Spice up your January

FOOD

Wow, it has started to get cold here in Mayo. Driving is treacherous, tourism is almost non-existent, and everyone is off the beer or on a diet. January is a month for staying in beside a big fire and staying warm.

Low fat chicken curry

Diets do not have to be boring, spice them up a bit with my low fat chicken curry recipe. Go on, give it a try.

Ingredients

½ cup plain low-fat yogurt

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon curry powder

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon salt

1 dash ground red pepper

1 ½ lbs chicken pieces, skinned

2 teaspoons low fat spray

½ cup chopped tomato

1 bay leaf

Method

In a bowl, mix the yogurt and seasonings and then add the chicken pieces, turning to coat them all over. Leave to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a wok or a frying pan, heat the low fat spray and then add the onion and cook until lightly browned. Add tomatoes and bay leaf and let it simmer for five minutes and then add the chicken and marinade mixture and stir to combine.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and let it simmer, turning once or twice, until the chicken is tender, it takes about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving. You should try this delicious curry with brown rice as it is so much healthier than white rice.

Stir-fried chicken with broccoli, red peppers and cashews

Stirfry

This super easy stir-fry is packed with flavour. I tossed in some chopped cashews for lots of crunch. This serves four people.

Ingredients

2 tsp low fat cooking spray

1 ½ tbsp ginger root, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 lb uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into

½ inch pieces

1 large sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 uncooked head of broccoli, cut into florets

2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

20 cashews, roasted, unsalted, roughly chopped

Method

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the low fat cooking spray, all the ginger and garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry until starting to brown, about three to four minutes. Add the pepper and broccoli and stir-fry for another three minutes, pour in the soy sauce and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about two minutes more. Sprinkle on cashews and serve.

Chef tip

A regular reader of this page, Gene in Claremorris e-mailed me last week wondering how she could spice up her stir fries without having to go out and spend money on pre prepared sauces, so I will let you into a little chef's secret, that is cheap and easy to buy and lasts for ages in the fridge

Buy a bit of fresh ginger, remove the skin and chop it up, add a few chillies, chopped seeds in and a bulb of garlic, skin off, and buzz it all up in a food processor with some sesame oil and then put it in a tight lidded container and keep in your fridge. Then whenever you are making a stir fry add a teaspoon per person to your meat and a splash of soy sauce and you will be amazed the difference that it makes to the dish. You could also use the low fat spray instead of the sesame oil for a lower fat version.

If you have any kitchen queries or want a chef’s tip, contact me on [email protected] and I will do my best to help you out, Talk to you all next week!

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