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Asian Salad with Poached Chicken

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This quick and easy salad can be prepared ahead of time and will last a couple of days in the fridge. It’s gluten free, low calories and a good source of protein. The salad can consist of any vegetable you have in the fridge – it’s the dressing and herbs that pull it all together.


Asian Noodle Salad with Poached Chicken

Serves 4


Ingredients

200g vermicelli noodles, cooked and place in cold water
1 carrot, julienned
1 Lebanese cucumber, julienned
1/2 capsicum, julienned (didn’t use in the photo, didn’t have any)
1 spring onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup mint and coriander
2 tbsp thai basil leaves ( optional)
6 kaffir lime leaves, vein removed and finely sliced
2 tbsp cashews or peanuts
200g poached chicken, steamed or cooked in broth

Dressing (makes about 3/4 cup)

1/4 cup preferred sweetener ( coconut , Palm or caster sugar)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1-2 tbsp fish sauce
1 small red chilli, finely sliced

To serve, chilli and lime wedges


Method

  1. To make dressing place the sweetener, water , white vinegar and fish sauce in a sauce pan and bring to the boil, then take off heat, add the chilli, taste and adjust if needed ( it will be sweet). Place in fridge to cool.
  2. Combine the cooked noodles, carrot, cucumber, capsicum and spring onion in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Shred or slice your chicken, combine with the noodle salad, add a little of the dressing at a time ( about 1/4 cup) toss and taste.
  4. Assemble salad in a bowls, garnish with the fresh herbs, nuts and extra chilli and wedges of lime.

Notes

Ive made this salad before with pork belly, thai chicken cakes, salt and pepper calamari and bbq prawns, its such an adaptable salad.

Pan Seared Scallops with Japanese Dressing

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I was lucky enough to be given scallops in the shell to cook with – how spoilt am I?!?

Keeping it simple with scallops is always best, with minimal cooking time and a nice clean dressing, you are doing justice to these delicate sweet morsels. The bonus of having them in the shells, is that it serves as a small bowl to capture all the juices and dressing. The shells can be cleaned for later use. Scallops are a lean source of protein, virtually no fat and are packed full of minerals and vitamins.

I have cooked scallops like this before from frozen and you would never have known.

 


Pan Seared Scallops with Japanese Dressing


Ingredients

12 scallops, removed from shell and shell cleaned before serving

Dressing

2 tsp fresh ginger, grated on a microplane

2 tbsp shoaxing wine

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp castor sugar

1/2 tsp sesame oil

Spring onion for garnish, finely sliced


Method

  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat, stir until sugar dissolves, remove from heat and set aside until ready to serve.
  2. Heat a little peanut oil in a  large fry pan over medium heat. An easy way to get all your scallops in the pan at the same time, is to place them on a piece of baking paper and when the fry pan is ready pick up the paper and flip it over, the scallops will fall off. They will only take about 30 secs each side. The frypan needs to be very hot to get the caramelisation on the outside of the scallop.
  3. Serve immediately in the shells with 1/4 tsp of dressing on each, garnished with spring onion.

Notes:

If you would like curly spring onion, finely slice, place in a bowl of water and put in the fridge until ready to use.

The dressing can be made a couple days ahead and will last in the fridge for up to a week. You will have dressing left over. If you put too much dressing on the scallops you will lose the delicate flavour of the scallop.

Tom Kha Gai

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I’ve made this soup a couple of times using a few different recipes, this time I combined the recipes and I found the flavour that works best for me. It’s such a simple soup, no blending, minimal cooking and so rich and flavoursome . With all the health benefits from coconut milk, it’s a great low carb and gluten free recipe.
I like to add flat rice noodles to cut down the richness.
Also a little tip I picked up along the way when choosing your brand of coconut milk/cream check the ingredients on the back and it will tell you ho
w much coconut is really in the product. You will be surprised.


Tom Kha Gai

Serves 4


Ingredients

2 cups coconut cream

1 cup chicken stock

2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, bashed and cut 1-inch lengths

Thumb size piece of galangal ( can use ginger at a pinch) thinly sliced

2 to 3 asian shallots, roughly chopped (pink ones)

10 to 12 small chilies, leave them whole for less spicy or slice in half for super spicy

2 cups of straw mushrooms ( optional-I’m not a fan)

1 to 2 large chicken breasts, thinly sliced

2 to 3 tbsp fish sauce, to taste

3 Kaffir lime leaves, stems removed and finely sliced

1/2 cup coriander , roughly shredded

2 to 3 tbsp lime juice, to taste

2 spring onions, chopped


Method

  1. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine coconut cream, chicken stock, lemongrass, galangal, shallots, chilies, and mushrooms.
  2. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 15mins, stirring occasionally .
  3. This next step is optional , but I like to strain my soup, traditionally you would leave all ingredients in the soup and push the fibrous ingredients to one side ( lime leaf, galangal and lemongrass), it’s a personal preference.
  4. Add the chicken and simmer for 6 mins, then add fish sauce and lime leaves, return to the boil, add half the coriander and take off heat.
  5. Stir in lime juice, garnish with spring onion and remaining coriander and if strained, add some finely sliced chilli.

