Quick Healthy Lunch

Serves 1 Time from start till finish: 5 minutes

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I was hungry and didn’t have any bread for a sandwich.
So, a rummaged in my fridge and freezer
and this was the result of my finds.

Ingredients:
½ Onion, chopped finely
1 Tomato, chopped not too finely
100g lardons
100g leftover chicken, cut into cubes
100g frozen mixed vegetables.
1 tsp olive oil
15-30g butter
Salt, pepper and whatever other herbs you want or none.

Method:

  1. Heat the butter and the oil in wok (or frying pan).
  2. Add the onions and lardons, and fry until the onions are translucent.
  3. Then add the frozen vegetables, stir, cover and leave for 1-2 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables thaw and cook, chop the tomato and chicken meat.
  5. Then add this to the wok, stir and add your herbs.
  6. Cover and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
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Chicken Stock

Preparation time 5-10 minutes         unattended simmering time 3-5 hours

Nowadays not many young people know how to make their own chicken stock, so I thought that I would show how easy it actually is to make chicken stock for instant usage or the freezer. This can also be cooked in a slow-cooker just add all the ingredients, and cook on high for eight hours.
I tend to make this after I’ve had a rotisserie chicken − I just throw the carcass in a pan with any root veg and herbs I happen to have; but, you’ll get a cleaner-tasting stock if you use a raw chicken or chicken pieces.

  • 1 chicken carcass, skin and bones
  • 2 onions peeled and quartered
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, bashed, unpeeled and halved
  • 4 large carrots cut in 2cm slices
  • 1-2 leeks cut into 2-3cm pieces
  • 3 litre water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp whole black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • Anything from the fridge that need to be used
  • Break the carcass into at least four pieces and place in a large saucepan.
  • Chop the onions, carrots and leeks and add to the saucepan.
  • Use a wide knife to bash the garlic. Place the flat side of a chef’s knife over the garlic clove. Do this on a flat, stable surface. Make sure to face the sharp edge of the blade away from you. Place your outstretched palm over the blade and push downward with a quick, light blow. The goal here isn’t to completely pulverize the garlic clove, but rather to break apart the peel from the rest of the garlic.
  • Now add the water and the herbs and anything else.
  • Bring to boil.
  • Lower the heat to 1 (the lowest setting) cover the saucepan; but leave it just open. Leave it to simmer for 3-5 hours (nearly unattended).
  • After an hour or so, remove any scum that rises to the surface with a ladle or a large spoon. Repeat as necessary.
  • After 2 hours taste if you need more salt, pepper. If you feel it’s too salty add 1-2 raw quartered potatoes to the stock, to absorb the salt.
  • Strain the stock, discarding the vegetables and chicken pieces when finished cooking.
  • Allow to cool for about half an hour then refrigerate or divide it into small plastic containers at this point and freeze, leave about 1cm air below the lid, for the soup to expand when freezing. Remember always write the contents and date on the containers, as you can’t see what’s in the containers once frozen.

PS. The stock will keep in the fridge for about 4 days and in the freezer for 2-3 months.

1 rotisserie chicken – 7 different meals

Today I purchased one rotisserie chicken; which of course, for one person, is rather extravagant. I decided to dissect the chicken into: 1 portion of deboned chicken legs; 2 portions of skin-less chicken breast; scrape and cut all remains of chicken meat off the carcasses and bones, split this in 2 portions roughly ¼ and ¾; and finally place all the bones, skin and carcasses in a large saucepan for stock.

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    For the stock (makes upto 4 portions):

  • the bones, skin and carcasse
  • 1.5-2 ltr water
  • 1-2 roughly cut onions,
  • 2-4 chopped carrots,
  • 1-2 potato roughly cut
  • Herbs to taste
  • 200g green/mixed lentils
  • Let it simmer gently for 1-2 hours.
  • What I also did was hang a strainer into the pot/stock placing the lentils in the strainer; thus still part of the stock but without them getting mixed into the stock
  • Drain the stock; then add the lentils and set aside to cool.
  • Portion into 4 small containers; freeze when cool enough

As I had a portion of Bombay cooked lentils I use the ¾ chicken bits and mixed it to the lentils, added some spices, and had my lunch.

