weeknight feeds | chicken cacciatore 

I love the simplicity of this dish; not only is it super quick and easy to make but it bursts with delicious Italian flavours!

It’s a one pan weeknight wonder! Just adjust the ingredients for however many people you’re feeding.


  • 8 chicken thighs
  • a punnet of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup deseeded kalamata olives
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • handful fresh thyme leaves
  • sea salt & ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • flat-lead parsley


  • couscous to serve
  • garden salad to serve


  • Preheat the oven to 180•C.
  • Drizzle an oven proof dish with olive oil, sprinkle chicken thighs with salt and pepper and place into dish.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients in a haphazard manner
  • Cover with foil and place in oven for 40-45 mins, removing the foil for the last 10 mins.
  • Sprinkle with parsley before serving
  • Tastes best with couscous and garden salad
  • Serves 4

citrus roast chicken | recipe

I love these Autumn days.
Cool, sunny weather encourages us to get outside and stroll barefoot on the grass and then head back into the warm comfort of the kitchen when the temperature & sun goes down.

Ive gotten the slow-cooker out of storage and have been making a few more roasts in the oven. I love autumn food!

Here is a perfect roast chicken with a zesty difference,
perfect for Sunday roast!

recipe via Etsy

whole roasted citrus chicken
whole roasted citrus chicken

Citrus-Roasted Chicken

1 whole chicken
1.5 tablespoons sea salt
2 teaspoons mild paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
Zest of two Meyer lemons
Zest of one orange


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the sea salt, paprika, black pepper and citrus zests. Use your fingers to break up the zest and incorporate with the dry spices.

Rinse and dry the chicken. Apply the rub. You may have some leftover, depending on the size of the chicken. Carefully place the chicken in a roasting pan.



Quarter the lemons and oranges. Nestle some in the cavity of the bird, and tuck the rest into the roasting pan. If desired, truss the legs together with kitchen twine. It’s not necessary, but it’s a nice touch and keeps everything secure.

Let the bird sit on the counter, coming to room temperature, for about an hour. (The bird will cook more evenly if it goes into the oven from room temperature than from cold.)


Roast the chicken at 400 degrees for about an hour. It should be done when a thermometer registers 165 degrees at the thickest part of the thigh.

Remove the chicken from the oven, and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

All photos from Kimberley Hasselbrink

kitchen | moroccan spiced roast chicken & cauliflower barley salad

This recipe just dropped into my inbox and it looks too delicious not to share!

It’s a beautiful, seasonally transitional dish, perfect for a long lazy weekend lunch or relaxing evening meal. Who can go past the fragrant Morrocan spices? I certainly cant!

timthumbMoroccan Spiced Roast Chicken with Cauliflower & Barley Salad


  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch saffron threads
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.6kg whole chicken, halved
  • 1½ cups barley
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small head cauliflower, sliced
  • 1 red onion, thickly sliced
  • ½ cup green Sicilian olives
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, sliced

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ⅔ cup parsley leaves


To make the green tahini dressing, place tahini, oil, water, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, honey, salt and freshly ground black pepper in the bowl of a small food processor. Process until combined.

Add parsley leaves and process until just combined.
Set aside.

Place cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, saffron, chilli, salt and olive oil in a bowl and mix well to create a paste.  Rub the paste into the chicken halves and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place barley and chicken stock into a deep oven tray and bake for 30 minutes.

Add cauliflower, onion, olives and chicken halves to the pan. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C and roast for a further 40 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Stir parsley and spring onions through the barley and cauliflower mix.

Serve the barley and cauliflower salad with the Morrocan spiced roast chicken and tahini dressing on the side.

Serves 4


courtesy of Mindfood Magazine.


chicken, sweet potato & pinenut frittata | recipe

IMG_20130324_161957 Chicken, sweet potato, mushroom & pinenut tartlet

IMG_20130324_175843 Chicken, mushroom, pinenut & sage tartlet

I got inspired to do some last weekend for the week’s meals ahead! Here is the recipe for my original creation!



