recipes for healthy living

Tag: pomegranate

Pomegranate and Honey Glazed Chicken – A perfect summer dish

large pomegranate honey glazed

The last days of summer are here and this is a dish full of summer flavours. I love the pomegranate molasses as it adds a lovely sherbert lemony flavour and It makes a delicious salad dressing or is lovely with roasted peaches or nectarines.
There is great nutrition in this dish with protein from the chicken the goodness of the nuts and the antioxidants from the spices. If you don’t think you will feel full enough you can serve some roasted sweet potato on the side also which works really well.

Serves 4

3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
150ml olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp each of cayenne , paprika and cumin

8 skinless boneless chicken thighs or a mix of breast and thighs
1/2 red onion sliced very thin
2 handfuls of coriander
2 handfuls of roughly chopped pistachios
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Mix marinade ingredients together
Cut the chicken into 2″ chunks
Add to marinade and toss to coat
Cover with cling and place in fridge at least an hour – overnight even better
Thread chicken pieces onto skewers (soak wooden ones)
Heat griddle pan and cook on medium heat turning to cook on all sides

Toss the onion coriander and pistachios with lime and olive oil
Season and place on a large platter
Add the skewers and serve

Fattoush with Crispy Croutons & Sumac Dressing


Cut Lavender

Summer arrived this weekend and we spent a long afternoon in the garden soaking up the available rays while sheltering from the still slightly chilly wind. Memories of lying behind a windbreaker on a Wexford beach and running to dive into freezing seas convincing yourself it was summer, and sure it was summer, Just Irish Style.

This salad is an amazing crunchy crispy tangy dish which converted some of the most hardened salad ‘I couldn’t be bothered types’ I made a huge platter of it and it was demolished, in fact the plate was practically licked clean. I served this with a huge dish of slow roast lamb but it would also be great as an accompaniment to any other meats or burger on the barbie. The secret is to dress everything at the last minute and make enough dressing to leave out extra on the table as that is yummy in itself for dipping into. It is the Sumac that adds the delicious lemony flavour coupled with the Pomegranate molasses brings this salad to another level. Trust me, try this – you won’t have to work too hard to get everyone tucking in and enjoying the health benefits from it and judging from the number of requests to post this recipe as soon as possible, it is going to be a summer staple in my family.

Sumac Dressing
4 tsp sumac mixed in 4 tsp warm water
4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chardonnay vinegar (Forum is a lovely one)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk everything until the dressing emulsifies.
Taste and season if required.
Set aside until needed.
(This will keep for a couple of days in the fridge).

12 plum tomatoes seeded and chopped
1 cucumber descended and sliced
3 spring onions sliced
6 radishes cleaned and sliced
1 romaine lettuce cleaned, outer leaves discarded, remaining cut into bite size pieces
Few handfuls of purslane if you can get it otherwise omit

4 pitta breads sliced into bite size pieces
Oil for frying

Leaves from 1/3 bunch flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped and leaves from 3 to 5 sprigs of mint finely chopped.

Heat a small amount of oil over a medium heat until approaching hot
Season the pitta slices and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute
Drain on parchment paper and set aside until assembling the salad

In a large bowl add the tomatoes, cucumbers and radishes, season then add about 1/3 of the dressing and toss gently to coat.
Tip onto your serving platter.
In the same bowl, add the lettuce pieces, purslane if using, season, add the pitta pieces then dress with about 2 tbsp of the dressing then add to the serving platter.
Sprinkle over the herbs and Serve with the extra dressing on the side and watch as it disappears.


Winter Vegetables – Honey Roasted Sesame Sweet Potato

Root vegetables are perfect winter comfort food for this time of year. I love the vary them up with different dressings or additions. The pomegranate seeds and balsamic vinegar make a delicious dressing and overall this is a wonderful filling side, low GI, high levels of Vit A and betacarotene so great for the skin. The good fats in the dressing allows the body to access the betacarotene benefits. Also – feeling a bit stressed? – tuck in, as they contain potassium which is great for the body at stressy times.

Roasted Sweet Potato

Honey Roasted Sesame Sweet Potato
300gr peeled sweet potato – cut in bite size cubes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sesame seeds

25ml balsamic vinegar
50 ml olive oil
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Oven at 180 C
Toss the cubes of sweet potato in the oil and season with the salt.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Remove when almost cooked and drizzle over the honey and sesame seeds.
Place back in the oven for final 8 minutes to finish the cooking and toast the seeds and caramelise.
Remove from the oven and let cook slightly.
Combine the vinaigrette ingredients and toss over the vegetables.

Delicious and full of flavour!.

Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate


This is a spectacular salad the basis of which is Quinoa. Easy to cook, a great source of protein and combined with vegetables and topped with pomegranate seeds and dressing was just beautiful to eat.  We had this accompanied by the lamb meatballs I have posted on before although I varied them slightly by replacing the spices in the recipe with a tablespoon of ras el hanout which was a really great addition. This is a Moroccan spice blend (it means ‘top of the shop’ I believe) and refers to the blend of the best spices a merchant can offer… The spice version of a ‘top shelf’ perhaps?. Containing lots of classic Moroccan spices and widely available, I used a version from www.spiceentice.com which won a great taste gold award in 2011.
The dressing adds a lovely dimension of zingy flavour which just seemed to go very well with the colours and flavours of the rest of the dish.

Serves 4
1 cup quinoa cooked in 2 cups of stock until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is soft and fluffy
1 red onion finely chopped
1/2 red, yellow and green pepper finely chopped (Or all the same colour if that’s all you have)
2 tbsp of mint chopped finely
2 tbsp of coriander chopped finely
4 cherry tomatoes deseeded and chopped
Seeds from 1/2 Pomegranate (called arils!)

Extract the seeds by placing the cut half of the pomegranate onto the palm of your hand and give the fruit lots of good bangs and the seeds will pop out. I do this over a bowl and let the seeds drop into the bowl. I actually use the main body of my knife sharpener to whack the fruit with. (If you have seen Jamie on telly, you will have seen him do this, much easier than soaking the fruit!)

Combine all the ingredients except for the pomegranate seeds with the quinoa and season really well.
Top with the little red jewels and pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.

2 tbsp of Juice from 1/2 blood orange
6 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

Combine and shake, Taste and if seems a bit sharp, add a glug more olive oil. If a bit underwhelming, then add a tsp or 2 more of the blood orange juice. Whn you are happy pour over the quinoa.

We loved this dish for its flavours, the protein and vitamins from it are a great benefit too.

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