Dill and Lemon Fish with a Pea Mint Mash

Something a little special 


One of my favourite things to do over holidays is have family or friends over and indulge in leisurely and delicious dinner parties. Something a little different from the usual culinary fare and something a little special too. The recipe I’m sharing today is just that. 

I made this meal when our family was over and staying with us for the easter long weekend. Like me, my family is made up of devout foodies, we all live to eat. I wanted to make something a little extra special for them but also something that didn’t require slaving in the kitchen for hours on end.


Inspired by flavours from Greece this fish recipe makes the perfect use of fresh herbs and dried spices. I love the  freshness and simplicity of Greek food. This dish is so aromatic, with every bite you can smell and taste each distinct flavour. Served on a bed of pea mint mash not only makes it healthy but also a little extra moorish.

So the next time you have guests over, pull this trick out of your hat. It’ll be a meal they remember for a long time to come. 

Ingredients: 14  Cooking time: 30 minutes 

Serves: 6

For the fish 

  • Six fillets of white fish ( I used gummy shark)
  • One punnet of dill, finely chopped
  • Half a bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 100gms of capers, chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • One teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • 300ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt to season 

For the pea mint mash

  • 500gms of peas
  • Two teaspoons of dried mint leaves
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
  • Salt to season 

Begin by marinating the fish. In a large bowl combine, oil, dill, parsley, capers, oregano and chilli flakes. Mix well. 

Add the fish and using your hands gently rub the marinade on all the fillets. Cover the fish with cling wrap and put it in the fridge for five to six hours. This will allow all the flavours to seep into the fish.

While the fish marinates prepare the pea mint mash. Boil the peas for seven to ten minutes or until soft. Rinse with cold water and drain them. Now mix all the ingredients in the blender and blitz it. Season with salt as required, pea mint mash is ready.

To cook the fish, heat a heavy bottom frying pan and add the oil from the marinade. Use more extra virgin olive oil to cook the fish if required. Place the fillets in the pan and cook for four to five minutes on each side or until the fish is cooked. Drizzle lemon juice on top of each fillet and sprinkle salt to taste.

Before plating up warm up the pea mint mash. Add a large spoonful of the mash on a plate and gently place the fillet on top. Drizzle the oil from the pan on top for more flavour. Season with cracked pepper and serve.


 

Big Breakfast

Because nothing says weekend like a big breakfast…

Now with Samuel Kabir eating solids our mealtimes have become so much more fun. It’s so entertaining watching him try new things, roll his eyes or smile with glee each time he tries a new food. One thing is for sure the boy loves his food. Who wouldn’t I suppose with foodie parents like us two.

My favourite part of the week has to be cooking and relishing weekend brunches with my family. Recently I decided to make my own spiced breakfast beans and crispy breakfast potatoes. Needless to say there were cheesy scrambled eggs and beautiful crusty grilled sourdough. 

 

While I’m a complete believer in convenience and using canned baked beans would’ve been just fine. Since it’s the question of nutrition for little SammyK I make no compromise. Besides when homemade beans are so easy to make and ready in 15 minutes, why wouldn’t you make them at home.

Ingredients:  18 Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

For the beans

  • One can of reduced salt cannellini beans
  • One small onion, chopped
  • Two medium tomatoes, chopped
  • Half a bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • Two pods of garlic, finely chopped
  • One teaspoon cumin powder
  • Half a teaspoon of rosemary leaves
  • Salt to season 
  • Three tablespoons of olive oil

For the potatoes 

  • Three to four medium-sized potatoes, cubed
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • One teaspoon of mixed Italian herbs 
  • Salt to season 

For the eggs

  • Eight eggs
  • Quarter cup of milk
  • Half a cup of grated tasty cheddar
  • Salt to season
  • One teaspoon of olive oil

Begin by rinsing the beans thoroughly to wash off the salts and rind. On the other hand parboil the potatoes until slightly tender.

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Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic and onion, cook until aromatic. Now add tomatoes, herbs and spices and let the tomatoes stew on a medium heat for five to seven minutes.

  
Once the tomatoes are soft add the beans and half a cup of water. Mix well and cover the pan, let the beans simmer for 10 minutes.

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In the meantime, heat oil in another pan. Add mixed Italian herbs, once aromatic, add the potatoes. Toss well and cook until potatoes are cooked through and crispy.

  

To make the eggs. Whisk the eggs and milk in a bowl. Heat oil in a pan, add the eggs and turn the heat low. Keep folding the eggs in until scrambled and fluffy. Add grated cheddar and mix through. Garnish with cracked pepper. 

