This is one of our favourite mid-week staples. It is quick to make, easy to double and freeze (usually get about 4 dinners from 1 quantity), tastes delicious and is really light – so is a great dinner to have if you feel you have been over indulging lately. I have tried to measure the ingredients so that you won’t have to think too much, however due to the nature of the dish (i.e. throw whatever you can in) you may wish to play around with the flavours to suit your own tastes. If we feel that there is not enough left over for dinner for both of us a second time I have been known to freeze what’s left and when reheating I add a can of organic lentils (well rinsed) to bulk it up.
I have also made this as a vegetarian meal with minced tofu rather than chicken. I boil some organic firm tofu cubes for 2 minutes in a pot of boiling water then drain well and blitz in the food processor. It becomes a similar consistency to minced meat …)
The cashews add a delicious crunch to this dish that the not so healthy versions might get from fried noodles … Trust me – it is seriously tasty!
Healthy Chicken Sang Choy Bow – serves 4
What you will need: (again note that these quantities are all approximate and can easily be adjusted to suit your tastes or what you have on hand)
Aprox 500 grams (1 pound) organic/free range chicken mince (I use a packet of Macro Free Range chicken mince from Woolworths)
5 Shallots or 1 onion or 1 Leek – chopped
1 chilli chopped finely (with or without seeds depending on how you like your heat)
1 clove garlic or 1 teaspoon organic minced garlic
2 carrots peeled and finely chopped
2 zucchinis (courgettes) finely chopped
2 sticks celery finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1/2 bag of bean sprouts (optional) and/or 1/2 – 1 Bag of baby spinach leaves
3/4 cups cashews dry roasted
1 iceberg lettuce
Marinade: (shake in a jar or whisk in a bowl)
1 Tablespoon Kecap Manis
1 Tablespoon Tamari
2 Tablespoon Spiral Miso Hoisin (or organic Hoisin)
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
If you would prefer to make this dish completely clean, rather than using the kecap manis and hoisin, you could create a marinade from tamari, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and salt and pepper – have fun experimenting!
How to pull it together:
Heat a large pan/wok and add about 1 tablespoon coconut oil. When heated add onion/leek/shallots and chilli with garlic and cook until translucent. Add the remaining veggies (except for spinach and bean sprouts) and chicken and mix well until the chicken is browned. Add the marinade ingredients and cook well. (You can do all of this earlier and reheat before serving)
Cut the iceberg lettuce into little cups.
Toss the roasted cashews, baby spinach and/or bean sprouts through your chicken mix and reheat until the spinach is wilted and the dish is nice and hot and then spoon into the lettuce cups and enjoy XX
OK, so you’ve probably noticed if you have been following me on facebook or instagram (@theshrinkinghubby) that I have turned into a bit of a juice-o-ho-lic! And since I have started daily juicing (it’s been over 5 weeks at the time of writing) and raving about how fantastic it has been making me feel (inside and out), I have had so many people asking me to write about juicing – i.e. how to get started and most importantly what to juice, so this post is dedicated to all of you!
So I hear you ask why juice?
Firstly, we all know (and if you didn’t you do now!) that we are supposed to be eating (AT LEAST) 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit per day. (That’s about 5 cups of raw veggies). I am generally quite good at getting that into my day to day diet – but then again I’ve been eating this way for a really long time so I am used to throwing extra veggies into each meal (yes even breakfast!). I just want to clarify that I do not juice to try and get my daily quota into one glass per day, my daily juice is a supplement to my daily fruit and veg intake. Having said that, if you know you are getting all that fruit and veg into your daily juice, you know that you are already well on the road to consuming an adequate amount of fresh produce.
It is also worth mentioning at this point however that no matter how wonderfully full of good stuff a juice is, you are still consuming calories, so if you are thinking of adding a daily juice to your diet perhaps you could consider replacing a snack or reducing a meal size to counter-balance this (or increasing your exercise).
