Monday, 15 April 2013

Sesame Honey Chicken - Crock Pot Style

It's not often you can create a recipe the day you see it on a blog, but today was definitely one of those days for me.

I'm a little bit of a planner for meals, and I usually have an idea, or prepped for the evenings meal the morning of, or the night before (have to do that sort of thing if you're a working Mum!).

My freezer is starting to look slightly bare in the meat department, but I still had some skinless chicken breasts sitting there waiting to be used.

With the weather starting to get cooler now I've whipped out the good old crock pot quite a few times over the last 6 weeks, and today was definitely the day to give it another crack.

I've talked about this site before, but if you haven't headed over to skinnytaste yet, you seriously don't know what you're missing out on!  <--- you can also find them on FB and Pinterest too!

Anyway, where was I, that's right, saw a post on skinnytaste's FB page this morning for sesame honey chicken, checked the ingredients, pretty much had everything bar a couple that could quite easily be left out, so I thought I'd give it a crack.

Sesame Honey Chicken - the only things I did differently was leave out the hot chilli sauce, put A.LOT. of vegies in, more water (had some leftover Chicken style stock in the fridge so added that), and neglected to add the sesame seeds (oops).  I also cut up the chicken pieces rather than shredding it.  However, with those... hmmm, more than a couple changes aren't there ...... with those few changes, it turned out beautiful!  So nice in fact that Miss F has requested we have it again next week!

Served it with rice, the 4 of us thoroughly enjoyed this relatively stress free crock pot meal!

(*I cooked it for about 6 hours on the Auto setting)

Give it a go, is relatively simple, and you can substitute the rice wine vinegar for normal vinegar in a pinch.

Enjoy!
x

Monday, 25 March 2013

How Things Change

Sorry it's been forever since I've updated, but you know when life gets in the way, and then your inspiration just flies out the window.... that was me.... very me!

I was waiting for Flick to start school so I could go back to work because home life had definitely become very boring and tedious.  Don't get me wrong, I loved being home with her, but when you find yourself curled up on the couch reading book after book, or sitting online searching Pinterest for craft ideas you'll never do, or mostly won't do, you have to start thinking there is something better out there.

Skip forward to just before Christmas and I find myself with a possible job opportunity about 5 months earlier than anticipated. My darling hubby through his networking connections hears about a job in my old industry that I might be interested in.

Without even thinking I fire up my computer, do from scratch my resume (I know there's something that I missed in there), and fire off an email to someone I know through my old job, but haven't spoken to in years, and definitely didn't know on a personal level.

A few emails, and it's decided to wait until late January/February for me to come in, only because lots of people are on leave, and she's not quite sure what position she might have for me yet.

Fast forward to February, and I find myself sitting across from my now new boss, where we are chatting away about fitness for the first ten minutes of my interview, if you could call it an interview!

So since mid February I've been working with a Conveyancing firm (Conveyancers in South Australia at least, prepare the required paperwork to transfer land ownerships among other things), which I thought I would not do again.

I'm working two days a week at the moment and loving it.  It's been a juggling act with Flick not always being at Kindy on the days I go, but thanks to my awesome parents I've been able to kick start my employment life again.

Once Flick starts at Primary School in May my hours/opportunity to work will change, so we'll see how that all goes.

Other news is that my eldest Step Son has come to live with us so that he can live cheaply while attending the local University.  He's been here for roughly 4 weeks now, and we're all getting used to being a family of 4.  Completely loving that he's here, especially with how he interacts with Flick.

Craft, well that has been less in the last couple of months, but as the cooler weather is about to start, my crochet needles are feeling the need to be pulled out, and I have a rug I've been doing since Spring that needs to be completed.

Sewing has taken a back seat at the moment, but Vanessa (my Husqvarna) is currently sitting on my dining table trying to urge me to use her.