Your lip smackingly delicious big breakfast is ready to serve. If you are sharing this with your little one, take out relevant portions for him/her and then add salt for seasoning to the remaining. All the meat lovers feel free to add chorizo in beans or bacon on the side. Or just take my word that you won’t miss the meat if you eat a well cooked vegetarian meal once in a while.

  

So what are you waiting for. Pile it all up on a big plate and enjoy with a nice cup of coffee. Meanwhile in our house SammyK demolished his food and then went on to feed his furbling.

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Chicken Momos

You will definitely want more more…

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Thanks to social media the world has become such a small place. Connecting with people has never been easier. Today’s reader recipe is from a dear friend Sarah, we got acquainted through Instagram and share extremely similar passions – family (including our pets), food and fashion to name a few. I had been pestering Sarah to share her culinary masterpiece, her Chicken Momo recipe for ages because every time she uploaded a picture on Instagram it had me and the whole Instagram community drooling. So without further ado, find Sarah’s lip smackingly delicious Chicken Momos recipe below.

SARAH’S STORY

“Momos like any traditional dish, has been passed down to us generation by generation. Every household has a different recipe, here is mine.”

Ingredients: 14    Cooking time: 20 minutes

For the filling:
  • Half kilo ground chicken (use thigh meat as it is juicier), can be substituted for any protein of your choice
  • Two onions finely chopped
  • Two to three inches of ginger peeled and made into a paste or finely minced
  • Few cloves of finely minced garlic (this is not authentic but I like the flavor of garlic)
  • 0.5 cup of vegetable oil (especially for the chicken momos as chicken has hardly any fat. This will produce juicier momos)
  • 1 bunch coriander finely minced stems and all (again this is my personal preference)
  • Salt to taste
For the dough
  • 3 to 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • Water as needed to make a firm dough
For the Achar (Pickle)
  • Handful of dry red Indian chillies or as per taste
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 10 to 12 cloves of garlic
  • Salt to taste

Mix the all-purpose flour and salt well. Add water as needed and knead like you would dough for rotis or pooris. Knead till the dough is firm and there are no flour visible on your kneading bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest while you start on your filling

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Another option – Look for white dumpling wrapper in the freezer section of the Asian Grocery Store. They are stacked high and packed together. You can use this to make it a bit easier but nothing tastes like homemade momo wrapper. If you buy the frozen wrapper, make sure to let it thaw in your fridge and keep it covered with a wet paper towel as you make your momos as they tend to dry quickly

For the filling, add the ground chicken, chopped onions, ginger paste, garlic if using, and chopped coriander in a big mixing bowl. Add salt to taste as well as the oil and mix well

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Take a small amount of filling on a plate and microwave for a few minutes. Taste for salt, adjust accordingly

Divide the dough into smaller portions and roll them like a long log. Cut them to small pieces and make round balls out of them like you would for pooris. Coat them in reserved flour and roll into small round wrapper

Add the filling in the center of the wrapper. This depends on the size of your wrapper. Start with a tablespoon and adjust according. Crimp and fold into any desired shape (You can watch videos on youtube to learn how to fold dumplings – Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Momos can be folded the same way). I just crimp and fold. The key thing is the shape doesn’t matter, as long as the momos are sealed shut properly as they cook with steam. So make sure that your momos are crimped shut.

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Arrange the momos in a greased steamer (I spray cooking oil spray in mine) making sure that they are not touching one another. I use a dumpling steamer so I add water to bottom of the steamer, half way through and bring it to a rolling boil.

Add the steamers with the momos on top. Close the lid. Put the timer for 20 minutes. We like to eat the momos when they are steaming hot and straight out of the steamer, so we time everything accordingly, like the achars and stuff.  

To make the Achar, begin by boiling the dry red chillies in water for at least 20 minutes (So that your tummy won’t hurt). Let them cool

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius or if you have gas stove or grill you can simply char your tomatoes and garlic in the grill or over gas, If not cut the tomatoes into halves. Grease a oven tray lined with foil with oil. Add tomatoes to the tray. Cook for about 20 minutes till the tomatoes are nicely roasted. Add the garlic and cook for another 10 minutes or till nicely roasted.

In a blender, add the boiled chillies, the roasted tomatoes and garlic, and salt. Blitz, taste for salt, adjust accordingly. Your simple Achar is ready.

