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!

Aromatic Lamb Casserole

Fiona Kirk Aromatic Lamb and Chickpea Casserole.jpeg

(makes 2 servings)

It’s all about the long, slow cooking here. Even those who have an issue with ‘healthy’ alternatives love this stew and it’s even better if you leave it in the fridge for a day or freeze and bring it back to the table. Careful though, the temptation to mop up the juices with crusty bread can be hard to control!

Nutrition Bite: Sesame seeds have powerful hormone-balancing and cholesterol-lowering effects, coconut oil improves digestion and helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins plus calcium, and magnesium and warm spices are rich in antioxidant plant chemicals which help to protect us against inflammation and boost our defences against disease - a casserole that's got the lot!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons sesame seeds
400g lean lamb or beef, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
Lamb/beef stock
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 level tablespoon coconut oil
¼ teaspoon saffron powder
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Manuka honey (optional)

Method

  • Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan, tossing until golden then set aside (watch them as they burn very quickly).
  • Put the meat in a medium-sized pan, barely cover with stock and add the onion, oil, saffron, ginger, coriander and cinnamon.
  • Stir well, bring to the boil, cover the pan and simmer very gently until the meat is very tender and the liquid has become a rich sauce (about 2 hours but check after an hour and a half and add more stock if necessary).
  • Season to taste, stir in the honey (if using) and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  • Cool and refrigerate/freeze at this stage if desired.
  • Garnish with toasted sesame seeds before serving.

Sweet Potato Curry (v)

Sweet Potato Curry

(makes 4 servings)

Very quick, very tasty and just as hot or mild as you like your curries. Don’t stint on the spinach - it seems like a lot when you add it but it wilts down fast and is bursting with essential vitamins and minerals - a veritable ‘super’ food!

Nutrition Bite: unlike many starchy carbohydrates which release their 'sugars' rather too quickly resulting in blood sugar spikes, sweet potatoes have been shown to improve blood glucose regulation thanks in part to their rich fibre content. They are also an excellent source of vitamin A, vital for eye health. 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely sliced/chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon sea salt crystals
1½ teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 x 400g can coconut milk
1 x 400g can pineapple pieces in fruit juice, drained and lightly crushed
4 generous handfuls baby spinach leaves

Method

  • Heat the coconut oil in a deep sauté pan, add the onion, garlic and salt, stir briskly over a medium heat for a minute or two then turn the heat down to very low, place a lid on the pan and sauté for around 10 minutes or until the onion is soft and cooked through.
  • Add the curry powder and cayenne pepper, stir well and sauté for a further 5 minutes before adding the sweet potato, stirring again, turning the heat up to medium and sautéing the whole mixture for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk and the pineapples, continue cooking until the mixture is lightly bubbling then turn the heat to very low, put the lid on and cook for a further 20-25 minutes or until the sweet potato is cooked through but not too soft.
  • Add the spinach and stir well into the mix until just wilted and serve immediately.