Prawn, coconut & tamarind curry

Posted in: DF, S, SF, WF

A healthy, tangy and creamy curry to help you on your way to summer body. That’s right, curry needn’t be laden with ghee and consumed only in the early hours. In fact, the spices and coconut oil in this recipe are even good for your gut. I’ve used prawns for a potentially wider appeal, but I also make this with any white, sustainable fish as a less extravagant mid week supper.

Prawn,-coconut-&-tamarind-curry
Feeds 4

INGREDIENTS

2″ piece ginger
2 red chillies
4 cloves garlic
6 tsp coriander seed, toasted and ground
1 tin tomatoes or 6 ripe tomatoes

1 tbsp coconut oil
2 onions
3 tsp tamarind paste
1 dsp Agave syrup
1 x 400ml can coconut milk or coconut powder if you can get it.
1 tsp sea salt
500g raw, shelled, uncooked tiger prawns or white sustainable fish, deboned.
1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped

METHOD

In a blender, blitz ginger, garlic, chillies, tomatoes and coriander seeds to make rough paste. Depending on how many I’m cooking for, I often leave half aside at this point to make a fresh curry another day. If you’re going the whole hog, however, use the lot.

Heat coconut oil in heavy based pan, chop onions and fry on medium to low heat until they’re translucent.

Add your tomato paste to the onions and cook for 5 mins, stirring intermittently. Follow with tamarind, Agave, coconut milk or powder and sea salt. Cook on a medium heat for 10 mins.

Check for seasoning, put the prawns or fish into the pan, stir and cook gently for 3 – 4 mins, or until meat is cooked through.

Serve with brown rice, roti or wholemeal paratha and chopped coriander. I also like this on it’s own for supper, effectively as a chunky soup… when carb baby needs curbing.

Coconut-powder

Tip: Tinned coconut milk can vary widely in flavour from the real thing, often altering the curry considerably. Even if fresh coconuts were readily available in the UK, however, I’m not about to start tackling them. So, I was very pleased to come across coconut powder in the world food isle, which somehow tastes far more authentic. You just add to the curry, diluting with water to your taste. Frozen roti and paratha are pretty easy to come by in most supermarkets too.

Tip: Don’t throw away coriander stalks. Instead, keep in the freezer to add a clean, freshness to other curries. See Spring lamb with apricots & chilli for example.

 

Spring lamb with apricots & chilli

Posted in: DF, S, SF, WF

Happy Easter! Here’s something savoury to wash down all your chocolate eggs. After much tweaking, I think this tagine has a perfect balance of agrodolce: Tangy, clean lime, coriander and tamarind working wonders against the sweet, sticky apricots and meaty lamb. Don’t be put off by the mega ingredients list, it’s largely comprised of Storehouse items, and one pot recipes always get my vote for being faff free. It’s also a dinner party winner that tastes even better on day two.

Spring lamb with apricots & chilli

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

500g lamb leg or shoulder, diced to 1 inch pieces, removing the fat.
1 tsp cumin, ground or seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
3 tsp mustard seeds
4 tsp garam masala from the Larder or shop bought

1 tbsp olive oil
3 red onions, peeled and chopped
2 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chilli, finely chopped (seeds included)
3 tsp tamarind
1 bunch coriander (leaves and stalks), chopped

1 ltr chicken or veg stock (I like Marigold bouillon)
1 x 400g tin quality plum or chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp turmeric
150g prunes, pitted
100g dried apricots
1 tbsp tamari, soy sauce or good pinch sea salt
2 limes, juice of

METHOD

Marinate the meat in the spices for 2 hrs, or ideally, overnight.

In a large, heavy based pan, heat olive oil till starts to smoke and add meat to brown. Set aside and fry onions and ginger until soft, aprox 5 mins. Add garlic, chilli, tamarind and coriander stalks (keep leaves aside for later) and fry for a further 5 mins.

