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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Get your cook on - who needs takeaways

14th March 2018
See the light in others and treat them like that’s all you see.

A cracking day yesterday, busy meetings, new members coming to get ready for summer and over 100lb lost on the scales, taking the years total well over 300 stone!  We’re talking food this week, my preferred subject of course and a couple of recipes that were mentioned, old favourites, I’ve put the recipes below.  The Garlic chicken curry one can just be thrown in the slow cooker, not the rice and yogurt of course.  The butter chicken is worth buying the ingredients for.

It’s time to get my cooking mojo back, I’ve been a little laid back in the kitchen since I started my crochet blanket, now it’s all sewn together and I’m on the edging I can slow down and get back to doing other things too.  Although today I’m making a simple sweet and sour chicken with a jar, but if you’d rather cook from scratch the recipe below I cooked in my meetings once and it went down a treat.

Plenty of takeaway alternatives there for you to try and if you pick up a recipe card in your Weight Watcher meeting this week, there’s a 10 minute Naan bread recipe and another curry recipe. 

Two sessions of Yoga already completed this morning day 11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mDyGogsMtQ  and 12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZwc6gWmOyQ  of Adriene’s challenge, I also found out yesterday one of my members teaches a yoga class on a Thursday night at the Hub, Griffiths Drive, Ashmore Park WV11 2LH

A Taste of Yoga
Breathe, Stretch, Relax
£5.50 drop in
Block book 5 consecutive sessions for £22.00
Contact: Elaine on 07838 197 447

Got a morning of the kind of work that pays my wages, then I’ll try and fit in a bit of cooking, or look for ideas for something I fancy cooking up this weekend.  The sooner I start on the paperwork, the sooner it’s finished.  Actually it could take a while, I have an idea for a meeting that will take some time to put together so I better get gone, catch ya tomorrow BeYOUtiful, go get your cook on.

Sweet and Sour Chicken  
Prep time:10 min
Cook time:17 min
Serves: 4, 5 Smart Points per serving
Difficulty: Easy

A delicious and healthy version of this takeaway favourite.

5spray(s) Calorie controlled cooking spray
1 medium Onion(s), peeled and sliced
500g Chicken breast, skinless, raw (4 x 125g breasts)
2 medium Carrots, raw, peeled and thinly sliced in sticks
225g Pineapple, can, chunks in natural juice
2 tablespoons Tomato Purèe (1 sp)
3 tablespoons Vinegar, All Types, malt
1 tablespoons Muscovado Sugar (4sp)
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce, dark (1sp)
160g Brown Rice, dry, long grain (15sp)

Spray a frying pan with the low-fat cooking spray, add the onion and cook, stirring for 5 minutes over a medium heat, until softened.

Meanwhile cook the rice according to pack instructions, drain and rinse in hot water.

Cut the chicken into bite size chunks and add to the pan.
Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until golden on all sides.

Add the carrots, pineapple and juice, tomato puree, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer

Garlic chicken curry
9sp per serving, serves 2
10 minutes prep time, plus marinating. Cook time 20 minutes

Small bunch fresh coriander
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2tsp garam masala
1tbsp mango chutney
2 x 125g skinless chicken breast fillets
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
400g tin chopped tomatoes
100g basmati rice
2 tbsp 0% fat natural Greek yogurt

Cut most of the stalks from the coriander and set the leaves aside. Finely chop the stalks and mix with the garlic, garam masala, chutney and a pinch of salt to form a paste.
Using a sharp knife, cut small slashes in each chicken fillet then flatten them slightly. Spread over the paste and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok and fry the onion for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the chicken and marinade and turn to coat in the onions. Fry for 6-8 minutes, turning the chicken and stirring regularly. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Chop the coriander leaves and stir half of them into the sauce.
Meanwhile cook the rice to pack instructions, and mix the remaining coriander leaves with the yogurt.
Serve the curry with the rice and coriander yogurt.

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.

Beef Goulash
Serves 6, 7sp per serving

1kg good braising steak, preferably chuck steak (29sp)
1 tbsp sunflower oil (5sp)
3 medium onions, cut into 12 wedges
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tbsp paprika (1sp)
1 beef oxo stock cube
600ml cold water
400g can of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 bay leaves
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 orange pepper
Flaked sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat over to 170oC/Fan 150oC/Gas 3.5.  Trim any hard fat off the beef and cut the meat into rough 4cm chunks.  Season well with salt & freshly ground black pepper.

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish.  Add the steak and fry over a high heat until nicely browned all over, turning regularly.  Tip the onions into the pan and cook with the beef for 5 minutes until softened.  Add the crushed garlic and cook for a further minutes, stirring regularly.

Sprinkle both paprika's over the meal and crumble the beef stock cube on top.  Add the water, tomatoes, tomato puree and bay leaves.  Season with salt and pepper, stir well and bring to a simmer.  Cover with a tightly fitting lid and transfer the dish to the oven.  Cook for 1.5 hours.

While the beef is cooking, remove the core and seeds from each pepper and chuck them away.  Cut each pepper into chunks of about 3cm.  When the beef has cooked for 1 ½ hours, carefully remove dish from the oven.  Stir in the peppers, put the lid back on and put the goulash back in the oven for a further hour or until the beef is meltingly tender. 

Serve with small portions of brown rice (for extra Smart Points) and spoonfuls of soured cream if you like (for extra Smart Points), but don’t be too generous soured cream contains less fat than double cream but still has 2sp per tablespoon.

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