I hope you enjoy Sarah’s lip smackingly delicious Chicken Momo recipe!

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Tomato Pea and Basil Frittata

Frittatas are always an eggcellent idea…

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Ahhhhh!!! Eggs!!! I remember my favourite TV commercial as a child was the one about eggs, even to date I remember their ad jingle – Sunday ho ya Monday roz khaao ande (Be it Sunday or Monday, eat eggs everyday). Eggs are so versatile. Boil them, poach them, scramble them, bake them, eat them by themselves or mixed up with other tasty ingredients, they never disappoint!

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While poached and baked eggs are my top two favourite ways of eating eggs, from time to time I do enjoy a good omelet or frittata. In the strictest sense, the difference between an omelet and frittata boils down to a matter of folding in a filling rather than mixing it in. Omelets traditionally have the egg mixture cooked and folded around a filling, while a frittata just mixes it all up, cooked in a mishmash combination all at once. Frittatas are often served at room temperature, making them perfect for brunches or larger groups.

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Today’s frittata recipe is inspired by the Australian spring. Even though we are currently in the middle of winter, this recipe creates an illusion with its aromas whereby I can almost smell and feel the freshness of spring. Tangy tomatoes, sweet peas and aromas of basil are enough to allure even the harshest frittata critic and convert them to a lover.

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Ingredients: 10  Cooking time:25 mins

Serves: 4

  • Six eggs, lightly beaten
  • One medium red onion, finely sliced
  • Half cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Half cup of peas
  • Eight to ten basil leaves
  • Two tablespoons of goats cheese or feta (optional)
  • One red chilli, sliced
  • One green chilli, sliced
  • Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to season

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Lightly beat the eggs and season them with a pinch of salt and keep aside.

Heat three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan. Add sliced onions and chillies, cook until onion is translucent.Roughly tear up the basil leaves and add them to the onion mixture, this will ensure that beautiful basil aroma permeates through the dish.

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Now add the peas and tomatoes and cook for seven to ten minutes on medium heat. 

Take the pan off the heat and pour in the egg mixture. Crumble goats cheese on top. Place the pan back on low heat for five to seven minutes until the eggs have set.

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Finally place the pan in the hot oven for ten to fifteen minutes or until the frittata is golden and risen.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves and sliced tomatoes.

You can serve the frittata with a fresh salad or charred toast. Enjoy this lip smackingly delicious meal on days where you want to eat something tasty but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

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Palak Dal (Spinach Lentil Curry)

Never judge a book by its cover…

Palak Dal and I have crossed paths many a time, but it never really interested me. I think it’s because it didn’t sound glamourous enough to eat when dining out and didn’t sound simple enough to make at home. Moreover with so many varieties of dal that are my favourite, palak dal didn’t really stand a chance.

So just when I ruled out palak dal, it came back into my life. One night I had a massive craving for dal and rice and surprisingly not many options, I only had chana dal in my pantry. Some days to satisfy a craving you have to make do with the dal you may not necessarily eat on other days.

There I was cooking chana dal for dinner only to realise I had no fresh coriander!! This may sound like a first world problem but it is a really big issue when you don’t have fresh coriander to uplift the spirits of the dal you don’t really like. After ransacking my fridge and freezer, I found some frozen spinach. Turns out I ended up making Palak Dal!

The truth is this not so glamourous and seemingly complicated dal was so comforting, flavourful and easy to make that I have been kicking myself wondering why I did not try it earlier. My lesson learnt is never judge a book by its cover. Without further ado find this lip smackingly delicious recipe below and take my word it will become your go to comfort food on days when you crave dal chawal.

Ingredients: 16   Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

  • One cup chana dal (yellow split chickpeas)
  • One onion, finely chopped
  • Two medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Three to four green chillies, finely chopped
  • Five to six pods of garlic, finely chopped
  • One cup of spinach, finely chopped (I used frozen)
  • Three tablespoons of desiccated coconut (or four tablespoons of coconut milk
  • One cinnamon stick
  • One teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 0.5 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • One teaspoon dried coriander powder
  • One teaspoon sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Two tablespoons of mustard oil
  • Salt to season

Start by rinsing the lentils a few times under water. Soak the lentils in water for an hour prior to cooking and if you have less time then soak it for 30 minutes in hot water. Drain the lentils and add them in a pressure cooker or saucepan with 3 cups of water and half a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Cook the lentils until they are soft.

