Friday, May 24, 2013

Spicy Weekend!

Last week was Food Revolution Day which inspired me to pull out my Jamie Oliver cookbook for a few different meals.  We enjoyed the Tikka Misala for a few days, and I definitely liked a bit of plain yogurt with mine because it had some spice!  Spicy food can be a great choice when the temperature rises, but be careful if you're competing in a race this weekend - keep things simple and stick with your nutrition plan (you can enjoy the spice next week while you recover). 

Source: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution 

Tikka Masala Paste
Makes 1/2 cup

2 cloves of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp peanut oil (I used olive)
2 Tbsp tomato paste (you can freeze the leftover)
2 fresh red or green chiles (I also keep these in the freezer)
A small bunch of fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut 
2 Tbsp almond flour (I used whole wheat)

Spices for toasting: 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds

Peel garlic and ginger. Put a frying pan on medium to high heat and add cumin and coriander to the dry pan - lightly toast for a few minutes until golden brown and fragrant; remove from heat.  Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or put them in a food processor and whiz to a powder.  Once ground, whiz the toasted spices in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth paste.

Light and Fluffy Basic Rice

Serves 4-6
Sea salt
1 1/2 cups basmati rice (I used Tilda whole grain basmati)

Put a large pan of salted water on a high heat and bring to a boil. Rinse the rice in a colander under running water for about 1 minute, or until the water runs clear. Add your rice to the boiling water and wait for the grains to start dancing around. From that point, boil for 5 minutes. Drain the rice in a colander. Pour 1 inch of water into the pan, put it back on the heat, and bring it to a boil again, then turn down to a simmer. Cover the rice in the colander with aluminum foil or a lid. Place the colander on top of the pan of simmering water and let the rice steam over it for 8-10 minutes (mine took longer). Remove from the heat and, if you’re ready, serve immediately. If not, leave the aluminum foil or a lid on and put aside until ready to serve – it should stay warm for about 20 minutes.

Tikka Masala
Serves 4-6

4 boneless skinless chicken breast fillets
2 medium onions
1 fresh red chile
A thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
A small bunch of fresh cilantro
Peanut or vegetable oil
A pat of butter
1/2 cup tikka masala (as above) or mild curry paste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 - 14 oz can of diced tomatoes (I used a drained 796ml can with no salt added)
1 - 14 oz can of coconut milk
1 cup plain yogurt
A small handful of sliced almonds
1 lemon

To prepare your curry
Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise into 3/4 inch strips. Peel, halve, and finely slice the onions. Finely slice your chile. Peel and finely slice the ginger. Pick the cilantro leaves off of the stalks and set aside, finely chop the stalks.

To make your curry
Put a large casserole-type pan on medium to high heat and add butter and a couple lugs of oil (love that measure!). Add the onions, chile, ginger, and cilantro stalks and cook for 10 minutes until softened and golden. Add the curry paste and strips of chicken. Stir well to coat everything with the paste and season with salt and pepper.  Add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on. Take the lid off and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When meat is tender and cooked, taste and add a bit more salt and pepper (season carefully!). 
To serve your curry
Serve with any fluffy rice recipe and with a few spoonfuls of yogurt dolloped on top (helps with the heat!). Sprinkle ove the almonds and cilantro leaves and serve with some lemon wedges for squeezing over. A little lemon-dressed green salad would round it off.

Thanks Jamie! 

Have a great weekend and cook something from scratch!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching