Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Balsamic Chicken and Chorizo

Balsamic Chicken and Chorizo
I made this dish again as a quick and no fuss meal. It’s quite healthy served with steamed broccoli or couscous. Alternatively you can have it with pan fried potatoes or sweet potato wedges.

Serves 4
4 medium chicken fillets
A finger length piece of chorizo sausage
1 red, 1 green and one yellow pepper
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
100ml chicken stock
1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
Sea salt & black pepper


Method

Preheat oven at 180°c. Drizzle some olive oil in a roasting tray, cut the chicken fillets in half lengthways and season them and place in tray. Slice the chorizo and add to the tray also.
Peel and slice the onion, de-seed the peppers and cut into thin strips. Bang the garlic with the back of knife, this releases the flavour more.
In a pan put a splash of oil and add your sliced onion and stir fry for a few mins until softened. Add in the peppers and garlic, fry for another minute then tip the mixtures over the chicken in the roasting tray.
Pour over the stock and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle over the herbs and roast in oven for 30 mins. Halfway through the cooking time, give it all a good stir around and spoon the juices over the top.

Check that the chicken is cooked through before serving.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Peppered Beef and Green Vegetable Stir-fry

Peppered Beef and Green Vegetable Stir-fry
Putting a simple stir-fry like this together is not only simple and speedy but also very healthy. We got lean steak, fresh vibrant green vegetables and rice noodles which contain no fat. They are 95% rice flower which contain no gluten, fat, salt or sugar. Rice noodles can be found in most supermarkets, but if you are having trouble finding them, they will be found in any Asian supermarket.

Serves 2:
200g of rice noodles
1 medium sirloin steak
Black pepper
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 large green pepper
2 medium courgettes
Half a head of broccoli
Rapeseed oil
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of honey

Method
Cook the rice noodles according to the packets instructions.
Trim all excess fat from the steak and slice into thin strips, season with a generous amount of freshly crushed black pepper and set aside. Peel and slice the onion and garlic, deseed and slice the green pepper thinly, slice the courgettes and cut the broccoli head into small florets.
In a very hot wok add some rapeseed oil and allow it to heat, carefully stir-fry the beef until sealed all over then remove and set aside. Add another splash of oil to the wok and add in the onion and garlic and stir-fry for about 2 mins until slightly softened. To this add in the green pepper, courgette and broccoli and stir-fry for another 3-4 mins until cooked but not softened too much. Add in the soy sauce, oyster sauce and honey, give it all a good toss and add the beef and cooked noodles.

Cook for a further 2 mins on a high heat, tossing and stirring the wok to reheat the beef and noodles. Serve into 2 large bowls immediately.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Stuffed Pork Chops with Sage

Stuffed Pork Chops with Sage
This is my take on quite a regular weekly dinner for some. This version really ups the flavour stakes and will definitely leave you wanting more.



Serves 4:
1kg of floury potatoes, diced with skins left on
4 thick pork chops on the bone
1 bulb of garlic
200g packet of bacon lardons
24 fresh sage leaves
2oz of softened butter
4 dried apricots finely diced
Rapeseed oil
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 220°c. Put the potatoes into a saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Boil for 4-5 mins; you only want to par-boil them. Drain them in a colander and let them dry off in the steam.
Lay the pork chops flat on a chopping board and insert a small paring knife in horizontally into the chop and make a hidden pocket making sure the tip of the knife does not come out either side.
On a clean board place the butter, dried apricots, a finely chopped clove of garlic, 8 chopped sage leaves and a pinch of both salt and pepper. Now mash all together with a fork making it into a flavoured butter. Push this butter equally into the pockets of the pork chops.
Take 8 leaves of sage and dress them in rapeseed oil and then dip one side down in some plain flour and push one flour side down onto each side of the chops. Set aside.
In a large oven dish pour in the potatoes along with the bacon lardons and the rest of the cloves of garlic, season and drizzle with oil. Place into the preheated oven. After 10 mins place a frying pan onto a hot hob and add a drizzle of oil, when the pan is really hot put in the chops and fry for 10 mins turning occasionally to get them nice and golden.

Remove the dish from the oven and add the chops on top in a layer, pop back into the oven for 10-15 mins depending on the thickness of the chops.


Saturday, 24 January 2015

Hot Buffalo Wing’s with Blue Cheese Dip

Hot Buffalo Wing’s with Blue Cheese Dip
There are a few restaurants that are famed for their buffalo wings, and of course they are ‘secret recipes’. Well I have been determined to work out that recipe as I absolutely love this dish. After a lot of trials and errors, this is the recipe… and if not well it’s pretty damn close and I love it. It wouldn't be classed as low fat but can be a treat once in a while… and what a treat it is!


