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!
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)
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.
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.
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!
. Medium sized free range eggs(5)
. Medium sized red onions ,chopped
. Sweet potatoes , peeled, diced and steamed (5mins)
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.
4. Once cooked take off the hob and garnish with your favourite toppings, drizzle extra olive oil and enjoy!
I find vegetables and beans to be a pantry essential, because they are so versatile. I always have a good stock of these items either in a frozen, canned or fresh version. They are great for days you are not kitchen ready but want something nutritious, satisfying and quick.
You can cut up a bunch of raw or cooked vegetables , season it with oil and herbs to create a nutritious meal accompaniment or serve along side fish, eggs, cheese( mozzarella) or meat as a main course.
Can be cooked as a pudding ( Moi-Moi) A west African dish made with black eyed beans and seasoned to perfection( future post) And can also be cooked plain and paired with bunch of vegetables to create a nutritious and satisfying meal, another way of switching up a boring salad.
Here in this recipe, I have combined 3 types of beans, the cannellini beans, the red and black beans with purple cabbage, cucumber, mixed peppers, red onions, and carpers with spiced extra virgin olive oil, added fruit for a touch of sweet and savoury and a dash of lemon juice to bring all the ingredients together. beautifully garnished with fresh herbs ( mint, parsley and basil) Incredibly refreshing!
I cooked up a pack of whole trio bean then halved it. feel free to use the canned version ( it’s easier)
This purple vegetable contains chlorogenic acid, a powerful antioxidant that destroys disease causing free radicals and also packed full of fiber. Any other cabbage or cruciferous vegetable will work well , I love a pop of colour on my plate . So, have used the purple cabbage. If you are anything like me you would be going for the pur.. ply( if there’s any word like that). The choice of sweetness can also be adapted to your preference, I used ripe kiwi, I would imagine raisins can be used instead.
The addition of capers to this salad is a no brainer and would strongly recommend , don’t miss it! You know that hit of lemon juice and salt and a vegetal touch? the things you’d want to add to any meal. You’ll get that and more by adding capers to this salad. There’s also no need for salt in this recipe, Carpers done the job! (Ace)
what if I don’t have capers?
That’s Ok! a pinch of sea salt , black pepper and lemon will be fine.
So, in a nutshell, this colourful bowl makes a nutritious main meal served with grilled salmon for a hit of omega 3 and additional protein source.
The salad has a burst of meditterenean flavours ( so refreshing) , rich in soluble fiber, which helps control blood cholesterol level. Research suggests that LDL ( bad cholesterol ) is reduced by 10% and this is obtained by consuming 10g of soluble fiber ( 1/2 -1.5 cup of beans) nearly equivalent to the mix of vegetables and beans in this recipe . great!
Finally, the balance of complex carbohydrate and protein in this recipe means steady source of energy supply( no spike in blood glucose) instead of the sudden energy surge that happens when you eat simple carbohydrate. So, will help you stay full for longer. My first hand experience with diabetes has shaped my food theory and I tend to make food choices based on how a particular food type whether in combination or on it’s own will impact my blood sugar and over all energy level. So half of the time I spend time studying about a particular food type before introducing it to my adventurous palate , hope you find this useful too.
happy reading! let’s put it together now!
INGREDIENTS -1 salmon fillet ( pan seared or grilled) -1/2 Pack mixed beans ( boiled and drained) or a can of trio bean -1 green pepper chopped
– 1 red bell pepper chopped. -1/4 purple cabbage chopped -1/2 cucumber diced -1 red onions diced -2 tbsp capers
-1tbsp each of chopped fresh parsley , mint & basil leaves.
Method Mix all ingredients and set aside then make the dressing🔽
-1 ripe kiwi or fruit of choice( raisins) – -1tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and white or black pepper. – Add dressing to the salad mixture, cover and fridge for a couple of mins to let all the ingredients come together. -Then serve with salmon for extra punch of protein and omega 3 or on it’s own.
Here’s a 15mins easy week night dinner idea that is deliciously satisfying, a healthier twist to the original Chinese chicken chow mein. interestingly guilt free and under 500kcal . Healthy eating is not at all boring, it involves a bit of getting creative, for me it means eating the world, the more diverse, the more nutrients you harvest and the healthier you get. you can still enjoy your favourite comfort meal by simply swapping the ingredients to healthier alternatives closer to what you are used to .
I find organic Edamame spaghetti/noodle to be a better pasta alternative, it is gluten free(great option for those with gluten allergy) ever since I discovered it, it’s been a keeper. if you click on featured recipe in my home page you will find another Edamame spaghetti recipe with a much detailed information about the nutritional content (it will be worth checking).
Having said that, shirataki noodles also works very well with this recipe. it might be worth trying other alternatives out there, sure there are a lot of them now. Any noodles will do this job so well! So the next time a craving for Chinese food strikes , whip up this recipe in just 15mins and you will be glad you did.
Notes: feel free to try other vegetables( baby corn, fine bean, bean sprouts etc , frozen versions will work just fine too. play around with meat types as well. This recipe is also adaptable to vegetarian or vegan.
