Crispy semolina chicken

Chicken nuggets seem to always be welcome by both grown-ups and kiddies. However, given their typical breadcrumby, deep-fried nature, I decided to reinvent this dish into a more heart/blood-vessel friendly version; and I came up with this easy peasy concoction. 

The pear in this recipe tenderises the meat, and the semolina coating, when griddled (even with a minimal amount of oil), gives us the desirable crispy texture!

Ingredients
Chicken − 600 g, sliced into thin strips
Pear − ⅓, peeled and mashed 
Garlic salt − ⅓ teaspoon
Paprika − ½ teaspoon
Dried coriander leaves − ½ teaspoon
Coarse semolina − 3 tablespoons
Sukrin gold − 1.5 tablespoons
Rapeseed or sunflower oil spray

Protocol
1.
 Add all ingredients together in a large bowl and make sure all the chicken strips are well coated.
2. Heat some spray oil in a griddle, and cook the chicken until cooked through and the outside is golden.

Thai turkey meatball soup

This Thai-inspired soup has a bit of an east meets west situation going on, as it contains some typical Thai flavours and my tempting turkey meatballs! I usually use coconut milk powder rather than tinned coconut milk/coconut cream in order to control the amount of saturated fat, while adding a hint of a coconutty taste to this light dish inspired by my most favourite cuisine. A sure win-win for your body and your taste buds!

Ingredients
White cabbage − 1, small, leaves roughly torn
Mushrooms − a large handful, roughly chopped (I used shiitake mushrooms, but any type will do)
Shallots − 4, finely diced
Ginger − 4 cm, minced
Mild red chilli − 1, minced
White wine − a large splash
Kaffir lime leaves − 3-4
Stock cube − I used 2 Maggi stock cubes in 500 ml boiling water; if using any other brand of stock cube, only use 1 cube
Maggi coconut milk powder − 1.5 tablespoons (if using tinned light coconut milk, use only 2-3 tablespoons)
Unsweetend almond milk − 200 ml (I use Alpro)
Sukrin gold  (or Stevia) − 2 tablespoons (or substitute with Agave nectar/Maple syrup if not too worried about the carbs)
Spring onions − 2, thinly sliced into rings
Tempting turkey meatballs

Protocol
1. Add 1 spray of oil to a wok and sauté the shallots, ginger, and chilli for 2 minutes, then add the cabbage leaves and mushrooms with a pinch of salt and sauté for another minute.
2. Add a large splash of white wine and simmer on low heat for 3 minutes.
3. Crumble stock cube(s) into 500 ml boiling water, and mix well. Add to wok.
4. Turn up the heat to a medium flame. Now add in the almond milk, coconut milk powder, kaffir lime leaves and Sukrin. Simmer for 10 minutes. 
5. Then lower in the freshly baked tempting turkey meatballs into the simmering broth, and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes. 
6. Garnish with fresh spring onions to serve.

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Tempting turkey meatballs

Juicy juicy turkey meatballls!  Cooking with lean (containing a mere 2% fat) turkey mince can often result in rather dry meatball/burger situations. However, this nifty little trick of using kiwi fruit solves that problem, as it deliciously tenderises the meat, and produces succulent, moreish, juicy meatballs!

Ingredients
Lean turkey mince − 500 g (I used turkey mince containing 2% fat)
Kiwi fruit − 1, mashed
Salt − ¼ teaspoon
Almond flour/ground almonds − 1 tablespoon
Arrowroot powder  − 1 tablespoon
White of 1 egg
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of chilli powder (optional)

Protocol
1. 
Combine turkey mince, mashed kiwi fruit (this softens the meat), salt, almond flour/ground almonds, arrowroot powder, egg white and lime juice. Mix well.
2. Mould the turkey into meatball shapes and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper (tin foil won’t work; it will just make the meat stick!).
3. Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for 25 minutes, on the bottom shelf, turning the meatballs over after 12 mins.  

Lemon thyme leg of goat slow-roasted with beetroot, red onion and pear

How a chicken became a goat in a far away car park…

Just in time for the winter season, I was thinking of making a delicious dish of chicken, beetroot and pear, the perfect Sunday roast. However, a rather peculiar incident interfered with my plans. I received a message through an email-list at work, not about cell culture or antibodies, but from someone who had started a goat farm and was selling goat meat − either half a goat or a full goat at a time. Being rather curious, I emailed back to ask [a] if the meat was lean (it is!), and [b] whether it would be possible to buy just 1 kg, as I wasn’t planning on buying a new freezer with triple capacity! It was too complicated to sell less than half a goat, and so it was suggested that I could find others to share a goat with. Given that I had no intentions of becoming a goat meat re-seller, I decided to politely leave it at that.

