Moroccan Chicken with Giant Cous Cous and Pomegranate

  

Under 400 calories per portion!!! I KNOW! Why wouldn’t you, right? 

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 80g giant cous cous
  • 1 cup coriander
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Feta cheese
  • 1 inch cucumber
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pomegranate 
  • 2 tbsp Greek style natural yoghurt
  • Moroccan seasoning
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Bash your chicken with a rolling pin and coat in the Moroccan spices
  • Rinse the giant Cous course and put it in cold water and bring to the boil and simmer for 7 minutes or according to pack instructions
  • Put your chicken in a pan and fry over a medium heat 
  • Put your coriander, mint, spinach, olive oil, vinegar, mustard and maple syrup into a blender and whizz up until it’s like a paste
  • Cut up your cucumber and tomatoes into small chunks 
  • When your Cous Cous is done rinse and put into a bowl with the paste, chopped tomatoes and cucumber, pomegranate seeds and lime juice
  • Crumble in the feta cheese and plenty of salt and pepper and mix round
  • When the chicken is done cut in strips and lay over the top of the Cous cous

  

  • Dollop over the yoghurt 

*Best way to get out pomegranate seeds is to hold face down with the seeds touching your hand and bash over the top with a rolling pin, the seeds should fall through your fingers easily.

Forgot to take an end photo because I was too hungry and scoffed it before remembering! Soz 

Enjoy! 

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Creamy, Cheesy, Chicken, Broccoli, Leek and Pasta Bake

This was a hit with all family members! 8 and 9 from the kids. This fed 4 of us with a bit left over. I cooked this all in one pan, so if you’re planning on doing the same you’ll need quite a deep frying pan, with a lid, as you steam the veg in the same pan as the chicken so it’ll need to be covered. If you haven’t got one you’ll need to cook the leek and broccoli in the pan for longer, so add them into the pan when the onion goes in.

Ingredients

  • 6 Boneless chicken thighs (chopped into small chunks)
  • 1 leek (sliced)
  • Broccoli (my kids love Broccoli so I put lots of it in (all of it – as you buy it in a bunch at the supermarket)
  • Half an Onion (finely sliced)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 200g Cheese (grated)
  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 250ml Chicken Stock
  • Pasta (however much you want really – you know your appetite)
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  • Boil the kettle and put the water in a pan on the hob to boil with the pasta
  • Put a knob of butter in a deep frying pan and fry off the chicken so it’s sealed on all sides
  • Put the onion in with the chicken and cook until soft
  • Add the leek and broccoli and fry for a further few minutes until it softens slightly
  • Add in the chicken stock and lemon juice and cover, let simmer for about 7 minutes until the stock reduces right down, this needs to be covered to steam the veg.
  • Once it’s reduced down to half it’s size add in the cream and half the cheese and keep simmering until the sauce thickens to your taste
  • Add in the salt and pepper and stir in the pasta
  • Put into a baking dish, sprinkling over the remainder of the cheese and pop in the over at 180 for about 10 minutes or until top turns slightly brown.

Voila.

(You can actually miss out the last step, you don’t have to bake it as well if you can’t be bothered and want less washing up!)

For a little bit of added flavour a heaped teaspoon of wholegrain mustard is nice in this sauce too.

 

 

Mexican Chicken Salad

 

Beardy’s new favourite. I didn’t think this would go down too well with the kids but I do love giving them new things to try, so did it anyway!

Neither of them have found their spice tastebuds yet, if it’s got even a hint of spice to it, they’ll find it. They don’t like dressing on their salad, pepper on anything, Mayo, mustard, anything like that, but like all kids will happily smother tomato ketchup over EVERYTHING! So….I was totally expecting a meltdown when they saw Mexican salad on the menu…..

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Salad leaves
  • 1/4 Cucumber
  • 8 Baby tomatoes
  • 4 Spring onions
  • 1/2 small tin of Sweetcorn
  • 1 Avocado
  • Cheddar – grated
  • Bag of Nachos
  • Ranch or Caesar dressing
  • Black pepper

Method

  • Coat the chicken in the Cajun seasoning and pop on a baking tray into the oven on 160 for 20-25 mins
  • Meanwhile get a big bowl and chuck all the salad leaves into it
  • Chop the cucumber and avocado into small chunks, tomatoes in halves and slice the onions. Put them, along with half the tin of sweetcorn, into the bowl with the leaves.
  • When the chicken is done slice into strips or chunks and put into the salad bowl along with 2 handfuls of grated cheese.
  • Drizzle your dressing over, just enough to coat the salad, and toss well.
  • Scrunch up 3 handfuls of nachos in your hands and sprinkle into the mix with a couple of grinds of black pepper. Toss again and serve.

YUMMY!!!

