Tag Archives: Dinner

Chicken and Bean Sprout Stir Fry

We all know how difficult it is to keep eating healthily when there’s so much temptation out there, especially when there are so many meals you could cook on a Sunday. To try to keep things exciting, I spent Friday night flipping through cookery books and writing a shopping list. I always find that trying new recipes is the best way to make the effort less tiresome. 

This isn’t the most exciting or glamorous looking dish, but it’s light, quick and healthy with plenty of flavour. Besides, I rather think the chopped fresh veg look pretty exciting.

 
You will need:

A couple of handfuls of bean sprouts or mixed stir fry veg

1 chicken breast, or whichever fish or meat you like.

Additional vegetables according to your taste or what you have in the fridge. I sliced up some mangetout, half a red pepper, a few florets of broccoli and a third of a tin of bamboo shoots. 

1 tbsp oyster sauce 

1 tbsp soy sauce

A dash of sesame oil 

1 tbsp xaioshing rice wine or sherry 

A dash of groundnut oil for frying

Rice or noodles to serve

  
1. The key to stir frying is to be prepared! I like to chop up all my veg first, mix the sauce ingredients up in a ramekin and get the pan nice and hot (as well as timing your accompaniment so it will be ready at the same time – I used brown rice so I had that on the go before I started cooking anything else).

2. Once your oil groundnut oil is up to speed in the pan, chuck in your harder veg, such as the peppers, to let it soften a little first.  Add in the rest of the veg and slice your chicken.

3. Add about a third of your flavouring mixture to the veg, then add the rest once the chicken has taken on colour on both sides.

4. Stir, and cook until the chicken is cooked through.  Serve and enjoy!

  

Ginger, Honey, Soy Baked Salmon

Hi everyone!

I’m finally back! I’m afraid I’ve been off the grid a bit recently preparing for a ridiculously hard pensions exam. At last, it’s over, and I can start spending my free time on things I actually like doing. Studying on top of a full time job is pretty difficult and exhausting, especially when you’re also trying to fit in your pre-summer workout whilst trying to eat fresh and healthy and not letting your home turn into a dive. 

Thankfully, I discovered this little recipe through a combination of googling and using what I had in the cup airs and fridge and it’s seen me through a good few evenings of fresh, tasty, light dinner. 

  

You will need:

1 salmon fillet per person

Marinade, also per person, so double, triple, quadruple as required 

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp runny honey

1 clove garlic

2 tsp grated ginger

chilli powder or flakes to taste, depending how much spice you like 

1 tsp lemon juice 

  

1. Grate the garlic and ginger. Mix together the other ingredients in a ramekin or bowl. 

2. If you have the time and/or inclination, put the salmon in a freezer or sandwich bag and marinate in the sauce for about 10-20 minutes. If you don’t, cover the salmon in the sauce and place it on a piece of tin foil as far ahead as you can manage. 

3. Bake at 180C for 8 minutes or so. If you don’t wrap it up, the honey should caramelise around the edges, but even if it doesn’t, this is delicious!

Serve with roasted vegetables or green beans and rice.

Rib Eye Steak with Oven-Baked Chips

This is a great weekend night supper. It doesn’t take that long to cook, but it’s a nice treat to cook for people you love, and to enjoy with a nice glass of red wine.

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There are a number of cardinal rules for steak:

1. Buy the highest quality beef your budget allows. I like rib eye because it’s marbled with fat which adds more flavour to the steak, but you have to heed how thick it’s been cut when you’re considering the cooking time.

2. Take it out of the fridge at least half an hour before you intend to cook it. To get flavour, you need colour, and to get colour, you need the steak to sear on the outside, not boil.

3. Season. Salt and pepper always, but I think paprika adds an extra something delicious to the mix.

4. Oil the steak on both sides after seasoning, not the pan.

5. Heat the griddle/pan until it’s smoking hot. Cook for max 2 mins each side for a medium steak (depending on the thickness). But be careful not to burn yourself like I did.

6. Rest. It might be a cliché but it’s really important to let the grain relax, preventing a chewy steak.

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For the chips, you need an oven as hot as you dare, about 200 – 220C should do it. Pour a couple of tablespoons of oil on a tray and pop it on the top shelf of the oven to heat. Cut a couple of large potatoes into narrow wedges and season. Once the oil is hot, chuck them in the tray, carefully toss them around and put in the oven. They should take about 30- 40 minutes to get nice and crisp, so keep an eye on them and turn once when they’re more than halfway ready.

Serve with caramelised onions, mushrooms, cubed and cooked in butter and mustard or ketchup on the side. Also great with roasted peppers!

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Happy Valentine’s (from one without a Valentine)

So here’s to another February 14th. I know that most people have a love/hate relationship with this day (or a hate/hate relationship if your name is Charles) but nevertheless, happen it will every year.

I, personally, forego this holiday every year because my boyfriend doesn’t believe in its commerciality. It’s fair enough, he treats me better than any girl deserves, but still, I love love and if we think we’re a good together, then we should be nailing Valentine’s Day, not shunning it. And all girls like to find a man on their doorstep holding a bouquet big enough to block out his head.

For those of you who criticise the commerciality of the day, spare a thought for the local florists, gift shops, butchers, bakers and restaurants who rely on this day every year to make up for the January slump. It is always lovely to see a man walking down the street with a stunning bouquet for his lady. Supermarkets, confectioners and Hallmark, though, you guys are vultures. If you’re going to do it, gentlemen, here are some tips for you:

1. If you’re going to buy her flowers, go for a single rose from a local florist, or a completely unrelated bouquet variety.

2. If you’re going to buy her a trite old teddy bear or other cliched gift, think again! Get her something she would want any day of the year: a book, perfume, a candle, something for her home. True romance is about what’s in your heart, not your wallet.

3. If you’re going to feed her, take her to a local restaurant (not a chain!) or make her something from scratch (not a dine in for two meal deal!) preferably from local produce.

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4. Don’t watch 50 Shades of Grey.

5. Don’t propose! It’s just as clichéd as a New Year proposal.

So what do you do if you aren’t in a relationship and that ‘secret admirer’ hasn’t turned up to surprise you at the last minute? Don’t wallow! Remember, the ones who are taking part are probably doing so reluctantly, or because they want something from their special lady. If they can’t love you every day or treat you as you deserve, they’re not worth your time.

Have the girls over, put on a DVD and drink wine. Maybe cocktails. No ice cream. Ice cream is for wallowers. If all your girls are on dates, treat yourself, on your own. Cook yourself your favourite dinner, have a hot bubble bath with music, a book, candles (don’t burn the house down) and a glass of wine. Don’t cry. Make yourself pretty, put on your favourite pjs and watch a comedy. Or a horror. Whatever. Don’t cry. It’s just a day. Tomorrow will swing around soon enough. And if all else fails, it’s Pancake Day on Tuesday!