Dinner – Tumeric Chicken

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This was on the menu plan for last week but got bumped as I did not have time to marinate the chicken.

The original recipe is for chicken skewers cooked on a barbecue.  Here is the recipe.

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As with most recipes, I have adapted this to suit our own requirements.  Since I am cooking 1 chicken breast fillet to serve 2 of us this is what I do.

I make up a bulk amount of the spice mixture (dry ingredients) using the proportions in the original recipe.  I use considerably more of this mixture than the recipe as I found it very light on flavour if you use the quantity stated for 2.5kg of chicken.

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In my version there are 4 ingredients.

20ml olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 chicken breast fillet (diced)
1 and 1/2  tablespoons of pre-made spice mix

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

You can use lemon juice but lime is better.

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Fry in a pan with a little oil until cooked.

I serve mine with brown rice, vegetables and fresh cherry tomatoes.

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Hand in Hand

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I went shopping today and as always it went hand in hand with planning our menu for the next week.  Doing this saves money and reduces waste.

First, the menu:

Sunday – Pizza
Monday – Tumeric chicken, brown rice with carrots and peas
Tuesday – Baked potatoes with refried beans and salad
Wednesday – Celery soup
Thursday – Hamburgers and salad
Friday – Spicy mexican quinoa
Saturday – Salmon with sweet potato chips and balsamic roasted tomatoes

The fruit bowls are empty.

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I emptied out the drawer of the crisper and cleaned it out.  This is what we have left from last week.

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The beetroot are from the garden and store well for an extended period of time in the crisper. I finished the last of the cucumber at lunchtime.

Today I bought bananas, apples, mushrooms, cucumbers and capsicum.  That is all I need for the rest of the week as we also have about half a lettuce in a container, millions of cherry tomatoes growing in the garden, potato and sweet potato in the cellar and frozen peas.  There are also packs of sliced and diced onion in the freezer.

I had a few things on my list to get at Aldi but that was in the opposite direction to which we were headed today so I have decided to leave that until the middle of the week.

I have spent less than $15 on fruit and vegetables for the week.

Loads of Laundry

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We live in a relatively high rainfall area and I have written before about the challenges of getting the washing done, and more importantly, getting it dry.   I do have a clothes dryer but choose to use it as little as possible.  Apart from the power required to run it, the wear and tear on your clothes is significant and can result in substantially shortening their lifespan.

Despite the high humidity and showery weather, I needed to do the washing today.  Much like women of previous generations, I spent the day doing the washing.  However, I was not slaving over a scrubbing board and copper.  I was kept busy trying to make the most of the intermittent breeze and small snatches of sunshine.

I hung some of the smaller items on the airer.

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I had to race out and move it under the verandah every time a shower of rain started but I did manage to get it dry.

The rest of the clothes were hung on the line under the verandah.

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I also did the ironing from the washing I did last weekend.  When the atmosphere is so damp, I do not like to put them away in the cupboard until they are absolutely dry.

I use the portable dehumidifier in the bathroom and close the door.  Within a couple of hours the room and the clothes are warm and dry.

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I also have a portable rotary clothesline and in the cooler months I hang washing on it and the airer and set them up in the lounge room in front of the fireplace.

There are many options for drying clothes.  What are your creative solutions?

Simple Style

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Welcome to those of you who have discovered my blog for the first time this week.  I hope you are enjoying the recipes but please take some time to search through the almost 5 years worth of posts related to simple living which encompass sewing, gardening, decluttering and organisation.

A break tonight from dinner recipes and photos.  We had sausages, salad and sweet potato chips.  You need neither a recipe or photograph for that, although I will do a future post on oven-baked sweet potato chips -Yum!!

Sometimes you realise that you have embraced simplicity quite unconsciously.

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I bought a new pair of glasses recently to wear when working on the computer.  They are the black framed ones at the front of the photograph.  I did not notice until I arrived home how similar they were to my existing glasses that I wear all of the time.  I had bought them a few months previously and when I looked closely at the two pairs together they are the same brand and a very similar shape.

When I considered this, it made sense.  I have been wearing glasses for 44 years and have worn numerous styles, some of which did not suit me at all.  These days I can walk into an optical store and dismiss almost all of the frames on offer in a single glance as I know what suits me and I choose accordingly.  Buying frames is really no different to any other fashion choice – know your style and stick to it.

Dinner – Thai Beef Salad

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I stuck to my menu plan even though it would have been easy to capitulate and opt for takeaway.

