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Ceylonese chicken curry

Food mean different things to different people, personally food is health, food is habit, culture, identity, comfort, nourishment, colour, beautiful and tasty!

My love for good food goes beyond borders, firstly nourishment but tasty too! if you know me personally this won’t be news to you.

This recipe is a healthy twist to the regular chicken ceylon. I have tweaked it to suit our nutritional needs and taste buds ( spicey!), I added legume (chickpeas) a good source of protein and fibre, frozen peas , a case of making the best of your store cupboard and fridge essentials.

I was a bit unsure if the kids would like it, as they would not normally have peas or any strong texture in their curry. But as a parent i take it seriously to let my kids learn how to appreciate and enjoy meal times. Interestingly, it worked so well. They loved it and my 5 years old who would normally pick out any sign of vegetable in his plate was happy with it and said ”peas” are my favourite vegetables mummy.. phew! We’ve gone from being allergic to vegetables to ”favourites” now… so glad ( will save you the story today).. As a mom with former picky eaters ( fingers crossed) I can say that exposing kids enough times to different flavours and textures the right way will more likely make them try new foods. Don’t be afraid to play around with textures and flavours, that’s a good way to get started.

Other vegetables in this recipe are; onions, fresh turmeric, celery, carrots, ginger, garlic , peppers and tomatoes. these work well for that perfect home made curry paste. trust me once you’ve tried making your base from scratch, you’ll never go back to the shop bought ones.

Fresh vegetables
Home made curry paste

This recipe is loaded with aromatic spices and a lovely mixture of coconut and cashew flavour with chilli ! gives this dish it’s dreamy creamy texture you won’t forget in a hurry, please if you do cook this curry be sure not to miss the coconut and cashew unless you have nut allergies.

It’s a good combination of nutrition and taste.. healthy is not boring and bland!

Unsalted Cashew nuts

We know life can be so busy and it is no doubt taking its toll on our health and wellbeing, eating a nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy weight is increasingly difficult for most of us thanks to takeaways too. This is not to make it normal or judge anyone but just to recognise how our fast paced life impacts our health and wellbeing. Eating out all the time not only affects our budget but has serious health implications like not meeting recommended dietary intakes of key nutrients which can later lead to nutrient deficiencies and weakened immune systems .

It’s no news that poor diet low in fruits and vegetables can predispose one to diet related conditions e.g type 2 diabetes, heart problems , stroke, high blood pressure and some types of cancer. I can’t share my story of type 2 diabetes enough, one of the reasons i started this platform was to share my food experience and journey with the hope to inspire a positive shift in food culture as well as keep myself accountable.

As a busy working mom of 3 , One of the ways i have managed to keep on top my diet and that of my family is to plan our meals, I am a big believer of batch cooking and freezing, you not only save cost, you save kitchen time and importantly able to eat a nutritious balanced meal at least few times a week depending on batch size. Any way of squeezing in more vegetables into your diet counts!

This recipe is freezer friendly and loaded with more than 5 of your at least 5 servings of vegetables. Let’s get cooking!

Note: Play around with the strength of the spices to suit you.

Ingredients

  1. pack of chicken breast fillets(500g)
  2. 1 tsp chilli ( adjust heat as you like)
  3. 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  4. 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  5. 1/2 tsp fenugreek or mustard seeds
  6. 1/4 tsp ground fennel
  7. 1/4 tsp cloves
  8. 1/4 tsp cardamom
  9. 1 stick dry cinnamon
  10. tbsp olive oil
  11. fresh curry leaves
  12. 2 organic reduced salt chicken stock cubes
  13. Tin canned chickpeas
  14. 300g frozen peas

Paste: 2 medium onion, 4 cloves fresh garlic, 2cm fresh ginger, 2cm fresh turmeric, 4 carrots, 3 sticks celery, 1 red bell pepper, canned tomatoes and 2 tbsp tomato paste. put all these together in a food processor, add 1 tbsp olive oil and blend to a smooth paste and set aside. You can add the cashews and blend together or blend separately (whatever works for you)

Blended cashew and coconut cream

You can make this in batch and freeze for future use .(saves time)

Method

  1. Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan, add curry leaves and fenugreek or mustard seeds, fry till fragrant , then add chicken breast pieces and coat all over, cook for about 5 mins.
  2. Transfer paste into, throw in cinnamon stick cover pot and simmer for 10 mins .
Curry paste
  1. then pour in coconut cream, blended cashew nut, chickpeas and peas cook for further 5 mins and take off the hob.
  1. Enjoy with your meal base of choice. Rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, beans, potatoes, chapati, naan bread or pitta bread.

