Mango Chicken Curry


Wasn’t sure about this one – but I’ve yet to make something from The Superfood Diet that I don’t like and this sounded worth a try, especially given we had a spare mango kicking about just waiting to be forgotten and thrown out. I also had a spare chicken breast in the fridge left over from yesterday’s Tikka Massala.

One thing I’ve gotten used to in the last six weeks is halving all the ingredients and only making enough for two. It’s all too easy to promise yourself you’ll make it last two meals but most things are too yummy and you just keep picking at the leftovers until they are gone. Not good for the diet.

Oddly, we usually can’t even finish regular sized portions of late. I imagine that is down to the hot weather and being motivated to get this excess weight off!

This dish is as easy as the Chicken Tikka Massala from yesterday. Toast some fennel seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, and mustard seeds until the mustard pops and then fry off some garlic and ginger.

I learned my lesson and eased off a bit on the ginger today. Freya was most pleased.

To this mix you add turmeric and green chillies and a little asafoetida. I didn’t have any – and Brentford Morrisons isn’t the place to get it – so I did a quick Google and used onion salt as a substitute. Then add tomato purée and mango pulp. Bring to a simmer and add diced chicken. It’s ready in 30 minutes or so.

I didn’t realise you could get mango puree in a can and manually prepped a really large mango instead – hedgehog prep style!

I really liked this but we didn’t each much of it. Freya was a bit sad that she didn’t just get to eat the mango raw – it was super juicy – and some people struggle with getting their head round such sweet main courses. I thought it was great though; doubly good as mango is great at inhibiting the formation of fat cells.

I had mostly leftover Tikka Massala from yesterday and we had a little snack of guacamole and pitta when we got in that just left us a bit full.

The guacamole had to be done; we had two avocados just begging to go bad and I had spare limes, chilli and sour cream in the fridge. Seemed wrong to let them go to waste.

Still. That’s tomorrow’s dinner sorted.

Rich and Creamy Chicken Tikka Massala

Gurpareet Bains strikes again. This Chicken Tikka Massala is quite amazing; although spicier than I had anticipated. I guess two tablespoons of grated ginger was a clue! Freya isn’t a fan of too spicy and much as I loved it and will make it over and over again I think I should half the ginger if I want her to eat it.
Most Tikka Massalas clock in at well over 1000 calories a serving on account of all the cream. This one gets its creaminess from coconut milk, agave nectar and zero fat Greek yoghurt and comes in at under 400.

It’s very easy to make; after toasting some cardamom pods with fenugreek seeds you add onions and garlic, then tomato purée, ginger, green chilli and the Tandoori Massala spice mix.

After adding the chicken and cooking it on all sides you add Greek yoghurt, agave syrup and coconut milk and leave it to simmer for 40 minutes. Couldn’t be easier.

I served this with bulgar wheat cooked the Jamie way – with preserved lemons. It’s very quick, not that there was any rush. I’ve just got in the habit having watched maybe 10 episodes of 15 minute meals on the bounce!

Superfood Fish Pie with a Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato topping


I’m not particular keen on fish pies. People often have fish at work and it stinks the place out; in a confined space like a boat it is even worse. That said, I had some fish kicking about in the freezer so decided to get it out and have a try of another Gurpareet Bains’ recipe from The Superfood Diet.

I changed the recipe a little as I don’t think boiling Butternut Squash or Sweet Potato in a pan is the best way of preparing it. I prefer to roast it and then mash it. Much tastier.

The mash is then mixed with some toasted cumin and mustard seed and a little turmeric – and finally some peas.

In hindsight I would have put the peas in the base with the fish. The peas looked a little worse for wear after being baked in the oven for 40 minutes.

The base was a made up of the mixed fish pieces (I used Salmon, Smoked Haddock and Cod) which was seasoned with Smoked Paprika, Dill and Black Pepper.

Finally you assemble the pie by mixing the fish with spinach, grated carrot and grated celery, and then topping with the mash.

This was very low in calories and very tasty. It was however a bit dry as there was no sauce surrounding the fish.

Very tasty, very filling but if I make it again I’ll need to find a sauce solution. I was stuffed after finishing it but I think it was just hard going eating it.

Spicy Lamb Meatballs with Chickpeas in a Spicy Tomato Sauce


What a lovely few days of weather we are having lately. Summer is finally coming it would seem.

I threw this together in less than 15 minutes in an attempt to replicate to some degree Jamie Oliver 15 minute meal that we saw on TV over the weekend. I think I was close enough.

All I did here was empty a tin of drained chickpeas and a carton of passata into a pan and bring to a simmer with half a red chilli and couple of spring onions.

