Miranda’s Chicken & Chorizo Paella

Picture this:

It’s a hot but blissful day. You’re 20. And for the first time in your life you’re in a country where English isn’t the first language. You’re staying in a resort with your sister and some family. You spend your days in the pool, at the beach, discovering tapas for the first time ever and getting tipsy from your new favourite summer drink, sangria. You feel adventurous, and you’re loving the extra summer you’re getting when it’s winter at home. Your soundtrack of choice is California Waiting by Kings of Leon and you’ve just tasted the brightest orange juice you’ve ever seen. You’re in Mallorca, an island off the coast of Spain. They serve garlic bread as bread smothered in garlic aioli and the week you are spending here feels like heaven to you.

In 2007, I went to Alcudia, Mallorca, just off the coast of Spain and fell in LOVE with paella. It was one of the first nights we were in Spain, and so, of course, we went to a Spanish restaurant to try some of the local fare. Aioli, patatas bravas, croquetas, albondigas en salsa – the options were endless! This stage in my life was when I first started experimenting and trying new foods, after years of being rather unadventurous. We’d just arrived from England, where I’d tasted my first English strawberries – something that up until that moment, I was convinced that I hated. So in the spirit of new discoveries, without much description of it, I took the recommendation to order paella, and I haven’t looked back. I think I ordered it four times that week, taking home the leftovers. And when arrived back in Australia, it was all I talked about – I even received a paella pan and bag of paella rice at my 21st birthday!

The only photo I could find of myself in Mallorca, 2007

The only photo I could find of myself in Mallorca, 2007

If you haven’t tried paella, it’s a fabulous Mediterranean dish. The saffron-yellow rice with simple flavours of rosemary, parsley, capsicum and tomato can be complimented by any protein of your choice, from prawns, to chorizo, to chickpeas. It’s tasty, it’s filling, it makes a lot, and if you make your own stock, you don’t have to worry about MSG. (If you’d like to skip the nitrites, you don’t need to add the chorizo)

It’s a comfort food classic, and even though the rice is filling, it’s still a perfect meal to eat in summer with a side of salad (in my humble opinion).

Chicken & Chorizo Paella

500-700g chicken, diced (or 2-3 tins chickpeas)

2 chorizo sausages, sliced

2tb extra virgin olive oil

1 large red capsicum, thinly sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)

0.5g saffron

1 litre of bone broth or homemade vegetable stock (you may need extra water)

2 cups arborio/short grain rice

400g tinned tomatoes

1 cup frozen green beans

2tb rosemary

Salt & Pepper

Half a cup of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Lemon wedges, to serve

Chicken and chorizo paella

Heat a wide based pan on a medium high heat until hot, and brown your chicken on a medium-high heat. Remove from the pan. Brown the chorizo and remove.

Heat your bone broth/stock and infuse saffron while the water simmers.

Meanwhile, add more oil to your pan if necessary, and cook the capsicum slices for 5-7 minutes, stirring, until tender.

Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the rice and garlic, and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes, until the rice is coated. Add the saffron infused bone broth/stock, tomatoes, green beans, rosemary, salt and pepper, chicken, chorizo (or chickpeas) and stir to combine. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. (If your rice needs a bit more liquid, feel free to add it)

When the fluid is mostly absorbed, stir through the parsley, then stop stirring the pan to allow a “crust” to form on the bottom for a few minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Serve with fresh lemon wedges and salad.

The biggest nutrition mistake you can make (and how to fix it)

The most common thing that I see affecting the health of those that ask my nutrition advice is simply that they aren’t eating enough.

Either they are too busy to eat enough, have been taught – like we all were – to eat less to lose weight, so eat rye biscuits for their lunch, or they are eating the processed stuff that has no nutritional value (therefore, for the purpose of today’s blog and healthy eating in general, I am not going to describe it as food).

The most common reasons for this are as follows: Continue reading

Cook Like a Pro! (aka. Flavour Bases That Will Make Anyone Think You’ve Got Your Shit Together)

The thing about being a grown-up, is that, even if you aren’t the sort of person who cooks, you may find yourself in a position where you need to cook for others. It might be for some friends after a sunny Saturday at the markets, some in-laws, or for a sexy date you’ve been seeing lately, but, every now and then, it happens. Now, I’m not saying that you need to “impress” people (it’s just not my bag to think that way), but when it comes to food, I want to enjoy all of my meals and for those I share with to enjoy them too. There’s something uniquely satisfying about sharing love with your food and magically silencing an entire table in a unison of gratification.

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But, sometimes that can seem like a daunting task of endless dirty dishes – and nobody like dishes! While, I am known to use every pot and pan in the kitchen occasionally, in my experience, you can make some incredibly impressive food that does just that with hardly any effort or mess at all. Continue reading

My Top 5 Tips to Increase Energy:: Part 3

Fatigue can be quite debilitating, but luckily, there are many natural and easy ways to overcome fatigue and boost your energy, enabling you to achieve everything that you need to day-to-day.

Below is Part 3 of my 5 Top Tips for Increasing Energy. These short videos are give you quick strategies that are easy to put into your day – even when you do feel too tired! You can view Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Don’t forget that my Nutrition for REAL People workshop: Nutrition for Fatigue is 6pm, Wednesday, 24th June – which is next week! For your chance to get a more in-depth understanding of fatigue and achievable strategies to give you long-lasting energy, make sure you book your ticket, as seats are limited.

My Top 5 Tips to Increase Energy: Part 1

Fatigue can be quite debilitating, but luckily, there are many natural and easy ways to overcome fatigue and boost your energy, enabling you to achieve everything that you need to day-to-day.

Below is Part 1 of my 5 Top Tips for Increasing Energy. These short videos are give you quick strategies that are easy to put into your day – even when you do feel too tired!

Don’t forget that my Nutrition for REAL People workshop: Nutrition for Fatigue is 6pm, Wednesday, 24th June – which is next week! For your chance to get a more in-depth understanding of fatigue and achievable strategies to give you long-lasting energy, make sure you book your ticket, as seats are limited.

A Day in the Life: What THIS nutritionist eats

I always say that healthy eating doesn’t need to be complicated to get results, and since I get asked a lot about what my diet looks like, I thought I would share with you a bit of a “day in the life”. It’s no muss, no fuss, whole foods and lots of variety.

Don’t forget to checkout my giveaway on my Facebook page, which ends TOMORROW MORNING 

And if you want some specific diet and lifestyle tips and recipes and you live in Brisbane, check out my next workshop, Nutrition for Fatigue, 6pm, 24th June 2015 at Little Tokyo Two