, yoghurt and mustard.

Mix it all gently together, you want all the potatoes well coated but not pulverised…

The hot potatoes sort of drink in all the dressing,

Season with salt and pepper, taste, season, taste …Yum? Yes!

Personally I think they are best eaten immediately, from the pot! But are really good as a cold salad too.

This australian garlic is quite large so I just used half this clove.

Any excuse to use this massive cleaver …

Can be eaten still warm or cold.

Minty Peas with Feta 

I serve this as a vegetable with dinner alot as its so simple and tasty


400g Frozen peas – cooked as normal

40g Feta cheese – good stuff chopped up or crumbled, don’t bother with the fake or “light” stuff you might as well be eating styrofoam for all the pleasure or nourishment you’ll get!

1 small clove of garlic – crushed

5 fresh mint leaves

When peas are cooked, strain and add in the crushed garlic immediately – stir around and pop the lid back on for a minute. This will “cook” the garlic so its not too overpowering.

Then add in the feta and mint .. Stir…  Smell .. Taste and season, taste and again and .. YUM!

The feta melts and becomes a salty creamy dressing of sorts .. the mint adding a lovely summery freshness.

Check out my home grown mint!

Delish with some decent pork sausages from the bar-bie!

(Apologies for the photos, the place is very shadowy today and I am without skills..)


SJ x

This weekend I … #1

26 Apr

Didn’t go to work for FOUR DAYS 

>>> joy of joys!

Had lunch in Avoca Rathcoole.

>>> Love the salads .. and tasted some yummy Burren Smoked Salmon in the shop. Good start.

Stayed in Rathsallagh House Hotel.

>>> Lovely walks around the beautiful grounds, some tasty bevs in the garden, a delish dinner, after dinner drinks in the drawing room and AMAZING breakfast the next morning in the course of which I tasted Kedgeree for the first time, it was love…  the perfect place to relax, slow down and actually smell some roses. 

Visited the Japanese Gardens and National Stud.

>>> long walk around the gardens and stable yards, sunny weather made it even better .. loved the cherry blossoms in full bloom and the lovely shiny healthy horses of all shapes and sizes in the perfectly manicured paddocks .. the fallabellas might have been my favourites.

Fallabella ...so cute and small. But apparently not small enough to live on my balcony 😦

Hit The Osprey Hotel in Naas..

>>> after some gymming & swimming we headed to Time nightclub where I realised I am old. Oh and I am massive compared to the young ones .. however I did have much better shoes.

Spent Sunday gardening..

>>> bought and re-planted two tomato plants one aubergine and one chilli plant for my balcony. Built* raised beds in boyf’s mother’s garden.

*my role may have been that of a supervisor.

The raised beds "we" built ...

Discovered a new love ..

>>> BOARDWALK EMPIRE. Why oh why don’t I have Sky Atlantic on my NTL ?? Now I have to find excuses to visit his mother’s house to watch all the Sky+’d episodes … OR find some other way of getting them .. I believe there are some *cough* websites where one might find such a thing? Answers on a postcard.

BBQ’d On Easter Monday ..

>>> not really a big deal for me BUT this one was different as I cooked a WHOLE CHICKEN on the BBQ .. I spatchcocked it! Yip! That is a word! It was totally delicious and well worth a try … for some expert instruction see this recipe.

So that was the weekend … back to work today and real world … but only for 3 days … then another 4 day weekend for me ..YiiiipppPPEEEEeeeeee !!!