Monday, 24 October 2011

Curried Vegetable & Lentil Soup

This is a hum-dinger of a soup recipe, just perfect.  Hearty, spicy, wholesome and another recipe from weight watchers.

Curried Vegetable and Lentil Soup
Serves 4   2 Pro Points per serving

5 sprays Lo Cal oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbs curry powder
2 medium carrots, chunky chopped
150g butternut squash, peeled and chunky chopped
1 medium courgette, chunky chopped
1 ltr vegetable stock, made from cube
2 tbs tomato puree
75g split red lentils

In a stock pot, use the lo cal spray and heat, add the onion and garlic and gently fry until soft.  Add the curry powder and stir in for a minute.  Add the rest of the veg and mix together and then pour in the stock, tomato puree and lentils.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until the veg are tender.  The soup will have thickened nicely, add S&P to taste.

I made two batches of this soup over the weekend, it was that delicious!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Two chicken & Tomato Recipes

Ok, if you have read my blog before, you will know of my quest for as many different chicken and tomato dishes as possible, or so it seems. Obsession? Possibly. So this week I found myself cooking two similar dishes, there are subtle differences, so you get 2 for the price of 1 with the following recipes.

Chicken & Tomatoes on the Oven
Serves 2 Weight Watchers Pro Points per serving 17

4 chicken thighs with skin on
1 can chopped plum tomatoes
Handful chopped mushrooms
2 tsp olive oil
1 red pepper chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp Harissa paste
1 sprig thyme leaves, fresh
120g cous cous, dry weight

Heat the oil on a pan, add the garlic and Harissa paste and chicken and fry gently until golden.  Pour over the tomatoes, add the pepper, mushrooms and thyme and bring to a simmer, them pop into the oven at 160oc for 1 hour.
Make up the cous cous as per instruction and serve.

The harissa gives a lovely delicate spice flavour and the skin will go lovely and crispy on the chicken - a bit of a treat.  I used my terracotta cooking pot - for use on hob and in oven and it worked a treat, not to harsh on the frying, retaining the heat well in the oven.

Spanish Chicken in the Slow Cooker
Serves 2 Weight Watcher pro Points per serving 14

4 chicken thighs - skinless
80g Chorizo, cut into cubes
2 cans chopped plum tomatoes, or less if you prefer less sauce
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, cut into batons
1 tblsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne

Toss everything in the slow cooker and cook on low all day or on high for 6 hours.
Serve with 150g new potatoes at 3pp to bring the total up to 17pp for the dish.

The meat was so tender in this dish it just fell off the bone, the seasoning was subtle but very tasty, the flavour of the chorizo really comes through.  I did make it up with the two cans of tomatoes and there would have been enough sauce for 4! so I will reduce the quantity next time.

This recipe I picked up from the Weight Watchers recipe exchange online, I think you have to be a member to view, but well worth it for a wide range of healthy recipe ideas.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Mexican Chicken with Garlic & Chilli

After two glorious weeks on the Greek island of Kefalonia, I have returned back to the UK - 4lbs heavier than when I went, but that is OK, the Stifados, Feta & Spinach Pies and Baklava on offer were all more than worth it.  But now it is back to the Weight Watchers grind stone.  I found this recipe on their website and thought it light and summery (to match our Indian Summer in the UK) and still pretty light on the calorie front.

Garlic Mexican Chicken with Chillies and Crispy Polenta
Serves 4, 6 Pro Points per serving.

450g Chicken breasts, skinned
Fresh coriander
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 chicken stock cube
90g raw polenta
8 tbls tomato puree
2 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Radishes - sliced
Spring onions - sliced
Low cal cooking spray

In a pan place the chicken, a couple sprigs or coriander and a clove of garlic, cover with boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is tender.  Drain and retain the cooking juice, discard the garlic and coriander.

Shred the chicken and set aside.

Back into the pan place 600ml of cooking liquid and the stock cube, bring to the boil and slowly add the polenta, stirring for a minute, then reduce heat and continue to cook for 4 minutes stirring occasionally.  Spray a baking sheet with low call oil and then pour out the polenta and spread flat to a thickness of approx. 2cm.  Leave to set.

Heat a small pan and toss in the remaining unpeeled garlic cloves. Dry fry until blackened ad soft, remove, peel and chop.

Cut the set polenta into 4 and spray a non-stick frying pan with low cal oil and fry the polenta pieces a couple of minutes each side until golden and crispy.

In a pan mix together the tomato puree, chilli flakes, cumin and garlic with 2 tbls water (I also used the juice from a can of plum tomatoes to loosen it up a little) S&P to taste. Add the chicken and heat gently for a couple of minutes.

Serve the chicken on top of the polenta with sliced radish, sping onions and some chopped coriander.