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!

Breakfast egg muffins

My family love eating eggs and we routinely eat eggs every other morning. Starting the day with protein means sustained energy and less of mid morning energy crash for myself and kids and having it whipped up in a fun way makes it even better! (Appealing for fussy eaters)

This is a very easy recipe put together in minutes, I have just replicated the plantain muffins I made earlier ( plantain muffins)

https://healthfulnonye.com/2019/02/12/breakfast-plantain-egg-muffins/ but this time , I used potatoes and fresh thyme for a festive touch and it was totally scrumptious!

Ingredients

This breakfast egg muffin is a lovely combination of protein and carbohydrate, with a good dose of at least 3 servings of vegetables i.e. eggs, grated baby potatoes, mixed bell peppers, onion, garlic, sausages, chilli and fresh thyme. I didn’t add extra salt because of the sausages (already contains salt) but feel free to add if you’d like, It is however best to not add extra salt when using ingredients with added salt.

I used Bertolli butter in this recipe for a nice buttery feel, it is said to be as good as olive oil which is a better source of fat. I personally love it because of the ingredient composition.

You can enjoy it with diced fresh vegetables of choice or on it’s own, The kids enjoy it with a mug of beverage or just grab and go on busy mornings.

ANY TIPS TO MAKEA BETTER EGG MUFFIN?

  1. Greasing the muffin pan very well makes it super easy to pop out nicely, I used paper muffins in previous recipe and found that it sticks to the paper and the kids struggled with that (takes away the joy!) So generously greasing the pan or using silicone cases is a better alternative.
  2. Buying pre shredded vegetables saves kitchen time, especially if you are prepping fresh in the morning.
  3. You can prepare ahead and store in the fridge ready for the morning and reheat for not more than 30secs for each egg muffin. They can also be frozen for up to months
  4. When using other vegetables be sure to squeeze all water
  5. You can reduce the calories by using more egg whites than whole e.g. 4:3 ratio

CAN I CUSTOMISE MY EGG MUFFINS?

Egg muffins are so versatile and easy to switch up a notch, I like to add a carbohydrate and a fat source for a complete balanced diet. Sneaking in some veggies is a sure way to hit your at least 5 a day servings of vegetables. You can mix and match to create a flavour burst. here are some of my favourites

  • Protein: Sausages, minced beef, ham, cheese, ground chicken ( if using ground beef or chicken brown first and cook with vegetables before mixing with eggs)
  • Carbohydrate: Plantains, sweet potatoes, Irish potato, mushrooms, spinach, kale, pumpkin leaves, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, artichokes, mixed bell peppers, parsnips
  • Fat: Olive oil, cheese, butter (Bertolli)
  • Seasoning: Garlic, fresh thyme, basil, chives, black or white pepper, onion powder, Himalayan salt , chilli powder or scotch bonnet . I like to keep my flavours mild because of the kids, but feel free to adapt to your taste buds.

HOW TO MAKE;

A quick grab and go breakfast ideal for busy mornings loaded with protein and 3 of your at least 5 a day servings of vegetables!

  • Prep time 5minutes
  • Cook time 15mins
  • Total time 20mins

Ingredients

  1. 10 baby potatoes (peeled and grated)
  2. 3 Frankfurt sausages chopped
  3. 1 medium onion chopped
  4. 1/2 mixed bell peppers chopped
  5. 1.5 tablespoon butter (Bertolli)
  6. 6 free range eggs
  7. 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  8. Pinch of chilli pepper (optional)
  9. 100g Grated Cheddar cheese
  10. 2 cloves garlic

Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 170 degrees, the grease  muffin tray  with butter or cooking spray and set aside. Alternatively use silicone cases.
  2. Add  the butter in a pan on low heat
  3. Sauté  onion and garlic until  fragrant, then add  the sausages  and cook for a further 2mins
  4. Add the peppers and potatoes, season with thyme and chilli and allow to simmer for 5mins or until potato is softened.  set-aside and allow to cool
  5. Crack  and whisk up the eggs in a clean bowl,  add a bit of cheese then mix the cooked vegetables with the eggs, Scoop into muffin tray or cases, then top with remaining cheese and bake in pre-heated oven at 170 for 5mins or until a wooden stick inserted comes out dry. Click the link below for a printable version of this recipe. https://sites.google.com/site/healthfulnonyecom/breakfast-egg-muffins

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sweet potato omelette

One of the things I have learnt on my healthy eating journey is to try and meet everyone half way. Some people can’t eat certain food types either because of health problems or simply personal preferences. My husband and kids fall in the later category… Taste! Who else can relate?

