La Dolce Vita

Have you ever studied for finals for half a year (for your sake I hope not)? Towards the end, all you’re looking forward to is that one day, the first day of freedom in which your brain can just turn into a sponge. And then once it’s arrived, within a few hours after having cleaned up all of the papers, books, empty bowls and coffee mugs that accumulated around your desk and in the whole apartment over the past months, you can finally sit down and relax. Well, that would be the idea. But seriously, who can go from 110% to 0% within a day? I can’t. I start getting fidgety and feel like you should be doing something.

Because my brain wasn’t quite at the “let’s go read yet another book, but this time for fun” stage yet and also wasn’t in the mood to drink my state of agitation away (although a few days later my brain came to it’s senses and decided to excessively drink itself into a relaxed/somnolent state…. man 6 months of almost complete abstinence kills your tolerance :-P), I channeled my energy into the kitchen (where else…?). Based upon a tub of mascarpone left in the fridge, I decided to attempt a classic italian dinner. Bruschetta, risotto, saltimbocca and a lemony tiramisu. Buon appetito!

Bruschetta

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Couscous Salad with Chicken, Pomegranate and Rocket

The essence of this salad is in the pomegranate seeds. Add those crunchy sweet pops to anything and its taste will magically transform to a gourmet level. Ok not quite, but almost. I really only discovered the diversity of pomegranate when in a beach club in South Africa. They had a pomegranate mojito. It was amazing. Best mojito ever.

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Warm Couscous Salad with Chicken, Rocket and Pomegranate seeds

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Warm Chicken and Quinoa Salad

It’s official: this is the most middle class post on this blog (and that’s impressive, because I’m fairly sure that in the dictionary definition of Middle Class, ‘possessing a food blog’ is one of the identifying criteria.)

You may or may not have heard of quinoa (say it keen-wah, appaz), which seems to be quite a recent Health Food Sensation. It’s hailed as a superfood which may or may not be true, but it’s high in protein and amino acids and other good things for you but has zero gluten, which means you can happily munch away at it without feeling guilty. (If you have no idea what on earth I’m on about, imagine a cross between rice and couscous that is super good for you and which you would have to eat metric tonnes of in order for it to make you fat.)

This salad is dead easy (no, really) with a total prep time of about 10-15 minutes which makes it perfect if you are on a writing roll and need a quick fix so you don’t completely lose your train of thought. If you are feeling entirely too virtuous while consuming this delicious, high-protein, gluten-free meal, contemplate the nature of quinoa and allow some proper middle class guilt  to seep into your superfood salad along with that delicious, tart dressing.

Warm Chicken and Quinoa Salad

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