To pack a punch in the lentils let’s make the tadka. In a pan heat mustard oil (mustard oil gives the dal a real earthy flavour but you can use ghee or olive oil) , smoke the oil for two minutes or so to get rid of the pungent mustard aroma. Now add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and cinnamon stick and let them sizzle.

Add onion, garlic and green chillies. Cook until the onions are lightly caramelised. Now add chopped tomatoes , cook the mixture on a medium heat until the tomatoes are soft. 

Now add coriander powder and desiccated coconut, followed by lemon juice. Mix all the ingredients well to distribute the flavour evenly. Finally add spinach and half a cup of water, season with salt and sugar and let the tadka paste simmer for 10 minutes on a medium heat.

Its time for the holy matrimony of chana dal with the tadka. Mix the boiled chana dal in the tadka paste, check for seasoning (add more salt or sugar as required). Cover the pan with a lid and let the dal simmer for five to seven minutes.

Your lip smackingly delicious Palak Dal is ready to serve. I served this beauty with a side of peas pulao (you can find a recipe for peas pulao here) and plain yogurt, truly a match made in heaven.

Reshmi Dal (Creamy Lentil Curry)

It’s smooth like silk…

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Growing up in an Indian household, it will suffice to say I have had a very spoilt upbringing. Not spoilt by material things, but by unconditional love, limitless care and utterly delicious food. While at home I never spared a thought on ‘whats for dinner?’ because there one of my favourite dishes was always simmering away on the stove. Moving away from home has not only got me thinking about whats for dinner, but also cooking it! Cooking and eating Indian food is second nature to me, therefore most weeknights it is my preferred cuisine.

I do have some tried and tested recipes, but my inherent curiosity  always leads me to try new recipes and flavour combinations. There are two things I look for in a recipe – loads of flavour and ease of cooking. After all the last thing one wants to do following a long day at work is slave in the kitchen. Today’s recipe definitely has my two pre-requisites covered, but there is another added bonus – this dish is low in calories and high in nutrition.

I have called this recipe Reshmi Dal because it truly is smooth like silk and Reshm does actually mean silk in Hindi. I use canned brown lentils for this recipe, so you don’t need a pressure cooker – the dal can be made with great ease in a saucepan. This recipe in particular is an ode to all my Australian friends who love Indian food – give this recipe a go, I promise you will keep coming back for more.

Ingredients:  9    Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

  • 400 gms of canned brown lentils (I use the Annalisa brand)
  • One brown onion, finely chopped
  • Two inch piece of ginger, smashed
  • One cup of coriander, finely chopped (leaves and stems)
  • Three to four green chillies, halved
  • Two teaspoons of cumin seeds
  • 1.5 tablespoons of ghee
  • Salt to season
  • One tablespoon of light Greek natural yogurt to garnish

Heat ghee in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds and wait for them to crackle. Then add the finely chopped onions and cook until translucent.

Now add the smashed ginger, coriander stems and green chillies. Cook the onion mixture on low heat for four to five minutes.

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Rinse the lentils thoroughly, add them to the onion mixture and give the ingredients a good stir. Now add about three cups of water, salt to season, cover the saucepan and let the dal simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.

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Check the dal, as it cooks and the protein breakdowns the dal will transform into a creamy consistency. At this stage add half a cup of water, fresh coriander (spare some leaves for the garnish later), cover the saucepan and let the lentils simmer for another five to seven minutes.

Your dal is now ready to serve. Garnish with a dollop of natural Greek yogurt and coriader leaves, serve with steamed rice and simply dig in.

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Cretan Omlette

One bite and you may find yourself in Greece…

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During my travels around Greece I was completely floored by the fresh ingredients, simple flavours and effortless cooking of the locals. The Mediterranean diet is definitely one to reckon with, principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products.

Today’s recipe comes from the island of Crete in Greece. I relished this beautiful dish almost everyday for brunch while I was in Crete. This beautiful omelette is a perfect dish for weekend brunches or mid week dinners, easy to make and so full of flavour – you may just be teleported to Greece with one bite.

Ingredients: 7   Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

  • Six eggs
  • One zucchini, finely sliced
  • One onion, finely sliced
  • Two green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled feta or goats cheese
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt to season

In a bowl whisk the eggs and keep aside.

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Heat olive oil in a non stick frying pan. Add the onions and green chillies and cook the onions until they are translucent. Now add the sliced zucchini and cook until soft.

Transfer the onion zucchini mix into the bowl with the beaten eggs and give the eggs a good whisk.

