Homemade taboulé

A light easy summer meal!

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Level: Easy
Cost: cheap

Equipment: oven dish, large salad bowl,

– 4 cups of semola
– 4 tomatoes
– 1 cucumber
– 1 pepper
– fresh mint
– 2 lemons
– olive oil
– 600g chicken fillet (Chicken is optional if you want it as a starter or side dish)

Prepare the chicken: cut it in small pieces and put it in an oven dish with lemon juice and a tbsp of olive oil. Let marinate and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes. When it is ready put it in a cold dish and let cool down in the fridge.

Prepare the semola: put equal volume of semola and boiling water in a large bowl, with a pinch of salt. Cover and leave to rest.
Peel and cut the cucumber. Remove the seeds of the pepper and the tomatoes and cut them.
Wash and cut the mint very finely.

Add the vegetables and the mint in the semola. Add olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well. Add the chicken, mix. Leave in the fridge until you serve it.

Tip: you can keep some whole mint leaves to decorate.


Quinoa: so tasty, so healthy!

I recently discovered how simple it was to cook quinoa. It is also very tasty and a nice substitute  if you want to eat starchy food, without eating only pasta and rice. You can buy it very easily from the supermarket even though it is a little bit more expensive than pasta or rice.
Quinoa has a lot of nice properties: full of dietary fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, it is gluten-free and easy to digest. It also a complete protein which makes it very suitable for vegetarians, because it can be used either as a side dish or as a main dish, in a salad.


How to prepare it:

It should usually be rinsed or soaked before use to remove its bitter coating, so check packet instructions. Bring two cups of water to the boil to one cup of grain, cover, simmer and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed. The cooked germ should have a slight bite to it (al dente) and are translucents.

Be careful, when cooked, its grains quadruple in size.

My recipe with vegetable:

I like to add vegatables directly in the pot with the quinoa (my single pan policy…), like carrots, courgettes, peppers. You peeled them and add them: they will cook with the steam (the healthiest way to cook vegetables). The timing to add them depends on how cooked you want them. Carrots for exemple are quite long to cook so add them at the beginning. Peppers should be added later if you want them a little crunchy.

You can eat that as a single dish or with salmon or chicken (that you can cook in the oven for a completely fat-free meal).
And this can also be eaten cold, so think of quinoa for your lunchbox!

Express Wrap

Here are different ideas of wraps you can do for a lunchbox. They all take five minutes to prepare and they are very tasty!
But they are not exhaustive; the point of the wrap is that you put whatever you like in it, as long as you can still wrap it in the tortilla!
So be creative and vary the filling!

1) Express Salmon and Spinach Wrap

What you need:
– tortilla
– philadelphia
– smoked salmon
– spinach leaves

What you do:
Spread Philadelphia on the tortilla. Put 1 or 2 slices of smoked salmon. Top with spinach leaves. Wrap it, it is ready!

Tip: you can use cucumber instead of spinach and/or add tomatoes
Do one or two for your lunch, according to your appetite! You can add a salad.

2) Express Chicken and vegetables wrap

What you need:
– tortilla
– Philadelphia
– cooked chicken fillet (you can buy it already cooked but I would advise to cook it yourself in a pan or in the oven; see here for advice)
– a diced tomato
– a grated carrot
– salad or spinach leaves

What you do:
Spread Philadelphia on the tortilla. Add the chicken and vegetables. Wrap it, it is ready!

3) Express Beef Wrap

What you need:
– tortilla
– mince beef
– onion
– pepper
– tomato or salsa sauce
– spices (like mixed spices for fajitas)
– diced tomatoes

What you do:
Chop the onion and pepper. Cook them with the beef in a hot oiled pan.
Put in the tortilla with sauce and fresh tomatoes. Wrap it and eat!

This one is better hot. And chicken can be used instead of beef.