Monday, February 23, 2009

Chicken rice with almonds

I've got a pantry literally stacked to the ceiling but keep filling my shopping trolley every week so I really need to start incorporating more pantry items into my meals. So for dinner tonight I made Chicken rice with almonds with one of the six pouches SunRice brown basmati that I picked up on special weeks ago and I'm sure it will reheat well for my lunch tomorrow.

Chicken rice with almonds
250g pouch SunRice brown basmati
250g chicken thigh fillet, diced
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
2 Tbs mild Indian curry paste
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 Tbs raisins
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp toasted slivered almonds

Place chicken and curry paste in a bowl, mix and set aside.
Heat oil in a saucepan, saute onion, add marinated chicken and stir fry for a few minutes until chicken is golden brown.
Add stock and raisins and simmer for 2 minutes.
Place opened basmati rice pouch in microwave for 90 seconds.
Stir rice into chicken and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve, garnished with slivered almonds.

Serves 2

Monday, February 23, 2009
I used a smoked chicken breast, Thai red curry paste and sultanas as that's what I had on hand. It reheated really well in the microwave - I just made sure I added a touch of water to keep everything moist.

Friday, April 3, 2009
I made this again tonight using two chicken breasts, Thai green curry paste & sultanas and it was still delicious. This recipe would be just as simple and tasty no matter what type of chicken or curry paste is used. It will definitely become a regular fixture on my mid-week meal rotation.
With the recipe split into 3 and made with these variations it comes to 320 cal / 1337 kj per serve, leaving plenty of calories in my daily allowance for a glass of wine and some yoghurt for dessert :-)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Smoked chicken, apricot and feta salad

After some delicious bruscetta with avocado & vine ripened tomatoes for an entree I made this lovely salad for dinner tonight. I didn't have any red wine vinegar or watercress but it was delicious anyway. I think it would go really well with rocket & will try that next time.

Smoked chicken, apricot and feta salad
2 smoked chicken breasts
3 tablespoons chopped dried apricots
1 large handful flat-leaf parsley (I used less as I'm not a huge fan of lots of parsley)
80g (1/2 cup) toasted almonds
2 large handfuls picked watercress
75g marinated feta
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tabespoon red wine vinegar
salt and black pepper

Finely shred smoked chicken and put it in a bowl with dried apricots, parsley, almonds and watercress. Crumble over the feta and gently toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar and a good seasoning of salt and black pepper.

Cheese Cheese & More Cheese

I had a bit of a cheese overload this weekend.. I had a wine and cheese night on Friday night with workmates old and new. We had a fantastic night with everything from Bella to Chocolate Port and Kraft Singles to Blue Brie. The Kraft Singles were a joke because every time I go to my sisters place I raid her fridge for 'plastic cheese' and now I've started doing the same at Jane's place...oops! Sprung..

I had so much cheese in my fridge the next day and was so thankful that I was heading to a BBQ the next day. So I packed up all of the leftover cheese & wine and trundled off to Tarneit of all places and spent a lovely afternoon with friends.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Choc Banana Protein Shake

I'm on a bit of a health kick at the moment and have been keeping my calorie intake down to around 1400 per day as well as exercising and avoiding my beloved white wine.

I've been doing pretty well, sticking to my eating plan, getting exercise a few times a week and the kilos have started to come off. To ensure that I don't hit a plateau I need to ensure that I don't under-eat and go into starvation mode because my body will start burning muscle instead of fat.

So when I'd had my standard breakfast of Forme yoghurt (Peach & Mango today), a toasted cheese sandwich for lunch, some La Zuppa Cauluflower & Pea soup mid afternoon, celery with cheddar cheese spread after my run, and pesto chicken with loads of vegies for dinner and found myself sitting around 1000 calories I decided to make mysef a smoothie.

I've been trying to incorporate more protein and flax seeds into my diet so I came up with this delicious thick & creamy smoothie. I had it all to myself but it really should serve 2 because I'm still struggling to finish it while typing this...

200ml Zymil Lacose-free/Low-fat milk
1 medium banana, sliced
1 tub (175g) Yoplait Forme Yoghurt - French Vanilla
35g sachet Xantrax Diet Shake - Chocolate Fudge
10g flax seeds, ground in a mortar & pestle or coffee grinder

Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse until combined.

Serves 2

Per serve: 229 cal / 956 kj
Total: 458cal / 1913 kj

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

B is for Brazil

The second alphabet dinner was held on 07Feb09 at Jane's place in St Kilda. Unfortunately it just happened to coincide with the hottest day in Victoria's history - 46.7C. That's just wrong! Luckily there was a cool change at about 6pm.

I knew that I would be misbehaving later in the evening so I went for a 8km bike ride that morning. I was hoping to beat the heat but at 9am and it was already crazy hot and I earned every calorie burned.

After some delicious Spanish bubbly and white wine with some classic nibblies, Jane served up our main -Moqueca de peixe made with Rock ling & prawns. The recipe mentions coconut but it isn't in the ingredients or prep instructions so Jane added coconut milk with the stock.

If you cant find dende oil you should be able to find a blend of Palm Oil and Canola in Woolworths.

Moqueca de peixe
A marvellous seafood stew with the fresh flavours of lime and coconut and finished with Brazil’s favourite mellow dende oil.
5 medallions of white fish (eg. snapper) and/or 1 kg of prawns
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 red capsicum, sliced
5 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger
5 chillies, chopped
1 cup fish or vegetable stock
Juice of 2 limes
120ml dendê oil (optional)
1 bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
1 bunch of coriander, chopped

2 cups of fish stock
2 tbsp butter
2 cups semolina

Marinate the fish in the lemon juice with one clove of garlic and seasoning for at least half an hour.
Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, chillies, red capsicum and tomatoes, until a sauce is formed. Pour over stock.
Add the fish, season with rock salt and simmer gently until cooked. If using a combination of white fish and prawns, add prawns later as they require less time to cook through.
Stir through chopped coriander.
Place in serving dish and squeeze over lime juice and sprinkle with spring onions and extra coriander leaves. Drizzle over dendê oil.
Serve with rice and pirao.

Bring the stock to the boil Add the butter and the semolina slowly, mixing well.
Cook on slow heat till desired consistency, season and serve with moqueca.
You can add small prawns to it as well.
Source: Food Safari.

As we weren't quite ready for dessert we decided to go for a walk down to Elwood beach. It was a lovely night and the cool sea breeze managed to sober me up a little...

When we got back the sweet, dense, baked custard with a layer of coconut that Jane served up were divine. I don't know how much my arteries appreciated dessert but I loved it and they were small enough not to make me feel too guilty..

12 egg yolks
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
100g shredded coconut
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla essence
Glucose syrup for the baking moulds

Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Spread a thin layer of glucose syrup to line the baking moulds.
Pour mixture into moulds until ¾ full and bake in water bath for around 20 minutes.
Cool slightly before turning out and serve cold.
Source: Food Safari. Created by Dora Silva