There is some criticism about how juicing deprives your body of the essential fibre of fruit and vegetables, however as I said above, if you are eating your 2 and 5 serves a day, and treating a juice as a supplement to this, you are just giving your body a bonus of essential nutrients, and trust me, it will thank you for it!
The reason that juicing makes you feel so fantastic is that by juicing you are giving your body the nutrients without making it work to extract them from the produce. This is why you will feel an almost immediate energy kick after drinking a juice, as your body can get to work delivering all those wonderful vitamins, minerals and antioxidants throughout your body – in my opinion simply incomparable to a vitamin supplement.
Also, if you look at the volume of produce that goes into a glass of juice, you can understand that it simply wouldn’t be possible to consume that quantity by eating or blending in a smoothie – plus what you are getting in your glass is the highest concentration of nutritients. Don’t get me wrong – smoothies are a great meal option and can be a nutritonally complete meal too – however that is for another blog post …
You couldn’t possibly eat all of this daily!
What to put into your juice?
I always like to start with a base of green apple, lemon and kale (the leaves not the stalks). Then you can get creative with your other veggies. I like to use (and I mix and match according to whatever I have on hand) carrots, beetroot, broccoli, parsley, ginger (careful as juiced ginger can get a little spicy), cucumber, celery, spinach, zucchini etc etc. It’s good to mix and match as different fruits and veggies have different nutrients
If you can get your hands on it – juiced turmeric root is a great all round anti bacterial and immunity buster.
My favourite combo – green apple, kale, lemon, parsley, ginger and cucumber – so refreshing!
- Always juice the leafy greens which don’t hold as much liquid (e.g. kale, spinach, broccoli, ginger) before the juicier fruits/veggies (e.g. apple, lemon, cucumber). That way the juicier produce will flush out the nutrients of the less juicy produce through your juicer. Kale in particular will not create much juice, but you will see from the dark green colour that it is highly nutritious and full of chlorophyll which is a great detoxifier, blood cleanser and energy converter. You don’t want to leave all of that dark green goodness in your machine!
- Keep your juicer handy – if you keep it on the top shelf out of view I promise you will be less likely to be motivated to use it. Most people I speak to have a juicer but never use it because it is tucked away somewhere inconveniently. My juicer sits on the kitchen bench and washing it up has become as routine as brushing my teeth.
- Plan ahead – have some glass jars washed, sterilised and ready to use. (A run through the dishwasher will sterilise your jars – then just make sure they dry before you use them. Jars are a great way to store and cart your juice around (and you’re more likely to drink a juice if you have thrown one into your bag that morning!)
- Make in bulk – I usually juice about 4-5 jars at a time. It’s not ideal to drink it after a couple of days, but it’s better than nothing!
- If you can – always try and use organic ingredients. Give your body the full benefit of pesticide free produce – it doesn’t need to deal with the chemicals when you are trying to detoxify!
- If you feel like you are are fighting a cold, add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to your glass of juice and mix it well, or for an extra metabolism kick in the morning a pinch of cayenne pepper is extremely invigorating (but not for the faint hearted!!!).
If you want to see how juicing can turn lives around I highly recommend watching Joe Cross’s documentary ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’, in which he documents his own journey from ill health to good health by undertaking a 60 day juice fast (yep juice only for 60 days). The results were astounding and he continues to travel around the world showing people the benefits of regular juicing and juice fasting and the impact he makes on so many people is really astounding. I’m not saying that we should all give up food for 60 days, however this documentary provides a really good insight into the nutritional benefits of juicing (and eating enough fruit and vegetables.)
Another combo – this one kale, green apple, ginger, parsley, carrot, celery and beetroot – happy juicing!
I hope that this had been a good introduction to the world of juicing. I am sure that there will be more to come on this site as I read and learn and experiment and taste more! There is so much to read and learn but the best advice I can give you is to give it a go. Dust off your juicer and try a daily juice for a week or so (buy a juice from a juice bar if you aren’t ready to invest in a juicer). I promise that it will make you feel radiant and amazing!
