Thursday, 29 January 2015

Healthy dinner


I actually cooked! I've cooked quite a few times in the last few weeks so I'm pretty proud of myself!
In this post I said that if I cooked any healthy meals that I thought went pretty well I would blog them, I'm not sure how healthy this meal really is but it seems healthy enough to me and is gluten free!

picture taken from my cook book (see below)

Chicken with Cornmeal Dumplings

serves 4
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
  • 4 teaspoons Cajun spice blend
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 100g smokes streaky bacon, chopped
  • 2 peppers
  • 200ml Chicken Stock
  • 4 small tomatoes, skinned and quartered
  • 100ml double cream
  • salt and pepper

Dumplings ingredients
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 125g cornmeal (cornflour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 75g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 100ml milk

  1. Heat the oil in a large, shallow flameproof casserole and fry the chicken pieces for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Stir in the spice blend and cook for a further minute. Drain to a plate. (We started everything off in a large wok and moved it into a casserole dish just before it went into the oven)
  2. Add the onion, bacon and peppers and fry, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until beginning to colour.
  3. Return the chicken to the casserole (here's where we put everything into the dish) and stir in the stock and a little seasoning. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and bake in a preheated oven, 180 degrees C (350 Fahrenheit), Gas mark 4, for 45 minutes until the chicken is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the dumplings. Mix together the flour, cornmeal (cornflour), chilli flakes, coriander and cheese in a bowl. Beat the butter with the egg and milk and add to the bowl. Mix together to make a thick paste that is fairly sticky but holds its shape. (We found this only took about 15 minutes so started it after the chicken had been in for half an hour).
  5. Stir the tomatoes and cream into the chicken mixture and season to taste. Put spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture over the top (we found this easier to do if we made the dumplings with our hands and places them on the top, they sink into the mixture a bit). Return to the over, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes or until the dumplings have slightly risen and formed a firm crust.
It actually came out pretty much looking like the picture in the book which is unusual when I cook! I found it fairly easy to cook (I still had help but for a beginner I think that's fair enough). It was really yummy and everyone really loved it! 

The cook book that I got it from was this student cook book that I got for Christmas. There are loads of really yummy recipes in it and it even has a section specifically for healthy recipes! The pages are set out really clearly and they even give an 'affordability rating' out of three for each recipe, this one was a 2. 

For now, thank you and goodbye,

Thursday, 15 January 2015

January detox


I am not someone who really believes in 'diets' as they have never really worked for me in the past (either gone too far or nowhere at all) and are only really short-term; however, after Christmas I always feel the need to eat extra healthily.

As I mentioned in this post I like to stay as fit and healthy as I can. This January I have decided that I do not eat enough fruit and that I would love to try having more smoothies. I am also going to try cooking some healthy recipes over the next month or two so if I feel I have done a good job, they may appear in future posts.

As for today, I would like to share some of my favourite smoothie recipes (you can pretty much just add whatever you like, with a bit of liquid if you prefer them smoother, but these some that I have done):

I saw this recipe with celery instead of banana but we didn't have any celery in the house so I made:

-2 apples
-2 carrots
-1 banana
-Orange juice (however much you like)

Berry smoothie:

- Handful of strawberries
- Handful of blueberries
- Handful of raspberries
- 2 tbsp honey
- Some ice cubes

Banana and peanut butter smoothie:

- 2 bananas
- 1 pint of milk
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter

Orange super-smoothie

-1 carrot
-1 orange
-1 banana
-1 apricot
- Some ice cubes

I find smoothies a really healthy and great thing to have pre-made so if you're running late in the morning you can have them for breakfast, or just as a healthy snack. I've been drinking a lot of smoothies so far this year!

For now, thank you and goodbye,