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Friday, 3 March 2017

Let's get this party started...

3rd March 2017
So much in life depends on our attitude.

Morning folks, guess who fell asleep with a glass of wine in their hand last night, yep, the tops now soaking in the sink, what am I like!  I won't lie though, I love to fall asleep in my chair, just rather the glass of wine was on the table next to me.

I enjoyed Beef Larb in taco shells for lunch, my lovely Sheila bought me spring onions to my meeting so I had all the ingredients I needed, how lovely is that, that people care so much to go out of their way. 

Today's going to be a busy one, getting ready for our Tea Party tomorrow - I do hope lots of people are coming along to the United Reform Church, Old Fallings Lane WV10 8BH, 10-12.00, can't wait, I won't be tracking anything tomorrow, just enjoying lots of cake for charity.  I may even bake, do my rock cakes, I do a mean rock cake and they don't have to look good because that's the point of them, see how my day goes and what I get through, plus my kitchens all tidy and lovely and I'm in that "I don't want to make a mess" phase. 

What about a beef madras for your Friday night fakeaway?  I've just found this recipe online, thanks to skinnykitchensecrets.com for it and at 2sp per portion you can afford to have real rice or you can do the cauliflower rice thing and have a next to no Smart Point supper leaving a few points for whatever you fancy.  Don't be put off by the ingredients, there isn't as many as it looks and once you've got them you can do other things with it, most of those ingredients were used in our famous butter chicken recipe (actually I'll post that underneath because it is lush and I've been fancying a curry for a while now, so that's gonna get made this weekend)

Fiery Beef Madras
Sauce Serves 4 = 2sp per portion 

For the curry paste
½ tsp each cumin and coriander seeds
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tsp each garam masala and curry powder
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
Juice of ¼ lemon

For the curry
400g Lean stewing beef, diced
1 large onion, finely sliced
2 peppers, deseeded and finely sliced
1 pack of mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 beef stock cube
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp garam masala
1 fresh red or green chilli, finely chopped (optional if you like it fiery hot!)
Handful of fresh coriander
4 x tablespoons of low fat Greek yoghurt (to serve)

Heat a large saucepan to a medium heat and pop in the cumin and coriander for around 30 seconds until they start to toast and pop and you can smell the lovely aromas. Remove from the pan and pop in a pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder. Add the garlic and ginger and to a pulp and then add the rest of the paste ingredients with one tbsp. water and combine into a paste. Pop to one side.
Spray the same large saucepan with 1kal and then add the beef, seasoning to taste, and fry for a few minutes until the outside is sealed. Remove the beef from the pan and pop into a bowl to one side. Add the onions and fry for a few minutes and then add the peppers and mushrooms. Fry for a few minutes until the pepper starts to soften. Remove the veg from the pan into another bowl.
Spray the pan with 1kal again and add the curry paste to the pan with enough water to loosen it a little. Fry for a minute or two and then add the beef back to the pan, coating well in the paste. Add the veg back to the pan with the tomato puree and fry for another minutes and then add the stock cube and tin of tomatoes. Fill the empty tin with boiling water and add to the pan and stir to combine everything.
Turn the heat down to low and then cover and simmer for 1 hour (if you would like to cook the curry for less time, turn the heat up a little).  Take the cover off for the last 15 minutes to thicken the sauce. If the sauce won’t thicken, mix 1 tsp corn flour into a little cold water making a paste and pop into the curry. This will thicken it nicely.
Finish by stirring through a further tsp of garam masala, fresh chilli and fresh coriander. Season to taste. Remove from the heat and serve with some fluffy white rice and a dollop of fat free natural yoghurt, topped with a little fresh coriander.

Butter Chicken serves 3 sp per serving, 14sp each
180g dried rice 18sp - cook according to instruction

550g chicken breast diced 5sp
5Tbsp Tandoori spice 3sp
1 ½ tbsp can't believe it's not butter light 3sp
5 green cardamom pods lightly crushed
1” cinnamon stick
4 cloves
2 small onions finely chopped I used 3 shallots
1 heaped tbsp grated ginger
1-2 green chillies slit lengthwise
2 tsp paprika
2tsp curry powder (any)
2 tsp garam masala powder
3 tbsp tomato puree 1sp
120ml Elmlea light cream 7sp
5 teaspoons sweet freedom syrup 4sp
1/2 tsp fenugreek leaf powder (Sainsbury's)
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander for garnish

Marinade chopped chicken for few hours in the tandoori spice then oven cook till tender.

Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan and add the butter. Add green cardamom, cinnamon stick and cloves. Fry for 20 seconds, add the onions and sauté for 5-7 mins on medium heat until they take on a light brown colour.

Add the grated ginger and slit green chillies. Fry for a further minutes and add the curry powder, paprika, garam masala powder along with the tomato puree. Stir well and cook for a couple of minutes. Now gradually add the cream stirring continuously to mix all the spices with the cream. Simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes. At this stage add a splash of water if the curry is too thick. Stir in the syrup and the fenugreek powder. Season to taste. Now add the cooked chicken pieces and simmer the curry on a low heat for 8-10 minutes. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice.

It's the one curry I've cooked from scratch at home that I will continue to do regularly, I really like it and I didn't think I would because when I think 'butter chicken' I thought a korma style dish and it isn't at all, it's lush. 

Okay, let's get on to my day, really looking forward to this weekend, I've got my bestie coming over tomorrow so we'll have a few hours of giggles after the Tea Party, then Sunday will be a very enjoyable day of doing whatever I fancy but I guarantee it will involve a champagne breakfast as I haven't "officially" celebrated receiving my Jean Nidetch award yet as I was doing Dry for Dementia month!

Here's to a fab Friday, let's make March marvelous this year BeYOUtiful, you up for that?

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