Here is an incredibly easy recipe for chocolate balls which are a great alternative to a sugary treat when that sweet craving hits. They are full of superfoods and very rich so you won’t want to over indulge, yet they really do the trick. I find they get me through that post lunch/afternoon slump perfectly or as a treat to have with a cup of tea after dinner.
I added protein powder to the recipe below but that is entirely up to you. Also you could jazz it up with some chopped nuts (pistachios, almonds etc) or chia seeds (for more fibre), maybe some peppermint extract instead of vanilla – really the options are endless. This is a great base recipe to work with and I quite like them like this …
What you will need:
3/4 cups water
1/2 cup chopped dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut butter
Optional: 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder (I used Theresa Cutter’s all natural vanilla – pure whey protein sweetened with stevia – no artificial nasties)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
How to pull it together:
1. Put the dates in the water and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and soak for 30 minutes. Blend dates in a food processor/blender until smooth.
3. Warm the jars of coconut oil and butter until runny. Measure out amount required and add to the date mixture.
4. Add vanilla, salt and cacoa powder and mix to combine.
5. If using, add the protein powder and mix well.
6. The mixture will be really runny, you’ll need to chill in the fridge for a good 45 minutes – hour or until the consistency is fudgy (i.e. easy to roll).
6. Roll mixture into balls and roll in the coconut and then I like to to put them in mini cupcake patties. (Don’t be frightened the rolling part gets quite messy – once they are in balls and in the fridge they harden up beautifully and make a great little snack)
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy!!!
A friend of mine, Alison, has just started a new business called The Little Grocery Service. The philosophy behind The Little Grocery Service is that once a week (on a Friday) she visits the markets and selects the best seasonal fruit and vegetables she can find (conventional and organic when she can). She provides enough fruit and vegetables to feed a family with 2 or 3 children and in addition provides a bunch of beautiful flowers, a home-made jam or preserve (which she herself makes) and/or a baked good.
When in season she looks for interesting items to add to the regular selection and in order to help you get the best use from the produce from her box and to encourage you to try new foods she also includes recipes and cooking tips.
Alison wanted me to try her service to see what I thought, so last Friday I arrived home to this beautiful sight:
Needless to say I was delighted!!! At first I was a bit sceptical of the idea of somebody else choosing my weekly produce but I found that in addition to the usual staples that I would buy anyway there was an abundance of seasonal items that I now felt compelled (and happily so) to use. The box contained so much stuff! In addition to the fresh fruit and veggies which we are still happily working our way through, there was a jar of chilli sauce with garlic and ginger (that Alison herself made), a beautifully wrapped bunch of mixed herbs … and as a special treat there was the added pleasure of putting a huge bunch of amazing dahlias into a vase and enjoying them all weekend!
It’s a great service and one that will encourage you and your family to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and encourage you to step outside of the comfort zone and try new things!
The recipe included in this week’s box was for a fresh corn salad with prawns, red onion and crème fraiche which inspired me to make this delicious chicken and corn salad below. All of the fresh produce I used was provided in the box apart from the chicken, soba noodles, greek yoghurt and lemon (which I already had). It made for a lazy Saturday morning cooking something a little bit different for lunch for hubby and I (but so yummy we were fighting over the leftovers).
Poached Chicken and Corn Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing
What you will need:
- 2 cobs sweet corn, husks removed
- 375g organic soba noodles (I actually only used 2/3 of the packet which is 375g)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 poached/steamed chicken breast chopped into chunks. (I usually poach a few chicken breasts a couple of times a week – it makes such an easy protein source for salads, sandwiches or even on its own as a mid morning/afternoon meal)
- ¼ red onion finely sliced
- 1 lebanese cucumber quartered and cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons greek yoghurt
- 3 shallots peeled and finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons mint leaves shredded finely
- 2 tablespoons coriander shredded finely
- A couple of handfuls baby spinach
How to pull it together
Fill a saucepan with 1 ½ litres of water (I used filtered as I intended to use the water for stock later), add the corn and some salt and bring it to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Once cooked, turn off the heat and allow the corn to cool in the liquid. When cool, shave the kernels from the core using a sharp knife, and place in a large bowl. You can hold onto the water to make a stock (see note).
