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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Slow cooker experiment worked - result!

29th June 2017
Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?

Well it's raining again, I want summer back! Who'd do I write to? Never mind, it's Thursday and I don't get to see much of the day as I spend most of it with my BeYOUtiful members at Bloxwich.

Let's talk food shall we, my day started with the plans of No Count so I had scrambled egg and beans on toast, then for lunch we had salmon, roast veg and wholegrain rice. My mate added soy sauce to her brown rice and so I did too, good call, works really well.
On the morning I'd put two large sliced onions in slow cooker, then topped it with a skinned whole chicken, I'd then added a can of reduced fat coconut milk and a couple of tablespoons Thai green curry paste. When I got home from my meeting on the night, I stirred it all through, as the meat fell off the bones, I took them out, it looked so good I ended up reverting back to Counting and had a small bowl with a couple of slices of bread and spread – mmm I love it when an experiment works, it was absolutely delicious and I've got enough for todays dinner. 

 The curry paste was from Asda and at 1sp per tablespoon it will become one of my store cupboard ingredients for sure. Anything that can just be thrown in the slow cooker and left works for me, the chicken was only £3 from Waitrose too, see not everything there is expensive.

I'm going to do a lot of experimenting this weekend I think, want to see what I can do with pulses and beans, veggie stuff as it's so good for us.

I've eaten some delicious lentil meals cooked by friends and members but when I try to make them myself, they aren't as good at all. The only one I've ever succeeded with was the day I did that cookery school thing, I made this;

Tempered Dhal with Spinach and Tomatoes
Total = 19sp or 23sp if tempering

Ingredients:½ tsp fenugreek seed,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
4 curry leaves
½ shallot [finely chopped]
½ tsp each fresh ginger and garlic pastes,
a little chilli [chopped)
200g red lentils [washed] (15sp)
½ tsp turmeric
150g tomatoes [chopped or tinned],
1 tbsp tomato puree
shredded spinach,
lemon juice
1 tbsp vegetable or mustard oil (4pp)
Temper [optional]:
½ tsp mustard seeds, ½ shallot [very finely chopped], 4 curry leaves, 1 tbsp oil (4pp)

    Heat a little mustard/vegetable oil and add the seeds and curry leaves and cook until the seeds pop
    Add the onion and soften, then cook in the ginger and garlic
    Add the chilli, lentils, turmeric, 350ml water, cover, bring to the boil and then simmer uncovered until the lentils are almost cooked
    Add salt to taste with the tomatoes and puree and continue to cook
    Add shredded spinach and warm through to wilt
    Taste, adjust and add a squeeze of lemon
    Temper if required

Goes with: Plain rice or chapatti, other vegetable curries, yoghurt
Serves: 2+ as part of a Thali-style meal that includes several other dishes / accompaniments

Storage: Keeps in the fridge for a few days or freeze in portions

Now I remember this was delicious, the other dish that works really well and I've made a few times because it's so easy is this;

A Pot of Love

33sp total, Serves 4, 8sp per serving

Try this delicious one-pot meal with lentils, a rich source of iron to boost your energy and love you up.

1 tbsp olive oil (5sp)
2 onions, chopped
3 crushed cloves garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp cinnamon
4 sliced carrots
100g dried lentils (8sp)
200g brown rice (19sp)
500ml stock
1 diced apple (unpeeled)
4 sliced spring onions

In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat; cook onions, garlic, cumin, curry powder and cinnamon, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in carrots, lentils and rice; cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Pour in stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until rice and lentils are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the apple and spring onions, then cook, covered, for 5 minutes or until the spring onions are heated through.

Right I'm gonna go make me a mug of tea and think about ideas for lentils and all those other cheap grains, pulses and beans that we never eat because we don't know what to do with them! If you have any ideas or recipes, please send them to me.

Here's to making Thursday tremendous, we ain't scared of no rain! 

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