  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup light cream
  • ½ cup grated cheese (Havarti is good)
  • 1 large sweet potato; cut into cubes & roasted in the oven
  • 1 medium chicken breast; cut into cubes & pan fried til cooked
  • 6 large button mushrooms; diced
  • Handful flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbs pinenuts; lightly toasted
  • Sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp rosemary or Italian herbs
  • 1.5 sheets store bought low-fat shortcrust pastry; thawed
  • Cooking spray oil


  • 20 inch frittata pan
  • Large baking tray
  • Baking weights (or rice)
  • Baking paper


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/356°F (fan-forced). Spray the frittata pan with cooking oil and line with the shortcrust pastry. Top with baking paper and weigh down with baking weights (or rice). Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes (until there is a hint of golden). Remove from oven, remove weights/rice and cook for another 5-10 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and when cooled, remove from tin and place on a large baking tray. Turn the oven down to 120°C/248°F (fan-forced).


Lightly whisk the eggs then stir in the cream & cheese. Add the salt, pepper & rosemary/herbs. Scatter the cooked ingredients (chicken, sweet potato & pinenuts) and the mushrooms in the prepared tart shell then pour over the wet mix. Randomly push the parsley into the mixture and top with pinenuts.

Bake in the oven (120°C/248°F) for 30 minutes.

[variation: top with sage before baking the filled tart in the oven with butter pan fried sage]


serve with salad for a perfect meal!


And good news! My recipe is going to be featured on the Project Cookbook blog!


signature - melly xox

chicken salad with cranberries, apple & feta | recipe

There is nothing more joyful & holistic than a healthy salad packed with colour.

I love to mix fruit & nuts in with my lean protein & greens. It’s one way to make sure you don’t get bored with salad day in, day out.

Here is one I made for yesterday’s lunch.

Chicken salad with cranberries, apple & feta 


  • 200g chicken breast; grilled or baked, cooled & cut into strips or cubes
  • 30g low-fat feta cheese; cubed
  • 1 tbs natural seed mix (like sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pepitas) 
  • 1 medium apple; sliced finely
  • 1 tbs dried cranberries
  • 150g (1 packet) of baby spinach & rocket mix
  • 1 large stick celery
  • dressing: 1 tsp olive oil & 1 tbs white vinegar and salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients & enjoy! Serves 2 at 363 calories per serve.

If making in advance (to take to work for lunch, etc), combine dressing with apple & celery and keep in a separate container and combine just before serving.

Bon Apitito!

chicken with haloumi & honey

Being a long standing fan of Donna Hay, I bought her latest cookbook fast, fresh and simple during the Christmas sales.

I’m so glad I did! The recipes are just as the title suggests and it seems that Donna’s mammoth weight loss has influenced her recipes because they are a lot lighter in butter & oil. perfecto!

Donna Hay before
Donna Hay after


  • 2 x 200g chicken breast fillets, trimmed
  • 150g haloumi, cut into 4 slices
  • 1 tablespoon shredded lemon zest
  • 6 sprigs lemon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • fig and rocket (arugula) salad, to serve

  • Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Place the chicken, haloumi, zest and lemon thyme in a ceramic baking dish.
  • chicken, haloumi, thyme & lemon
  • Combine the oil and honey and pour over.
  • Bake for 18–20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • deliciously baked & golden!
  • Serve with a fig and rocket salad.
  • ψ

    As with almost every recipe, I can’t help myself from straying just a little…here my deviation is that I used a Tetsuya’s vinaigrette dressing (a lovely pressie from Neen!) for the fig & rocket salad and added heirloom cherry tomatoes. Also, after zesting the lemon, I cut it up in quarters and added it to the dish before cooking. I love the lemony flavour with chicken and thought this would intensify the taste; which it did.

    Tetsuya's Tasmanian Pepper Berries & Honey Vinegar (for the rocket & fig salad)
    Bon Appétit!