Saturday, 20 September 2014

Vitamix Green Power Smoothie

Vitamix Green Power Smoothie

I don't know about you but whenever I am very stressed I always come down with a horrible cold, or terrible infection or, on one memorable occasion, a boil on my head (how very Victorian of me!). I have been terribly overworked lately and with the kitchen in a state of demolition and being cooped up with two kids in the living room... Yup, back to the doctor I go.

To combat the stress I turned to the Vitamix and created my Green (Super) Power Smoothie. I literally felt the vitamins coursing through my veins and fighting off the infection Powerpuff Girls –style. Anything that bright green just gotta be good for you!

Sidebar: I received the oddest thing the other day - an avocado the size of a large Easter egg. No exaggeration, it was enormous. I used 1/4 of it in this smoothie and had enough left over for a huge batch of guacamole. The Avozilla avocado (available exclusively through Tesco) had vivid green flesh and a great buttery texture. Only problem is, once it's ripe it has to be used immediately so plan some avocado recipes in advance!

Vitamix Green Power Smoothie
Serves 2
2 sweet apples (Pink lady), cored and quartered
1 small avocado (or 1/4 of an Avozilla!)
1/4 cucumber
1 cm (1/2) ginger, peeled and sliced
1/2 lemon, peeled
150g | 5.3oz spinach (or kale, hard central vein removed, chopped)
1-2 tbsp honey
Handful ice cubes or ice water

Method
  1. Put all the ingredients in the Vitamix, in this order: ginger, apples, lemon, cucumber, avocado, honey and spinach.
  2. Turn the dial to speed 1 and start pulsing. Increase the speed gradually and use the tamper to push the spinach down.
  3. Stop the Vitamix and turn the dial to 'smoothies' if you prefer really smooth texture. You can add ice cubes or water to achieve the right consistency.
Vitamix Green Power Smoothie



Friday, 19 September 2014

Easy Thai Green Chicken Curry

Easy Thai Green Chicken Curry

The biggest temptation when living without a kitchen, even with a functional temporary kitchen in place, is ordering takeaway seven days a week. It's a temptation we have given into repeatedly 10 days into our kitchen renovation but a frequently unhealthy and extremely expensive one.

When Sainsbury's asked if I wanted to sample their bySainsbury’s make away range I very hastily agreed. The range offers almost everything you need to recreate popular Italian, Chinese, Indian and Thai dishes at home. I went for the Thai option as I am a big fan (and simultaneously very disappointed in the local Thai takeaway).

Making a very tasty Thai Green Chicken curry at home is embarrassingly easy – even if you are cooking in the living room. I used the Multifry to make this as, guess what, none of my pots work on the (borrowed) induction hob. 

Ingredients
Serves 4
4 large skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 onion, diced
2 red bell peppers, sliced
400g | 14oz can coconut milk
3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
2-3 tbsp green curry paste
2 tbsp palm or dark brown sugar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 cm (1/2 in) ginger, peeled and finely diced
Handful mange tout or sugarsnap peas, sliced lengthwise
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 red chilli, sliced into thin strips
4-5 basil leaves (Thai basil if possible)
Rapeseed or vegetable oil to fry

Method
  1. Heat 1 tbsp rapeseed oil in a large pot and fry the onion over medium-low heat until soft.
  2. Add the chopped bell pepper and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken and brown.
  3. Add the curry paste and stir together.
  4. Add the kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and ginger. Stir together and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Add the mange tout and cook for a couple of minutes. Garnish with torn basil leaves and the red chilli.
  6. Serve with plenty of sticky Thai rice to soak up the lovely broth.
Multifry method
  1. Fill the measuring cup to level 4 with rapeseed oil and add to the Multifry bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the chopped onion.
  2. Set the thermostat to position 4, press the bottom heating element button and turn the Multifry on. Cook for 8 minutes then add the peppers and cook for a further 4 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and paste and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and ginger and cook for 15 minutes or until chicken strips are cooked through.
  5. Add the mangetout right before you are ready to serve and cook for a couple of minutes.
Notes: Kaffir lime leaves can be found in ethnic supermarkets. If you can't get any substitute with a little grated lime zest. You can use prawns instead of chicken if you prefer.

Sainsbury's send me a range of their bySainsbury's Thai products which I used to create this recipe.

Easy Thai Green Chicken Curry