So….I actually went out of the room while the kids ate this (they seem to eat better when I’m not there to moan at)…I hid round by the stairs, pretending I was doing something. 

‘Is this new food?’ Bear shouted, ‘erm…kind of’ I replied….they were quiet..’will we get a monster if we eat it?’ Boo shouted, (they get monsters on their reward chart for eating new food), ‘yes!’ I shouted back (with my hand cupped round my mouth, giving the false impression I was further away than I really was, (cunning!)) unbeknown to them I was actually right by the door, spying on them! I went and sat down in the den for a few minutes. I felt weird, they’d been eating for 10 minutes and no complaining. I was confused and felt like I was in someone else’s house. 

Another 5 minutes passed in silence so I walked back into the kitchen. 

THEY HAD FINISHED THE WHOLE LOT! BOTH OF THEM! PLATES CLEAN! Sorry for the shouting but reliving this moment is very exciting for me!!! 

So, then came the marks out of 10.

Bear – 9!

Boo – 25! 

Beardy – “this can definitely go on the menu every week!”

Woop! A hit all round…..and no ketchup in sight. 🙂

Easy Peasy Thai Chicken Curry

thai red curry

This wasn’t spicy enough for Beardy, he preferred the Green one I did a couple of weeks earlier (which I’ll post when I do it again but can’t remember exactly what I put into it!), but for a self confessed curry wimp like me it was perfect! (also I did notice that when I went to the kitchen to get myself a bit more Beardy had already polished the lot off – so he obviously liked it more than he was letting on!)

Although I put this on the menu this week, when I came to do it found I’d forgotten to buy practically all the ingredients so I made this up from stuff I had in the cupboard. I was a bit apprehensive because it ended up consisting of practically all dry store cupboard ingredients (and what on earth was a thai curry going to be like without fresh coriander?!) I didn’t hold out much hope, I always use fresh ingredients when doing Thai curry, it just makes it taste…..well….fresher. So, anyway I was pleasantly surprised when this turned out to be one of my better experiments!

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (diced)
  • 1 small pack of baby corn (chopped into little chunks)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of water chestnuts
  • 1 tin of bamboo shoots
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground galangal
  • 1 tsp chopped lemongrass
  • 2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 spring onions (sliced)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 200/400g tin of coconut milk
  • 1tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 cup Rice (I used Basmati, because it cooks quicker but ideally I would have preferred sticky rice – use half a cup per person)

This seems like a lot of ingredients, I know, but as you’re making your own paste it all gets chucked in together and whizzed up so it’s not a complicated recipe.

Method

  • Put the lime leaf, coriander, galangal, lemongrass, chili flakes, ginger, garlic, caster sugar, cashews, lime juice and fish sauce into a blender and whizz up, if it’s too gloopy and thick you can add a bit of water.
  • Put the chicken into a large frying pan (enough to hold the whole curry) and start frying the chicken in the paste you’ve just done.
  • When the chicken has sealed on all sides, pour the tomatoes and half the coconut milk (200g) in and simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Pop your rice in some boiled water and continue boil for however long the instructions say (usually about 10-12 mins for Basmati)
  • Add the natural yoghurt into the chicken. Simmer for a few minutes more before then adding in the baby corn, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and spring onions.
  • If you like your curry with extra juice you can add the remaining coconut milk here but you probably won’t need to if you don’t, it should be runny enough to soak into the rice. It’s your choice entirely!
  • Simmer for a few minutes more until all ingredients are hot and cooked through and then season to taste.
  • Drain and rinse the rice and season with salt

Serve up and Enjoy!

This serves 2 hungry curry lovers and took me an easy peasy 40 minutes to prepare and cook.

Kids Chicken and Bacon Carbanana (Carbonara)

I say kids, because it’s super creamy and cheesy, in other words, unhealthy (and delicious), not that I ply my kids with unhealthy stuff you understand, they eat well and have a very balanced diet (she says after just posting a peanut butter cookie recipe!), but because of this I don’t mind spoiling them occasionally with something creamy and delicious, something I very rarely treat Beardy and myself to! If I mention the word ‘cream’ in a dinner to Beardy I get a disappointed look (we’re trying to be ‘good’), thus forcing me to sneak away and secretly hide in the fridge eating cheese and drinking cream, out of Beardys view, shhhh, he doesn’t need to know (if I get caught I’ll just say I’m nibbling a lettuce leaf – got it covered!) Saying all this, it still doesn’t stop him ‘making sure it tastes ok!’

So, if you’re a follower of my blog you’ll know I don’t like spending loads of time cooking for the kids. I love this recipe because it’s easy and quick. We got in late tonight and I had some chicken, bacon and double cream to use up and this is what popped into my head. They both love normal Carbonara (or Carbanana as they used to call it), so knew they’d like it, but there is always something, no matter how small, left on the plate, not tonight, oh no, I almost didn’t need to wash their plates up they were so clean!

