One Dish Chicken Supper
– 2 skinless chicken breasts
– 100gms cherry tomatoes, halved
– 1/2 tbsp white balsamic
– 4 tbsp De Rustica Olive Oil
– 6 baby potatoes
– 2 basil leaves
– 1/2 tsp coarse salt
– black pepper
Start by microwaving your potatoes in a microwaveable dish for about 4-6 minutes or until just tender. While the potatoes are cooking put the tomato halves in the balsamic mixture. Now in a baking tray add the potatoes, olive oil, salt, tomatoes and a small knob of butter and place in a hot oven 200°C.
Bake for about 15 minutes turning once, the potatoes should crisp quickly and the tomatoes catch and start to lose their juices. Now add the chicken pieces and stir to coat in the lovely sauce being created. Put back in the oven and back for about 10-12 minutes turning once or twice.
Once the chicken is ready serve topped with the finely shredded basil.
This entire dish takes about 15-minutes to prepare but it has loads of great flavour and is packed full of nutrients.
Thai Blackened Chicken & Vegetable Soup
– 4 large free range chicken breasts, finely stripped
– 6 tbsp light soya sauce
– 1 tbsp light honey
– 2 cloves garlic crushed
– 2 tbsp sunflower oil
– 2 can coconut milk
– 1,5l good quality chicken stock
– 250gms assorted seasonal green vegetables (green beans/mange tout/baby sweetcorn)
– 250gms Udon noodles, plunged into boiling water
– 1-2 tbsp green/red curry paste, depending on your palate
– 2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
– 1 small
Start by finely slicing stripping the chicken, combine the sunflower oil, crushed garlic, soya sauce, honey and dried chili if using and add this to the chicken.
Now add the coconut milk, stock and curry paste to a heavy based sauce pan and put on the heat and bring to a slow simmer. Whilst the coconut mixture is heating, heat a small amount of oil in a heavy based frying pan, until smoking hot! CAREFULLY lift the chicken out of any left over marinade (mostly its all gone) and add it CAREFULLY to the hot pan. It will smoke and sizzle. Try not overcrowd the pan, with a big pan, 32cm I usually do the chicken in two batches.
If you add too much chicken it will broil, and you want it to cook quickly and caramelise. Because the chicken is so finely stripped it cooks very quickly. Whilst the first batch of chicken is cooking add your vegetables and coriander to you coconut milk mixture. The vegetables should still have some crunch to them. Once the vegetables are ready but crisp, add the udon noodles to the mixture and remove from the heat.
Serve the noodle and vegetable mix topped with the blackened chicken and garnish with some spring onions.
This little pseudo-cereal (its called that because it looks like grain but its actually a seed) is so popular in South America that the UN named 2013 Year of the Quinoa. This super seed is far higher than cereal in protein and also it is naturally gluten free. The high levels of naturally occurring flavanoids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Eaten either as a cereal or rice substitute, whilst it is used as a cereal substitute the plant actually belongs to the same family as spinach or chard.
It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook and it stores well once cooked. I made this breakfast recipe using milk instead of water but if you are planning on cooking a large batch for the week use water to prevent the milk from souring the quinoa.
I used these small ramekins to serve the quinoa in as part of a bigger health breakfast.
Caramelised Honey Pears & Spiced Quinoa
– 1,5 cups quinoa
– 3 cups milk (plus extra)
– large pinch cinnamon
– 1 star anise
– pinch salt
– 1 pear sliced
– 1 tsp butter
– 1 tsp honey
Start by bringing the quinoa, spices and milk to a boil. Lower the heat and keep on a gently simmer, stirring occasionally. If the milk all gets absorbed add a little more. Remember it is a porridge so you want it to have a nice silky consistency. Whilst the quinoa is cooking, heat the butter in a pan, add the pears and the honey. Allow to quickly carmelise, dont overcook them they should still be slightly firm to add some texture. Serve in ramekins drizzled with a little more honey and milk or a spoon of cream.
When I first moved to Jozi I was like any other broke young person and I must confess, before someone finds out, that one of my favourite and most cost effective meals was a cheese burger from a certain fast food chain, no names. It wasn’t really a hamburger, it looked like something from a space movie, a perfect molecular clone of what a hamburger would look like if a computer drew it, with no attention to what it should taste like. Even though I now hang my head in shame I can’t lie I used to love them, but even back then I used to day dream about the big juicy homemade burgers we ate as kids.
I still love hamburgers but now they are a far different affair, just as simple, but completely different. Coarsely ground grass fed beef forms the heart of the burger, speckled with pale yellow fat loaded with flavour and beta carotene from the cattle’s diet, lightly flavoured with herbs and fresh onion (some soya and Worcestershire if you aren’t using grass fed beef). I add the two sauces to bring out the umami flavour of the meat, this is necessary in supermarket purchased meat because the flavour isn’t always great, with grass fed beef you can leave this out though I usually still add it. The slice of bright yellow plastic cheese has now also been replaced by a thick cut slice of Gorgonzola. It’s still a cheeseburger but a real cheese burger!
