Thursday, 10 May 2012

Jamie Oliver's Curry paste.

 I really fancied a curry last night but knew that I could not afford nor did I want to order a takeaway curry. I always thought that cooking a curry was a time consuming and difficult process and to be honest my other attempts have not been that great. I am always thinking why can't I get it to taste like an authentic curry? I had just resigned myself to thinking I was pants at this particular cuisine. 
Having browsed through some recipes I came across one for how to make your own curry pastes by Jamie Oliver Here

It looked relatively simple but I noticed that I was missing bits of ingredients from each type of curry paste. I decided I would use the recipes as a base and mix some of the ingredients together. I decided to use the Rogan Josh paste recipe as my base. (I will add in the substitutions I made below). 




Rogan josh paste

2 cloves of garlic / a thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger / 75g roasted peppers, from a jar / 1 tablespoon paprika / 1 teaspoon smoked paprika / 2 teaspoons garam masala / 1 teaspoon turmeric / ½ teaspoon sea salt / 2 tablespoons groundnut oil (I added some fry light instead)l / 2 tablespoons tomato purée / 1 fresh red chilli / a small bunch of fresh coriander 
Spices for toasting 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (I had no cumin seeds so put in already ground cumin and some Nigella seeds) / 2 teaspoons coriander seeds / (I only had black mustard seeds so used this instead)1 teaspoon black peppercorns.To make any of the above curry pastes


First peel the garlic and ginger • Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the spices for toasting to the dry pan • Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove the pan from the heat • Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or put them into a food processor and whiz to a powder • Either way, when you’ve ground them whiz the toasted spices in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth paste 


To be honest from then I kind of made it up. Here is what I did:


1. Chopped x2 white onions into small cubes or whizz up in a blender
2. Add some fry light to a pan and brown of the onions slowly for 15 minutes.
3. add in some more fresh garlic and ginger and some chilli if you wish.

4. Chop x 3 medium sized tomatoes
5. Add them to the pan with the onions, and fresh garlic/ginger
6. Let them soften down for a few minutes.
7. Add some chopped skinless, boneless chicken thighs into the pan with the curry paste stir all through allow to brown.
8. Finally add a small carton of chopped tomatoes. x1 chicken gel stock cube and add a little water.
9. I also added in some cubed sweet potato for extra veggie goodness.10. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes or until the sweet potato is cooked 





Voilà! 

  My mixed up random recipe for what turned out to be:
Chicken and Sweet Potato Rogan josh curry.



Thursday, 3 May 2012

BBC Good Food recipe

I have had a few requests to get back to doing food posts.Well seen as that is what Slimming World is all about I'll practice what I preach. Tonight I have adapted a BBC Good Food recipe.


                                          One-pot roast pork chop with Fennel

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/724640/onepot-roast-pork-chops-with-fennel-and-potatoes
 
I have added and substituted a few of the ingredients below. I used rosemary instead of Thyme as I had none, some normal tomato paste, I used loin chops without the bone (all fat trimmed) and I added some vine tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 potatoes , cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 fennel bulb , cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 red pepper , halved, deseeded and cut into 8 wedges
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 4 garlic cloves , unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • 300ml hot chicken stock
  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the potatoes, fennel, pepper, thyme and garlic in a large roasting tin. Mix together the tomato paste and stock, then pour into the pan. Tightly cover with foil and cook for 30 mins. Take out of the oven and increase the temperature to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
  2. Remove the foil and place the pork in the roasting tin, nestling in between the veg. Season well and return to the oven for 15-20 mins more or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with the pan juices drizzled over.
Make it with chicken
Put 8 chicken thighs on top of the veg before covering and cooking. When the oven temperature increases and the foil comes off, stir 250g cherry tomatoes into the veg and drizzle the chicken with olive oil. Finish cooking as above, then eat with dollops of pesto.

Per serving

655 kcalories, protein 44g, carbohydrate 15g, fat 47 g, saturated fat 18g, fibre 3g, sugar 3g, salt 0.54 g

It is a very easy meal to make took less than and hour and you don't even have to peel your potatoes. I love the BBC Good Food website as the meals are tasty and easy to adapt to slimming world.


Exercise at any size.

I don't know about you but the idea of being in a gym surrounded by slim and slender exercise lovers in their skin tight lycra really put me off but I knew in order to be as healthy as I can I had to start doing some form of exercise. I first started off by swimming and this is what I am going to talk about today. 

Swimming is one of the best exercise anyone could do, according to an article I read here in the The Independent It is a wonder exercise.



I would have to agree, I always feel much better after a really nice long swim. I guess you can just switch off and just be with your thoughts which is actually very relaxing. Before my knee injury I was swimming at least once a week but I was beginning to get bored of the monotony of it. I began to think "Wouldn't it be good if I could listen to music as well as swim?" Turns out you can! I googled under water mp3 player and I was surprised to find there is actually a wide range of products available of under water music devises.
When Dan asked me what I wanted for my birthday that was top of my list and I was a very lucky girl when I got it for my birthday in march.

Yesterday was my first time trying the product out, so I thought I would review it for anyone that likes swimming and would like to purchase something to help them with endurance.





Above is the picture of the Speedo Aqua Beat


Price:

Any where between £45-60 (Dan got mine from Amazon)

Ease of use: 
The MP3 itself is very easy to use, it is literally a drop and drag process. It takes minute to put the music on which is great.

Sound QualityThe sound quality can vary if I am honest, when I first got in the pool I was very happy, the sound was loud and clear, after a few laps the sound did become a little bit quiet and echoey but with some adjustment it could be fixed.



Negatives

It can be annoying when water moves the ear phones and causes the music to go quiet every now and then as it disrupts your swimming flow. 
My ear was a little sore after but that may have been because I was fiddling around with it so much
There is no shuffle option.
Positives  
When it isn't causing any problems it is great to help with endurance, before I knew it I had swam for 45 minutes
Having music is really enjoyable it also blocks out other noise from the pool.
Easy to use. Just a simple button press for on and off and easy music transfers.
Overall I would say it is a great product. There could be some improvement but for £50 I think it does a pretty good job in helping me get over my boredom.




                         

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Oh Doris where's the salad?

Tonight for dinner I am having a humble salad ,chicken and Jacket potato. Sometimes I think I get caught up on making fancy dinners, when actually I can whip up something really lovely in less than 40 minutes.




My favorite type of salad is Bistro, sounds posh doesn't it. Well its not just a mix of baby leaves, chard and lambs lettuce. These are all very mild tasting leaves. If your like me and despise rocket then this is a nice salad for you. I am not a huge fan of tomatoes but as you can see I have used baby tomatoes. 



I have a little trick with my tomatoes, I halve them put them in a bowl cover with balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of sweetener, or if you don't like sweetener you can use sugar just syn it. 



I am sure you all know how to do a jacket potato, but I'll describe how I do mine. I pierce holes in the potato cover in cling film and put in the microwave for 7-10 minutes. When its finished I spray with fry light, and rock salt put in foil and put in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until crisp! 



For my chicken I use a packet of Nando's Rub this would be synned I worked it out as 3.5 syns for the whole back and it covers 4 breasts. so it is less than 1 syn per serving. Any other questions please feel free to comment.



Lets hope we can have some more sun for some more lovely Summer Salads.NOM NOM NOM 



 ♥