Chicken & Spinach Curry

I’ve been making this curry for a while now, and I’m finally happy with the recipe for this one. This recipe includes a homemade curry paste, which you can find here. You can use a jarred curry paste by all means as well.

35473009_10154812595814229_7030298887260733440_n

What: 

  • 2 chicken breast fillets, diced
  • curry paste – I use all of the paste made in this recipe, if a shop bought jar use 2 tablespoons. A massaman curry paste would work well here
  • Frozen peppers
  • Spinach
  • 1x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 teaspoons curry powder
  • Water (fill the empty tinned tomato tin)

 

How:

  • Dice the chicken fillets, and add to a wok/sautee pan with curry paste. Cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly to coat the chicken

 

 

  • Move off the heat, and scrap the chicken to one side to leave a space to add the curry powder
  • Move back onto the heat, allowing the curry powder to gently cook for around 30 seconds, be careful to not let the powder burn. Once you can smell the curry powder toasting, mix thoroughly and incorporate the curry powder through the chicken and paste.

 

  • Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, and then fill the tin with water, and add
  • Add frozen peppers and spinach, as much or as little as you want, and any veg you have to use
  • Bring to a low heat and stir frequently for 15-20 minutes
  • Curry flavour tends to improve with time and often tastes better the next day. Let it cool thoroughly before placing in the fridge where it can keep in sealed tupperware for 2-3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

 

If you have a go at this recipe make sure to show me on instagram with #studentfoodbible or tag me @stufoodbible

Advertisements

Homemade Curry Paste

I love to make a curry paste as the basis for most curries I make, almost regardless to the type of curry I’m making the paste will pretty much be the same. I use the chopper part of my blender to make the paste or a  mini chopper like this one would do the job. It makes more sense to get a 3-in-1 type of blender to get the stick blender for soup. This is the most used appliance I use in the kitchen and cannot recommend enough!

There are many delicious curry paste recipes out there, a lot with dry spices in the paste. This is the more student friendly version, and I find this paste is more versatile, as spices can be added when making curry. I also use this paste to cook chicken in to give it a bit more life to add to a salad, like this one

IMG_5500

 

What:

  • 2 shallots
  • 6-7 garlic cloves
  • 1 small green chilli, 1 small red chilli
  • thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 spring onions
  • 35g coriander
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Teaspoon of peanut butter

IMG_5863

 

How:

  • Peel garlic cloves, peel and chop the ginger, peel the shallots and cut in half, add to the blender and blitz
  • Scrape the contents from the sides back down to the bottom when necessary
  • Cut the spring onions into thirds, roughly chop the coriander and chillies and add to the blender
  • Again, scrape back down when necessary to make sure the blade is getting through the ingredients at the bottom
  • Add the peanut butter, roll the lime against the chopping board to loosen the juice, cut in half and squeeze the juice from both parts in to the blender
  • Blend until the paste is as smooth as you can get it

IMG_5864

This is ready to use straight away, keep in the fridge in a sandwich bag for a few days or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

 

If you use this let me know on instagram with #studentfoodbible or tag me @stufoodbible

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Autumn is here and that means one thing; soup. I’m starting with a Thai Chicken Noodle Soup that really packs a punch, full of colourful veg and a fiery taste.

 

IMG_3400

 

 

What:

  • One chicken fillet – Diced into very small pieces
  • 300g Rice noodles
  • 2 carrots – cut into thin, tiny chunks
  • 1 Leek – Discard the leafy, dark green top and finely shred the remainder
  • 5 Spring Onions diced –  keep a handful aside to garnish
  • 2inch piece of ginger, peeled and diced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 red chillies (This is optional – 2 chillies makes a very, very hot soup) diced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon frozen Thai Herb blend from Asda
  • 900ml chicken stock
  • 450ml boiling water
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

    L-R: Carrots, ginger, leek, spring onion

    IMG_3391

    Garlic and diced chilli

     

How:

  • Chop the carrots, leek, spring onions, garlic, ginger, and chilli and add to a saucepan with the olive oil
  • Add the finely cut chicken fillet and a sprinkle of salt
  • Stir over a medium heat until you notice the veg start to soften and the chicken turn white, this will be about 5 minutes
  • Prepare the chicken stock and add in, then use the same jug to add the boiling water
  • Add the fish sauce and soy sauce
  • Simmer for 10-12 minutes to make sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked
  • Sprinkle in the frozen thai herb blend
  • Add the noodles – You can add fresh noodles or dried, whichever you prefer
  • Simmer for a further 5-7 minutes to cook the noodles
  • Serve topped with the remaining spring onions

IMG_3392

 

You might find that as the soup sits in the pot for a while the noodles absorb lots of the water and it doesn’t much resemble soup. Add more boiling water, and a little dash of the fish sauce and soy sauce to maintain the flavour.

