Reidbury's Kitchen

Food thoughts, recipes and billowing smoke from a home cook's kitchen in London


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Good-For-You Green Curry with Prawns

Good-For-You Green Curry with Prawns

Good-For-You Green Curry with Prawns

Last Thursday was one of Paul’s ‘fast’ days (as he’s doing the 5:2 diet), so I had to find something that was low calorie for him and low points for me. I settled on Good-For-You Green Curry with PrawnsHaving put this recipe into Weight Watchers Recipe Builder it came out at only 3 points per serving without the rice. Rice, it turns out though, is a massive hit in terms of points. In fact the 50g serving I had was 5 points. Grr. But anyway, this meal is really quite substantial for such a low 8 points value!

I did, however, bugger up my organising skills. For anyone who knows me, I do operate my shopping and kitchen processes like a military chief, so I was beyond apoplectic when I realised I didn’t have any coriander and that’s a pretty integral component. Paul, having fasted all day and played football, had no energy whatsoever and reminded me a bit of a balloon you find behind the sofa a few days after a party. Even in my rage, I really couldn’t send him back out into the cold to go and forage herbs for me. (Plus the fact he’s still not sure of the difference between parsley and coriander). So we had to do without. And I really think that affected the taste of the dish. It just tasted a bit more bland than I expected, particularly surprising when the first part of the recipe involves making a really fragrant curry paste. Even though it’s not in the recipe I added a huge squeeze of lime to try and pep it up a bit, which helped a little. But all is not lost with this dish – even though it fell a bit flat this time, I am going to make it again. But with loads of coriander this time, some more chilli and perhaps a few other  flavourings dependent on what’s sat in the cupboard.

KB rating 6.5/10. PR rating 7/10. Weight Watchers Pro Points: 3 per serving (plus rice)

Good for You Green Curry with Prawns (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 3cm piece ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies , seeded and roughly chopped (I used 3, but would actually add more next time)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 4 cardamom pods , split and seeds crushed
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 165ml tin half-fat coconut milk
  • a large bunch coriander , finely chopped
  • a small bunch mint , leaves finely chopped
  • 400g large raw peeled prawns

Method:

Put the ginger, garlic, onion, chillies and all of the spices in a food processor and whizz to a paste. Add a splash of water if you need to bring everything together.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the paste for 5 minutes until you can smell the garlic, ginger and spices. Add the stock and coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes then add the herbs and prawns and simmer for a further 3 minutes until the prawns are pink and cooked through. Serve with steamed basmati rice.

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Lemon & Courgette Chicken Skewers

Lemon Chicken and Courgette Skewers

Lemon Chicken and Courgette Skewers

So I’m going to be a little bit virtuous over the next few weeks in the food that I cook. I’ve decided to join Weight Watchers to kick start my healthy eating regime. I’m pretty surprised I joined actually, as ordinarily I’m a big believer in ‘everything in moderation, including moderation’, but a friend recommended it to me and she’s quite similar to me in terms of food, cooking and health! At first I was a little bit concerned that my healthy eating might make this blog a little dull, but I’m actually thinking it might be a nice challenge. Can I find recipes that are genuinely good for you (and low in points!) but that still pack a punch in terms of flavour? It’s early days, but there are certainly recipes out there that seem to strike that balance. In fact, the Pork Bun Cha I made here is a really good example – massive flavour, and only 11 points. To the non Weight Watcher, that’s quite good for a dinner! The one thing, though, that I’ve realised quickly is that portion size is critical. So bear in mind that the servings guide is pretty strict…if you’re not fussed about calorie counting, take those with a pinch of salt!

The first Weight Watchers recipe I tried was Lemon & Courgette Chicken Skewers and, on the whole, was a great success. The flavours are lovely and light, it’s really quick and simple to make for a midweek dinner and it’s good for you. I served with couscous and the recommended portion size for this was 30g per person! That’s about half of what I’d usually do, which looked quite stingy on the plate but actually did fill me up! But you only get 1 skewer per person – I cheated and had two, but even with the extra skewer the total points for dinner were 7. Good stuff! They do ask you to thread the chicken onto rosemary stalks as skewers – erm, no. Not my idea of fun so I stuck with my metal skewers to save my sanity!

