This time of year I crave fresh green vegetables and simple ingredients, cooked in a quick and easy way. Leaving stodgy winter foods behind me, I’m after quick, nutritious meals that the whole family will enjoy.
I am longing for wild garlic and spring greens.. there is nothing better than going for a walk in the woods and gathering a handful of wild garlic leaves to cook with. Soon! In fact I heard the season is particularly early, and there are shoots coming through already!
Le Creuset recently asked me to create a dish which would incorporate fresh spring ingredients. If it was later in the year I would have used foraged wild garlic and perhaps even the flowers in the salad too. I wanted to create a dish that my kids would love. To give them something warming and packed full of greens to nourish them.
Charlie is up most mornings before the sunrise, bleary eyed and making his way to senior school. I’m so proud of his endurance and his attitude to his new school. It makes me want to provide great food for him to help him through the transition of junior to senior – year 7 is a difficult year.Charlie loves pasta, in fact carbs in general, what child doesn’t. But I’m finding it increasingly difficult to get greens and vegetables into his diet. He’d prefer the have plain pasta every day! So, with this in mind, I discovered this lovely recipe, which uses giant couscous. Charlie feels like he’s getting his ‘fix’ of carbs but it is layered with vegetables. He will scoop up the couscous eating the peas and the cleverly hidden courgette as it’s grated- even if he might pick out the spinach! He’s at least eating some of it.
The chicken is rubbed with olive oil, ground cumin and seasoned before being pan fried. Cooking chicken breast this way is brilliant, it remains soft and succulent, and has a slight North African flavour which we love.
Cumin Chicken with giant couscous, courgette, peas and mint
- 3 tbsp light olive oil
- 200g wholewheat giant couscous
- 5 spring onions, sliced finely
- 1 large courgette, coarsely grated
- 175g frozen peas, thawed
- 100g baby leaf spinach
- 400ml hot vegetable stock – you can use fresh or a good quality cube
- 4 skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthways (so reducing the cooking time)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, plus a few whole leaves
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Le Creuset 3-ply Stainless Steel Sauté Pan and Lid. Add the couscous, 4 of the finely sliced spring onions (leaving one for serving) and the grated courgette.
- Cook, stirring, over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
- Add the peas, spinach and stock; season and simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, until the stock has been absorbed, adding more hot water if necessary.
- Meanwhile preheat another Le Creuset 3-ply stainless steel saute pan and lid . Rub the chicken breasts with the remaining oil, ground cumin and some salt and pepper.
- Pan-fry the chicken for 8-10 mins, turning once, until cooked through.
- Slice the chicken thinly on a diagonal.
- When the couscous is cooked, stir in the mint and serve topped with the chicken, mint leaves and remaining spring onion, sliced.
Le Creuset have recently launched a collection called ‘Nature’s Kitchen’ which is inspired by the hues of nature. The collection includes colour products in Cast Iron, Stoneware and gorgeous salt and pepper mills, as well as Stainless Steel and Toughened Non-Stick products that are perfect for getting the best flavour from fresh, seasonal ingredients. The collection launches in-stores and online at lecreuset.co.uk in March.
Why not get out and forage this Spring and try this dish in one of Le Crueset’s Nature’s Kitchen collection which is available in-store from March.
Collaboration Note: This post has been written in collaboration with Le Creuset. All words, thoughts and images are my own. Thank you for supporting the posts that make this blog possible.