Thai beef salad was on the plan for tonight before I realised we were going to a free screening of Casablanca.  The scheduled time was 7pm for a 7.15pm start and we normally don’t arrive home until close to 7.30pm so clearly we had to make some adjustments.  I caught a train which had me arriving home about 5.30pm and GMan came in at about 6.40pm.

I sliced the beef and marinated it last night.  I used a splash of olive oil, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of ginger and tiny red chilli (very hot) finely chopped.  Here is the mixture this afternoon before I cooked it.

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I prepared the remaining ingredients for the salad – lettuce, carrot, cucumber and cherry tomatoes.

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The carrot and cucumber were cut using a spiral cutter.

Due to the time constraints we had decided to pack our dinner as a picnic to eat when we got to the hall for the movie screening.

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I fried the meat in a tiny bit of coconut oil.  To add some extra flavour I mixed up a sauce and added that to the pan at the end.  I used a tablespoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons of crunchy peanut paste and a pinch each of ginger and chilli powder.  I stirred the sauce through the meat and cooked for a further minute.

The meat was added to the salad and we were ready to go – complete with cutlery and serviettes.

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This was really delicious and I think the improvised sauce really added a nice finish to the meat.

Dinner – Bean Tacos

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There is no real recipe for dinner tonight.  We had tacos and salad.  Sometime I fill the tacos with spicy beef mince or shredded chicken.  Tonight was a vegetarian version with refried beans.  I make these from scratch in the slow cooker using dried beans.  It is a very economical recipe and freezes exceptionally well.

I simply heated the taco shells, half filled them with the hot bean mixture and topped it with grated cheese.  You can use whatever salad you have available but this is what I had.  Lettuce, cherry tomatoes and peach/capsicum salsa and some fried mushrooms.

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The peach and capsicum salsa was a new and successful recipe tonight.  Although most people regard tomatoes as the base of salsa, it can really be almost any combination of finely chopped fruits and vegetables.  I have used avocado, tomato, corn, mango, capsicum and red onion at various times.  I usually add a squeeze of lime juice or lemon if that is all I have and a pinch of chilli powder.  While this will horrify the purists, we really enjoy it.  Tonight I chopped a small peach and a piece of capsicum then added lemon juice and chilli powder.

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The other thing I wanted to show you was my salad spinner.  I am not a great fan of single purpose gadgets but this is definitely worthwhile.  I bought it from Aldi for $6.95 after seeing my sister use one.

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Being able to dry off the lettuce quickly means that I can pack it all into a lidded container where it will keep for at least 7-10 days.  If the lettuce is wet when it is stored it will quickly begin to go slimy.  This is important when you are preparing food for just two of you as it can easily take that long to use a full lettuce.

Dinner – Tuna Patties

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For anyone following along with my menu plan for this week, here is the next instalment.

In the simplest form, tuna patties are a 425g can of tuna, drained and flaked mixed with mashed potato and lightly fried.  Beyond that it is entirely a matter of choice.

I chose to use sweet potato tonight so the very first thing I did was to peel the sweet potato, chop them roughly and cooked them in the microwave.

Meanwhile, I prepared the other ingredients.

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The tuna is flaked in the bowl and I will add some freshly ground black pepper and a cube of frozen lemon juice as well as about a tablespoon of some gourmet mustard.

You can use whatever herbs, spices or flavouring you choose.  I decided on the mustard as it was given to me and I thought it would work nicely in the patties.

Mash the cooked potato but do not add any milk or butter as it needs to be fairly dry for the patties.

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I also added 1/2 cup of grated cheese and a tablespoon of besan (chickpea) flour which helps to bind the mixture together.

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Rather than using a frying pan, I cook these patties on the sandwich maker with not additional oil and the lid down so that they brown on both sides.  The cooking is simply to heat them through and brown the outside as there no raw ingredients to be cooked as such.

We ate them with a salad lettuce, capsicum, cucumber and cherry tomatoes and a dollop of sweet chilli sauce.

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The mixture made a total of 9 patties so the others will be used for lunches.

As always, if you have any questions about the recipe please ask.

Tomorrow is bean tacos so I have taken a pack of refried beans out of the freezer tonight in readiness.

I am already starting to form ideas for the menu for next week.  I am pretty sure it will include pizza as I have these semi-dried cherry tomatoes in oil with garlic and herbs.  I dehydrated the tomatoes and packed them in oil on the weekend.  We have such an abundance of cherry tomatoes that I am always looking for new ways to use, store and preserve them.

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