If you choose to use dried noodles, start with two nests and add more if you wish.

A good tip before serving is to use some clean scissors to cut the noodles whilst its still in the pot. This makes 4-5 portions which you can keep in the fridge for 2 days or freeze.

If you make this make sure to show me on instagram with #studentfoodbible

 

Spinach & Red Lentil Daal

This is a good one. It’s taken a few tweaks to get this right but I’m finally happy with it. Packed full of flavour and goodness, and not to mention cheap, this is a student food staple you’re going to find yourself making again and again.

IMG_1060

What:

  • 150g red lentils (rinsed under cold running water through a sieve)
  • Spinach, in loose terms, loads. Fresh or frozen works perfectly well, the more the better. Aim for at least 100g of fresh, or 4 of the frozen blocks
  • 2 shallots/onions
  • Olive oil/Rapeseed oil/coconut oil/calorie controlled spray
  • 4 cloves of garlic (or as many as you want, there really is no upper limit)
  • One green chilli (Seeds optional)
  • Ground coriander
  • Ground cumin/Cumin seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Curry powder
  • 600-650 ml vegetable stock

IMG_1127.jpg

How:

  • Dice shallots/onion finely. Crush garlic cloves. Finely dice one green chilli, you can remove or choose to add the seeds
  • In your pot/pan gently heat 2 tablespoons of oil/spray, adding the diced shallots/onion to the pan
  • Keep on this low heat for 5 minutes, letting the shallots/onion cook gently. Add the garlic, and remain on this low heat for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Take the pan off the heat, and add your spices. Approx a heaped teaspoon of each, and one heaped tablespoon of curry powder
  • Return to a gentle heat, stirring the spices into the mix, and allowing the spices to warm up and begin to cook. Be careful not to let the spices burn, you just want to be able to really start smelling the spices as they cook
  • Add the rinsed lentils, stirring through the spice mix and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every so often
  • Add the vegetable stock gradually, making sure to stir all the ingredients together. The lentils will absorb some of the stock, puffing up in the process. Add 150mls or so of stock at a time, every couple of minutes
  • When about 3/4 of the stock is added, add the spinach. If using frozen spinach you may need to give it a quick blast in the microwave before adding it to the dish. Fresh spinach can be added as it is. The frozen spinach will release some water into the mix, this too will be absorbed by the lentils
  • Add the remainder of your vegetable stock and bring to a medium heat, letting the daal bubble gently. Be careful not to let it stick to the bottom once the heat has gone up, so keep stirring
  • The lentils should cook for 20-25 minutes at a simmer. If you need to add more water to this, that’s perfectly fine. Just add boiling water gradually, and stirring it through
  • Add another teaspoon of curry powder to the mix
  • It’s best to judge whether this is done by tasting to see if the lentils are still hard. Half an hour should be enough time for this dish to be ready to serve

IMG_1116IMG_1119IMG_1120IMG_1121IMG_1122

Between the first and second image you can see I’ve added lots more spinach on the second attempt. It tastes great and is a really easy way to increase the nutritional goodness of this dish. Daal can go with pretty much anything, as I’ve paired it with chicken sausages and roast chicken in the pictures above, it can be a tasty side dish for a curry, or just as good by itself. This is a perfect recipe for batch cooking, just double the ingredients listed above for a generous 6 portions. Let it cool completely before keeping in the fridge for 2 days, or portion it out and keep in the freezer. Give it a go, you won’t regret it.

If you make this make sure to show me on instagram with #studentfoodbible

Tortilla Wrap Pizzas

Everyone loves pizza. What I don’t love however is the extortionate overpricing; when a takeaway pizza can only seem affordable in a large group on a Tuesday, something isn’t right. This is where the  tortilla wrap pizza comes in; it’s cheap, easy, quick and can be suited to everyone’s taste. I gave this a go to see what it was like and loved the result, so much so that it’s been my go to meal over the last week. Give it a go the next time a pizza craving hits you, but your bank account isn’t too happy about it.

