Thai Chicken Flatbread Pizza

Here’s a variation of pizza that is great for the grown-ups on a Friday night, featuring peanut sauce, broccoli, and sweet mango.

I know, what a combination!

You will have to trust me with this one – it really is good 🙂

Flatbreads are a regular on the shopping list at my place; you can use them so many ways, from wraps with pulled pork and slaw, to bases for bacon and egg pies! Super nice for a lunch sandwich instead of a bread which gets boring quickly – specially for the kids!

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This is as authentic a peanut sauce as you can make, as it starts with real peanuts not peanut butter! It is super easy, and quick to make.

You can use this for a dip for vegetables, or as a sauce for chicken or beef satay. Or use it as a marinade for grilled chicken or tofu.

For the Peanut Sauce:

  • 1 cup fresh dry-roasted peanuts, unsalted
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 c loves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar, to taste
  • 2-2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste, or 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or 1 teaspoon chilli sauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

Place all of the ingredients into  blender or food processor, and blend until sauce is smooth. If you prefer a runnier peanut sauce, add a little more water or coconut milk.

Do a taste-test, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough, or  more cayenne if not spicy enough for you. If too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice. If you would prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar.

**this sauce tends to thicken as it sits – just a little water or coconut milk to thin it out, as needed. It stores well, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks; pop it in the freezer after this time period.

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Pizza Ingredients:

  • 2 flatbreads, or pitas
  • 200-250 grams chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 150gram mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup small broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 mango, chopped – if it is out of season, a can of mango will do the trick too 🙂
  • peanuts, chopped to serve
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped to serve

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Heat oil in a small pan, and add chicken and 2 tablespoons of peanut sauce, salt and pepper to sauté until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside and allow to cool.

Spread two tablespoons of the peanut sauce on each flatbread or pita, then top with half of the chicken, cheese and broccoli and red onions.

Bake pizza for 8-9 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden

Top with chopped mango, peanuts and parsley.

Serve with extra peanut sauce so you can dip the crust!

Happy Friday Pizza Nights xx

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Leftovers again? What was I to do? Time to get a bit creative in the kitchen…..

I shared with you a recipe from a young friend who had lived in a student flat on a meagre income while he was studying. It was a delicious and heartwarming chicken stew made from the leftover roast chicken from Sunday night.

That 300 grams of leftover roast chicken made a really tasty dinner which we enjoyed very much – the chief tester declared it a keeper which is always a good sign. Great I thought – I’ll file the recipe away for another time. But what do you do when there is leftover chicken stew? This was becoming one of those ongoing dilemma’s for this household of just two.

I was lacking inspiration and very nearly resorted to making hot buttered toast and reheating the stew and calling that dinner. Nothing wrong with that as an option – but I’m one of those souls who prefers to eat something different every night. I’m not that enamoured of a meal repeated unless it is Lemon Croissant Pudding for two – Decadent Indulgence! of course and I could happily have this twice in a  row!

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I’m going to call this ‘Rustic Chicken Filo Pie’ – for the sake of my reputation within the family as a ‘not too bad cook’! Sounds fancy eh?

Seriously I took some store-bought filo pastry from the refrigerator, and that leftover chicken stew from the night before and voila!

Filo or phyllo is very thin sheets of pastry commonly used in Greek, eastern European and Middle Eastern cuisines. It can be used for sweet dishes and savoury, and is known to be a healthier alternative to a flaky pastry. The pastry is made from flour and water with fat in the form of melted butter, spread or oil brushed on the layers as they are assembled for your recipe.

Lay a sheet of filo on a clean bench and take a pastry brush and brush olive oil on the sheet – I find this easier than melted butter.

Fold a sheet in half and lay in the bottom of a pie dish – repeat with another sheet of filo pastry to ensure the bottom the pie dish is covered.

Spoon in your leftover chicken stew.

Oil another sheet of filo pastry and then ‘scrunch’ it up in your hand, and place it on top of the stew. Repeat s-3 times depending on the size of your pie dish.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and pop into a hot oven for 30 minutes or until hot through.

And thankfully this was the leftover roast chicken, transformed to that delicious chicken stew and then finally into the ‘Rustic Filo Pie’ finished!

Kidding aside, this is the sort of cooking our mum’s and nana’s did when we were younger. A Sunday roast chicken fed the family, and their was always something leftover for another meal. The carcass became stock for soup, and the leftover chicken meat made its way into a risotto or if we were really lucky into our school lunch box. A chicken sandwich was always so much nicer than jam or peanut butter one!

In this season of saving towards first homes, and one income while at home with the children, it’s not a bad thing to know how to save a few dollars. With a little thought it’s possible to do this with family meals if you get back to basics.

Happy leftovers xx

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What to do with leftover roast chicken – make a chicken stew of course!

The household numbers just the two of us these days with the children all grown and living away from home.   So the days of cooking a roast chicken and making sausage meat balls to make the chicken go further are long gone and replaced with the other end of the scale issue – leftovers!

I have made a chicken risotto, chicken soup – and chicken enchiladas with the leftovers before. Some time ago a young work colleague told me about his favourite thing to do with his leftover chicken and I thought I would give it a go. 

Ingredients

  • 1 leftover roast chicken, stripped of meat (approx 300 grams)
  • Olive oil
  • 4 rashers of bacon, finely sliced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 potatoes, diced into 2 cm pieces
  • Fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200 grams button mushrooms, halved
  • 1 heaped tablespoon flour
  • Salt & pepper

Place the carcass in a large pot and break it up with a potato masher – cover with 1 litre of water, bring to the boil, then simmer for at least 30 minutes.