Happy cooking!

CHICKEN TAGINE

Turn up the heat with this delicious healthy homemade chicken tagine made with aromatic spices from North Africa.

If spice is your thing then you’d definitely love this pot. Ras el hanout is a north African spice (Algeria,morocco) A mixture of the best spice you can ever imagine, I love the intensity of the flavour and how it goes well with coriander. However if you can’t find it, you can use garam masala or curry powder with coriander powder or leaves.

The lovely thing about this recipe is that it is easily adaptable vegetarian or vegan recipe, just skip the chicken and add more chickpeas, butter beans or kidney beans. You can also add quorn or tofu just about any other vegan alternative will work well in this recipe

You can batch cook and fridge or freeze you save kitchen time and cost of weekly lunch or dinner. plus you get the opportunity to add more vegetables to your diet…hello fibre!

Serve with brown rice, cauliflower rice, bulgur wheat or quinoa for a perfect balanced diet.

Keeping it really quick and simple today until next time.

Please do not forget to let me know how you get on!

Happy cooking

Ingredients

1. Fresh chicken breast or chicken off the bone , cut into bits

2. 2-3 red bell pepper ( chopped)

3. 2 courgette (chopped)

4. Carrots( optional)

4. Green bean ( optional)

5. 2 chicken stock cube

6. 2 tins chopped tomatoes

7. 2 tins butter beans or chickpeas

8. 3 onions chopped

9. 2Tsp fresh ginger

10. 4 cloves garlic

11. 3Tbspn coriander

12. 2tbspn ras el hanout

13. 1 Tbspn freshly squeezed lemon

14. 4 Tbspn olive oil

15. 1 Tspn chilli or paprika ( optional)

Method

1. If using chicken off the bone cook it first and set aside( add seasoning of choice) if using chicken breast skip this stage.

Heat oil in a pan and saute onions, garlic and ginger

2 . Add chicken to the mix and cook properly if using chicken breast( 8mins) or just add your already cooked meat.

3. Add courgette, tomatoes, peppers, beans and all the seasonings including lemon

4. cook on low heat for 25-30 mins , taste add more seasoning if required then simmer for a further 5mins to allow flavours to come together.

Serve with brown rice , quinoa , bulgur, or cauliflower rice.

Enjoy!

Muffin potato croquettes

This is another delicious way of using up leftover mashed potatoes and bits of not very happy bread in your bread jar, or if you are tired of same old mash and want to switch things up a bit. While we all understand the importance of reducing food waste not many of us can help it, but would love to given the opportunity.

The two foods that gets wasted the most in my house are potatoes and bread, because they are a major staple and always ends up in my basket for every grocery (big savers! especially if you’ve got little ones)

However, I find that i always have potatoes sprouting away in my food basket and bread going out of date and they sadly end up in the bin . This recipe is a good way of recycling these staples, I have grated sad looking bread in my jar to make homemade breadcrumbs! and saved some potatoes from sprouting!

Breadcrumbs

I love creative ways of cooking the same ingredients differently as this not only adds to our growing family menu but also gives me that satisfaction of trying something new!

My kids will eat anything in a muffin tin, so this is a brilliant opportunity to make the fussy eaters happy (if you’ve got one). We love mash potatoes but like everything else , eating the same thing repeatedly can be boring some times. So this is an exciting addition to our menu, my kids love it and have asked to be on repeat! (Gla..d!)

I have adapted this recipe from ” love food hate waste” to suit our eating preference. The joy of cooking for me is being able to adapt or recreate recipes to suit our dietary and taste preferences.

I have increased the heat (spice) and flavour by adding garlic, basil, onion, red chilli powder and English mustard to bring this recipe to life.

It is a complete meal with a good combination of all food types, carbohydrate, protein, and fat. serve with any savoury or sweet dip for best experience. I served it with homemade sour cream dip with chives (for the kids) and extra spicy pepper and basil sauce..because the hotter the better!

