Sunday, 8 December 2019

Quinoa, Chicken And Pineapple Salad

Quinoa - hard to say, and sometimes a bit hard to get right.  But it has nine essential amino acids, which is a good thing apparently:-)  So, eat it, eat it... as a certain dead pop singer may have almost said.  I'll tell you a secret though - Mr P. doesn't like quinoa!  There, you've heard it here first, so it may be quinoa out and couscous in.  We both like couscous, so this could easily be swapped out (is that the expression?), or you could use burghul/bulgur.

great for a hot summer's night

Do you know Lorraine Pascale, my friends?  I've been following her on Instagram for years.  She was a model, then became a TV cook who wrote cookbooks, and has done another twisty-turn in her life and become a life coach.  I got the idea for this recipe from a post of hers some time ago.  I've whacked in a few extras, as hers was a very simple dish.  But I like a bit of foodie bling - don't you? :-)  So treat this dish as a guideline, and put in the things that you enjoy eating.

Serves 4-6:


155g. (1 cup minus a couple of tablespoons) uncooked quinoa

500 mLs (2 cups) chicken stock or just-boiled water

250g. (8 oz) cooked chicken - grab a roast chook from the supermarket, or poach a couple of breasts

50g. (1/3 cup) sultanas or raisins

50g. (3/8 cup) pinenuts, toasted

80g. (a healthy half cup) cashews, toasted

100g. (3.5 oz) bocconcini or fetta, chopped

120g. (a chubby 4 oz) of fresh pineapple (out of a tin if you can't be bothered), chopped into chunks

1-2 red jalapeƱo chillies, sliced finely

chopped herbs - (I used parsley, chives and basil) - lots! or not, as you choose

juice of one lemon (2-3 tbs)

salt and pepper - half to one tsp sea salt; freshly ground pepper as you prefer - we like lots

1 tbs red wine vinegar

3-4 tbs olive oil or citrus-pressed oil


Place the quinoa and stock/water into a medium saucepan, and give it a good stir

Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and let it bubble away, covered, for about 15 minutes

Take off the heat, put a clean tea-towel over it and let it sit for five minutes

In the meantime, shred or chop up the chicken

Toast your nuts; chop the herbs, and chillies, and pineapple and cheese

Throw everything into a large salad bowl

In go the lemon juice, oil, seasoning and vinegar - aaand ... toss

Gives 4 hearty serves or 6 side serves


Nuts can be put into a small, dry frypan and allowed to toast over a low heat for a few minutes - watch carefully as they will burn all of a sudden, taking you by surprise and leaving you with dead, blackened husks :-(

toast your nuts in a dry pan

quinoa simmered for about 20 mins.

all tossed up and ready to eat

tasty and good for you

artwork © Sherry's Pickings

Sunday, 1 December 2019

In My Kitchen - December 2019

I am trying to think of something clever to write here, but all I can say is: Omg!  Christmas is nearly here.  And here we are at the last IMK for 2019.  How the heck did that happen?  I am starting to panic a bit, as we are cooking and taking the turkey to friends for Christmas lunch, then having family for Christmas dinner.  Eeek!

It has been a bit of a roller-coaster this year, with a death in the family, my story being published, and various bits and bobs of life.  Apparently, the stars (and the cards) say there are changes coming, big changes - so we will see what happens in 2020.  The twenties?!  But but - that means flappers, and Prohibition and post-war shenanigans, and ...  Nope, you silly, add on a hundred years!  May the 2020s bring blessings for all of us.

So here for the last time in 2019 - In my kitchen:

Christmas gin pudding and gin

For another year, I have paid my pennies to get one of these delicious puddings.  They actually make the gin by soaking the pudding in the liquid, so you can taste all the wonderful Christmas spices.  Can't wait!  Oh yes, and they use a different artist's artwork for the label each year.  I really like this one.  It's by Tim Summerton - Flame Trees.

home-made mustard

I love to make a big batch of mustard for Mr P. every so often.  Each time it is different, depending on the amount of basil, honey etc that I throw into the food processor.  I think this is one of my best batches, but we will know for sure very soon, once it has matured.

maple syrup
I picked this up at a local coffee shop recently.  Mr P. went to pay for our coffees, and didn't tell me how much this cost.  I asked him a while later, and nearly fell off my unicorn!  He should have just handed over the deeds to the house instead.

smoked salt
I looooove smoked salt.  Sometimes I just open it and sniff it ...  For some reason, my very fave Yakima applewood smoked salt is no longer available in Australia, so I make do with other sorts.  This is pretty good.  I adore the smell, as it reminds me of growing up in the cold mountains of Victoria, where people had woodfires.  I got my sister to smell it a while back, and she startled back with horror.  Funny girl!    

one guess!

Clients of Mr P.'s came back from Italy with this gift for him.  Twenty-one tiny jars of Nutella in one huge glass jar!  Oh my, it must have been hard to shove in a suitcase.  And it weighs a ton.  They must really like him :-)

a Jamie Oliver santoku knife

This is definitely not a plug for Jamie Oliver, but I bought this knife recently as a back-up for when Mr P. is already using our big knife.  This one is cheap and cheerful, but not a bad item to have on my magnetic knife strip:-)  The grip is comfortable, and the blade sharp (for now).  Not a bad buy for $18!

Well, my dear IMK friends, that's it for another year.  Can you believe it?  Nope, me neither.  Please join in for the last time in 2019.  'Twould be wonderful to see you here.  And yes that means you, all of you:-)  Here's how to join in:  

(And I've given you till five minutes before midnight on Friday the 13th to get your post in!  'Cos that's the generous kinda gal I am!)

1. Add via the Add Link button at the bottom of this post.  Instructions can be found on the sidebar of this page, under the Add your IMK link

2. Comment on this post, providing a link to your post so I can add it to  the list     below.  

3. Email me:, with your link or any    

    queries about the link process 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

In My Kitchen:

Not Quite Nigella

Sherrys Pickings