While they are simmering form meatballs from lamb mince mixed with Garam Masalla and fry them off. When they are done add them to the sauce.

I sprinkled chopped coriander on the sauce before serving but that was all I did.

I’m sure there was a salad in there somewhere when we watched the show but this was more than enough.

Shawarma Chicken with Warm Chickpea Purée and Sumac Onions

We seem to be eating rather a lot of chicken lately!

This dish is from A Change of Appetite by Diana Henry. I finally bought my own copy having borrowed my Mother-in-Laws one last year.

In some respects it isn’t dissimilar to the Jamie Oliver dish I made from 15 minute meals. It just has a little more care and attention. They both end up pan frying chicken at a high heat very quickly.

I mostly ignore the treatment that chicken requires when cooking. If it says boneless chicken thighs I tend to just leave the skin on and leave the bone in – speed over appearance – but for a change I decided to out my Global knives to good use and bone and skin the chicken. It’s pretty easy with the right tools so I will put in the effort from now on.

The prepped chicken is marinated in garlic, lemon juice, cumin, turmeric and mixed spice for several hours.  The purée is made from cooked onion, garlic, cumin and mixed spice- to which you add your chickpeas and blend until smooth with some tahini, lemon juice and olive oil.

For once I found my Nutribullet to be a little irritating when pureeing. It isn’t very good at blitzing a lot of something – especially when it is thick. It is also incredibly difficult to get out of the container when you are done. I think a stick blender would have been better; I may even take a punt on something a bit more upmarket like a Vitamix or a Thermomix.

The sumac onions are simply some crisped up  red onions with sumac sprinkled on top. I crisped mine up on a bed of ice – but it suggests just using cold water.

When you’re ready to easy get your pan really hot and pan fry the chicken – a couple of minutes on each side – and serve with the chickpea puree and the onions.

This dish is very nice. The warm chickpea purée isn’t far off being a hummus and goes really well with the spices that marinade the chicken.

I served mine with pitta bread but I think it was largely unnecessary. We ate quite late and it was a struggle to finish it.  I also added a mint, radish and lettuce salad and a blob of yoghurt just to use up some salad I had in the fridge.

It’s film club tonight – and we are watching Ex-Machina. I made extra so we have an enviable snack for later.

I’ll certainly made this again – especially for the puree. It’s amazing.

Coriander Chicken with Preserved Lemon Bulgar Wheat, Griddled Broccoli and a Radish and Mint Salad

 
Freya’s parents went on holiday for a few days so we took the liberty of treating their house like our own.

Friday we had a nice BBQ with Freya’s brother and his girlfriend followed by an evening of Ru Paul and his new series Drag Race. 

Last night we were struggling to get any signal from any of their Sky channels but eventually landed on a cooking channel and Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals. 

It is often debated whether it can be done in 15 minutes – but I did. This dish was definitely done in 15 minutes – with bags of time to go dancing. 

Three pans on the go at once. All on top whack. Bash out a chicken breast until it is thinner, coat in coriander seeds and pan fry until done on both sides.

Boil a quartered broccoli head for a bit then chargrill it on all sides. 

Using the broccoli water boil the bulgar wheat with preserved lemons. 

While that’s all doing bash some radishes and some mint and mix with yoghurt. Pretty sure I remembered this bit wrong. 

Drain the bulgar wheat. Squish the preserved lemons through it. Slice the chicken. Serve. Easy. 

It really was easy and quick. And really tasty too.

I’ll get the book when I get paid. But for now it’s off to dancing. 

Quick meal. Quick blog post. 

 

Chinese Restaurant Style Lemon Chicken with Cardamon Basmati Rice


Here’s a nice simple low calorie meal I threw together in less than 39 minutes last night.

Freya and I don’t usually eat Chinese food. We fall firmly in the Indian, Middle East camp and tend not to eat wok style good. No real reason; maybe 10 years of going to the Chinese Cafe in Hatfield every Monday finally took its toll.

This recipe from The Superfood Diet is so low in calories that you won’t believe how big a portion you can have and stay under 500 calories. Freya couldn’t finish hers!

It was a very simple dish to make. Simply fry some ginger and garlic in a tiny amount of sesame oil, add some diced chicken that has been rolled in cornflour and brown lightly without burning the cornflour. Add water gradually and bring to a simmer before finally adding a mix of lemon rind, lemons, agave syrup and a stock cube.

It doesn’t get easier – 15 minutes max. The rice was done it about the same time.

Last but not least sprinkle some spring onions on top. I served mine with a few lime slices because I ran out of lemons!

