Aubergine Curry with Meat, Poultry, Fish or Tofu

Aubergine Curry with Meat, Poultry, Fish or Legumes.jpg

Ingredients

(makes 4 servings)
1 ripe mango, peeled, stoned and diced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
Sea salt
Fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon light olive oil
450g fresh, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large or 2 small aubergines, wiped and cut into bite-sized chunks
225g button mushrooms, cleaned and halved
6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated/mashed
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 level tablespoons Thai red curry paste
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
2 heaped tablespoons ‘no added sugar’ almond butter
250ml unsweetened almond milk
250ml coconut milk
240g tinned or jarred chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 good handfuls roughly chopped coriander leaves
2 good handfuls roughly chopped basil leaves
Raw cauliflower (white only) box-grated and steamed of microwaved for a couple of minutes

Method

  • The salsa: mix the mango, sugar, mint, a good pinch of salt and a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice together in a bowl, cover and set aside.
  • The curry: warm the olive oil in a large, shallow pan and sauté the chicken pieces until lightly-browned and just cooked through before removing them (and their juices) to a dish and setting aside.
  • Add the coconut oil to the pan, warm through then sauté the aubergine, mushrooms, tomatoes, ginger and garlic over a medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Return the chicken pieces and their juices to the pan and continuing to sauté for another few minutes, stirring carefully so as not to break up the vegetables.
  • Mix the curry powder, Thai curry paste, chilli flakes and almond butter into a cupful of the almond milk and stir well until very smooth then add this mix to the pan followed by the rest of the almond milk, the coconut milk and the chickpeas. Stir well, bring slowly to the boil then turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Just before serving, add the basil and coriander to the curry and stir to combine for a scant minute or two before serving on a bed of the cauliflower with the fresh mango salsa alongside (good quality mango chutney also works well).
  • NB: replace the chicken with the same amount of turkey, lean lamb, veal, firm white fish, fresh prawns or tofu (all cut into bite-sized chunks before sautéing in the olive oil until just cooked through as per the chicken).
  • ALSO: you can play around with the spices if you like your curry hotter or milder and add more or less of the almond butter.

This is truly amazingly good - one of my resident ‘tasters’ declared it the best curry she has ever had... and it tastes great with all the different protein choices making it a meal that can be regularly repeated without diet boredom creeping in! It also freezes well.

Lemon Ginger Chicken

Lemon Ginger Chicken.jpg

(makes 1 serving)

Ingredients

  • 3 skinless mini chicken fillets
  • 1 tablespoon light olive or coconut oil
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 celery stick, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and chopped or a small can (200ml) chopped tomatoes, sieved to remove the liquid
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lemon grass paste
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaped tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ ripe avocado, stoned, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
  • Chilli powder (hot or mild)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
  • Place the chicken fillets on a piece of baking foil large enough to form a loose parcel, lightly season, add a good splash of oil, scrunch all the edges of the foil together, place in an oven-proof baking dish and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear then set aside, covered.
  • Warm the rest of the oil in a small sauté pan, add the onion and celery and cook gently until they are soft but not browned.
  • Add the tomato, ginger, lemon grass and vinegar, stir well and continue to cook over a medium heat until the vinegar starts to evaporate and the sauce becomes a thickish paste (around 5-7 minutes).
  • Add the coriander, season to taste, mix well, turn off the heat and place a lid on the pan.
  • In a small bowl, roughly mash the avocado with a fork, add the lime/lemon juice, lightly season and mix thoroughly.
  • To serve, spoon the sauce onto a warmed plate, place the chicken fillets, finely sliced on top and finally the avocado.
  • Lightly dust with chilli powder.
  • NB: this was an experiment that really worked! The cool, creamy avocado topping married with the heat of the ginger and lemon grass and the sharpness of the lemon and vinegar takes the succulent chicken fillets to a whole new place!

One-Pot Chicken and Chorizo

one-pot chicken and chorizo1.jpg

(makes 4 servings)

I love a one-pot dish that does it’s own thing in the oven! Preparation time is quick and you can get on with a pile of tasks whilst the cooking happens. You can also create something equally delicious with chunky fillets of fish but as fish cooks quickly, don’t place them on the bed of vegetables and chorizo until 15 to 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time (less if you are using thin fish fillets).

Nutrition Bite: Avocado oil is pressed from the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado stone, making it one of the few edible oils not derived from a seed. This pulp produces an oil full of healthy fats, including oleic acid and essential fatty acids. Additionally, it has a high 'smoke point'. When an oil reaches its 'smoke point', the structure of the oil begins to break down, nutrients are lost and compounds are created that may damage our health. Avocado oil’s high 'smoke point' make it a great choice for cooking.

Ingredients

400g peeled and diced sweet potato
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
4-6 organic chicken thighs, skin on                                                                                  
75mls chicken or vegetable stock                                                                               
Half a lemon cut into wedges
2 tablespoons extra virgin avocado or olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small courgettes, wiped and cut into good-sized chunks
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced
100g chorizo, sliced
1 small bag baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7
  • Spread the sweet potato and garlic over the base of a fairly deep roasting tin and place the chicken (skin side up) on top.
  • Pour the stock in, pop the lemon wedges around the tin, drizzle the oil over the whole lot, season with a good pinch of salt and lots of pepper and place the roasting tin (uncovered) in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the tin from the oven and add the courgettes, chilli and chorizo, mix everything well but still keep the chicken (skin side up) on top and return to the oven for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are ‘al dente’.
  • Remove the tin from the oven again and stuff the spinach and parsley leaves in and around everything - seems like there is way too much (and they can be tricky to control!) but they soon wilt - then return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.