KB rating 7/10. PR rating 7.5/10

WW Points: 2 points per skewer.

Lemon Chicken with Courgette Skewers (serves 4 but see note above)

Ingredients:

  • 2 x 125g skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • Juice half a small lemon
  • 8 rosemary sprigs (leaves stripped) – if using, see note above
  • 3 large spring onions, cut into thick diagonal slices
  • 1 small courgette, peeled into ribbons (use a peeler or mandolin)

Method:

Put the chicken into a bowl with the yogurt, mint, honey and lemon. Turn to coat and season.

Thread onto the rosemary sprigs (if using), alternating with the spring onion and a ribbon of courgette. Barbecue or griddle over a low heat for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.

Serve with couscous.


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An Absolute Winner – Pork Bun Cha!

Pork Bun Cha

Pork Bun Cha

There’s not much I can say about this recipe, other than the fact it is AWESOME! Take a look at the ratings Paul and I give this dish, and you’ll see what I mean! I looked online and found this recipe here.  I had no expectations of what this recipe would turn out like – all I knew is that it’s low calorie, low in fat and full of healthy green things. Given I’m trying to kick start myself to get ‘summer body ready’ (given the current weather, I’mn not sure why I’m bothering though), I just wanted something tasty. And goodness me is this tasty. It’s also the softest, tenderest pork I’ve ever cooked, and I’m notoriously bad at accidentally over-cooking pork. The way I’d describe this dish is a warm layered noodle salad. With a kickass sauce that’s packed full of flavour and heat. (Go easy when you pour it over at the end, otherwise you’ll set your face on fire). The bottom layer is cooked rice vermicelli noodles, middle layer is fresh veg and the top layer is the marinated pork. Top off with the fire sauce.

Given that I love Vietnamese and Thai food, I had practically all the ingredients in the cupboard anyway so strangely it’s quite a ‘cupboard staple’ recipe that I am certainly going to do again. The only thing to get is fresh mint and coriander. Finally, it’s worth noting that whilst this is a recipe for 2 people, there was a lot of sauce left over. I’m quite happy with that as I’ll no doubt use it up soon re-making this dish or a slight variation of it. But you may want to consider halving the sauce recipe if you don’t intend to use it up somehow.

Fresh, zingy and virtuous – what’s not to love?!

KB rating 10/10. PR rating 9.5/10

Pork Bun Cha (Serves 2)

Ingredients

For the pork:

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, peeled of its woody outer leaves, then very finely chopped
  • 3 lime leaves, finely chopped (I only had dry ones which worked fine)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp groundnut oil
  • 200g pork fillet, cut into medallions and bashed out to form thin, flat discs

For the sauce (see comment above re: quantity):

  • 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (I went for Birds Eye Chilli)
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 100ml rice wine vinegar
  • 100ml fish sauce

For the salad:

  • 100g thin rice noodles (I went for rice vermicelli)
  • 8 romaine lettuce leaves, chopped
  • Half a cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 6 spring onions, cut into matchsticks
  • 12 large mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Small bunch coriander, chopped

Method:

Place the lemongrass, lime leaves, garlic, turmeric, sugar and fish sauce into a mixing bowl and mix together. Rub the pork with the mixture and leave to marinade for 30 mins.

To make the sauce, combine the garlic, chilli and sugar in a mortar or food processor and pound to a fine paste. Add the lime juice, vinegar, fish sauce and 50 ml water and stir to blend.

Put the noodles in a bowl with boiling water to cover. Let stand until al dente – around 10 mins. Divide the noodles between 2 bowls. Mix the salad ingredients together (apart from the herbs) and top each bowl of noodles with salad.

Heat the oil in a griddle on high until it is almost smoking. Throw on the pork and grill for 3 mins or so until the meat has charred nicely and is just cooked through. Top each bowl with the pork.

Finish by topping each bowl with the herbs and serve with a few tablespoons of the sauce poured over. Leave the rest on the table for people to flavour to their taste.

Full recipe credit: http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/tv-show/cook-yourself-thin-recipes/pork-bun-cha-recipe