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Beetroot & Pumpkin Salad with Oregano Garlic Chicken

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beetroot-pumpkin-salad-wth-chicken-900

A while ago I did a survey with my readers (you guys) about what you wanted more of. One of the top requests was for simple, quick and delicious paleo meals. Yes, you can find many delicious dishes on my blog already, but I haven’t really done many ‘complete’ meals – the protein, the sides, well balanced and so on in one recipe. I did write a whole cookbook about it but I never managed to create any for the blog.

So, I’ve decided to dedicated some of my time to developing a few healthy dinner meals for you to enjoy. Today it’s a paleo meal of beetroot and pumpkin salad with maple walnuts served with juicy oregano, garlic and lemon chicken thighs. Should take about 30-35 minutes tops!

beetroot-pumpkin-salad

The beetroot and pumpkin salad can definitely be a stand alone dish and you can serve it with other types of meat. It would go well with something like lamb cutlets or even a few sausages. I do love with my Mediterranean inspired chicken. By the way, the oregano marinade works well with a whole roasted chook too.

oregano-garlic-chicken-salad

Cook’s notes: You can use sweet potato or carrots instead of pumpkin. I used Butternut pumpkin but Kent or any other type will do. I used pre-cooked beetroot but you can cook raw beets instead. Chicken thighs are juicy and affordable but you can easily use chicken breast or drumsticks. If oregano is not your speed, feel free to use some parsley, basil or coriander, or some mixed dried Italian herbs.

Pumpkin & Beetroot Salad with Oregano Garlic Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Sweet potato can be used instead of pumpkin. Raw beetroot can be sliced and roasted together with the pumpkin, although it usually needs a little longer in the oven. I used pre-packed cooked beetroot from the markets. Honey can be used instead of maple syrup with walnuts.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 2
Ingredients
For the chicken
  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (or finely chopped fresh leaves)
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • generous pinch of pepper
  • dollop of coconut oil for cooking
Pumpkin
  • ½ Butternut or Kent pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 11/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • generous pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Beetroot
  • 2 small cooked beetroots, sliced into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt and black pepper
Walnuts
  • ⅓ cup walnut halves
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 3 cups mixed salad leaves
  • For the dressing
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon honey or rice syrup
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon or wholegrain mustard
  • pinch of salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven the 200 C/ 400 F.
  2. Combine garlic, oregano, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and add the chicken. Rub the marinade all over the chicken and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, toss together the pumpkin, fennel seeds, olive oil and salt. Scatter on a flat oven tray and place in the oven (even if the oven is still heating up, this is to speed up the process). Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, middle shelf.
  4. Combine beetroot with apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper and set aside.
  5. Heat about a teaspoon of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Rub off some of the chicken marinade from the skin side of the chicken (to prevent it from burning) and add the chicken pieces, skin side down to the hot skillet. Reserve the marinade. Cook for 4-5 minutes each side, over medium high heat.
  6. In the meantime, break some of the walnuts in quarters and leave some as halves. Add to a small saucepan or a small pan, together with the maple syrup and cinnamon. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Once the syrup starts bubbling, keep stirring for a minute, until the walnuts get sticky and caramelised. Then transfer to a plate covered with some parchment paper and set aside to cool.
  7. Now remove the pumpkin from the oven.
  8. The chicken should have now been cooking for 10 minutes. It’s time to transfer it to the oven. You can place the chicken pieces into an oven proof dish or a cast iron pan (you can fry in it as well). Keep the pieces skin side up and brush the top with the leftover marinade. Place in the oven for about 5-6 minutes, at 200 C.
  9. Assemble the salad while the chicken is finishing in the oven. Scatter the salad on a large platter or a bowl and add the beetroot, cooked pumpkin and walnuts. Whisk together the dressing and drizzle some on the top or serve on the side.
  10. Rest the chicken for a minute or two once out of the oven.

beetroot-pumpkin-salad-making-steps

oregano-garlic-chicken

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