Slimming World friendly Lemon & chilli chicken lettuce wraps

This light lunch is perfect for when you don’t want to use your HexB on bread or a wrap for a sandwich. 
You’ll need a chicken breast sliced as thinly as you can, sliced onion, chopped chilli, garlic and coriander. Lemon juice, salt, pepper, two large lettuce leaves (I used romaine), and a tablespoon of extra light mayo for 1/2 syn (I used Aldi Bramwells). 

Dry fry the chicken, onion, garlic and chilli until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Throw in most of  the coriander, a good squeeze of lemon juice and a good grind of salt and pepper. Spoon into the lettuce leaves, drizzle with the mayo and scatter the rest of the coriander leaves over the top. Ready in 5 minutes although I bet I ate them in less! Delicious! 

Spaghetti Soup

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Firstly, apologies it has been so long since I last posted. Life has been hectic! But, today after a great walk with the family, in the freezing British February sunshine, I was feeling refreshed and inspired, and in need of something simple, warm and hearty for supper.

We all have our own versions of chicken noodle soup, and this is mine. Warming and satisfying, my four year old always comes back for seconds and it’s a great way of cramming in extra veg.

Because we eat so little meat, I tend to buy packs of organic chicken legs, cook them in the slow cooker on high for about 3/4 hours and the meat just falls off the bone. I don’t add anything to the raw meat initially. Literally throw the legs in the slow cooker, put the lid on and turn it on. The meat will produce it’s own liquid. Once cooked, I take the legs out, remove the skin and shred the meat, putting it in a container in the fridge to use throughout the week in salads, summer rolls or sandwiches. I put the bones back in the slow cooker, top up with boiling water and cook overnight to make a delicious stock.

For this soup, sauté a finely chopped leek, carrot and stick of celery, with 4 minced cloves of garlic until soft. Stir in half a teaspoon of turmeric, a pinch of saffron and a good grind of black pepper. Now add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Of course, if you don’t have homemade stock use shop bought, or boiling water and a stock cube will be fine too. I also stirred in a teaspoon of vegetable buillion for extra flavour. While the soup is coming to a boil, snap 150g spaghetti into one inch pieces, then add to the pan. Boil until the spaghetti is tender, then throw in a large handful of chopped baby spinach, and the shredded chicken. Check the seasoning, adjust as needed and serve. Simple, but oh so delicious.

Homemade pot noodles

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I love the idea of convenience food, it’s just a shame that with a lot of commercial brands what you gain in convenience you lose in nutrition.

I first saw these on Pinterest and thought they were a brilliant, and very cute idea.  I find it hard to resist anything in a flip-lid jar.  Portable,  healthy and convenient, the list of what you can add to these noodle soup pots is endless. Today for the soup base I mixed a tablespoon of dark soy sauce, with a tablespoon of oyster sauce, one of sweet chilli, a teaspoon of hot sauce, a crumbled chicken oxo cube, a tablespoon of lime juice and some Szechwan pepper. I mixed it all together and divided between two 500ml flip-top jars. 

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Next place a handful of pre-cooked egg or rice noodles on top of the soup base.

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Top with thinly sliced veggies of your choice.  I used spinach, spring onions, sugar snap peas, baby corn, fresh red chilli, a few fresh mint leaves and coriander.

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Add some cooked shredded chicken and a few more coriander leaves. 

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At this point you can close the lid, put it in the fridge, take it with you to work or for a picnic. So long as the chicken is in date and everything else is fresh they will last for a few days in the fridge.  When you’re ready to eat it, pour on hot, but not boiling water up to the lower rim, give it a stir and close the lid for three minutes. Check the seasoning and add more chilli, lime, coriander or soy according to your tastes.  Enjoy!

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Thai Massaman Curry

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My sister lived in Thailand a few years back and raved about this curry. On her return she cooked it for me and my love for this hot, yet creamy, crunchy taste sensation was born. I’ve tried a a few different shop bought pastes, but none of them compared to the one we got from from the only Thai restaurant in our town… Until now.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for making pastes from scratch, but there’s a time and place for this, and Friday evening, with an over tired toddler, a stressed out husband who’s trying to prepare for Sunday’s service as well as write his final assignment for this year’s uni deadline in six days time, and a mummy, who for one reason or another, is feeling more frazzled than usual, is not the time to be lovingly grinding and chopping and whizzing to make a homemade paste. Cue the new tub I discovered at the supermarket.

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I love the fact I can’t read half the info on the packaging. It’s more authentic,  and lures me into thinking it’s going to taste better than the British versions. In this case it was true.  I fried off the paste in the Thai and wild garlic infused coconut oil I made the other day, then added in a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce, some tamarind paste and a tablespoon of soft dark sugar (in liu of palm sugar), a can of coconut milk some chicken (although traditionally beef or lamb is used, I just didn’t have any to hand), and then some chunky chopped peppers and onions. I added them in half way through so they retained a bit of crunch.

Just before serving I threw in a handful of chopped coriander retaining a bit for a garnish. Serve with steamed basmati rice, a sprinkling of coriander and a small handful of peanuts.

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It was delicious, and certainly rivaled the one our Thai restaurant makes.