Add stock, tomatoes and turmeric and bring to the boil. Follow with lamb and apricots, turn down the heat, cover and cook 30 mins.

Stir to unstick, add remaining ingredients and simmer gently with the lid off for 45 mins. Test for seasoning (you want a balance of sweet, salt and tang) and serve.

Best with yellow split peas, polenta mash or brown rice, a dollop of Labneh (from the Larder) and fresh coriander. Bulgar wheat with a drizzle of Lemon oil is a safe bet if the others float your boat.

Tip: It’s important to add turmeric later in the cooking process so as not to burn off its health benefits, of which there are multitudes!

For reasons this is a recipe your insides will love as much as your tastebuds, check out Seasonal Seducer Lamb.

The Anti-diet: Breakfast like a king

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

… and supper like a pauper. This is not an old wives tale. In actual fact, for many of us Brits consumed with work, breakfast is a coffee, and lunch a sandwich that can be eaten On the Go. The evening meal is our chance to blow all those daily-banked calories. You have the entire day to burn off breakfast; supper sleeps with you.

I‘ve counselled several baffled friends over their growing girths in spite of having abstained all day in anticipation of their man-sized pasta dinner with The New Boy. See last week’s Moderation tip (Side plate eating).

It’s like this: When you starve yourself, your body thinks it needs to conserve energy, goes into hibernation mode and so burns less calories. When you finally eat, your clever body stores (yup, stores) any fat as a back-up in the eventuality you’ll deprive it again.

Eating breakfast tells you you’re awake and kick starts your metabolism. Eating smaller meals (stopping when you’re comfortable as opposed to undoing a button), 3 – 4 times a day makes sense to your digestion. Let it do its job and it will reward you.

Veg-juice-health

Breakfast like a king with Roast banana, bacon & maple syrup sweet-corn fritters and this week’s super healthy and energising juice recipe: Beetroot, carrot, kiwi & ginger.

For more Anti-diet tips click on the Tag on the right or type Anti-diet into the Search box at the top of the page.

 

Beetroot, carrot, kiwi & ginger juice

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

I’m going to level with you: making veggie juice is a faff and your kitchen will resemble a war zone. I think it’s important you’re armed with the facts. For this very reason (and in the interests of keeping my job) I make a 3 ltr batch at the weekend, freezing 250ml bottles for  morning shots. On the plus side, it’s quite therapeutic, systematically feeding mounds of goodness into a machine which instantly produces an elixir of health. And my skin and energy levels are rejoicing.

Beetroot,-carrot,-apple,-kiwi-&-ginger-juice

Makes: 3 ltrs

Ingredients

1.4kg carrots, sprout end removed
2kg apples / 18 apples, halved
14 kiwi, rough end removed
300g ginger, chopped 2″ pieces
500g beetroot, halved with stalks removed

Veg-juice-ingredients

Method

Soak fruit and veg in water with a tablespoon of vinegar for 10 mins to remove any wax and chemicals. Line the juicer bin with a bag for slightly less mess; this way you can throw the waste straight into the rubbish. Give or take…

Most veggies can go in your juicer whole, I tend to remove the particularly tough bits and drop veg into the feeder in stages as my juicer appears not to be fully up to the task.

Veg-juice-health

Kiwi is an addition I wouldn’t do without; it adds body and a tangy smoothness that brings everything together. It’s also packed with Vitamin C.

Making-veg-juice

Keep beetroot till last, unless you want red dye on EV-ER-Y-THING. Pour juice through a sieve to remove any pulpy foam.

Decant into bottles and keep in the fridge for a day or freeze.

Juicers don’t come cheap:

At least not the decent ones and if you find this is something you’re into, you’ll soon feel compelled to invest more pennies into an uber version. Amazon has a wide selection, including the following:

Sage (by Heston Blumenthal) Nutri Pro was recently recommended to me on the basis it does’t heat up. Think Cold Pressed, which preserves the ingredients’ nutrients, apparently. If it’s good enough for tech chef Heston…

Breville have lots of middle of the road options to start you off.