    NOTES
    For less rich soup replace the coconut cream with equal quantity of coconut milk.

Honey Soy Salmon with Soba Noodles

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Quick and speedy dinners is all I have time for these days and this recipe has it all .

It can be ready in under 20 mins.

I swapped the traditional hokkien noodles for more nutritional Soba noodles, as they contain higher protein, minerals and vitamin B. They are as high in carbs as spaghetti, but they will keep you fuller for longer, being made from buckwheat flour and having a higher fibre content. No need to tell you about the health benefits of  salmon, it’s just down right so good for you!

 


Honey Soy Salmon with  Soba Noodles

Serves 4


Ingredients

1/3 cup honey (90g)

80ml light soy sauce

1 long red chilli or birds eye (if you like it hot), seeds removed, finely sliced

4 pieces of salmon, skin on

1 tbsp rice bran oil

2 tsp sesame oil

Bunch of Buk Choy or any preferred asian green, ends trimmed

2 tsp freshly grated ginger

300g  Soba Noodles, cooked in boiling water for 4 mins, rinse


Method

  1. Combine the honey, soy and chilli in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. Season the salmon, both sides with sea salt and ground pepper.Heat a fry pan over med-high heat, add 2 tsp oil and 1 tsp sesame oil, cook the salmon skin down for 3-4 mins, until nice and crispy. Turn over and cook for a further 2-3 mins, depending on how pink you like it. Take off heat and add half of the dressing.
  3. Meanwhile heat a large wok with the remaining oil and sesame oil, add your greens and ginger, stir fry for a couple of minutes, pour in the rest of the dressing, add the noodles and take off heat.
  4. To serve place the noodles and greens on a plate and place the salmon on top, pouring anything left in the pan, over the top.

Notes:

I usually make this recipe for 2 people and keep the remainder sauce in the fridge. It will last about a week and is great tossed through brown rice or quinoa, poached chicken and vegetables.

This recipe was adapted from Delicious Magazine- Valli Little.

 

 

Slow Roasted Tomatos

IMG_2302This is a great way for using up tomatoes. I buy them in bulk at my local fruit market, extremely cheap at the moment. Just slice them in half, place in a large mixing bowl with fresh garlic and oregano, good lug of oil and balsamic vinegar, scatter onto baking trays and season with salt and pepper, cook for about 2hrs on low heat.

The tomatoes can then be stored in the fridge for about 2 weeks or frozen for 3 months. Great addition to salads or pasta sauces and the ones from the freezer work great on pizzas.


Slow Roasted Tomatoes


Ingredients

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

handful fresh oregano, finely chopped or 1/2 tablespoon of dried oregano

A good splash of rice bran oil and balsamic vinegar ( not too much balsamic )

5 punnets of cherry tomatoes halved or  1.25kg of your choice of tomato


Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180* fan forced. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Whisk together the garlic, oregano, oil and balsamic vinegar, add the tomatoes and toss. Divide amongst the baking trays with the cut side facing up, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 15 mins , then reduce the temperature to 120* and bake for another 1-1 1/2 hours. They are ready when they start to shrivel around the edges.
  4. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.

Poached Chicken in an Asian Broth with Konjac Noodles

IMG_1889It’s very simple to make a low-calorie lunch when using  Konjac Noodles, with only 10 calories per 125g.

They have a unique texture, similar to rice noodles. I find they are best eaten with Asian style flavors .

This dish comes in under 150 calories, low carb, low-fat,high fibre and great source of protein.

I created this recipe as I’ve been doing the 5:2 diet, it’s a great lunch or dinner option.