Cooking, I lost inspiration here big time.  I've been re-hashing my old recipes, and old family favourites, so new inspiration hasn't been very forthcoming.  I did go down to meat only 2 days a week, but then my iron levels took a nose dive and I've had to increase my meat in take again.  I still don't eat as much as I used to, but to be a full on vegetarian for me at least would require me to give up my big love of all things dairy, and I love dairy more than my desire to be vegetarian (or close to it).

That's it for now.  I can't say there will be as many recipes of my own concoction up here (were there ever any anyway?), but I will try to share as many interesting food/craft/fitness ideas as possible.

Oh, I almost forgot, I'm half way through training for my first half marathon (might be my only one).  I've started training a lot earlier than most people only because I haven't been road running as long as others.  The event I'm participating in is at the end of May.  If you're a local and want to check it out visit http://www.barossamarathon.com.au/

Hope you all have an excellent Easter/Passover or whatever you may celebrate at this time of year.  We're headed into a four day extra long weekend, and I'm spending it with some of my nearest and dearest friends in the Barossa.

Enjoy!
x

Friday, 14 September 2012

Oatmeal & Leek Soup

Another thank you to Skinny Taste for this inspiring receipe!

This is a traditional Irish recipe, and being 1/8th Irish (seriously who in Australia isn't!, joking!!), I was very interested in what this would taste like.

I love leeks and I use oatmeal (or oats) in my cooking more and more everyday, I've fallen in love with them.  So when I saw this recipe on Skinny Taste's website I had to give it a crack, and attempt to make it even healthier (just lol).

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Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
3 leeks, sliced
1 litre vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups of low fat milk
1/2 cup oatmeal (I used Lowan)
black pepper

Method:

In a large pan add the olive oil and heat slightly before adding the leeks.  Stir every so often until leeks are soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Once soft add the vegetable stock and milk to the pan and turn to high and bring to the boil (careful to make sure it doesn't boil over, like I nearly did!).

Add the oatmeal and and black pepper and bring to the boil again.  Once boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes (or until oatmeal is soft), remembering to stir every so often.

Serve with warm crusty bread!

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This is a delicious soup, and come St Patrick's Day (if I can find leeks), I'll definitely be making this again, but why wait that long, if I see leeks on special guess what I'm making!!

Enjoy!
x

Friday, 7 September 2012

Pumpkin & Date Loaf

Ok, so it's not the height of pumpkin season, but I loooooooooove pumpkin, especially when my 4 year old asks for pumpkin soup!!  Vegies and Kids = AWESOME!

Checking out Pinterest (as you do), and came across a post by Skinny Taste, if you haven't checked them out, you really should, and they had a recipe for Pumpkin loaf.

I was needing to make a breakfast loaf (my fruit loaf is too addictive for me, so I've stopped making it for a little while), and thought what if I did pumpkin and date.

Then I started thinking about my date and coffee loaf that I'm sure I've posted (if not I'll hunt it down and post soon) and how I could adapt that for the pumpkin and date......

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup dates
1 cup boiling water
spices - cinnamin, nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin spice (I didn't have any)
11/2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
pepitas (optional)

Method:

In a bowl, pour the boiling water over the dates.  If you can wait for at least 2 hours for them to soak, please do, if not as long as time permits.

Add cooled pumpkin puree, flour and remaining ingredients to the date mixture.

Stir well, you may need to add more flour, depending on how juicy your pumpkin puree is.  If it's a little on the dry side add little bits of water as you stir until it's just mixed in.

In a grease/baking paper lined bread pan, add the mixture, making sure it is in the pan evenly, and sprinkle with pepitas.

Bake in a 200 c oven for approximately 45 - 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool before serving ... if you can!

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Serve warm, or toast for breakfast with your favourite spread.  Mine will be eaten with peanut butter and a sliced banana on top after my Saturday morning run!

Enjoy!!
x

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Meatballs with Smashed Roasted Potatoes

It's been a little while since I've uploaded a new dish, so here is what we had tonight, it was so yummy I had to share it straight away!!

We've just recently returned from a 6 day holiday in Sunny Brisbane!  Staying with my niece who is also a health and fitness junky like me, gave me ideas for different dishes!