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Add the egg mixture back into the pan, rotate the pan in a circular motion to spread the eggs evenly. Lastly, add the crumbled feta or goats cheese.

Cook on a low to medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes until the omelette is cooked. I like my omelette a bit runny but you may choose to cook it through completely.

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If you are serving this omelette for brunch you can serve it with a side of some crusty bread and if you are serving it with dinner, a simple green salad will be a great accompaniment.

I hope you enjoy this dish, I find myself teleported to Greece just writing this recipe up for you.

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Chicken Schnitzel with Mash Potatoes and Roast Veggies

Mother in law’s speciality dish…

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Growing up in a Hindu household, I had never eaten meat. Even after moving to Australia I continued being a vegetarian – this was about to change. The first time I met my mother in law (my husband and I were newly dating), she had invited me for dinner and surprisingly my husband forgot to tell her I was then a pure vegetarian Anyway, I arrived at their house and as always was so hungry, I could hardly wait for dinner. When we get to the dinner table my mother in law said ‘I have made one of my specialities’, I couldn’t wait to find out what it was. Turns out it was Chicken Schnitzel with mash and roast veggies!  That day I couldn’t I tell her I was a vegetarian, it would just be so rude and clearly I could forget about making an impression.

So that day was the first time I ate chicken and now the only time I will eat it is if my mother in law makes her schnitzels. Given its one of my husbands favourite meals, I have learnt how to make this from my mother in law.

It is such a quick meal to make during the week, especially when you are longing for home cooked comfort food and missing your mother. Everyone has their own take on Schnitzels, I like to use free range chicken tenderloins, they are so lean and there is no fuss about trimming the fat or cutting them evenly. They come ready to use! 

Ingredients:  20   Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 2

For the schnitzel

  • One pack of free range chicken tenderloins (usually has about 12 strips)
  • One cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • Two eggs, beaten
  • One cup of plain flour to dust
  • One teaspoon Italian herbs
  • One teaspoon chilli flakes
  • Salt to season
  •  Vegetable oil for shallow frying

For the mash potatoes

  • Four to five medium sized potatoes, peeled
  • Half cup skim milk
  • One tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to season

For the roast veggies

  • One cup cauliflower florets
  • Four carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
  • One cup brussel sprouts, cut in halves
  • One cup squash, cut in cubes
  • One teaspoon rosemary leaves
  • Four to five pods of smashed garlic
  • Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to season

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Now place all the vegetables in the baking dish, add rosemary leaves and smashed garlic, drizzle with olive oil and toss them well. Roast in oven, turning them once for about 30 – 40 minutes,  until lightly crispy and golden. Remember you can use any vegetables available in your fridge, just be mindful of the cooking time.

To make the mash potatoes, cut the potatoes in cubes and boil them in salted water until completely tender. Drain potatoes well and return to the saucepan on low heat. Now roughly mash the potatoes, add milk and olive oil and mash the potatoes once again. Beat them with a wooden spoon until the mash is fluffy.

Lets prepare the schnitzel. Combine breadcrumbs, chilli flakes and Italian herbs in a bowl. Season with salt. Place flour in a bowl and whisk egg and milk together in another shallow bowl.

Coat the chicken tenderloin in flour first, followed by the egg mixture and finally cover with breadcrumbs. Do this for each piece of tenderloin until all are prepped and ready to fry.

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Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Cook chicken in batches for 4 to 5 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.

To assemble place the potato mash on a plate first and top it up with the chicken tenderloin strips, add the side of roast vegetables and there you have it an easy, lip smackingly delicious meal.

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Stir Fry Noodles

Keep it simple…

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Here we are again its the middle of the week and I can guarantee cooking inspiration is slowly dwindling away. While getting take away will be an option tempting most of us, lets not forget it is not hard to whip up a simple mid-week meal. All you need is a little bit of inspiration.

The key to mid-week meals is keep them simple. Choose one dish that uses a few ingredients and is quick to make. One dish that fits this brief perfectly is ‘Stir Fry’. The secret to a good stir fry is don’t put too much all at once in your wok because otherwise the ingredients start to sweat instead of frying, particularly vegetables.

My recipe today is an udon noodle stir fry with vegetables and tofu. Udon noodles are of Japanese origin and traditionally used in soups, but I love their texture and prefer them over other noodles when stir frying. So without further ado here’s my simple mid-week stir fry noodles recipe.