Poached Chicken in Asian Broth with Konjac Noodles

Serves 1 /  120 calories


Ingredients

Broth:

250 ml salt reduced chicken stock

1/2 to 3/4 cup water

1 red or green chilli, stem removed and left whole*

2 garlic cloves, smashed with a knife

knob of ginger or galangal, roughly chopped*

2  kaffir lime leaves, left whole*

30 g chicken breast

50 g broccolini

30 g pak choy

125 g knojac noodles-

Sauce:

juice of 1/2 lime*

1/2 teaspoon stevia or sweetener of choice, adjust calories accordingly

1/2 tablespoon fish sauce

1/4 teaspoon chilli powder

To serve fresh coriander, Thai basil and shredded kaffir lime leaves.


Method

  1. Place all the broth ingredients into a sauce pan, bring to the boil and add the chicken breast, simmer for 5 minutes and turn the heat off and place lid on, leave for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken from broth and strain liquid, place the broth back onto low heat with the broccolini and pak choy, simmer until done to your liking. The veggies will absorb some of the broth, so you can add more water if you wish.
  3. Place the sliced or shredded chicken, konjac noodles and sauce ingredients  into the broth, cook until heated through.
  4. Serve with fresh coriander, Thai basil and kaffir lime.

Notes

*all these items are stored in my freezer.

 

Thai Beef Salad

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 Everyone has their own method for doing a Thai Beef Salad and this is mine. This Thai Beef Salad is gluten-free, dairy free and grain free. I’ve listed  just the basic salad ingredients,  you could also add finely sliced capsicum, julienned carrots, snow pea sprouts, bean sprouts, rice noodles and fresh chilli. All can be prepared ahead and will take 15 mins to cook.


Thai Beef Salad


( serves 2-4 )

Ingredients

Juice of 2 limes*

2 cm pice of ginger, grated on a micro plane or pound in a mortar and pestle *

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tablespoon  palm sugar or soft brown sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon soy sauce **

Pinch of white pepper

500 g rump, porterhouse or scotch fillet steak

100-200grams mixed lettuce leaves

1 cucumber, sliced into ribbons

1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon mint, coriander and Thai basil, roughly shredded

1 tablespoon unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

 


Method

  1. Mix the lime juice, ginger, garlic, sugar, oil, fish sauce, soy and white pepper in a jar and shake to combine.
  2. Take 2 tablespoons of dressing and marinate the steak for at least an hour or overnight.
  3. Start arranging the salad, place mixed lettuce, cucumber ribbons, cherry tomatoes, mint, coriander, Thai basil on a large platter.
  4. Heat a BBQ or fry pan over high heat, cook steak to your liking, rest the steak, then slice across the grain into thin ribbons.
  5. Scatter the steak over your salad, pour over the reserved dressing, garnish with peanuts and fresh chilli.

*I have these items stored in freezer. Grate ginger straight from freezer and microwave limes at 30 sec increments till defrosted.

** can use Tamari, just halve the quantity.

Pork Gyozas

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I have been using this same recipe for years, simple ingredients – equals simple flavours! You can cook them like Gyozas (pan fry one side and then steam at the end), steam, boil, add to soup or broth, or deep fry for something naughty. I’ve tried them every way and they are delicious! The recipe is very adaptable if you wish to add chilli or use chicken mince, prawn or a mix, just be adventurous. They can be frozen once assembled and will last in the freezer for 2-3 months. Just thaw in the fridge overnight before cooking.

Lastly serve them with a Japanese Soy Dipping Sauce or if deep fried Okanami Sauce and Japanese Mayo – oh so very sinful!


Pork Gyozas


Ingredients

500 g pork mince

1/2   wombok (Chinese cabbage), core removed from each leaf and finely shredded

3 green onions/shallots/spring onion, white removed and finely chopped

2 garlic clove, crushed

4 teaspoon light soy sauce

4 teaspoon shoaxing wine

2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon caster sugar

Pinch of ground white pepper

48 gyoza or gowgee wrapper, 2 packets

2 – 4 teaspoon peanut oil

1/4 cup (60ml) water

Japanese soy sauce, to serve


  1. Combine the pork, wombok, green onion, garlic, soy sauce, sake, sesame oil, caster sugar and pepper in a medium bowl, mix all together with your hands.
  2. Place gyoza wrapper, about 6 at a time on a clean surface, put a teaspoon of filling in the middle of each one, wetting the edges as you go, fold over to make a half moon and pleat the edges together. Its a bit fiddly the first time, but you will get the hang of it. Repeat this process until all filling is used. If you have filling left over, it can be frozen. You can also freeze the gyozas at this stage, make sure they dont touch each other and separate the layers with baking paper.
  3. Heat the peanut oil in a large frying pan over high heat until just smoking. Remove from heat. Arrange dumplings over the base of the frying pan. Return to the heat and cook for 2 minutes or until the base of the dumplings are golden. Sprinkle water evenly over the gyozas. Cook, covered, for 3-4 minutes or until gyozas are cooked through and the water evaporates. Remove from heat and set aside for 2 minutes.Place on a serving platter. Serve immediately with soy sauce or a Japanese dipping sauce.

