My healthier eating continues this month. I got some lovely bits of Scottish Salmon recently so came up with this idea of a healthier mash using whatever I had in my fridge. It was delicious. Best bit, it only took 6 minutes to cook and put together.
Makes enough mash for 2-3 people
80g baby spinach
50g garden peas – cooked
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp Sea Salt
Garlic clove – minced
1 tsp coriander – dried
1 tsp olive oil
(optional if you like spice, add in 1 tsp chilli flakes)
- Place everything into a blender and mix until just combined.
- Serve. Simple as that!
I steam cooked some salmon that I marinated in Teriyaki Sauce overnight. Yum!
Sous Vide is a method of cooking which food is placed in a plastic pouch (preferably vacuum packed) and immersed in water to cook at about 55-58 deg ideally. This method does take longer but the results are so much better.
Some benefits of Sous Vide Cooking:-
Consistency. Because you cook your food to a precise temperature for a precise amount of time, you can expect very consistent results.
Taste. Food cooks in its juices. This ensures that the food is moist, juicy and tender.
Waste reduction. Traditionally prepared food dries out and results in waste. For example, on average, traditionally cooked steak loses up to 40% of its volume due to drying out. Steak cooked via precision cooking, loses none of its volume.
Flexibility. Traditional cooking can require your constant attention. Precision cooking brings food to an exact temperature and holds it. There is no worry about overcooking.
I seasoned my meat before and vacuum packed. Bring a pan of water to 55 deg temp and place bag inside. Leave a bit of the bag on edge and put a lid on to hold bag in water. Cook for about 1-2 hours. (medium-rare)
When ready remove and heat a little oil in pan on hob, remove the steak and sear on both sides for about 30 secs each side to seal. Place a knob of butter in pan and spoon over meat. Serve.
This will be the juiciest steak you will ever eat.
Well what can I say, I am so excited and in love with my new toy. Yes it’s a vacuum machine! It arrived just after New Year so off I popped to Costco, stocked up on my meats and off I went.
So, Why vacuum pack? What are the benefits?
Vacuum packing is a method in which the air is removed from the packaging prior to sealing. By removing the oxygen it extends the shelf life of your foods but also reduces the volume and allows you to stock or store more as it uses less space. Frozen food that is vacuum sealed lasts an average of 2-3 years, while it will last 6-12 months, on average, stored in other ways. Most vacuum sealed foods will last in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks, which is much longer than the typical 1-3 days food will last when stored conventionally in a refrigerator.
You can also use to store dry foods such as lentils, beans, coffee, nuts, cheese or cured meats. Also great for vegetables too. The list is pretty much endless.
Other benefits include:-
Stop Freezer Burn:– When foods are frozen without preparation, freezer burn can occur. It happens when the surface of the food is dehydrated, and this leads to a dried and leathery appearance. Freezer burn also ruins the flavor and texture of foods. Vacuum packing reduces freezer burn by preventing the food from exposure to the cold, dry air.
Sous-Vide Cooking:- Vacuum packaging also allows for a special cooking method, sous-vide. Sous-vide, French for under vacuum, involves poaching food that is vacuum sealed in a plastic bag.
Food Structure and Flavour:– You can also season or marinade the food before vacuum sealing this allows the seasoning to penetrate into your foods and gives a greater flavour. With vacuum sealing the meats also have nowhere to go so all the fibres in your meats stay rather than relaxing therefore the structure is perfect once cooked.
Here is a rough guide to show shelf life:-
Delicious little Saturday night dish (or any night for that matter) I also used corn tortillas and made my own salsa to keep the fat and calories lower. I am on a mission this year to eat a little healthier and try new ideas and flavours. This is packed with flavour and filling too.
You could of course use Tacos instead of wraps.
Makes enough for about 6 wraps
For the chicken:-
2 large chicken breasts
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp Taco Seasoning (see below)
For the Salsa:-
2 tomatoes – chopped
1 onion – chopped
1 lime juice of
2 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp sea salt
Sour Cream to taste
1 tbsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
Add all above to a little jar and mix. Store in cupboard.
- Place a little oil in a pan on medium heat
- Coat the chicken with the Taco Seasoning about 1 large tbsp per breast and gently colour the chicken in the pan.
- Add in the tin tomatoes to the pan with the chicken, cover and slow cook on a low heat for about 4 hours.
- Meanwhile make the salsa by adding the chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, salt, coriander and lime juice in a bowl and mix together. Store in fridge until needed.
- About 1/2 hour before about to serve, take 2 forks and shred the chicken in the pan. Continue to cook uncovered for about 1/2 hour, this helps thicken the sauce.
- Warm up your tortillas as per instructions on packet, place on a plate.
- Spread a thin layer of sour cream, place some shredded chicken on top, then some tomato salsa then another little dollop of sour cream, wrap and devour! Yummy!
You could also add in a little avocado or some grated cheese.
This is a tasty little dish and so healthy too. I’m always trying to get more fish into my meals (hard when my partner isn’t a fish fan!), but even he loved this one. Result!
Easy to make and full of protein and iron.
Makes 2 portions
1 tsp oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground mixed spice
2 garlic cloves or 1 tsp dried garlic
1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
1 can chickpeas (optional)
100g Spinach (optional)
1 packet of fresh green peas
2 cod fillets
zest of 1 lemon
handful of chopped coriander to serve
- Heat oil in a large pan and cook onion & garlic over a high heat until softened and slightly browned. Stir in the curry powder and mixed spice, mix through.
- Add in the tin tomatoes, chickpeas and green peas with seasoning to taste.
- Cook for about 10 minutes until sauce starts to thicken slightly.
- Add in the cod and cover, continue to cook for another 10 minutes until fish is cooked through.
- Squeeze on the lemon zest and coriander then serve. Yummy!
I served with some curry roasted parnsips and carrots.
OMG, this was so yummy! We had a soup ‘n’ pudding kinda day and this is what I decided to try.
Serves about 8
110g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
110g golden caster sugar
50ml olive oil
50ml walnut oil
55g dark chocolate, chopped
55g chopped walnuts
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
100g melted chocolate for topping
30g chopped walnuts for topping
- Preheat oven to fan 170 deg. Grease a baking tin (approx 12″)
- Blitz the walnuts until fine. Transfer to a bowl and add in the sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt then mix.
- Add in the caster sugar, oils, chopped chocolate, eggs and vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
- Spoon the batter mix into the baking tin and bake for approx 25 minutes.
- Remove and cool on a wire rack.
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave and spoon on top of the cake, crumble the remaining walnuts on top. Serve. Yummy!
Friday night is mostly pizza night in our house, but as I’m on my Detox this week it was finding an alternative for me and why not Butterfly chicken? I have to say this dish was so delicious and very healthy and nutritious too. Win, win for me!
2 x Chicken Breasts
1 onion – chopped
handful of sweet peppers – chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp Italian herbs
1 tbsp tomato paste
Salt & pepper to taste
30g Goats Cheese
- Butterfly your chicken and flatten the thicker part so it will cook evenly.
- Add the chopped onion, peppers, chilli flakes, olive oil and all seasonings into a food bag and make sure all are coated.
- Take 1 tsp and spread onto each chicken breast evenly
- Next add the onion & pepper mix and spread evenly
- Preheat your Crisperplate for 2 minutes on crisp setting then place the chicken breasts on and cook for 5-6 minutes (depending on size of your chicken)
- Remove crisp plate and crumble on the goats cheese evenly, put back into the oven and cook on crisp for a further 3 minutes.
- Serve. Yummy!
(If you don’t have a crisper plate, bake in oven at 200 deg for about 15-20 minutes)