– 800gms grass fed beef
– 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
– 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
– 1 egg
– 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tbsp soya sauce
– salt & black pepper
Combine all the ingredients, keeping them nice and cold. Allow the mixture to stand for at least 30-minutes to allow the onion flavours to mellow. Shape 4 200g patties, these are generous patties you could go smaller, and place the patties in the fridge for a few minutes . There is no binding agent in these burgers because the meat really doesn’t need it, but if you have a big family to feed and want to add a bulking agent there is no reason not to just don’t go too crazy, about 50gms bulking for every 300gms of meat, and for every 600gms of meat / 100gms bulking add an extra egg to keep the burgers moist. If you allow the burgers to stand the starches in the bulking agent will bond nicely and make it less noticeable. I used to use fresh bread crumbs made from regular old sliced bread.
Heat a non stick frying pan with a little oil in it, once the oil is hot add the burgers. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan or the burgers will broil. This is where good quality beef comes into its own, you will notice the beef does not lose water into the pan, beef that has been minced to include a certain water % may lose water if the pan is not hot enough. Cook the burgers for about 6-8 minutes per side depending on how you want them done. I like to drain any remaining oil from the pan and then fry the burger roll till golden and crispy before assembling.
A good burger must have some tomato and onion on it, I prefer oven roasted tomato to fresh tomato but that again is my personal preference. You could melt the Gorgonzola, but I prefer the cool sharp creaminess of the cheese against the heat of the burger.
This is my go to meal when I am on a mission at the gym. I use 2 burger patties and half a bread roll, loading up on huge amounts of protein without the carbs. You could leave the bread off all together, but I’d rather have a little than none.
After 6 failed attempts to create a Banting Friendly pancake for breakfast the idea finally came to me, go simple and don’t try and be clever. The resulting mix was perfect, light and fluffy delicately vanilla and honey scented stuffed with full cream greek yoghurt. It was so good I fed it to a friend who ate it all without asking any questions, and was shocked to discover afterwards that it contained no flour or sugar.
– 2 whole free range eggs
– 2 free range egg whites
– 1 tsp clear honey
– 3tbsp cream
– 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
– 1 tbsp butter melted
In a mixing bowl, whisk the whole eggs, honey, vanilla and cream, till well blended. In a second bowl whisk the egg whites till soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the whole egg mixture. Now in a non stick frying pan brushed with butter add a small amount of the mixture and spread it out with the spoon to create a thin pancake. Keep the heat low so that the pancake doesn’t brown too much, after about 1-2 minutes gently loosen the pancake and flip it. Allow 30-seconds before removing and placing on a plate. By placing the pancake on the plate you will trap some moisture underneath it helping keep its soft texture. The honey and vanilla worked brilliantly to keep the egg taste away and the texture was great.
– 8 spinach leaves
– 2 cans tuna, drained
– 2 spring onions, finely chopped
– 15gms coriander leaves, rough chopped
– 1/2 red pepper, seeded and sliced
– 2 hot red chili’s, seeded and finely chopped
– 2tbsp lemon juice
– 2tbsp olive oil
– 1tsp honey
– 1cm x 2cm strip of lemon, including the peel (cut the lemon into tiny cubes, leaves the skin on)
– 1cm strip ginger, finely shredded, match sticks
Chicken breasts can lack flavour especially when you are attempting to keep them low fat and healthy. These breasts are cooked in a simple garlicky tomato and Prosecco sauce. I used Prosecco because its what I had on hand, that had, a fruity taste – but really any white would do. The fruitiness of the tomato combined with the wine and garlic gives the chicken breasts a nice lift, add to this the salty olives and the tartness of the tomato and you have a great dish, cooked in 1 pan in 20 minutes. I add loads of fresh sage and thyme giving the dish a nice depth.
Provençal Inspired Country Style Chicken
– 4 large free range chicken breasts
– 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
– 3 cloves of garlic
– 3 tbsp olive oil
– 2 tbsp butter
– 400gms ripe cherry tomatoes, cut in half
– 4 sprigs thyme
– 1 bay leaf
– 24 sage leaves
– 400ml wine
– 1 cup stock (optional)/water
– 160gms black olives pitted
Start by heating the oil and butter in a large saucepan. Now add the garlic, onion and finely chopped thyme. Once the onions have begun to brown some of the oil should separate. Move the onions to one side of the pan and place the chicken breasts on the other side. Reduce the heat and allow the chicken to start to brown, before turning. Now add the tomatoes, olive and bay leaf, once the tomatoes have started to break down add the wine and allow this to cook for a few minutes. Cover the pan and allow it to cook for about 10-minutes before removing the chicken breasts – set them aside. Allow the sauce to cook for a further 10-minutes, add some of the stock if you need to. Add salt & pepper and check seasoning, before adding the chicken breasts back in with the sage leaves. Cook for 2-minutes before serving. You can add a little fresh parsley and some lemon zest for a nice fresh lift to the dish.
Make extra sauce and freeze it to use when you need a quick a quick pasta sauce. Cut the chicken into chunks before freezing together with the tomato. Defrost when you need a sauce and add some cream to the mixture serve it with penne and a good slug of good olive oil.