Healthy Chicken Lime, Chilli, Ginger, Garlic and Soy Stir Fry

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So it’s that time of year when you want to get healthy but you don’t want to be eating salads everyday just yet, it’s just not quite warm enough. Stir fry is the perfect solution, not only does it provide you with a great opportunity for mindfulness whilst chopping your vegetables, but it takes very little time to cook.

Now I know you can buy those lovely little packs of prepacked vegetables from the supermarket and they make the purchase all that more exciting by adding a free sauce to the mix, but there are a couple of reasons why this may not be your healthiest option. Did you know cutting vegetables increases the surface area where oxidation (contact with air) and nutrient loss can occur. Also, cutting a vegetable is “damaging” to the plant and some of the plant’s nutrients get used up in an attempt to repair the damage. These nutrients will then not be available to you anymore when you consume the plant. SO if you buy a prepackaged stir fry you may be eating vegetables that which are not as nutritious as you would want. 

As for those little packets of sauce provided so generously by your supermarket, just have a quick look at the ingredients, particularly the sugar content…not so healthy now hey!

So here is my simple recipe for Healthy Chicken Lime, Chilli, Ginger, Garlic and Soy Stir Fry

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1 inch fresh ginger, grated

3 cloves garlic, chopped

juice of half a lime

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

pinch of dried chilli flakes

2 small chicken breasts diced

 

 

Grate the ginger on the side of the grater that you would grate nutmeg, use a knife and ease all the juice and pulp into the bowl with the diced chicken.

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Chop garlic into really small fine pieces, add to chicken, add a pinch of dried chilli flakes, the soy sauce and squeeze over the lime juice, mix well and set to one side for about 20 minutes. This will give you a chance to chop your vegetables.

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Now with stir frys the key is to have lots of vegetables and lots of variety of vegetables, otherwise you will be bored when eating and starving about an hour after dinner.

Start by adding a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil to your wok and heat on a medium to high heat, add the chicken and keep moving it around the pan until it is almost cooked through.

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Add the vegetables and keep stirring, make sure you flip the bottom contents with the top regularly so you can ensure everything is piping hot and that the sauce mixes with the vegetables.

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Now I did buy fresh noodles from the supermarket and added these straight to the wok so they pick up the flavour of the chicken and the chicken. It will take a good 3-4 minutes with rapid tossing and turning to ensure they are cooked through.

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Once cooked through stir straight away. This is quick, healthy and moreish. Happy eating xx

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Thinking Outside the Box, The Fast Food Box or Grocery Box That Is

Do you ever tuck into a meal and wonder where your ingredients came from? There is research that says eating local produce as well as being environmental sound is also good for your health. Eating honey from local bees, where the pollen has been collected from local plants can actually be used as a natural deterrent for hay-fever. 

But there is a bigger picture here there is the advertising aimed at our children as discussed in the video below. Did you realise that the toys they lure our little ones with are aiding in the addiction that they have to high sugar high fat foods? There is extensive research, see The China Study, that these types of foods are leading to cancers and diabetes in our population and  increasingly in young people

http://www.upworthy.com/you-might-want-to-put-the-brakes-on-your-next-trip-to-the-fast-food-drive-through-heres-why-2?c=ufb1

We don’t eat at fast food restaurants, my son can cook a meal from scratch be that bolognase or a curry, and he will happily tell you what he dislikes about Maccy D’s. The biggest difference I have noticed with my son is when he does have takeaway or fast food his system does not like it and he has stomach ache and feels unwell if you faze out this so called food you are giving your child a longer healthier life priceless and so much more important than that toy in the box don’t you think.  

Another thing we should consider when feeding our families is where I food comes from. Do you tuck into a steak, or roast chicken dinner imagining that your meal frolicked in grassy green fields before giving up it’s life for you? Or do you imagine the glass of milk you are drinking came from a cow who was collected from a field by a farmer with rosy cheeks and a hearty belly? Think Again

http://www.upworthy.com/this-video-makes-grocery-shopping-feel-like-a-scene-in-a-horror-film-3?c=ufb1

Next time you consider buying meat or milk or eggs try your local farmers market or farm shop, question where your food came from, do some research. Get passionate about treating all life with dignity. I bet your meal will taste better for it.

 

A Family Gathering – Garam Masala

Tonight all my children are coming home for dinner. We have my eldest daughter who like me is dairy intolerant and allergic to wheat, and she also has stomach issues, so although curry is the first choice when cooking for a large group we have decided to do a spicy tandoori chicken, no yogurt just oil and spices and a garam masala chicken made from my own mix of garam masala.

For the tandoori chicken we have cheated slightly and have purchased a spice rub from a local Leicester company…

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Spicentice

We have marinaded the chicken overnight in a paste of spices, oil and balsamic vinegar. We will cook this in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 200 C.

Garam Masala Spice

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

I like to use a coffee grinder and grind all my spices up myself then I can adjust the recipe to suit our families taste. I then put it in an airtight container and use it when I want it.

Garam Masala Chicken

1 tbsp vegetable oil

4 (3 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast chopped into small cubes (bite sized)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

I onion chopped

1/4 cup of water or half a tin measured from tomato tin

2 tsp garam masala

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the hot oil and cook until browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip the chicken and add the onions; cook another 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, some  salt, and water to the chicken; stir. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir the remaining 1/2 teaspoon garam masala through the mixture. Raise heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil. Cook until the chicken no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 5 minutes more.

We’re serving ours with poppadums which we are frying at home, messy but worth it.

I am also serving rice laced with peas, sweet red pepper and fine green beans chopped into tiny pieces. If nothing else our family will be full and smelly by the end of the evening.

Enjoy the start of your weekend .

Week Til Pay Day Cheap and Cheerful – Graceys Chicken and Chips

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So it’s that time of the month again, a week til payday and we’re eaking out the pennies. So what does the freezer contain today? Frozen chips and chicken thighs…hhhmmm…so how do we make this appealing?

Lots of people will not eat the dark meat from a chicken when they have a roast dinner however chicken thighs especially boneless ones are really versatile, they can be used in curries, moroccan chicken and even like tonight herbed and baked. My argument to those who will not eat the dark meat is if this was a chicken leg on a BBQ or at a picnic you’d tuck in so give it a try.

Graceys Chicken and Chips

This is the ultimate cheap, easy and effortless meal. Pop the oven on 200 C and start to prep your thighs. I like to cook boneless thighs as they take very little time, 40 mins max.

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 small dried chillies

1 garlic clove

large pinch dried herbs

6 boneless chicken thighs

oven chips 

whatever veg takes your fancy, we had fine green beans tonight.

In the pestle and mortar grind all seasoning to a paste. Place chicken thighs on a baking tray and enough aluminum foil to make a pocket for the chicken. Put olive oil on foil and cover the thighs in the oil, then smear on the paste.

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Put in the oven on a low shelf for 10 minutes, then pop heat up to 220 C, pop in your chips and cook for another 20 minutes. Five minutes before your oven time is up pop your veg on to steam, everything will be ready together perfectly then.

The chicken has a little bite so taylor it to your families taste, fresh herbs without the chilli make a refreshing change too.