HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! *cue party poppers*
So today would have been the first day back at work after the holidays for many people, right? Tell me, was anyone actually feeling refreshed and energised and ready to take 2016 by the horns this morning?
Yeah, didn’t think so.
I don’t know about you but I’ve pretty much spent the last 2 weeks staying up till 4am binge-(re)watching Community, having epic lie-in’s, eating ALL THE PIGS IN BLANKETS, and drinking many MANY glasses of wine. I regret nothing. Best time of the year.
However, yesterday those 2 beautiful weeks of slobbish indulgence came to an end, and I found myself facing that post-holiday slump. You know the one. When you’re slapped with the reality that you can no longer wake up after lunch and spend the whole day watching movie after movie in your Star Wars pyjamas. *tear* And let’s not forget, when you realise you have to set an alarm again. Ugh.
Nevertheless, today I went back at work and, dare I say it… it wasn’t terrible!? I mean, yes I had to wake up at 7am, and yes I was downing coffees all day, but once I got down to it I actually had a really productive day! I even did work I didn’t need to do just because I had the time to do it. Disgusting, I know.
I guess like to think of it like I ripped off a plaster today, and instantly snapped back into the real world ready to start my 2016!
How am I doing that you ask?
With a salad.
Yeah, you heard me.
January is usually the month of setting resolutions, or personal goals, as I prefer to think of it. Whether to do with family, friends, work, health, lifestyle… we all do it.
This year one of my goals is to try and be a little healthier. Drink more water. Actually do some exercise. Eat better. That sort of thing.
Which will probably explain why I’m currently sat here in newly purchased trainers with a 2L bottle of water writing a blog post on salads.
‘New year, new me’ and all that jazz. (I give it 2 weeks.)
I decided to accompany my salad with some ‘breaded’ chicken. Well, oat-crusted chicken. I did this by mixing some dried thyme with rolled oats, then dipping 2 chicken breast fillets into beaten egg before coating with the oats.
I generously seasoned these with salt and pepper before baking at 200°C for 20-25 minutes till the chicken was cooked and the oats began to brown. Once baked I squeezed some more lemon juice on top. Just because.
For the roast chickpea salad I started by scattering the chickpeas in a deep roasting tray, drizzled with olive oil, then sprinkled on the lemon zest and dried chilli flakes. I roast these at 200°C for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, I chopped up some cherry tomatoes and de-stoned, peeled and diced an avocado.
I also made a dressing by mixing lemon juice, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and some salt and pepper.
Once the chickpeas were roasted I tossed these together with the cherry toms, avocado, some fresh salad leaves and the dressing.
I served this warm, topped with the lemony baked chicken.
- For the chicken:
- 2 chicken breast fillets
- 100g rolled oats (whole or ground)
- 2tbsp dried thyme
- 1 egg, beaten
- salt and pepper
- For the chickpea salad & dressing:
- 400g tin of chickpeas
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1tsp dried chilli flakes
- olive oil
- handful of fresh salad leaves
- handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1 avocado, chunked
- 1tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Toss together the rolled oats and dried thyme.
- Dip the chicken fillets into the beaten egg, then coat completely in the oats.
- Place on a lightly greased baking tray and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the oats are beginning to brown.
- Drain the chickpeas, then pat dry with a paper towel.
- Scatter into a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle in the lemon zest and chilli flakes.
- Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
- To make the dressing mix the lemon juice, maple syrup, vinegar and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss together the dressing, roasted chickpeas, cherry toms, chunks of avocado and the fresh salad leaves.
- Serve the salad warm with the baked chicken, topped with a squeeze of lemon juice.