Once night we had a meatball and pasta dish, and although this dish doesn't have pasta, you could quite easily add cooked pasta to it!

If you're like me and love Pinterest, you would have seen a smashed potato pic floating around the boards.  I pinned it, and I will admit, haven't even visited the page, but pretty much worked out how to do it without needing to.

Onto the recipe......

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Meatballs

Ingredients:
300 grams on beef mince
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley chopped as finely as you can
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp crushed ginger
1 jar of Passata sauce (or you can use any pasta sauce)
Italian herbs
worcestershire sauce

Method:

Preheat oven to 200 celcius, and lightly spray a caserole dish/lasagne dish with oil spray.

In a bowl add the mince, parsley and as much italian herbs as you like.  Mix by hand well and roll into small meatballs.  Place in dish.

In the same bowl you mixed your meatballs in, add the passata sauce, garlic, ginger, italian herbs and worcestershire sauce (as much or as little as you like, I like to add a lot).  Mix well and pour over the meatballs.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 - 50 minutes, or until sauce starts to thicken and meatballs look cooked.


Smashed Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients:
1 to 1/2 potato per person
italian herbs
salt/pepper

Method:
Add potatoes to a saucepan of water and boil until a knife can easily go through them.

Drain, and place on a oven tray covered with baking paper (or oil spray it), using a potato masher, push down on the potatoes to squish them.

Add herbs and seasoning and bake in your 200 celcius oven for 30 minutes (add to the last 30 minutes of cooking of meatballs if doing at the same time).

Serves 3 to 4

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We served this with some carrots and green beans, and also a tossed green salad.

It was very favoursome, and will definitely be doing it again!

Enjoy!
x

Monday, 27 August 2012

Cheese and Spinach Pie


A couple of years ago I was a recipient of an organic vegie box.  Unfortunately the local group that were doing it folded :( ... but many lightbulb moments were had with ingredients as it was all seasonal produce. 

One invention I came up with was this very simple cheese & spinach pie.

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Ingredients:

2 piece low fat puff pastry
half a bunch spinach (or less if you prefer) cut into small strips (you can use frozen spinach one pack will work well)
1 cup of ricotta/cottage cheese
grated low fat cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Method:

1) Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
2) Grease a pie dish well, and add one piece of puff pastry to the dish, cutting any excess that hangs off.
3) In a bowl mix the remaining ingredients together.  You can add a little lemon juice for flavour if you wish.
4) Place the cheese & spinach mixture to the pie dish, and cover with the second piece of puff pastry, again cutting any excess off.
5) Lightly brush with some milk or egg.
6) Bake in your preheated oven for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.

Serves 4-6

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This goes well with any of your favourite salads.

Enjoy!
x

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Poached Salmon in Tomatoes


While on the start of my weight loss journey last year, I was trying inventive ways to vary my high protein, low carb diet.  We were all swaping ideas and someone had suggested poaching of fish as an option.  I'm not a huge poached fish fan, but thought what if it was salmon, and what if it was done in tomato .... here is what I came up with!

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Ingredients:

Olive oil spray
2 palm size serves of salmon
1 can chopped canned tomato
1 tablespoon lime juice
Dill
Rice flour (optional)

Method:

1) Heat a saucepan that has a lid that fits, and lightly spray with the oil spray.  Add the salmon, and start the cooking process.
2)  Once the salmon is half cooked (you'll see the colour change up the side), or once the skin is crispy (if your pieces have skin), add the can of tomato to the pan, with 1/4-1/2 can of water.  Add the lime juice and dill.
3)  Cover with the saucepan lid, and cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your fish.
4) When the fish is cooked, transfer to the serving plates, and reduce the liquid left in the pan until saucy.  If you wish you may add a little rice flour to help it along quicker.

Serve with a nice salad or it goes fabulous with steamed vegies.

Serves 2

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I love this recipe, mostly because I made it up myself, but also it's a great way to enjoy a lovely piece of salmon and it lets you feel as if you're spoiling yourself.

Enjoy!
x