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!)

Gammon and Chestnut Tagliatelle 


I usually load myself up on chicken after I’ve had a session at the tattooist. I find I fall asleep from the three hours of constant needlework if I don’t load up on food. But today was an exception. I stuck to the diet and just had my regular diet replacement shake.

This evening while Freya tried on a new batch of clothes from ASOS to reward herself for her impressive weight loss – I put this together. And very quickly too. It only took 20 minutes to make. And I wasn’t even rushing.  The recipe is from delicious magazine by the way.

They don’t sell pappardelle pasta in Morrisons  so I subbed it for tagliatelle. It was close enough and still had the desired effect.

Very simply you fry a gammon steak that you have cut into lardon shapes, add an onion, some garlic, chopped chestnuts and cook a little longer. Then stir in some creme fraiche and some chopped parsley before combining it with your cooked pasta.

Like I said it was ready in 20 minutes; which included bringing the water for the pasta to the boil.  This is very tasty indeed. The chestnuts really made this dish. Really nice contrasts of textures and flavours.

Freya loved this; as did I. She loved it even more when you worked out it came in at less than 400 calories. What she loved even more was fitting into everything she bought from ASOS and not having to send anything back. She even fits into my jeans now.

Can’t argue with that now can you!

Where have you been!?

A picture of an Empty Plate

I’ve just realised I haven’t posted anything on this site since February. That’s pretty poor!

I have been cooking – but I haven’t been inspired by anything – and have been repeat cooking many of the things that I have previously posted and liked. I’ve cut back with the cookbook purchasing and have tried to get the boat in order – cooking was taking first place and it shouldn’t have!

On top of this I have started dieting to try and shift some of the excess pounds that are more than evident on our delayed honeymoon pictures in Morocco. Dieting for me means meal replacement shakes and a very light meal (sub 500 calories) in the evening and this seems to be paying off – but isn’t really much help for the blog.

Anyway – I must put this right. So today I resolve to reawaken the blog and get back into planning meals and cooking nice things. The extra bonus is the lighter evenings meaning I can take reasonable photographs rather than struggle in the dark.

Watch this space – tonight – Left Over Chicken Curry from the Guardian website.

My Kitchen

927951_707115999347753_1291181383_n (1)My kitchen is … very small – it’s on a boat after all. I have lots of gadgets but they are all in storage. The only electrical gadget I use now is a Nutribullet. My limited cupboard space is full of: oils, spices, brown rice, quinoa, nuts. Everything else I buy fresh – every day – as required.

My favourite piece of kit is … my knives. If you don’t have sharp knives then cooking isn’t fun. If chopping an onion has the potential to injure you – then go buy better knives! My Globals are amazing.

My diet comprises largely … wholefoods and plants – I hardly every eat meat; I don’t cook meat on the boat. If we go out – we might have a cheeky bit of chicken here and there!

My storecupboard staple is … nuts. Adding nuts to any salad creates an extra texture, making the salad more exciting.

When I’m starving I … toast some pumpkin seeds, add tamari and serve on top of a grated courgette. It’s quicker than making toast!

Everything is better when you … swap rice for quinoa, pearl barley, buckwheat or freekeh. The substitutes are nutritionally superior.

My best-kept kitchen secret is …  boiling cauliflower ruins it. Roast it after rubbing it in a little oil and cumin. Let it char. You’ll never boil cauliflower again.

I’m currently obsessed with … Moroccan and Middle Eastern food. We are going to Marrakech in April and food from that area inspired the choice.

Eating out in Camden Market

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It’s not all about cooking for me! Today we are in Camden Market looking for outfits and rings for our wedding in five weeks time.

This food is from inSpiral – the vegetarian restaurant/cafe that overlooks Camden Lock. They specialise in Vegan food and a lot of it is raw.

We have a raw burger on a bed of pickled butternut squash, a trio of salads and some tamari covered seeds. We also had some kale chips/crisps which were really yummy.

These have all inspired me to try and make these sometime soon!

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Couscous, Sweet Potato and Edamame Salad with a Citrus Basil Vinaigrette

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I know this blog is all about cooking recipes from cookery books, but I’ve also found that there are a wealth of great recipes to be found online or in supermarkets. They do tend to favour the meat eater but there are good vegetarian ones out there too if you look hard enough.

One particularly tasty dish from Ocado’s Vegetarian recipe section is ‘Couscous, Sweet Potato and Edamame Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette

The recipe suggests boiling then frying the sweet potatoes, but I prefer the leave the skins on the sweet potatoes and roast them as they become much softer, sweeter and intense.

I also prefer to swap couscous for Quinoa cooked in bouillon as it is much higher in protein and gluten free; so ideal if you have vegans in your home. Bouillon really adds flavour to grains like quinoa, pearl barley and bulgar wheat.

Looks beautiful doesn’t it. Really colourful and inviting. And what’s more all the ingredients are readily available from your favourite online supermarket.

There are so many textures and flavours going on in this recipe. Quinoa, sweet potatoes, edamame beans, spring onions, basil and rosary ash goats cheese. The orange and basil dressing adds a lovely citrus hit and the goats cheese is incredibly creamy  – hmm its just so yummy and is very filling – and I know I’ll make this regularly.

You can eat this dish hot or cold, and it keeps really well too – so if you have leftovers you can take some to work the next day and have your work colleagues drooling as they eat their ready meals and sandwiches!

If you want to add a crunchy topping for the salad you could try roasting some pumpkin seeds in tamari soy sauce.  I made them in an earlier recipe. They are really intense. I like to make lots and graze on them during the day.

 

Celeriac and Orange Soup

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When you’re poorly, like I was, there’s nothing better to have to eat than soup. Chances are you’ll keep it down!

This soup is delicious. Not sure why its called Celeriac and Orange soup. I’d have called it Celeriac and Fennel Soup. The orange it really only zested over the top!

After roasting some fennel, you add it to chopped celeriac and cook until tender. Then you add some coconut milk and umeboshi plum puree. Then you puree the whole mixture in a blender until smooth.

The zesting of an orange over the top really makes this special. It really adds another layer of flavour to the soup.

If I’m honest I couldn’t really pick out the celeriac or the fennel in the soup. I could really taste the umeboshi plum puree – which is tart and tangy. Maybe we were a little heavy handed with it.

I’ve been eating this for two days now and really like it. It’s good hot or cold. It’s lovely and thick and I’ll definitely be making it again.

I’m looking forward to doing some cooking tomorrow and some proper blogging. I’ve missed it the last couple of days!