Garlic Chicken & Mushroom Pasta

This is a real tasty dish which is surprisingly good on the calories at approx 540 calories per person.  This may be because it’s not swimming in cream like I often find so many pasta dishes!  This recipe serves two adults.

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Ingredients:-

150g Wholewheat Spaghetti
1 tsp Fresh lemon zest plus half a lemon juice.
1 tbsp of Olive Oil
200g Chestnut Mushrooms sliced
4 Spring Onions sliced
2 Cloves of Garlic sliced
30g Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese grated
6 Sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
150g cooked chicken breast
Optional (2 tbsp) of single cream

Begin to cook your spaghetti as per the instructions.  In a large wok or frying pan place the olive oil, mushrooms, onions, garlic and cook for about 5 minutes on a low-medium heat.  Add in the cooked chicken breast, lemon zest and juice, 2/3rds of the Parmigiano cheese, a ladle full of water from the spaghetti which is cooking, and stir round to heat through and combine.  If using the cream add this now too.  Taste to see if you want to add any salt and pepper.

You can either add the spaghetti to the pan once it has cooked, or place the spaghetti in the dish and add the chicken and mushroom mixture on top.  I like to do the latter, as then you get more equal amounts of the chicken and mushroom mix.  I then combine the spaghetti and chicken and mushroom mix whilst in the bowl.  Then sprinkle over the remaining 1/3rd Parmigiano cheese over both bowls along with the flat leaf parsley.

 

 

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Pasta, Tomato & Sardines

I used to make this for myself as one of my healthy eating low-calorie foods, but it has fast become a favourite with others in my family.  You could swap sardines for tuna or mackerel if you want, although the tinned sardines in tomato sauce just make this dish taste even better.  The quality of ingredients should be top-notch, as they do all the hard work.  I love Parmentier sardines in tomato, they are just delicious!

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Ingredients (Serves 2)

2  Tins of sardines in tomato sauce
150g of Bucatini or Spaghetti
2 Cloves of garlic sliced
10 Cherry tomatoes in quarters
1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
Pinch of chilli flakes
1 Red pepper sliced
Salt
Bag of rocket leaves
1 Lemon

Boil your bucatini/spaghetti as per the instructions in salted water.

In a large wok or non stick pan, place the olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, chilli flakes and red peppers.  Cook and stir for around five minutes.

Once the bucatini/spaghetti has cooked, remove two ladle full of the water and place into the pan/wok.  Drain the bucatini/spaghetti and add it to the wok.  Add in the sardines and break into chunks, gently mixing it around.  Squeeze in half the lemon, take a handful of rocket and add it to the frying pan, season with salt and mix around again.

Cook for a further couple of minutes, so that the rocket begins to wilt slightly.  Place the spaghetti in bowls.  You will notice some of the ingredients are at the base of the pan, so pour equally onto the spaghetti.

Take the rest of the rocket, squeeze some lemon over, grind a little salt and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Mix to combine and coat the rocket, then add to the spaghetti bowls.

Delicious!

 

 

 

Creamy Spinach Soup

There are quite a few people feeling run down and under the weather with various illnesses at present.  So with that in mind, I wanted to post a recipe for a soup that will put some good stuff in your immune system.  You don’t have to include the cream if you don’t want to.

creamy spinach soup

 

Ingredients

20g butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
1.3 litres chicken stock
300g spinach
Nutmeg
Juice of ½ a lemon
4 tbsp single cream

Heat the butter in a large sauce pan over a medium-low heat and add the onions. Cook gently for 8 minutes until onions are soft but not brown. Add the garlic and potato cubes and cook, stirring, for a further  2 minutes.

Add the stock, and gradually bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Add the spinach leaves, and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Purée the soup with a hand-held blender until smooth. Season with some freshly grated nutmeg.

Then, add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the soup back to the simmer and then stir in the cream.

Chicken Noodle Stir Fry

I really love Chinese New Year for food.  That said, I will often make stir fry dishes in particular all year round.  I find that many home-made stir fry dishes are low-fat and healthy, but the best bit is that they are full of taste and texture.  The ingredients for the vegetables are not set.  If you have any mushrooms, courgettes etc to hand that you want to use, then chop them up and throw them in.  Just make a note that harder vegetables like carrots, need to be sliced into thin shreds so that they cook properly.  This dish also helps to combat food waste, which is a huge concern of mine.  If you need any further persuasion, then this dish is also quick to cook!

 

chicken nooodle stir fry

 

Ingredients

2 Cooked chicken breasts sliced or cut into pieces
1 Tbsp Sunflower oil
1 Red pepper, sliced
1 Handful of mangetout sliced
300g Ready Wok noodles
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 Tsp Sesame oil
3  Tbsp Teriyaki sauce
Juice of a Lime

Mix soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, teriyaki sauce and lime all together to make up the sauce.

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan, and fry the vegetables for 2-3 minutes.  Add the noodles along with 120ml of water.  Cook for a minute.  Add the chicken and stir, then add the sauce and continue to stir making sure that you coat all the ingredients.  Cook for around 3-4 minutes and then serve.

Mushroom Curry

Do I miss meat in a curry?  Well, certainly not when I make this one.  The mushrooms seem to take on a meaty taste.  Please feel free to add as much heat with the chilli flakes and curry paste as you wish.  Also experiments with different vegetables such as peppers and butternut squash.  I also like to add chickpeas as well.

On the subject of curry pastes, the one below is one that I picked up from Waitrose a while back.  I have to say, I really like it and its one of my favourites.  Occasionally I make my own but this one comes in useful for when I am too busy to make my own.  I find using 2 teaspoons of this paste is more than enough heat for me.  The rice I have used is a whole grain rice with quinoa, which is very filling!

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Ingredients 

500g Mushrooms – Use a mixture. I slice plain white mushrooms and then I quarter some chestnut mushrooms.
2 Cloves of garlic crushed
5cm Piece of ginger grated
1 Onion Chopped
Pinch of chilli flakes
Olive Oil
2 – 4 tsp of good quality curry paste (depending on how hot you like it. I like a Medium Moglai curry paste for this dish)
4 Tomatoes roughly chopped
1 Tbsp of Mango Chutney
1 x 400ml of Coconut Milk
Splash of double cream (optional)
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

In a heavy bottomed cast iron pan place in the mushrooms and dry fry them to get some colour for around 5 minutes. They squeak in the pan when dry frying, but this gets them a nice colour. If you put oil at this stage, the mushrooms just absorb it and sort of steam. Then add a tablespoon of olive oil and add the chilli, onion, garlic along with your curry paste. Stir round for 3 minutes and then add the tomatoes, mango chutney and coconut milk. Add some salt and pepper, put the lid on and place in the oven for between 20-30 minutes. Check after 20 minutes that it is not drying out and stir round. You can add a splash of hot kettle water if you feel it needs more liquid. Once cooked transfer to the stove top and taste to check that you are happy with the spice heat and seasoning. I like to add a splash of double cream, but you could eat it without.

Serve with rice and other items such as poppodums.