A couple of weeks later, much to my bewilderment, I started receiving emails with pictures of half a goat, and people (that I didn’t know) comparing a leg of goat to a leg of deer/discussing the fact that they didn’t know how to cook with chops and legs/asking how many people a leg would feed. And about collecting bits of a male goat (?) from one of the car parks at work. This caused much hilarity, not to mention that I was somewhat confused! Anyway, I figured that I had been included in a group to split half a male goat; and I did end up collecting the goat leg I cooked for this recipe (in exchange for money of course) from a far away car park at work, which I then carried away in a white box usually used for carrying reagents/samples from the lab. Could have easily been mistaken for illegal activities/exchanges taking place in the car park! 

Ingredients
Goat – part of leg, weighing approximately 1.6 kg (any fat removed)
Fresh beetroot – 4, peeled and cut into chunky slices
Red onion − 4, cut into chunky slices
Ginger − 4 cm, minced
Finger green chilli – ⅓ (more if you want it hot), deseeded and minced
Maggi stock cubes − 3, crumbled (or 2 stock cubes if using any other brand)
Cumin powder − 3 heaped teaspoons
Coriander powder − 3 heaped teaspoons
Sukrin − 4 tablespoons
Sweet sherry – 150 ml
Fennel seeds – 2 teaspoons
Caraway seeds – 1 teaspoon
Fresh beetroot – 4, peeled and cut into chunky slices
Red onions − 4, cut into chunky slices
Lemon thyme – a few springs
Pear – 2, cut into chunky slices

Protocol
1.
Rub the leg of goat (with the fat removed), the beetroot and red onion with some salt and place in a large baking tray.
2. In a bowl, combine ginger, chilli, cumin powder, coriander powder, stock cubes, Sukrin, fennel seeds, caraway seeds and sherry in a bowl, and whisk together.
3. Pour the mixture onto the goat, beetroot and red onion, and sprinkle on some of the lemon thyme, making sure everything is well covered with the mixture. 
4. Cover the tray with tin foil and marinate overnight in the fridge (or for at least 30 minutes at room temperature if time is limited).
5. Preheat the oven to 150°C and transfer the tray to the oven when it is warm. Roast for 4 hours, intermittently pouring the juices over the meat.
6. After 4 hours, add the slices of pear and cover slices in the juice. Put the foil-cover back on and return to the oven, roasting for another 30 minutes.
7. Garnish with fresh lemon thyme to serve.

Creamy carrot chicken

Carnivorous | 28th October 2017 | By

Another deceptively creamy recipe – i.e. no butter, no oil, no cream, and one that can be achieved without great exertion! It is also a very versatile sauce; even though this one is made with chicken, it works well with vegetables (I would recommend courgette, broccoli, cauliflower, red onion and green beans) and even with fish.  

I must add that the pine nuts and the wee bit of green pepper are absolutely essential to get that deep, rich flavour.


Ingredients
Chicken breasts – 4-5, diced 
Sweet soy sauce – 1 tablespoon 
Carrots – 4, peeled, sliced and steamed
Onions – 4, cut into rings
Garlic – 4 cloves, minced
Green pepper – ⅓, diced
Juice of 1 lime
Balsamic vinegar – 1 tablespoon
Red wine – 1 slosh
Almond milk – 300 ml
Pine nuts – large handful 
Almond flour – 1 tablespoon
Sukrin – 1 tablespoon
Coarsely ground black pepper – 1-2 teaspoons

Protocol
1. Steam the chicken with salt and sweet soy sauce and set aside.
2.
 Steam the carrots with salt until soft.
3. Add onions and garlic to a non-stick pan and cook on medium heat with a little water (water being a substitute for oil to stop the garlic/onions from drying out), some salt and the lime juice.
4. When the garlic and onions start to brown, add the red wine and balsamic vinegar, and simmer for 2 minutes.
5. Then add the carrots, green pepper, almond milk and pine nuts, simmer for another 2 minutes.
6. Turn off the heat, place in a blender with the almond flour and blend until smooth.
7. Transfer the blended mixture to a large saucepan, add the Sukrin and coarsely ground black pepper, and simmer on low heat until the sauce starts to bubble.
8. Mix in the chicken to serve.

No fat chicken and mushroom pâté

Carnivorous | 28th October 2017 | By

Fancy a rich wintry pâté that hasn’t got oodles fat (or in fact, has no fat) in it, but still tastes rich and velvety? Here you go! 