Tamari Wild salmon

Posted in: DF, S, SF, WF

We’ve just come into Wild salmon season so I had to share this long-standing favourite Toolkit recipe. It takes about 20 mins to get on the plate and tastes as good cold as it does hot. I always make extra so I have a quick fix protein for after work or yoga. It’s delicious in salads or added to stir-fry or soup – try a fish version of Cheat’s chilli chicken & veg soup from last week.

Tamari Wild salmon

Feeds: 2. Takes: Less than ½ hr.

 

Ingredients

2 salmon steaks
1 clove garlic, crushed
1” piece ginger, finely chopped
1 dsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
Lemon juice, squeeze only

Method

Preheat oven to 200C / 400F / Gas 6. Line a baking tray with silver foil – a piece big enough to fold over the salmon steaks. Place the salmon on the foil and score the flesh 3 times on each steak.

Cover with the garlic and ginger, gently pushing some bits into the incisions. Pour over the oil, tamari and lemon, fold over the foil to make a parcel, leaving an opening at the top and transfer to the oven.

Cook for 12 – 15 mins, or until the salmon is cooked through. I like the flesh to still be almost raw in the centre but that’s up to you.

Serve with purple sprouting broccoli or a leaf salad. Or, willpower permitting, store in the fridge to eat cold for up to 3 days.

Note: Eat the the salty tamari sauce while it’s hot; it’s addictive in a junky, cheap crisp way so Little Miss Piggie can’t help but scrape every last bit off the foil. I guess that’s what happens when you forbid yourself junky, cheap crisps…

P/100g steak: Kcal: 203, Pr: 18.0g, Carb: 2.1g, OWS: 0.2g, Fat: 13.8g, Sat Fat: 2.0g, Salt: 1.7g

 

Garam masala & tamarind chicken

Posted in: DF, S, Uncategorized, WF

Sweet and spicy garam masala and chilli with tangy tamarind do something magical with chicken. It takes a modicum of willpower not to devour the whole dish straight from the pan. Perfect in salads and soups, I almost always have a Tupperware of this in the fridge. Don’t be put off by the anchovies; other than bringing a greater depth of flavor and meatiness, you’d never know they’re there.

Garam masala chicken

Feeds 2. Cooking time: less than 30 mins.

 

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp crushed chillies
2 anchovies, chopped
3 tsp tamarind
3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 dsp tomato puree
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tin plum tomatoes, optional

Method

Coat the chicken in the ingredients, bar the olive oil and plum tomatoes, and set aside, ideally overnight. You can also cook straight away (I often do), but the flavour’s better if you’re able to leave to marinate.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the chicken breasts until browned. About 4 mins. on the first side and 2 on the reverse.

It’s at this point that you add, or not, the tinned tomatoes. I alternate between the two, depending if I want more sauce to have with some rice, or if I’m cooking chicken to go straight to the fridge for a Toolkit lunch.

Turn down to a relatively low heat, cover and cook for 15 mins, or until the chicken is still tender, yet cooked through. If you’ve gone for the plum tomato option, take the lid off 5 mins before the end so that some of the liquid evaporates and your sauce thickens.

Eat straight away with crusty bread, rice or mash. Or chopped into a salad.

Garam masala chicken & toasted seed salad

With either dish, make sure you keep some chicken aside in the fridge for salads, wraps, stir-fries or soups.

Tip: Drop the tinned tomatoes and cook your Garam masala chicken on the BBQ in the summer. Tandoor chicken. Ish.

PP (150g): Kcal: 360, Pr: 50.5g, Carb: 9.3g, OWS: 1.6g, Fat: 13.6g, Sat Fat: 2.3g, Salt: 0.7g

P/1/2 breast: Kcal: 180, Pr: 25.3g, Carb: 4.6g, OWS: 0.8g, Fat: 6.8g, Sat Fat: 1.1g, Salt: 0.4g