I have ramped up my training 4 weeks out from my next adventure race to ensure that I am as fit as my schedule will allow. This means easy, quick, but still healthy and nutritious meals for dinner during the week (which I normally make anyway but I have even less time than usual to cook). I am not one to compromise on taste, however. This Romesco sauce with chicken and vegetables and Romesco salad are two examples of simple, tasty, whole food meals.
I had actually never heard of Romesco before, but I was Googling something and I came across it. Once I discovered what it was I had to have a go at making it. Apparently this sauce originated in the coastal city of Tarragona in Northeastern Spain and is served with seafood. Well this sauce is that good you can have it on just about anything. Most recipes use loads of olive oil and even some crusty bread, but I ditched both of these ingredients to make the recipe as clean and as ‘whole food’ as possible and it still turned out very delicious.
The first time I prepared Romesco sauce I cooked chicken breast, vegetables and kidney beans in it. To save time, I roasted the capsicums the night before so that they were ready to peel and throw into the food processor the following night. I served mine with Tomato cauliflower rice (cauliflower rice processed with a little bit of tomato paste, paprika, salt and pepper) while the boyfriend had his with steamed white rice. It lasted us two nights which made life easier.
Well it just so happened that I picked up a bag of red capsicums today for only $1 so I had to make Romesco sauce again. This time I used the Romesco as a salad dressing. You could easily prepare a big batch on the weekend then use it in some meals during the week. I have made it with almonds and with walnuts and both are equally delicious. I imagine this sauce would work well on fish, vegetables or in a cauliflower risotto.
2 red capsicums
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ cup almonds or walnuts, toasted
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Large baking tray
Measuring cups and spoons
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the capsicum in half and remove the tops, membranes and seeds. Roast the capsicum halves along with the garlic clove in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the capsicum is tender and the skin begins to brown.
- Place the roasted capsicums into a heatproof container and put the lid on. Leave the capsicums in the container for at least 10 minutes. This steaming process helps to remove the skin. Peel the skins off the capsicums and discard.
- Lightly toast the nuts in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring or shaking the pan frequently.
- Place the peeled capsicums plus the remaining ingredients into a food processor and process until a fairly smooth, paste-like consistency is achieved (some small chunks may remain).
Romesco chicken and vegetables
Makes 4 serves
1 chicken breast, cubed
1 vegetable stock cube
2 zucchini, sliced
½ a red capsicum, cubed
200 grams of mushrooms, sliced
1 400 gram can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 serve of Romesco sauce
Cauliflower rice or white rice to serve
Non-stick fry pan
Food processor (for cauliflower rice)
- Add the chicken breast along with the crumbled vegetable stock cube and about a ¼ of a cup of water to a non-stick fry pan. Cook the chicken on high heat until it is almost cooked through adding more water as necessary to prevent sticking.
- Add in the vegetables and cook until the vegetables are tender.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add in the Romesco sauce and kidney beans and about ½ a cup of water.
- Mix the sauce through to cover all the ingredients and continue cooking until the sauce is heated through. Serve over cauliflower rice or steamed rice.
4 – 5 baby cos lettuce leaves or any salad greens you like
1 tomato, sliced finely
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
1 carrot, grated into ribbons
½ an avocado, sliced into chunks
100 grams of feta cheese, cut into small cubes
2 boiled eggs, sliced
- Combine all the ingredients into a salad bowl and drizzle with as much Romesco sauce as you desire. Season with salt and pepper.