The ¼ portion of chicken meat went into a chicken mayo, spiced with garlic and chilli powder and a drop of lemon, ready for spreading tomorrow.

The 2 portions of chicken breast went straight into a small freezer bags each, and when they are cold enough, place them in my freezer.

Now – I ask – am I still extravagant? No, I think not. For £4 for the chicken & £1 for the vegetables getting food for 5-7 people depending what I do with the chicken breasts; not bad if I say so myself.

Potatoes and leftover Stir-fry

Serves 1 Prep & Cooking Time: 10 minutes

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  • 1 onion medium sized or 2 large Charlotte onions
  • 1-2 clove Garlic
  • 1-2 baby sweet peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 20g butter
  • 2-3 potatoes
  • 1 handful frozen peas
  • 4-5 small tomatoes
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • Salt, pepper, marjoram, thyme & basil to taste
  • Some leftover cooked meat/chicken
  1. Finely chop the sweet pepper, onions and garlic
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a wok, then add the chopped onions, garlic and peppers.
  3. Use a mandolin to julienne the potatoes and add these to the wok.
  4. Dice the leftover meat/chicken and add to the wok.
  5. Dissolve the stock cube in ½ litre hot water and add this to the wok.
  6. Stir and add the peas and herbs.
  7. Cover and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Stir and add the quartered tomatoes, un-cover but leave simmering for 2 more minutes.

 

Turkey Steak in Mushroom Cream Sauce

Serves 1 Total time 10 mins

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    • 1 turkey steak
    • 4-6 tbsp double cream
    • ½ tin of mushrooms
      or 5-10 fresh mushrooms sliced *
    • A small glass of brandy *
    • 25g butter
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1 nest of 4 minutes rice noodles

(*optional)

  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan
  2. Add the mushrooms when the butter is melted, cook until soft then remove from butter and set aside
  3. Make sure the pan is hot then fry the turkey steak for 2½ minutes on each side
  4. Lower the heat to ½ and return the mushrooms to the pan
  5. Remove pan from heat, and add the brandy; light it with a match, wait for flame to die before retuning pan to heat
  6. Add the cream and stir to make sure the cream is mixed with the frying juices
  7. Simmer on low heat for max 2 minutes.

Serve the turkey steak on top of the rice noodles, drizzled with the sauce
At the same time as starting the above cook and prepare the rice noodles

  1. Bring water and a little salt in a sauce pan to boil
  2. Add the rice noodles to the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes
  3. Drain and rinse the rice noodles (do not leave in drainer; leave in water, until you are ready for the next step)
  4. Heat another frying pan with a little butter, and toss the drained rice noodles in this pan

I added some peas to the sauce (see picture)

Chicken, Leek & Rice Pot

Prep 5-10 mins   –    Serves 2-4 unattended cooking 30-35 mins

Chicken-Leek-Rice Pot 5

  • 4-6 Chicken Thighs
  • 2 medium Leeks
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 chicken stock pot
  • 100g Basmati Rice
  • 10g Butter
  • 400-500 ml boiling water
  • Salt, Pepper
    (Onion salt, Garlic powder, mixed herbs)
  1. Season the thighs to taste.
  2. Heat a wok, when it’s hot add the butter; when this is melted add the thighs skin side up, make sure they don’t overlap, when sealed turn over (approx. 2min per side).
  3. In the meantime finely chop the leeks (cut once length wise and finely slice cross ways); halve the cherry tomatoes; boil the water.
  4. Dissolve the stock pot in the hot water in a bowl/jar.
  5. When the thighs are sealed, evenly add the tomatoes; then the leeks.
  6. Add the dissolved stock, use a little extra water to rinse the bowl/jar and add that to the wok.
  7. Stir a little, making sure all is covered with the liquid. Cover with a lid and leave simmering for 10 mins.
  8. Add the basmati rice, stir making sure the rice is evenly spread and covered with liquid.
  9. Cover again and let simmer for 16-18 mins depending on the rice (if you use brown & white mixed basmati rice cook for 20-22 mins).