Blossom on the trees, fresh green leaves making an appearance, pinks, purples, gorgeous yellows, warmer weather, longer days, lighter days ….
Well, that’s the theory. I’m still in hibernation – hesitant to switch off the heating, peering out my windows through the toxic smog which has descended upon London, jackets, scarves and gloves still at the ready and still craving warm, hearty food.
And let me tell you these curried lamb shanks are just what the doctor ordered. Slow cooked lamb in a spicy tomato based sauce until the meat is so tender it falls off the bone. Served over a bowl of rice with a generous helping of naan bread on the side to mop up all that lovely sauce.
Well it’s taken me a while to get back into blogging again and I have done so on one condition – I had to join Slimming World.
You see, for every recipe on this blog, I make and test it three times. Now my hubby doesn’t eat desserts or cakes and I don’t want to be giving them to my kids every other day so ….. Well you guessed it. I was eating my fair share and giving the rest away to my hubby’s co-workers. Not the ideal way to live a healthy lifestyle.
So Slimming World it is for the foreseeable future and hopefully more healthy meals on the blog with the occasional treat (or two).
This recipe for a one pot chicken chilli is a delicious family dinner and so tasty. It is one of those meals that gets the juices flowing as it simmers away on the stove top. It is hard to resist and that comes from someone who had to resist while taking these photos.
I love using spices when I am watching the calories and one of my most pinned recipes is my chickpea and spinach curry so I thought this chicken chilli would be a good one to share with you.
I have stated that each portion is equivalent to 2 Syns and that is because I choose to use olive oil to fry the onions and peppers. I just find it easier than trying to use the low calorie spray. I do use it for browning the chicken though.
If you have more success with the Fry Light oil then you could leave out the olive oil and use the low cal spray and the chicken chilli would be completely Syn free.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
1. The reason the preparation time is so long on this recipe is because I use chicken thighs which tend to have quite a bit of fat on them. I take the time to trim this all off but if you wanted to save some time you could use chicken breasts which are much leaner. You would however compromise on the taste and tenderness of the meat.
2. I would try and get as much colour on the chicken in the browning process because chicken thighs can look a bit dull and grey if you leave this process out.
3. I have stated 300ml of chicken stock (I use 1 stock cube) but this will depend on the pan you use, if you use gas or electricity and how fast your simmer rate is. If the sauce looks too dry towards the end of cooking time – add more water. If there is too much liquid – take the lid off and simmer for a couple more minutes until you get the correct consistency.
4. How spicy do you like it? This is a difficult one to put down in a recipe because there are so many different varieties of chillies out there. I use a medium strength chilli but if you’re not sure then try with one less and add more the next time you make it.
Sticky Asian pork is one of our standard weekly meals normally saved for a Saturday or Sunday night treat. It’s good, really, really good! The only thing I would say is that you have to choose your pork carefully. Use the wrong cut of meat and it can be tough and dry. I have suggested shoulder steaks which is our favourite but they do have a bit of fat on them which might not be to everyone’s liking. A nice piece of pork fillet would work well too but is that bit more expensive.
Half term is over and Spring is just around the corner. I’m already starting to think of lighter, fresher meal options and this chickpea and spinach curry is one of my favourites. It’s packed full of flavour and is so quick and easy to make. A perfect mid-week meal – although I must admit that my kids are not yet convinced that ‘ the green stuff’ is edible.
Yield: 4 portions if served with rice or 2 portions if served without rice
1 tblsp ghee or sunflower oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
a small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 tsps. curry powder
2 tsps. garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tin (380g) chickpeas, drained
1 tin (390g) chopped tomatoes
4 medium sized (300g) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
400 - 500ml vegetable stock
½ tsp salt
100g fresh spinach
Heat the ghee/oil in a large pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until softened.
Add all the spices and cook for a further 1 minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, potatoes, salt and about half of the vegetable stock. Stir well and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked adding more stock as needed.
Add the spinach and cook for a further couple of minutes or until the spinach has wilted.
This chickpea and spinach curry is a substantial and delicious meal but it is also an extremely low cost main meal option which I am going to submit to this month’s Credit Crunch Munch challenge which is run by Camilla over at Fab Food 4 All and Helen of Fuss Free Flavours and which is being hosted by myself this month. I’m also going to submit to Recipe of the Week over at A Mummy Too
As this is also a healthy, low fat meal I am going to submit the recipe over to The Spice Trail’s latest challenge which is Temple Food.
Well My Golden Pear has had a good start to the New Year. My January rating for Foodies 100 was high enough to push me into the top 500 blogs (just) which is a first for me and a great incentive to carry on. My blog is purely a hobby but I use it to push myself to try new and interesting recipes and most of all it gives me a great subject with which to practice and improve my photography. In January last year I set myself a goal to take part in some of the blogging challenges out there and I’m so glad I did. It is a great way to get involved in the food blogging community and I have tried and discovered so many new things as a result of some of the themes that have been set for us. I look forward to all the new and exciting themes for 2014.
Today’s recipe is not a new one to me but it is deliciously tasty and so easy and fits in perfectly with two of my favourite monthly challenges. Succulent chicken thighs are coated in a mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, paprika and garlic and baked until golden and crispy. A grownup version of chicken nuggets, I guess. You don’t get much sauce with this dish so I normally serve with a mushroom sauce and veggies.