Another two recipes ticked off this evening. Both were from Lean In 15 (second book) by Joe Wicks.
The first was this one. In the book it’s made with Sea Bass but I don’t like fish so this is a butterflied chicken breast. It’s basically a warm salad of tender stem broccoli (Joe’s infamous midget trees), broad beans, peas and courgettes which are mixed with butter, mint & walnuts. The chicken (or sea bass) is grilled and added to the top.
It was really quick to make (15 minutes in fact!) and was really tasty. I didn’t use the full quantities in the book and it was still a bit too much. He really does make massive portions! I’ll definitely make this one again. It was delicious.
The second recipe is Potato salad with Butterflied Chicken (you can see why I made them at the same time!) This is one for Mark for his lunches. It has chicken, eggs, new potatoes and spring onions all mixed up with creme fraiche. It’s to be served with a green salad. This mammoth box is supposed to be one helping! Needless to say, it’s going to be two…..
This isn’t the most attractive looking dish but it’s a new favourite! It’s another recipe from the Lean in 15 book and is Cheesy chicken & chorizo. I used up some leftover chicken from the roast yesterday along with the chorizo, red onion, cherry tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella and then topped off with pine nuts. My quantities were slightly different to those in the recipe but it was plenty filling enough and SO tasty. The book is proving a hit so far!
Today, I have been cooking! As boring at it is, I’m still suffering with my colitis and I came home early from work because I just couldn’t concentrate with the pain and the loo trips. So, to take my mind off my troubles I decided to bake!
I was browsing through my Baking Magic book that Lucy bought me for some inspiration. My friend Toby is coming home from Australia at the weekend and I’m going to make him a “Welcome Home” cake. I didn’t really get anywhere with that decision but decided I’d make some biscuits in the meantime. I don’t eat biscuits generally but I saw the recipe for ginger biscuits, had all the ingredients and well, they’re medicinal aren’t they? Ginger is supposed to be good for bad tummies isn’t it?
They didn’t really work….. I obviously went wrong somewhere but I’m not sure how. The “dough” was more like breadcrumbs – I had nowhere near enough liquid. I kept adding more wet until it just came together but it was still a bit dry. You can see that they’ve cracked (and they got a bit burnt!) where they weren’t wet enough. They were also REALLY strong. I wasn’t too impressed. I’ll have to give them another go.
The other biscuits I tried to make (in Toby’s honour!) were Anzac biscuits. Originally made by Australian & NZ women in the war they contain both coconut and oats and are a doddle to make. Now these worked. And they taste fantastic! There’s no way this batch will last until Toby gets here so I’ll have to make some more for him 🙂
I had a new recipe planned for dinner too. I meant to make it last night but I forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer so we had it this evening instead. I have a little recipe book that I’d forgotten about called 101 One Pot meals. I regularly cook a few things from it so rarely bother getting the book out. I had a browse through it and wanted to try the Chicken & Spring Vegetable Stew.
This was lovely. It’s pretty low in calories too – so win, win! The chicken is pan-fried then you add some thinly sliced new potatoes and chicken stock. Cook for 10 minutes and reduce the stock down. Add spring vegetables (I used courgette, green beans & peas but the recipe suggested broccoli and broad beans too) and cook for a few more minutes. Stir through a spoonful of creme fraiche and some tarragon and there you are! Bloody gorgeous. I’ll definitely be making this one again…..
Now my flare up is starting to come back under control I have started to re-introduce my normal primal foods back into my diet. Given that I’m still off the dairy (one of the worst offenders) I’m probably leaning towards Paleo but it’s much of a muchness. I have also been reading “The Gut Makeover” which talks about building up good bacteria in your belly and much of that is down to veg. With that in mind, I’ve been trying some new things. The hardest thing I’m finding is breakfasts – no cereal, grains or dairy makes conventional breakfasts quite tricky. In Robb Wolf’s Paleo book he suggests some different options and that’s what I’ve gone with this week.
First up was this:
This unlikely breakfast is Sausage & Greens. It’s Black Farmer Chipolatas (3) fried in olive oil with shredded greens. I cooked them well, but the suggestion was until just wilted. This is then topped with some crumbled walnuts for a bit of extra protein.
It’s actually delicious! I was sceptical I must admit but I loved it. It took quite a lot of eating but kept me full until lunchtime. I’m definitely having it again.
The next one was a variation on the theme (meat/veg/nuts) and is bacon with plum tomatoes and crumbled walnuts. It sounds like a weird combination, I know, but again it’s bloody gorgeous. I mean, it has bacon which never fails to be delicious. So it’s on to a winner right from the start… The tomatoes & walnuts just add to the lushness.
The third new breakfast was a smoothie. I didn’t feel very hungry one morning this week so I thought I’d try a smoothie. I’m not really a fan of “green” smoothies. The look rank and smell even worst. So I cobbled this one together out of things I had in the fridge. So we had frozen blueberries, a small banana, soya milk and some cocoa flax. It was delicious and very, very filling. The downside was that is was a whopping 30g carbs. Which is a LOT for your first meal of the day on a lower carb diet plan! So it’d be a treat breakfast (really?! not likely is it), not an everyday brekkie.
My fourth & final new recipe is another invention. I quite often do a roast chicken on a Sunday and then use the leftover meat for meals on Monday & Tuesday (with the bones being turned into stock of course!). I’d planned to use the leg meat in a stir-fry but wanted to do something with the breast. In my dairy days that would involve a creamy sauce but that wasn’t an option. So, inline with my “bumping up the veg”, I raided the fridge and came up with this hotpot. It had carrot, parsnip and courgette diced and sauteed in butter. I then added the cubed, cooked chicken and some stock. I let that simmer until it had reduced then transferred to an oven dish. This was topped with sweet potato slices. Mark also had cheese grated on the top of his. This was baked in the oven until the sweet potato went crispy. It was delicious! The only thing was, the sauce was a bit runny (as you can see in the pic). I’m not sure how I can thicken the sauce without flour or granules (both of which have gluten) so if anyone has any ideas I’d appreciate it. Anyway this is a new favourite and I’m going to make it again this week.
I’ve got another new cookbook! I know, I know. As if I don’t have enough already. But this one is great! It’s called Inspiralized and I got it from Lakeland of all places. It’s really good as a lot of the recipes fit in with Primal Eating pretty well. So we’ve tried a couple out already. Mark has successfully made Albondigas twice and it was lush. But I’ve not included that in my challenge as I didn’t make it – so I thought that would be cheating..!
So the first one I made was Chicken & Broccoli frying pan bake (to give it its full title). My god it was a faff to follow the recipe! It’s all over the shop. But I made the same recipe a second time, this time using my own organisation and it worked a lot better. And created less washing up so win win. It was basically diced chicken, broccoli florets, broccoli stem spiralized, chicken stock and grated cheese. What’s not to like?! The second time I made it I didn’t have enough broccoli stem left so I spiralized a sweet potato and used that instead and it was lovely. Et voila!
The second recipe was Bacon Cacio e Pepe. Dead simple to make and very quick. Consists of streaky bacon fried off in a pan. Then garlic & chilli fried off in the remaining oil/fat, add the spiralized courgette and then a load of grated Parmesan. Mix it all together and top with the crispy bacon. O.M.G It’s bloody gorgeous.