However, feel free to keep it mild and enjoy on its own or with a mild sauce of choice.

Finally, I have also saved portions for the week as always, served with veggies and a combination of the white and pepper sauce for a quick cold or hot lunch. having meals prepped ahead means you are not leaving your food choices to chance.

Now let’s get cooking!

Makes : 16 croquettes Time: 30mins

Ingredients

  1. 500g potatoes (roughly 12 medium size) or 2.5cups mash
  2. 2 free range eggs
  3. 100g grated cheddar cheese
  4. 3tbsp chopped basil leaves or chives
  5. Homemade breadcrumbs
  6. Butter
  7. 1 onion (grated)
  8. 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  9. 1tspn mustard, chilli powder
  10. Pinch of salt (optional)

Method

  1. peel , boil potatoes with pinch of salt till tender and mash with butter, onion, mustard, whisked eggs and cheese. season with basil and pepper.
  2. Grease muffin tray with olive oil spray or butter
  3. Shape the potato mixture into croquettes and roll in breadcrumbs in a circular motion to coat well.
  4. Place croquettes the muffin tray and brush with egg and olive oil and bake in preheated oven for 15mins or till golden.
  5. Serve with sauce of choice.

Cooking Tips

  • Any strength of cheddar will work well in this recipe and if you don’t have basil you can use chives
  • Mashed potatoes vary in thickness, check consistency before adding eggs as this might make it too thin and hard to roll. helpful to make mash hard then loosen consistency with eggs
  • Be sure to level your cup when measuring leftover mash.

Happy cooking!

Multi-seeded muesli chia-oat loaf

Eat more fibre! you’ve probably heard this before, but do you know why this is so important? You’d have to try this delicious , flourless, and flavourful loaf loaded with dietary fiber and micronutrients. The perfect bread alternative with great benefits for your digestive health

Healthy eating for me, means being mindful and informed about my food choices, hopefully that’s the same for you!

Why should I choose this bread alternative?

This loaf is a delightful combination of 100% whole grain and seeds such as rolled oats, coconut flakes, gojiberries, raisins, pecans, pumpkin seeds, brown linseeds blended with banana, chia and blueberry mix. This combination is loaded with dietary fibre also known as roughage or bulk. Fibre is not easily digested by your body it acts as a ”bulking” (laxative) agent and makes it easier to pass stool. (prevents constipation) unlike carbohydrate which your body breaks down and absorbs. Fibre also acts as food for your gut bacteria (prebiotics) which has a beneficial effect on the richness of your good bacteria population.

There is available evidence that eating foods rich in dietary fiber can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, colon/rectal cancer, normalise your bowel health and also help you maintain a healthy weight.

I can relate with the evidence around maintaining a healthy weight and normal blood sugar. I had a history of diabetes and introducing more fibre into my diet has been instrumental to reversion. I find that when i eat more fibre, I tend to drink more water and feel fuller for longer, this curbs down my appetite and helps me stay within my daily caloric allowance effortlessly. I usually eat a slice or 2 with plain greek yoghurt or just with coffee and this keeps me well under 250kcal for breakfast (Ace! ) I don’t get that mid morning energy crash and stay full till next meal.

pieces of the loaf dunked in plain greek yoghurt.

Sometimes, I break a slice into tiny pieces and snack in bits through the morning. Oh i love the chewiness and seedy whole grain texture. If you love chewing then you’d love this loaf. It is also a good make ahead breakfast option, I stack slices into portion containers and fridge for up to 1 week.

Knowing the benefits of dietary fibre, if you are struggling to include more fibre into your diet, here’s the good news! This natural multi seeded loaf will make it easier for you to reach your recommended daily dietary fibre intake of 30g (women). Just with everything else, moderation is important. Foods high in fibre are good but eating too much too quickly , especially if you are just introducing it to your diet can lead to stomach bloating , gas and cramps. It is advised to gradually increase dietary fiber over time, so as to allow the good bacteria in your stomach to get used to the change. It is also recommended to drink lots of water so that the fibre can absorb it which then bulks and softens your stool.

Ok! enough of the stool talk and let us get making your own loaf which is much easier than you’d think.