100g chicken breast
80g organic edamame spaghetti (cook according to instruction on pack)
1/2 Pack of mushroom ( washed and sliced)
100g Bok choy/ Pak choy
1 Carrot ( peeled and sliced)
2 Cloves garlic-Red and green pepper( deseeded &chopped)
1 Scotch bonnet (optional)
1 onion /shallot/spring onion
1 cm fresh ginger ( peeled and grated)
1 Teaspoon soy sauce or coconut amino
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Method 1- Heat oil in a skillet and stir fry chicken, onion, garlic, and ginger till fragrant
2- Add remaining vegetables, soy sauce and pepper. reduce heat and cook for 3mins to soften vegetables 3- Add spaghetti to the vegetable mix, stir well and cook for another 3mins Then turn off the hob and Serve just enough and enjoy
This recipe for breakfast plantain-egg muffins is a delicious quick grab and go option for busy mornings. They are low calorie muffins with eggs, plantain bacon, diverse vegetables for maximum texture and flavour!
Eggs are smart breakfast choice
because they are not only healthy but so versatile, you can poach them,
scramble, fry, and make sauces with them. There are endless possibilities with
what you can do with eggs.
from a large family of seven my mum had a regular breakfast routine of Eggs
with plantain, PAP with AKARA (maize meal and fried black-eyed bean balls),
bread and eggs. a typical African breakfast (Nigerian). The switch between
these breakfast options meant that breakfast was always enjoyable and
satisfying. So, this usually will keep me going till lunch time. in a nutshell,
there’s no room for snacking as you are just so full! who can relate?
But practically, not many of us have time to whip up any of these breakfast options in the morning, plus the problem of picky eaters to deal with. (if you’ve got kids sure you can relate)
So, having a nice twist to the regular egg and plantain or egg recipes it’s exciting. this combination cooks like a real cake, my 4 years old calls it ” the healthy cupcake” bless!
It’s a cool way of getting the kids to eat more veggies, having said that, some kids are gifted with picking out not so hidden veggies like my 4 years old, while he loves these muffins, he will craftily pick out every piece of pepper or onions in it.
So, if you have one like mine I ‘ll advice to blend all the veggies with the plantain and egg and just bake directly. I like to release the fragrance from vegetables before adding them to baked dishes, so this is completely optional. (personal preference) But in practical, not many of us have time to
whip up any of these breakfast options in the morning, plus the problem of
picky eaters to deal with. (if you’ve got kids sure you can relate)
I thought having a nice twist to the regular egg and plantain or egg recipes
will be more exciting. this combination cooks like a real cake, my 4 years old
calls it ” the healthy cupcake” bless!
It’s a cool way of getting the kids to eat more veggies, having said that, some kids are gifted with picking out not so hidden veggies like my 4 years old, while he loves these muffins, he will craftily pick out every piece of pepper or onions in it. So, if you have one like mine I ‘ll advice to blend all the veggies with the plantain and egg and just bake directly. I like to release the fragrance from vegetables before adding them to baked dishes, so this is completely optional. (personal preference)
WHAT WILL YOU BENEFIT FROM THIS PLANTAIN- EGG MUFFINS??
Excellent source of protein: Eggs contain all of the essential amino acids, so they provide complete protein. protein helps builds and repair tissues within the body, and it’s needed to make hormones, enzymes and haemoglobin which are all essential for the body to function well. When protein-containing foods are digested, they’re broken down into individual amino acids. Then the body uses the amino acids to rebuild whatever specific protein it needs. Getting a regular daily supply of protein is critical because your body doesn’t store amino acids One hard-boiled egg has 6 grams of protein, which gives men 11 percent of their daily intake, while women get 14 percent. In a large egg, about 43 percent of the protein is found in the yolk. Even though that percentage will vary based on the size of the yolk.
You will be full for longer: protein is not easily broken down .it is converted to glucose slowly which means your body is not flooded with more glucose than it can cope with, this keeps your blood sugar level steady and in turn means that your energy level are kept steadier and that mid-morning energy crash can be held off. This is from my first-hand experience with diabetes, monitoring my blood sugar levels before and after each meal gave me a good idea of how certain food types impact our system
Excellent source of potassium:
plantains are like bananas if you are wondering what they are but are less sugary and starchier, but the good kind of starch (Resistant starch, look it up) potassium helps naturally resolve high blood pressure according to studies. here is a good link for more information
Good source of dietary fibre: These are mainly the parts of plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb. Unlike other food types like fats, proteins or carbohydrates which your body breaks down and absorbs fibre isn’t digested by your body. Instead, it passes through your stomach, small intestine and colon and help bulk your stool. so, if you have digestive problems, you’d want to eat more vegetables. they keep you full for longer too this means you are less likely to snack in between meals, this is a good tip for weight management. the fuller you are the less you eat and less extra body fat
Convenience: finally this breakfast muffin is a winner in terms of health, satiety and convenience. it is grab and go! make them ahead and fridge in airtight containers as shown below pair with fruit of choice and you’ll be on your way to your at least 5 a day servings of vegetables and fruits.
You can skip the plantain if you don’t have one, and just go with the eggs as shown in the pictures above, I made part plantain-egg mix and part egg and bacon . So, which ever way you swing you’ll be fine.