Healthy eating is a lot easier and sustainable when it is one person( you just always work around your routine) but can be a bit overwhelming when you try to drag others along. A timelesss tip to carry everyone along with less fuss is to come to a healthy compromise so everyone is happy. So, I have had to do a lot of adventurous things in the kitchen to keep everyone happy! and one of them is this breakfast skillet. I love onions and would literally throw it in every dish. but, child number 2 and 3 would not eat onions especially if it is visible. how to solve this problem so everyone is happy is, we simply blend everything up.( a win win)

How did we come up with this sweet potato omelette?

As a mom of three with fairly good appetite I have learnt to improvise with what I have at hand, rather than always pop down to the grocer when what they want is not available.( because it never ends! trust me )

This has helped in saving us money and has cut down on the amount of what gets trashed. So this is another helpful tip. just before you think of heading out to the grocer, check that you’ve exhausted all your options, to be honest it will surprise you what you will find or are able to put together .( just like this breakfast skillet)

So this morning it was bread and eggs, unfortunately ran out of bread, but found 3 not so happy sweet potatoes left.. boom came the Idea. So I cut up the sweet potatoes, steamed it,(5mins) blended along side other vegetables with a bit of ground garlic and white pepper for a spicy kick.

Sweet potatoes in a steamer

I chose to cook it in our favourite pancake skillet to simulate pancakes! or pizza! something they can relate with. when you are introducing something for the first time whether for adults or kids , you want to not only keep it simple but also bring it closer to what they are used to either taste wise or just the sight.( this works trust me)

I also cooked some in a muffin tray to simulate ” healthy muffins”( as they call it)

Child number 1 suggested we decorate our new creation with some of their favourite things avocado, bacon bits, cherry tomatoes and I added chives and parsley for added flavour. The outcome was incredibly delicious and satisfying. I got 3 thumbs up meaning this recipe is a keeper( on a repeat list)

Choice of cooking method

Always opt for cooking methods that will preserve the nutritional content of the food. and steaming is one of them, this will depend largely on the type of food. for example sweet potato is high in beta carotene which can easily be lost if cooked under high temperature,( according to studies) So steaming on medium to low heat is recommended to ensure all yhe nutrients are intact.

Why is this skillet a healthy breakfast or supper option?

This omelette contains the recommended portion of “at least” 5 a day servings of vegetables. So having it for breakfast means the box is ticked for the day by the time you get to the end of the day you probably would have hit your recomnended daily portions of fruits or even extra vegetables( the more the better). Again as a dinner option it will serve the same purpose plus an added advantage of having a light dinner( if you are anything like me)

Again, eggs are excellent source of protein and protein is not easily digested, So your body is not flooded with more glucose than you can cope with and this means your blood sugar is steady and you are feeling full for longer, no mid morning energy crash. The addition of sweet potatoes turns out to be a great choice too because they are a rich source of fibre which also helps steady blood sugar, cholesterol levels and promotes digestive health. they also contain loads of vitamins and minerals like Iron, calcium, selenium, B and C vitamins

Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants mainly beta carotene which is converted to vitamin A once eaten. It is also quick to make ,the ladt thing you’d want to do is spending alot of time in the kitchen in the morning or after a long day. So, a combination of all these factors and more makes this skillet a must try.

happy reading, now let’s get to make it!

Ingredients

. Medium sized free range eggs(5)

. Medium sized red onions ,chopped

. Sweet potatoes , peeled, diced and steamed (5mins)

. Red bell pepper ( halved)

. 1/4 tsp white pepper

.1/4 tsp black pepper

. 1/4 ground garlic

. 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

. cherry tomatoes, bacon bits, avocado, chives amd parsley for garnishing.

Method

  1. In a food processor or blender throw in all the vegetables( sweet potatoes, pepper, onions), spices and eggs( crack one at a time) as shown below

2 . blitz all the ingredients to a smooth paste/ batter and set aside.

3 . place a skillet on the hob, and heat up the olive oil. Then add a cooking spoon of the batter into the skillet and cook as you would a pancake ( flip and cook the other side too) this should take about 3-4mins

I used the lid of a large pan to gently flip the batter over to cook the other side.

Scoop some in a greased muffin tray ,bake at 170 for 10mins ( optional step)

4. Once cooked take off the hob and garnish with your favourite toppings, drizzle extra olive oil and enjoy!