Balance is salad and brownies

Food is an important part of a balanced diet.
~ Fran Lebowitz

In line with the title of this post, I’m going to write a little about our flat’s fair & balanced dinner tonight. It was a tip-toe dance in the form of salad… brownies… (and vodka in the middle).

Nothing from the cookbook tonight. I found a pasta recipe somewhere online – and oops, neglected to snap a photograph of it (careless me!) – but let me tell you, if you have no meat or vegetables in your fridge, you can opt to dress your penne rigati with a cup of vodka, a cup of chicken stock, half a cup of cream, a tin of tomatoes, fresh basil, shallots & garlic (these proportions for a sauce which serves 4). Your penne will take to its red gurgly gown like a fish to water, and smile and curtsey on your tongue. I kid you not.

This random salad here? If you are interested, this is roughly (from memory) how it was composed. I didn’t measure anything sorry, so you will just have to cross your heart and fingers and trust in your ability to make magic. This is how I make salad most days, with what I happen to have or grab in the vegetable aisle – and with the knowledge that I do not need skill or steps in salad-making, I need to put together the finest of fresh things and let them perform.

    chicken fillet, cubed
    cajun seasoning
    dried oregano
    capsicum, sliced
    a few dried apricots, cut into thin slices
    fresh mesclun & spinach
    1 lemon wedge
    salt & pepper to taste
    Method to my madness:
    Drizzle some olive oil into a pan, and add chicken cubes when the oil is hot. Season with cajun, oregano, and a pinch of sugar. Fry on high heat until the chicken cubes are nicely browned. Lower the heat and cook until chicken is well-cooked, but not to the point that it becomes dry.
    Remove chicken from pan, and set on a plate to cool slightly. Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary, and fry capsicum slices on high heat until they are scorched in places. Remove from heat to cool slightly as well.
    Add the chicken and capsicum to the rest of the salad ingredients, and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the entire mix.

Emma and Claire came over tonight and made what I call their Imagination’s Brownie. They made it up (how do people successfully make brownie without a recipe?? I am amazed!) It was impossibly rich (containing 1 entire block of dark chocolate for 6 of us… golly) – and totally wonderful. Lucky flatties and me! :-)

And here it is, the weekend… have a great one. Hope it is sunny where you are (we are sorely lacking in sun at the moment, tis a disgusting stretch of unreal so-called Summer).


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