Cook the soba noodles in rapidly boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain, then rinse well with cold water and drain again.
Add the onion, cucumber, yoghurt, chicken, spinach, lemon juice, soba noodles, herbs, spring onion to a bowl and mix together thoroughly. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. I found this was perfect for 4 servings.
NOTE: To make the veggie stock, add the corn cores back to the water and simmer for 10 minutes. Now you have a delicious vegetarian stock to use in soups or purees.
If you are interested in speaking to Alison about her service you can either visit her website www.thelittlegroceryservice.com.au or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Little-Grocery-Service/383614048377833?fref=ts
Enjoy your salad!
For those of you who follow me on Facebook you might have seen the delicious dinner I whipped up on Monday night – baked barramundi on a bed of zucchini with cherry tomatoes on the vine, black olives and herbs. It was so easy to prepare – it only took about 5 minutes – but it was vibrant, colourful and very impressive. I was inspired by a recipe in Tessa Kiros’ beautiful cookbook ‘Limoncello and Linen Water’.
If you don’t like barramundi you could use an alternative white fish (think cod, snapper, flathead etc) or if you don’t like fish then it would be delicious with chicken! Next time I am going to try this with salmon …
I served it with blanched asparagus, but a mixed green salad would be just as delicious, and if you really can’t be bothered you can relax because the zucchini and the tomatoes mean that this dish really is a one-pot-wonder!
Baked Barramundi with Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes, Black Olives and Herbs
This made enough for the 2 of us (we did have a lot of tomatoes) but if you wanted to double it for 4 people and again for 8 etc it would work just as well.
What you will need:
2 small zucchinis – thinly sliced lengthways and tossed with some sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 barramundi fillets (or fish of your choice, or chicken)
200 g (7 ounces) cherry tomatoes (on the vine). (This was actually a lot of tomatoes for 2 people – keep in mind if you are not mad on tomatoes ..)
1 heaped tablespoon chopped parsley
6 basil leaves – torn
1/2 cup of white wine or chicken stock. (I used stock here but I think that white wine would be even more delicious)
A couple of handful of black olives (I used the pitted kalamata olives from the deli at Woolworths – they were perfect!)
Zest & juice of one lemon
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
How to pull it together:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
In a baking dish (which I lined with baking paper), drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and lay out the zucchini. Season the fish on both sides with a little salt and pepper andlay it over the zucchini. Top with the tomatoes and herbs. Pour the wine or stock around the fish and toss in the olives. Finish with the zest of the lemon and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until the tomatoes are roasted to your liking and the fish is nice and brown.
To keep updated with The Shrinking Hubby and for more inspiration for your healthy eating, don’t forget to like me on Facebook by heading over to www.facebook.com/theshrinkinghubby. Do you know anyone who loves cooking and eating healthy food, or who struggles with their weight or has a loved one who does? Please refer them to my page – I love hearing stories of those who have been inspired by our journey. Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to mean that you sacrifice wonderful food and good times! For those who follow me on Facebook – if you didn’t see this posted earlier in the week, it may be because Facebook is restricting the number of people who are exposed to my posts on their news feeds. To make sure you receive my posts it is a really simple process. To keep receiving all my posts, hover your mouse on the “Like” button near my name (The Shrinking Hubby) on Facebook. In the drop-down menu select “Add to interest lists.” Then create an interest list.
Thank you again for your support – we continue to be overwhelmed by the positive response from so many of you!
Wishing you all a wonderful week!
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