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Ingredients:  15        Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2

  • One pack of udon noodles (270 gms)
  • Three spring onions, thinly sliced
  • One bunch of choi sum, leaves and stem separated
  • Two carrots, julienne
  • 150 grams of tofu cubed
  • One red capsicum sliced
  • Four to five garlic pods, finely chopped
  • One thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • One tablespoon of ABC sauce or sweet soy sauce
  • One tablespoon of siracha sauce or hot chilli sauce
  • One teaspoon of Chinese rice wine
  • Salt to taste
  • Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • One teaspoon of sesame oil

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To start boil the noodles as per packet instructions and keep aside.

To stir fry, heat a wok on high heat and add oil. Now add the spring onions, garlic and ginger and stir fry until fragrant. Add choi sum stems (you can use any other Asian greens too) stir fry for two to three minutes until bright green or just tender. Now add the choi sum leaves and stir fry until soft. Then add the carrots and peppers and toss the wok to mix all the ingredients. 

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Now add the tofu cubes and all the sauces and give the wok a good toss to evenly coat all the ingredients with the sauce. For my non vegetarian readers, you can replace the tofu with chicken or any other meat. Finally add the noodles, season with salt and toss the wok one last time so all the ingredients are evenly mixed.

Plate up the noodles in a bowl and drizzle them with some sesame oil, garnish with crispy shallots and a soft boiled egg if you are craving a little extra protein. There is it! Your lip smackingly delicious and healthy mid-week no fuss meal, this will definitely be a crowd pleaser.

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Chicken Roulade with Cauliflower Mash

Healthy eating begins today…

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I wonder how many of us made new years resolutions around healthy eating! Healthy eating is a way of life most of us aspire to but only a few of us sustain it. One of the problems is the ability to make flavoursome tasty food that is equally healthy, after all there is only so much steamed broccoli one can eat.

One meat that is really versatile, incredibly healthy and nutritious is…CHICKEN!  You can bake it, steam it, poach it,  roast it, cook it in a curry or toss it in a stir fry and the mighty bird keeps on giving! High in protein, chicken is definitely the food of choice for all the healthy eaters in the carnivore world.

Today’s chicken roulade recipe is packed with so much flavour that you won’t for a second feel like you are missing out on those indulgent, sinful meals. The humble potato mash is replaced with a healthy and flavourful cauliflower mash, with only quarter of the calories and tonnes of flavour this mash recipe is a keeper!

Ingredients:  8    Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2

For the chicken roulade

  • Two skinned and boned chicken breasts
  • One cup of chopped spinach (I used frozen spinach)
  • 1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • Two tablespoons roasted pine nuts
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves

For the cauliflower mash

  • 1/2 a cauliflower 
  • One tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius 

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The first step is to prepare the chicken breasts. The best way is to wrap it in a plastic wrap (covering the chicken fully) and use the flat side of the mallet and flatten the meat using outward strokes from the centre of the breast to the edges.

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Once the chicken is flattened season it with a bit of salt on both sides and keep aside. 

Time to prepare the stuffing – in a pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add the minced garlic followed by spinach. I used chopped frozen spinach for its sheer convenience, you can use fresh spinach too. Cook the spinach until soft and then add the crumbled ricotta cheese and take the pan off the heat.

Add toasted pine nuts to the spinach and ricotta mix and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

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Depending on the size of your chicken breast take the filling and lay it horizontally across the flattened meat. Don’t stuff the chicken excessively as it may burst open while cooking. Now carefully roll the chicken breast and tie it up with a kitchen string.

In another pan add half a tablespoon of olive oil and sear the chicken on both sides until lightly browned.

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Then place the chicken in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

While the chicken is baking lets make the cauliflower mash. Break up the florets of the cauliflower and wash them well.

Boil the cauliflower florets for about 15 – 20 minutes until fully tender. Drain the cauliflower (don’t discard the water, you can use it as cooking stock) and mash it up, add one tablespoon of olive oil to give it that glossy look and delicious flavour. Season with salt as required, your cauliflower mash is ready to serve.

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By this stage the chicken will be cooked, remove it from the pan and let it rest for about five minutes. The delicious flavours in the pan can be converted into a jus to drizzle over the chicken. Add 1/4 cup of water and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Now add 1/4 teaspoon of dried rosemary leaves and let the liquid simmer for five minutes on high heat.

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To serve place the cauliflower mash on a plate, cut the chicken in circles and place them on top of the mash. Finally drizzle the chicken and mash with the jus and there you have it a lip smackingly delicious healthy meal for you and your family. ENJOY!

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