Achieving the perfect healthy crust ( not the same with a white crust to be honest but perfect) and texture with this easy recipe is down to the muesli grains, as it contains different mix of seeds and coconut flakes. I would really recommend using a muesli but you can also make up your own muesli by using 100% rolled oats, coconut flakes, nuts and seeds of choice That’s probably even better as you get a choice of texture and flavour.

I have used the chia and blueberry mix to boost the nutrient content .

Also, it serves as a good alternative for people with egg allergy as the chia powder acts as a good binder. Milled flaxseed can also be used

The crunchiness, sweetness from banana and woody aroma of cinnamon spice in this loaf is the highlight of this recipe .

There’s nothing better than the aroma of freshly baked loaf especially when it is bursting with essential health benefits!

Ingredients

  1. 300g 100% muesli (I used ASDA coconut and grains muesli)
  2. 3 Tablespoons chia and blueberry mix
  3. 3 bananas
  4. 2 Eggs (optional)
  5. 1 Teaspoon baking soda (optional)
  6. 1 Teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
  7. 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon (feel free to try out other flavours)
  8. Handful of linseeds for sprinkling
  9. squeeze of coconut nectar (optional sugar alternative)

Method

Mash the banana in a clean bowl, whisk eggs into the bowl, mix in all ingredients until well combined (remain a little bit of the linseeds for sprinkling) Pour into a greased bread tin and bake for roughly 20mins at 170 degrees. or until a wooden stick inserted comes out dry.

Tips: Add 2-3 tablespoons of plain greek yoghurt for added moist. It also helps to hold the ingredients together especially if you don’t have chi- blueberry mix or milled flaxseed .

Splash of milk or water can also help with loosening the consistency.

Don’t bake for longer than 20-25mins if you don’t want it crusty.

Happy baking and hope you enjoy it as much as i do.

Zingy Cranberry Sauce

Here’s a quick and easy 3 ingredient cranberry sauce recipe that will add a bit of zing and health to you all season, not only are cranberries full of health benefits, they are so versatile, you can eat them sweet or savoury.

A delicious side to go with all your festive mains, (Christmas dinner roast etc) dessert topping or filling and more. For best result, make ahead and store in the fridge to allow all the ingredients to come together.

Cranberry sauce and chocolate crepe

This recipe is so simple to make and no matter how much I make, it always disappears so quickly, we love it that much! It is so better than the jarred sauces because you know exactly what’s in it! plus you have a choice of your favourite flavour.

I bought these cranberries on final reductions the ”whoopsie” aisle i.e. the yellow stickers for 7pence per bag ! This is a good example of making the best of seasonal produces, they are cheaper and tastier! I love bargains and definitely will do a first stop at the reduction aisle before moving to other aisles. Healthy eating for the whole family can sometimes be challenging financially. Finding a balance between your family’s health and budget is one to prioritise if you must all eat well (sustainability) .

There is a huge body of evidence that suggests eating seasonal fruits and vegetables can help save on food staples. First hand experience for me includes buying reduced food items and batch cooking (like I have just done). Sustainability is key when it comes to healthy eating, looking at long term , what is most practical for me and my family is always the first question.

I have 2 jars of cranberry sauce and a quarter plate from this recipe.

Cranberry sauce

I have adapted this recipe to suite my dietary needs and that of my family, I try to reduce the amount of sugar we consume, so using sugar alternatives like organic coconut nectar or coconut sugar keeps everyone happy, it came highly recommended and I can confirm that it is worth a try. It gave this sauce a lovely touch of caramel which is so delicious! Feel free to use any sugar of choice.

Fresh cranberries

The best part is that Cranberries have low glycemic index and are thus suitable for those on low carbohydrate diet. It is a no brainer! Frozen cranberries can be used as well, the first batch I made was with frozen cranberries and has no effect on taste at all.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Frozen cranberry sauce with warm breakfast roll

Ingredients

100g coconut sugar

150 ml fresh orange juice

300g fresh cranberries

1/2 fresh orange zest

Method

  1. Pour orange juice in a pan , then add sugar and allow to boil (medium heat)
  2. Tip in the fresh cranberries, top with a slice of orange zest , cover the pan and allow to simmer on low heat for about 5-8min
  3. Take off the hob and allow to cool, this will thicken the sauce. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or more.

Click the link below for a printable version of this recipe. https://sites.google.com/site/healthfulnonyecom/home

Thanks for stopping by!