After what feels like a never-ending winter, we’re ready to dust off the BBQ – or if like me, you forgot to clean it last year, buy a shiny new one! So this month we’re doing something different, and giving you not one, but two recipes, guaranteed to have you named the host or hostess with the mostest.
I’m all about flavour, and while I’ve always been a lover of spicy food, after recent trips away, I’m much more experimental in the kitchen. In Cuba, I learnt more about the magic of flavour – the power of herbs and spices which make an otherwise simple dish delicious. In Mexico, well what can I say, the food is incredible. Though the crispy calamari with a strawberry (yes, strawberry) sauce was a firm favourite, and it inspired me to be more creative with mixing sweet fruits with savoury foods.
You don’t have to be a pro chef to know your way round a kitchen – heck, I’m definitely not. All you need is a little time and imagination and you can create something really special.
It’s time to invite your friends over and fire up the BBQ. Even if it rains, at least you can imagine you’re in sunnier climes, and have a laugh while doing so!
Spicy Chicken and Mango Skewers
- 2 ripe mangoes, peeled
- 4 chicken breasts, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- Chilli flakes
- Drizzle of honey
Wedge of lemon and parsley (to serve)
Makes 4 | Prep: 30 mins | Cooking: 30 mins
Soak 4 bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. Set aside.
In a bowl, add the lime juice, honey, garlic and chilli flakes. Mix well and taste, adding more honey if you prefer a sweeter flavour. When the mango is peeled and cubed, and the chicken is diced, start threading on to the skewers in an alternating pattern.
Baste half the marinade on to the skewers. When ready to cook, add them to the BBQ, turning occasionally. Baste with the remaining marinade, cooking until the chicken is golden brown all over and cooked through.
Apple and Walnut Salad
Serves 2 | Prep: 20 mins
- 100g spinach
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 1 apple
- Feta cheese
- Walnuts, chopped
- Balsamic vinegar
Wash the spinach. Set aside.
Slice the apple into thin slices and cut the prosciutto into strips. In a bowl, add the spinach, apple and prosciutto. Add the chopped walnuts and toss. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and crumble over some feta cheese. Voilà!
Notes from our nutritionist...
Kate Dimmer says:
"These recipes are good options for those looking for a quick meal that’s also packed with plenty of nutrients."
"These tasty chicken and mango skewers go perfectly with the salad for a low-carb, protein-packed summer meal that should keep blood sugar levels even."
"The lean protein from the chicken and healthy omega-3 fats in the walnuts will keep energy levels balanced, helping to avoid those afternoon slumps!"
"The yellow-orange colour of the mango, as well as providing a juicy, sweet contrast to the chicken and feta, is high in carotenoids which have antioxidant properties. Mango is also high in vitamin C. The spinach in the salad provides a nutrient boost, including minerals calcium and magnesium for bones, and vitamin K1, a vitamin important in maintaining bone health and blood clotting."
"I love this sort of light food during BBQ season. I particularly enjoy prawns, which would make a great alternative here."
Kate Dimmer is a registered nutritional therapist and registered nutritionist who is passionate about using nutrition and lifestyle to support good health and wellbeing. To find out more about Kate, visit katedimmer.com
If you're thinking of getting a professional opinion or help with your diet and nutrition, head to nutritionist-resource.org.uk where you'll find tips, articles and qualified nutritionists in your local area.