Tag Archives: healthy food

Spicy Chicken, Coconut & Split Green Pea Soup

Earlier this week the boy P was keen on cooking a soup recipe for dinner from the Sainsburys magazine (of all things!) – in the end as i was home first i made it and it was such a delicious surprise – easy, tasty, warmings and healthy. I wanted to share the recipe here so I have it as a quick go to as we will definitely be having it again.

The below makes 2 very generous portions or 3 starter size portions.

4 Chicken Thighs (i used boneless)

Salt & Pepper

Vegetable/Rapeseed/Coconut Oil

1 red onion – diced

2 Garlic Cloves – diced

1 Red Chilli – diced

1.5tsp Ginger (paste or fresh diced)

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

200g Green Split Peas

600ml Chicken Stock

100g Spinach

50g Creamed Coconut (dissolved in 100ml boiling water)

2 Spring Onions – sliced

Handful fresh coriander – chopped

70g Blanched Almonds – sliced

Start by frying the chicken in some oil in a large saucepan until sealed and browned. Remove and leave to one side. Add a little more oil to the pan and fry the onion until softened then mix the spices and stir through. Add the chilli, ginger and garlic for 2 more minutes before popping the green split lentils into the pan and covering with the stock.

Leave to simmer for 30minutes or until the green split peas have softened. Stir through the coconut cream and water and also the spinach until all combined. Leave to simmer for a further 15minutes. If you would like the soup thicker, leave it for longer, if you would like it thinner then add a little more water.

As you are serving, sprinkle with fresh spring onions, coriander and almonds!

Enjoy!

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Winter Salad

As my new year healthkick continues, I have tried to be more thoughtful about each and every bit of food im putting into my body. Saying that – after a long and tough last week and a success in avoiding caffeine, alcohol, salt and sugar – I finished off a lovely dinner last night at Cafe Monico in London, with a Paris Brest – a choux pastry filled with beautiful coffee and hazelnut praline cream – it was perfect and a real treat.

Anyway – back to being nutritious today and working on filling my body with goodness. Elix saw a salad in the Nopi cookbook with a base of sprouts and watercress so we decided to use this as inspiration for our lunch.

You will see shortly that the recipe is super simple and easy so I wanted to add on some info about why I chose some ingredients today. This is also good revision for me as I am close to completing my Nutrition diploma!

Sprouts – seasonal at the moment and high in anti-cancer elements. Sprouts are part of the cabbage family all of which boost skin health from the vitamins C and K as well as being packed with sulphur which can help to heal skin conditions including acne and eczema and keeps your digestice system healthy.

Watercress – grown all year round. The leaves are rich in Vitamins B, C and K meaning it’s a good way to process energy from protein, promote skin health, fight colds and flu aswell as acting as a natural antibiotic.

Mushrooms – support immune function, cleanse the digestive system and through their high vitamin D content, are good for bone health, cancer prevention and immune defence.

Serves 2
20 sprouts
10 mushrooms – sliced
Handful of Asparagus – chopped
100g Watercress
2 Eggs
White Wine Vinegar
50g Iberica Ham – diced
1 small Seeded Wholegrain Roll
Pecorino – shaved
1 1/2 tbsp Maple Syrup
1 1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 1/2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

Rip up the roll into bitesize pieces, drizzle with a little olive oil and place under the grill for 10 minutes. Once crispy, remove and leave to one side.
Set 2 saucepans on with water to boil. In one, place 16 sprouts (8 each are 1 of your 5 a day) and the asparagus to cook for 5 minutes. In the other pan, add a teaspoon of white wine vinegar and bring to a rolling boil.
Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in a frying pan and gently fry the mushrooms, adding the ham as the mushrooms start to brown. Shred the remaining sprouts by slicing finely and add these to the pan.
Crack the eggs into the saucepan of water to poach for 5 minutes until softly cooked.
Drain the whole sprouts and asparagus and add to the mushroom and ham to caramelise. They are really lovely with a little char.
To bring the salad together, place the watercress at the base and cover with the ham, mushrooms and shredded sprouts. Using a peeler, shave a few strands of pecorino over the top and scatter the croutons around.
For the dressing – stir together the vinegar, syrup and lemon juice and gently spoon over the salad.
Finally – place your poached egg on top and let the runny yolk act as an extra dressing to this warming, nutritious and tasty winter salad.

A Lesson in N’Duja

Every evening as I walk home from the tube, I call my parents to hear about their days and tell them about my day, usually whinge to them, find out what they are having for dinner and tell them what we are cooking…..today this is when the trouble started!

I declared to Dad that we were having courgetti with a tomato, n’duja and ricotta sauce. “What’s N’Duja?” I tried explaining that its a spicy sausage paste, similar in texture to a coarse pate that almost liquifies when cooks. It tastes like spicy chorizo and is common in Italian and Spanish cooking – I have had it on pizzas, in pasta and on bruschetta. Dad was confused and couldn’t understand asking silly questions like “is it meat?” and “is it liquid pate?”. Well Dad – here is a blog to teach you all about it!

N’Duja is a spicy, spreadable pork salami from Italy. The pork meat is chopped finely, mixed with roasted pepper and chilli spices and cured in the same way chorizo is. 

Tonight I cooked courgetti with a spiced tomato sauce and it was delicious!

Serves 2
2 large courgettes – spiralized
2 garlic cloves – finely diced
200g Cherry Tomatoes
3tsp N’Duja
8 Fine Asparagus – sliced
Ricotta to serve

Fry the tomatoes in a frying pan until charred and mash-able. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and add the garlic. As the tomatoes burst and the juice adds extra moisture to the pan, stir in the n’duja and asparagus. Let the n’duja dissolve into the sauce – add a little extra water to loosen if necessary. Once the sauce is a thick consistency and the n’duja is incorporated add the courgetti and coat with the sauce.
As the n’duja is so spicy and smoky I added a few small dollops of ricotta to stir through to tone down the heat and add some creaminess to the sweet tomato sauce.