I used my Corning Ware casserole dish for the next stage of the cooking – I was given this as a wedding gift from my Uncle and Aunty in 1984 would you believe? It has been a great dish to own as you can cook with it on the stove top or in the oven – a super versatile dish which has been a well used over the years.  

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Splash some olive oil in your pan, and add the bacon to cook for a few minutes. Add the onion, carrots, potatoes along with the fresh thyme and bay leaves. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in the mushrooms, and chicken, along with the heaped tablespoon of flour.

Pour the stock through a sieve straight into the pan, and let simmer for 40 minutes, or until thickened. Season with salt & pepper to taste. IMG_0222.png

I served the stew on a mash of sweet potato for a quick and simple dinner during the week – if I had more time I would have made old-fashioned dumplings and popped these on top of the stew in the last 20 minutes of cooking time for a change, with a side of green beans!

A glass of red wine and you are set for a heartwarming meal that really is delicious – and a lovely change from using the leftover roast chicken in a risotto 🙂

Happy winter meals xx


Creamy Pesto Chicken Spaghetti & Zucchini Noodles

Creamy Pesto Chicken Spaghetti & Zucchini Noodles

Combining spaghetti with zucchini noodles reduces the carbs with deliciously quick & easy weeknight dinner – a sauce made with Light & Creamy Cooking Milk & Pesto, sliced chicken breast and grated parmesan cheese complete the dish.

I have not made zucchini noodles for a while now – no real reason for this other than I overdid this new food craze a few months ago! I was reminded of how easy they are to make as well as a healthy eating option when you should be watching your waistline 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 large (300g) large zucchinis
  • 200g spaghetti
  • 500g chicken breast, sliced thinly
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 375ml Light & Creamy Cooking Milk
  • 2 1/2 tsp cornflour
  • 110g good-quality basil pesto
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (40g) finely grated Parmesan
  • Cracked black pepper

Top & tail the zucchinis, and then use your spiraliser to create some noodles (if you don’t have one of these cool gadgets cut the zucchini into long thin ribbons, then use a sharp knife to cut each ribbon into thin strips)

Cook the spaghetti in a big pot of boiling salted water.

Heat a large frying pan – I used by deep wok!, and cook the onion, garlic and chicken for 5 minutes, or until golden & cooked through.

Blend the cornflour with the Light & Creamy Cooking Milk, add to the pan. Stir through the pesto & lemon zest.

Toss the zucchini and spaghetti with the pesto sauce, then season with cracked black pepper.

Pile onto plates and top with parmesan cheese – serve.

This recipe is enough for 4 for dinner – or for us; dinner and leftovers for lunch the next day!

During the working week having something quick & easy to prepare is important for me – but above all it must taste terrific otherwise what is the point of cooking or eating? Give this recipe a shot; I think this is one even the children will like 🙂

Happy cooking xx


Indian Cauliflower Rice with Tandoori Chicken

Hello fellow foodies and bloggers – long time no see, or in my case cook!

It has been a little while since I stopped to chat to you all – with my chief tester away in South Africa for three weeks; I didn’t have anyone to cook for except myself. And if any of you out there live alone, you will know what I mean when I say that cooking for one is not too inspiring!

I certainly didn’t bake for myself – and although my work colleagues thought I could have baked for them – I think I had lost my baking ‘mojo’ for that period of time.

This week I went to my GP for a check-up and review of some recent blood tests. These showed a couple of unhealthy markers – and before I knew it I was agreeing with him that losing a few pounds would be a good thing 🙂

Now, not only should I not be baking delicious cakes & cookies; but I need to give some thought to the low carb options, more fresh fruit and exercise! arghhh

So armed with a whole chicken already out for dinner; I set about considering what do make instead of the lovely roast potatoes, and roast chicken with gravy that had been on the menu. For me the most important thing is that food should taste amazing…the aroma of a good meal cooking is essential; and then it has to look good too. Who doesn’t eat with their eyes?

Tandoori Marinade for the chicken seemed like a good idea – along with some Cauliflower Rice. If you haven’t worked it out, the cauliflower rice is the low-carb option! so now all I needed to do was make it tasty.

To marinate a whole chicken (or 4 chicken pieces)

  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp onion powdertandoori-chicken
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

 

  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together, and coat your whole chicken (or pieces) well. Allow to marinate at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Cook chicken on a grill rack in the oven for 30 minutes each side, or until cooked through.

 

 

 

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Indian Spiced Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled, and Julienne them
  • 125g pineapple pieces
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped parsley to garnish
  1. Rinse your cauliflower, slicing it in half down the middle. Roughly chop and place into a food processor . Pulse in one-second intervals until the cauliflower  pieces are about the size of grains of rice.
  2. Mix all of the spices together and mix through the cauliflower. Set aside while you prepare the pan.
  3. In a large pan heat the butter and olive oil. When it is hot, add all of the cauliflower and carrot, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Just as the cauliflower is starting to feel tender, add the pineapple pieces to heat through.
  5. Take off the heat, and toss the chopped parsley through the pan.

(I pulsed a whole cauliflower and put half into a freezer bag  to save for another meal – 1/2 a head makes more than enough for two – in fact there was left over of the cooked ‘rice’for my lunch tomorrow!)

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I added broccoli to our meal – got to get those 5+ vegetables in per day somehow! and a dollop of my Eggplant Kasundi just because it seemed like a good match.

All in all the chief tester thought it was delicious, and I will definetely be making cauliflower rice again as a healthy alternative to starchy rice or potatoes.

Give it a  go – it was not only quick and easy to put together, but tasty too! And I suggest the children would not even suspect the ‘rice’ was cauliflower making this a perfect way to  introduce  more vegetables in for them too 🙂

Happy cooking xx