We both loved this. And it left plenty of time for us to get up to date with this years Masterchef Australia. Go Reynold – (Spoilers!)

Thrown together Spaghetti in a Smoky Tomato Sauce with Bacon and Chorizo

I had plans for dinner yesterday but time got away from me and I didn’t make it to the shops to get ingredients.  A quick nose through the fridge and the cupboards and I saw I had everything to throw this together.  It was pretty simple.

Fry some smoked bacon and chorizo and put to one side, leaving all the oils from the meat in the pan.  Fry some onions, add garlic, celery, grated carrot, tinned tomatoes and a little smoked paprika and leave bubbling away for 30 minutes or so.

Meanwhile cook your spaghetti. When it’s ready drain and pour into a serving dish. Pour the tomato sauce over the top and then the bacon and chorizo.  Mix it all together and hey presto – a simple meal from the cupboard.

A simple yummy fix me up when you don’t feel like following a recipe from a book.

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow!

Smokin’ Super-bean, Egg and Tuna Salad

Saturday 13th was the eighth leg of our Year and Day Monopoly Board Pub Crawl challenge.

For those of you not familiar with the concept, before you get married there is a tradition of a Stag and a Hen event; where the men all go and do something for their last day of freedom and the women all do the same. Over the years these two events have tended to get merged into one and everyone just goes out together prior to the wedding and has a good old party – usually very much geared towards the consumption of large amounts of alcohol.

If you live in London, are very much inclined to more than just few drinks in the evening, and love a challenge, then Monopoly Board Pub Crawl is the thing to try. Many try. Many fail.

We decided to put our own spin on this event by having a drink (often more) in every pub in every street on the Monopoly Board – instead of the traditional one drink in one pub on each street. We also decided to do one colour of the board per weekend and spread these out over the year – instead of the traditional all 26 streets in one day rule.

Anyway, yesterday we were round to the Yellow part of the board and we had a great time. We also had a fly over from the Red Arrows – although they were perhaps celebrating Trooping the Colour rather than our wedding jolly!

With Browns, Light Blues, Light Purples, Oranges, Reds, Two Stations and now the Yellows complete all that is left is the Greens, the Dark Purples and Two stations and we’ve completed the whole thing!

When we are done we plan to choose our favourite pub from each street and attempt the event in the traditional style – 26 pubs in 12 hours.

Anyway, nothing to do with food !

We had this salad on Friday and it is packed with fibre and protein. There’s nothing to it really. It’s just very tasty and far better and cheaper than anything you’ll get from the pick and mix salad bar in a supermarket.

Simple mix tinned, flageolet, kidney and black eyed beans in a bowl with tinned tuna, tinned sweetcorn, a red onion, a tomato, lemon juice, olive oil, mint, basil, garlic, a green chilli, smoked paprika, and sugar in a bowl and leave for a while to let the flavours develop.

Serve with some sliced spring onions scattered on top and a quartered hard boiled egg on the side.

Personally I think the egg is unnecessary in this dish. You could easily leave it out. It was very filling as it was.

This was really simple and really yummy. And ready in no time at all. All you need is a knife and a tin opener. I didn’t even need that as all my tins were ring pulls!

Very Low Calorie Chicken Caesar 

Last night was dancing night. Rock n Roll at Hedsor Social Club with a live band – Greggie G and his Crazy Gang. It was great to catch up with all our friends that we usually see on a Tuesday when we have a dance lesson with Jumping Jim and V.

If you fancy giving it a go, come along. It’s great.

Before we went out I just had time to knock up two very easy and very tasty salads – this was one.

Most Caesar’s are pretty high in calories and fat but this one from The Superfood Diet was very healthy indeed.

It only has one cooked element; the chicken breast. I just roasted it in the oven for 29 minutes and let it cool down before slicing it

While you’re waiting for the chicken you make a dressing of Greek yoghurt, a small amount of full fat mayonnaise, honey, curry powder, coriander, mint and dill.

All those fresh herbs and a but of curry powder really wake up low fat dishes – which can otherwise really taste dull.

When the chicken is done simply combine some mixed leaves, the chicken, some pitted green olives and half a bell pepper with the dressing and mix well. Finally serve with pistachios.

This comes out at about 150 calories a serving compared to a regular Caesar which tends to push 900 calories. Granted there was no bacon but I didn’t think the dish needed it. And pistachios are far cooler than croutons any day!

This salad was amazing. It was too big in fact. Really tasty and bags of flavour. I loved it.

It’s always nice to be complimented on your weight loss too. Our friends at Hedsor all said we’d lost tonnes of weight. So good like this really works!