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
  • 4 rashers of bacon, cut into small strips
  • 1 egg
  • Grated cheddar cheese, about a handful (I usually use Pecorino, but didn’t have any)
  • Double cream, say, half a cup
  • Pasta (I used Farfalle but obviously you can use whatever you have)
  • Pasta cooking water

Method

Put the pasta on to boil. In the meantime, put a couple of glugs of oil in a large pan and fry off the bacon until it’s crispy, set aside with the juices in a separate dish. Fry off the chicken until done, get rid of the fat. Chuck the bacon with it’s juices and pasta back into the pan with the chicken and add half the cream. Crack the egg over the top of the mixture and mix in well, making sure you break the yolk (you can obviously mix up the egg before you put it in, but it just saves on washing up if you crack it straight in the pan). Season (I like to add lots of pepper). Add in the cheese and the rest of the cream until it becomes a thick creamy sauce. Then lastly add in a ladle or two of the pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce up.

You can make this slightly healthier by adding broccoli, which I would have done if I’d had more time but I didn’t, so I didn’t.

Bear and Boo polished this off in about 3 minutes, and I gave them quite big portions. Both gave it 10/10. Shame it’s so unhealthy!

 

 

Salmon & Broccoli Bake

salmon and broccoli

Creamy Salmon and Broccoli Bake

Being a semi-working Mum (3 days a week) I’m always looking for quick easy dinners to do the kids. I find myself getting annoyed and frustrated at myself when I put the same things on the menu because I just don’t know what else to cook, so I try to find or create new dishes, just to satisfy my own irritations really.

I don’t want to spend ages cooking them as kids and new food just doesn’t mix, whenever I put something new in front of them, I get met with an ‘urgh’ face or an ‘I don’t like that’ (obviously before they’ve tried it), it infuriates me, BUT I persist because I like to write something different on my blackboard. I’ve even created a reward chart now where one of the rows is to try to new food and they get a little monster against the row if they eat it, 10 monsters = little treat.

So quick, easy, new dishes is the key for me. I can’t wait to see what the kids think of them and get quite excited when they like them. I couldn’t really go wrong with this as they both love Salmon, Broccoli and Potatoes (especially new potatoes). This was a bit of a mish mash of stuff I had to use up by the best before date so I got a big pat on the back for this one (by myself obvs coz no-one else will).

I haven’t put any measurements on here because I didn’t measure them, I just kinda chucked it all in, when I’m making up my own recipes I very rarely measure!

By the way, I forgot to take a photo of it after I cooked it so this photo is just a generic Salmon and Broccoli Bake, not my one, but it’s the picture that looked most like it (apart from my cheese on top was a bit more browned!)

Ingredients

Salmon fillets (2 – cut into chunks) (you could also use chicken)
New Potatoes (or you can also use pasta)
Broccoli (or any veg really!)
Cheese (you can use cheddar, which is what I used but could equally use any other, blue cheese I think would be especially nice if you’re using chicken!)
Garlic
White wine (1 glass)
Double cream or Cream Fraiche (as much as you want really!!! – I use loads)
Onion (finely chopped)
Breadcrumbs (if you want to)

Method

  • Boil your potatoes in a pan of salted water.
  • Whilst potatoes are boiling, put a few glugs of oil in a pan and add in the garlic and chopped onion, fry for a few minutes.
  • Cut up the broccoli and give it a quick 2 minute blast in the microwave with a little bit of water.
  • Add the broccoli, salmon, white wine and cream to the pan and fry for a few minutes. I also add a bit of water at this point, not much, just maybe 2 or 3 tbsps.
  • Take out your potatoes and cut them in half or thirds/quarters if they’re particularly big.
  • Add your potatoes to the other mixture and mix it all up. Season the mixture to your liking.
  • Transfer, in layers, to a baking dish, covering each layer with some grated cheese. When you put on your top layer I put another layer of cheese on top and then breadcrumbs on top of this.
  • Put into the oven for approx 10 mins.
  • Enjoy!

With the cheese, if your using blue cheese I wouldn’t bother putting a layer on the top with this as it’s such a strong taste and I’d just crumble a few bits in between the layers.

If you’re using chicken, I’d add this in with the garlic and onion at step 2.

I love this recipe as you can change so many aspects of it, it’s so versatile.  I might try chicken with leek and pasta next time. If you don’t like cream or cheese or are lactose intolerant you could also substitute them with tinned tomatoes and a bit of chili or tomato puree and lemon juice.

So, results: Bear gave it an 8/10 and Boo, always one to give high marks – 100/10! (she’s still not got it).