Veggiestan Waldorf Salad

Now here’s the only salad that I think you will ever need. From the Veggiestan cookbook, this was going to be a side for another dish but I decided it wouldn’t go so we had it as a meal on its own. 

I can’t praise this enough and can’t to wait to make it again this weekend. Simple to make. Great combinations of flavour and textures. And it looks great too. 

No two Waldorfs are ever the same, although they do typically have lashings of mayonnaise. This one doesn’t and substitutes it for yoghurt, which is obviously far better for you.

The Veggiestan Waldorf is very simple. Line a bowl with some nice crisp gem lettuce leaves, and then in a bowl combine chopped apple, celery, onion, cucumber, green pepper, walnuts with raisins, coriander and mint. To this mixture you add your dressing of yoghurt, apple cider vinegar, honey and some infused saffron. Finally tip your mixture between all the salad leaves.

This is quite amazing. I could eat this all day every day – and I think it would go with absolutely anything; BBQs, meat, fish, it’s a really good salad. Quite frankly you could just have it on its own. Its very satisfying.

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!

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.