Ingredients
Oyster mushrooms – 500 g, roughly chopped
Chicken – 4 legs, skin removed
Red cooking wine – a generous slosh
Onions – 3 large, chopped small
Cinnamon powder – ½ teaspoon
Nutmeg powder – ½ teaspoon
Sukrin – 3 tablespoons
Soya sauce – 1 tablespoon
Maggi stock cube – 1, crumbled
Dried thyme – 2 teaspoons
Ginger – 2 cm, minced
Coarsely ground black pepper – 1-2 teaspoons

Protocol
1.
Boil chicken legs in water containing ginger and salt. When fully cooked, remove the chicken from the bone and allow to cool.
2. Combine mushrooms, soya sauce and enough hot water to just cover the mushrooms, and soak for 30 minutes.
3. In a shallow frying pan, add onions, a little boiling water and the crumbled stock cube. When onions starts to brown, add in the red wine, Sukrin, mushrooms, cinnamon, nutmeg and thyme, and cook for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
4. Combine the mushroom and onion with the chicken, add coarsely ground black pepper and blend in a food processor.

Serve with bread or any raw vegetable. Or in my case, Eiweiß Brot (this is a low-carb, low-fat, high-protein bread, made with egg white and pea protein, and so far I have only found it in Germany).

Skinny coronation chicken

I love coronation chicken, but feel intense disregard for the fact that it is decidedly Rupsha-unfriendly. As such, I decided to make a change pertaining to this sub-optimal factuality. 

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Ingredients
Cooked chicken breasts – 3, shredded
Mango – ¼, diced into 0.5-cm cubes
Juice of a half a lime
Balsamic vinegar − ½ teaspoon
Curry powder − a pinch
Coriander powder − ½ teaspoon
Cumin power − ½ teaspoon
Cinnamon powder − ⅓ teaspoon
Ground black pepper − 1 teaspoon
0% fat Greek yoghurt − 2 tablespoons
Low-sugar low-salt ketchup − 1 tablespoon
Sweet chilli sauce − 1 tablespoon
Salt − ⅓ teaspoon
Chilli powder − a pinch
Sukrin gold (or Stevia) − ½ tablespoon (or substitute with Agave nectar/Maple syrup if not too worried about the carbs)
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Sweet red/yellow pointy pepper – ⅓, diced into 0.5-cm cubes (optional)
Green pepper – ⅓, diced into 0.5-cm cubes (optional)
Cucumber – ⅓, diced into 0.5-cm cubes (optional)

Fresh coriander for garnishing (optional)

Protocol
1. Whisk the yoghurt with all ingredients minus the chicken, making sure the taste is to your satisfaction.
2. Mix in the chicken, and garnish with coriander to serve if you wish!

Stuffed marrow with turkey pad krapow

Carnivorous | 18th March 2017 | By

A Thai-style dish that is bursting with flavour and colour!

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Ingredients
Marrow − 1, large, with seeds removed
Onions − 4, diced
Garlic − 4 cloves, minced
Ginger − 4 cm, minced
Finger green chilli − ⅓−1 (depending on how hot you want it), deseeded and minced
Turkey mince − 500 g
Green beans − handful
Red pepper − ⅓, diced
Low sugar/low salt ketchup − 2 tablespoons
Soy sauce − 2 tablespoons
Sweet soy sauce − 1 tablespoon
Fish sauce − 1 teaspoon
Sukrin gold − 3 tablespoons
Juice of 1 lime
Thai basil leaves − 1 bunch, roughly chopped
Fresh coriander − handful, roughly chopped
Spring onion − 2, diagonally sliced into thin rings

Spice mix A: 1 teaspoon each of cumin powder and coriander powder + ½ teaspoon of salt

Protocol
1. Wrap the marrow in tin foil and roast it whole in the oven, at 200°C for around 30 minutes (until soft).
2. In a large wok, spray a bit of rapeseed or sunflower oil, and add the onion, ginger and chilli, and a bit of salt. Add water if necessary (I sprinkle water on the onions to stop them from drying out/burning; does the same trick as oil!).
3. When onions are cooked, add in the turkey and brown.
4. When turkey looks cooked, add the two types of soy sauce, fish sauce, ketchup, Sukrin and lime juice. Make sure all of the meat is covered with the sauce mixture.
5. Next, add in the green beans and red pepper.
Sprinkle on a bit of water and simmer on low heat until all the liquid has been drawn up by the meat and vegetables.
7. Turn off the heat and mix in the Thai basil.
8. Take the cooked marrow, cut in half, remove the seeds and rub the inside with Spice mix A. In the hollow where the seeds have been removed, add the cooked turkey.
9. Wrap in tin foil and bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 180°C.
10. To serve, sprinkle on fresh coriander and spring onions. I would also recommend roasted cashew nuts!