Japanese Quinoa Patties

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Here’s a quick healthy lunch that can be made ahead and frozen, ready to reheat when the pangs of hunger strike! They are low in calories, high in protein, low carbs, gluten free and most importantly – super tasty! This recipe will make a large enough batch that you can freeze half and have the rest in the fridge. They go great with any type of noodle, leafy salad or even a wrap or burger. They will last 1 month in the freezer and 2-3 days in the fridge.


Japanese Quinoa Patties


Ingredients

2 tablespoons soy sauce *

2 tablespoons oyster sauce*

1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2 cm piece (knob) ginger, grated using a micro plane

2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped

1/4 cup coriander, finely chopped

1/4 cup cornflour

100 g kale or baby spinach, finely chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

500 g chicken mince


  1. Place soy, oyster, chilli, ginger, garlic, coriander and cornflour into a large bowl, mix thoroughly to ensure cornflour is absorbed and there is no lumps.  Add the kale or baby spinach, lightly beaten egg, cooked quinoa and chicken mince, stir all ingredients until well combined.
  2. The mixture will be quite wet, that is why they are so moist once cooked.You can store the mixture in the fridge until ready to cook.
  3. To cook, heat a large sized fry pan over med heat, spray with oil and using two spoons, scoop the mixture up and using the other spoon push the mixture off into the frypan and just lightly push the pattie down with the back of your spoon. They will take about 3 minutes each side, depending on the thickness of your patties, continue this process with the rest of your mixture, place in a pre heated oven to keep warm or cool in the fridge and then freeze between sheets of baking paper.

 *Ayam brand offer gluten free soy and oyster sauce. You could use Tamari also, just adjust the quantity.

Thai Curry and Homemade Paste

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I’ve struggled with a name for this curry paste, so I’m just going generic “Thai Curry “. Its the colour of a yellow curry, with flavours of a green curry and a laksa mixed in. Ive kept the paste very mild in the heat department, so if you like it hot,  double the chilli’s or use a couple of birds eyes. I use this paste for fish cakes, roast chicken, chicken meatballs, pork and quinoa patties and soups. The paste will last 3 weeks in the fridge and 2-3 months in the freezer.


Thai Curry Paste

( makes about 1 cup )


Ingredients

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 teaspoons shrimp paste

12 dried long red chillies, soaked in boiling water for 30 mins or fresh, roughly chopped

5 cm piece of galangal, peeled and roughly chopped*

300g asian shallots or golden shallots

2 tablespoons oil

4 lemongrass stems, white part only, smashed and chopped*

12 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped

100 g coriander , roots and leaves, roughly chopped*

6 kaffir lime leaves, chopped*

zest of 1 lime*

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground tumeric

1 teaspoon paprika


 Method
  1. Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan constantly, 2-3 minutes.Place the toasted spices and peppercorns into a mortar and pestle, pound until finely broken down.
  2. Wrap the shrimp paste in a small piece of foil and place under the grill, about 3 mins, turning twice. You will be able to smell it.
  3. Place ground spices, shrimp paste and chopped chilli’s into a food processor , pulse a couple if times. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until a paste forms. You will need to scrape down the sides every 30 secs.
  4. Store in jars with a layer of oil on top.

* I buy all these ingredients in bulk or when on special and store them in my freezer.


Thai Curry

( serves 4-6 )


Ingredients

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 onion, sliced

2 to 3 tablespoons of homemade curry paste

500 g chicken breast or thigh, chopped

400 ml coconut cream or milk

500 ml chicken stock or water

6 kaffir lime leaves, left whole

200 to 300 g vegetables of choice

15 g thai basil, roughly torn

2 tablespoons fish sauce

Juice of 1 lime

1 to 2 tablespoons of soft brown sugar

Garnish with roasted peanuts, shredded kaffir lime, thai basil and sliced fresh chilli

Brown Rice to serve


 Method
  1. Place a large wok over medium heat and fry off the onion in the peanut oil until translucent, add the curry paste and continue cooking until fragrant.
  2. Pour in coconut cream/milk, stock and kaffir lime leaves, increase heat and bring to the boil, reduce heat to med, add chicken and vegetables and summer until cooked.
  3. Lastly add basil, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar, adjust to suit taste.
  4. Serve with brown rice and garnishes.