Serves 2 (as part of a main course)
Serves 4 (as starter):
1 tray of chicken wings (normally contains 16)
A light sprinkle of cayenne pepper (optional)
50g butter
6 tablespoons of cider vinegar
3 tablespoons of tobasco sauce (4 if you like it hotter)
3tablespoons of tomato puree
Half a lemon
A few sticks of celery to serve

For the Blue Cheese Dip:
3 tablespoons of Mayonnaise
3 tablespoons of sour cream
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
Finely chopped parsley
Small clove of garlic minced
3 tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese
Sea salt and black pepper

Method

Combine all the ingredients for the dip and place in the fridge for an hour before needed.
The chicken wings need to be cut at the 2 joints (into 3 pieces but discard the wing tip) with a heavy sharp knife. Sprinkle lightly with cayenne pepper if using it.
Deep fry in batches for about 10 mins per batch until cooked through and nice and crispy, they can be kept in a warm oven until all batches are deep fried (I usually do them in 3 batches).
In the meantime in a saucepan gently melt down the butter then add the cider vinegar, tobasco sauce and the tomato puree and whisk it together until combined. Squeeze in the half a lemon at the end.
In a large bowl place the cooked wings and pour over the sauce and toss to give a good even coat.
Serve with the cooling Blue Cheese Dip and a few sticks of celery.


Friday, 23 January 2015

Oats-So-Peachy Breakfast Bake with Mexican-inspired Yogurt Moose

Oats-So-Peachy Breakfast Bake with Mexican-inspired Yogurt Moose

I will be baking this recipe today on Late Lunch Live on TV3.

This is a great weekend breakfast or brunch recipe, there is a lot of slow released energy in it so it is worth the effort.


Serves 4:
120g porridge oats
55g brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 egg whites
125ml skimmed milk
1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tin of peaches-drained
A small handful of dried cranberries
A small handful of raisins
2 teaspoons of chopped walnuts

For the yogurt moose
300ml Greek Yogurt
A squirt of honey
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°c.
In a medium bowl mix the oats, sugar, salt and baking powder.
In another medium bowl gently whisk the egg whites, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Pour this into the dry ingredients in the first bowl and give it all a stir. Allow this to sit for about 5-7 mins until the oats have absorbed all the liquid.
Chop the peach segments roughly and stir them into the mix along with the cranberries and raisins.
Lightly oil a medium sized oven dish or 4 portion-sized oven-proof dishes and divide the mixture between them. Top with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts and bake for 30-35 mins. Allow to stand for 5 mins when it is finished cooking.

To make the moose put the yogurt into a blender along with the honey, chilli powder and cinnamon and blend until light and airy. 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges

Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges
Simple, warming, healthy and flavoursome… Bingo!
Sweet potatoes are a superfood, packed with antioxidants that boost the immune system to fight against viral infections and even cancer. They are energy boosting too along with tasting fantastic!


Serves 2:
4 medium sweet potatoes
Olive oil
Cayenne pepper
Sea salt and black pepper
Method
Lightly scrub the sweet potatoes and cut them into chunky full length wedges. Preheat the oven at 200°c.
In a large saucepan of salted water, parboil the wedges for 3-4 mins then drain in a colander and allow to steam dry for a few mins.
Place on a lightly oiled tray and drizzle with a little olive oil then sprinkle with cayenne pepper, sea salt and black pepper. 

Roast in the oven for 20 mins.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
I just love the versatility of a Butternut squash, I use at least one per week, it is beautiful simply roasted like in this recipe, it can also be a great substitute for meat in a curry and it makes a beautiful soup.

This recipe has a great natural protein base coming from the squash, broccoli and lentils and minimal carbs from the brown rice so is ideal meal for after a training session… it also fills a lunchbox very well for the next day’s smash and grab lunch. It is a great recipe for kids as it is full of wonderful nutrients for growth


.
Serves 4:
1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced (reserve seeds)
2 tsp olive oil
60g wild and brown rice
60g Puy lentils
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
50g dried cranberries
juice 1 lemon

Heat oven to 200c. Clean off the stringy membrane from the seeds, wash them in a sieve and dry using kitchen paper, lightly oil a flat baking sheet and spread the seeds on it. Spread the squash over a large baking tray, drizzle over the oil and bake for 35 mins or until tender. Bake the seeds for about 10 mins until they start to pop.

Meanwhile, cook the rice and lentils in boiling salted water for 20 mins, adding the broccoli for the final 4 mins of cooking. Drain well, then stir in the cranberries and add some seasoning. Add the squash seeds and squeeze over the lemon juice and serve.
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