Catherine Fulvio’s recipes for lazy weekends

With summer approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to have some really tasty and colorful recipes on hand for those long, lazy weekends. When it comes to planning those relaxing days, I tend to pick those recipes that are not only delicious but also look great and don’t take too much time to prepare and cook.

My tip is to make a few sauces and dressings ahead of time if you have a little more time so they are ready to use. Having all the ingredients at hand is an extra plus to make it a fun weekend.

Happy cooking!

Make the most of your weekend kitchen

  • Have a well-stocked fridge and a selection of spices so you don’t have to rush to the shops.
  • Leave time on the weekend to prepare the meal for the first half of the week.
  • Make a large, easy casserole to enjoy and the rest can be frozen for the second part of a busy week.
  • Make marinades ahead of time and store in sealed jars in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Push out the food challenge boat a bit on the weekend so that everyone can experience different flavors.
  • Every now and then I treat myself to a new gadget that allows me to work smarter.

Chicken skewers with mint-pineapple salad & an orange-maple dressing

The maple flavors with pineapple and chicken are really delicious, and full of beautiful colors. Change the maple syrup for some local honey in both the marinade and the dressing. Instead of pineapple, try mango strips for the salad.

makes 8 skewers
For the marinade

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 cm grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp chili sauce
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 60 ml orange juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp salt

For the skewers

  • 3 large chicken breasts, cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • Bay leaves, for stringing (optional)

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 60 ml orange juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 80 g arugula leaves, to serve
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp diced red bell pepper, for the top
  • 8 medium-sized metal or wooden skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for 1 hour so they don’t burn when grilled)
  1. To make the marinade, combine all ingredients in a shallow bowl.
  2. To prepare the skewers, thread chicken strips in an ‘S’ shape onto each skewer, along with bits of red pepper and bay leaves (if using) in between. Don’t pack it too tightly as the chicken should be fully cooked.
  3. Leave the skewers in the marinade while you make the dressing and salad.
  4. For the dressing, whisk together the maple syrup, mustard, orange juice and chives. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. For the salad, place the pineapple slices on a plate and add the arugula. Place the mint leaves on top.
  6. To cook the skewers, heat a griddle pan, brush the skewers with oil and cook for 9 to 10 minutes, turning them on all sides. Check if they are fully cooked. Let rest for 2 to 3 minutes while keeping them warm.
  7. To serve, arrange the skewers on top of the salad. Sprinkle over some diced red pepper. Spoon over some dressing and serve the rest of the dressing separately.

Shrimp noodle bowl with coriander drizzle

I try to use a selection of bright colors when choosing the vegetables for salads. Chop the red cabbage very finely or even steam it if you are not a big fan of raw cabbage. Prepare vegetables in advance by slicing them and storing them in sealed containers with a little water in the refrigerator.

Serves 4
For the dressing

  • A big bunch of coriander
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 50 g toasted almond flakes
  • 4 tbsp canola oil

For the salad

  • 80 g carrot ribbons
  • 60 g snow peas, cut into strips
  • 80 g red cabbage, finely chopped
  • 250 g cooked noodles (optional)

For the shrimp

  • 1 tsp butter and 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 300 g shrimps, peeled and peeled
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • ½ lemon, zest and juice
  • Coriander leaves, to garnish
  • Lime or lemon wedges, to serve
  1. For the dressing, place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. This should be liquid enough to be spooned over the salad. Add some water if you find it too thick.
  2. For the salad, arrange the carrot ribbons, snow peas and shredded red cabbage in groups around a large bowl. You can also use separate bowls. Add the noodles in the middle.
  3. Heat a frying pan with butter and oil to cook the shrimp. Add the prawns, then the red pepper and spring onions. Fry until the prawns are cooked – they will turn pink. Add lemon juice and zest and cook for 30 seconds. Spoon the shrimp over the noodles.
  4. Spoon over some coriander or serve separately. Place the coriander leaves on top. Serve with limes or lemon wedges.