 

img_0851

What:

  • Tortilla wrap (Wholegrain/plain/flavoured – whatever you fancy)
  • 2 tablespoons of passata
  • 40g mozzarella torn
  • 2 slices of Wafer thin ham
  • Handful of rocket
  • Jalapeños
  • Chilli flakes

This is what I used in the picture below, of course this can be adapted to everyone’s preference and fridge contents. Keep the passata base and throw whatever you fancy on top

img_0852

 

How:

  • Preheat your oven at 180 degrees
  • First you need to lightly toast the tortilla wraps. I used a sandwich toaster for this part, toasting the wrap for around a minute and regularly turning the wrap over so one side didn’t burn. Alternatively you could dry fry the wrap over a very low heat. Place the wrap in a dry frying pan, and again turning regularly
  • Spread the passata over the wrap and then add the remainder of your toppings
  • Place on a baking tray and put in the oven for 10-12 minutes. You’ll need to keep an eye on this so the edges don’t burn, so check it a few times

 

img_0853

That’s it. Done. You can knock this together quicker than any delivery can arrive. If you make this make sure to show me on instagram with #studentfoodbible

Roast Veg Lasagne

It has been far too long since I posted a recipe, so to rectify this somewhat I’m starting the new year (I might even be too late to reference new year) with this healthy recipe. Just like everyone else I am focusing on healthy, but tasty, recipes. This lasagne is missing the creaminess of your standard lasagne, and there is no cheese I’m afraid. It does however fill you up, have rich flavours and is good simple food. Enjoy

img_0696

What:

  • 2 large courgettes
  • 6 large round tomatoes
  • 4 peppers (yellow and red work best)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Calorie controlled spray/olive oil
  • 1 jar of passata
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 fresh lasagne sheets
  • 1 tablespoon Quark (cheese does sneak into this recipe, sort of). Philadelphia or a soft cheese can be used instead, or left out altogether
  • Dried herbs (Mixed Italian herbs/basil/oregano/rosemary)
  • Salt & Pepper

How:

  • Chop the courgettes, peppers and tomatoes into large chunks
  • Place in your baking dish, spray with calorie controlled spray/drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the veg and season with salt & pepper
  • Roast in the oven at 180 for around 40 mins
  • Place the tinned tomatoes and passata in a pot and gently heat, adding your crushed garlic cloves, salt & pepper and herbs
  • Take off the heat and stir in Quark/soft cheese (This step can be left out if you choose not to use a cheese)
  • When the veg are roasted, remove half from the dish and set aside. With the veg that remain in the dish place two lasagne sheets over the top, and pour half of your tomato sauce over the top.
  • Place the remaining veg on top, followed by two lasagne sheets, and the remainder of your tomato sauce
  • Ensure that the top layer of lasagne sheets are totally covered in the tomato sauce, as they will harden as the dish cooks. If there is not enough sauce to cover this, cover the dish with tinfoil
  • Bake in the oven at 180 for around 40 minutes.

 

This is a really simple recipe, very little goes into it and the real work is done in roasting the veg. That’s where all the flavour comes from. This might be more like a ratatouille with the addition of some pasta, and not strictly a lasagne. It is however cheap, tasty and healthy. This is a bit of a loose recipe, if you have more veg to use up or some in the fridge that isn’t listed above, throw it in. It’s hard to find a vegetable that doesn’t taste better after a while in the oven. This can be kept in the fridge for a few days, once it’s properly cooled, or frozen. It’s also the type of dish that tastes better after a day or two when the flavours develop even more.

 

If you make this make sure to show me on instagram with #studentfoodbible

Chicken & Broccoli Bake

It’s been quite a while since my last recipe post, apologies for the hiatus! The last few weeks have been quite busy, I’ve moved back home after 4 years in Glasgow and started studying medicine! Uni is busy, I’m travelling 80 miles most days(!) and it’s taken longer than expected to fall into a good routine. I”m finally getting there, which means more cooking and more recipe posts. So here we go

Last week I saw on facebook that Mash Direct were running a competition to make anything you wanted, as long as it included one of their products. Chicken and Broccoli bake with Mash Direct champ on top was my entry, and turned out to be one of my most popular instagram posts. This makes 3 generous portions, serve up with some veg for a perfectly healthy dinner.

img_0201-2

 

img_0225

What:

  • 1 large chicken breast, diced into chunks
  • Broccoli (fresh or frozen, frozen being great value)
  • 200g mushrooms chopped
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 1 melting chicken stock pot
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Mash Direct Champ
  • Fry light
img_0176

All your ingredients!

How:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Cut the chicken into chunks, chop mushrooms, and crush the garlic
  • Brown the chicken in a large frying pan, first spraying the pan with Fry Light
  • Season the chicken with salt & pepper, adding the garlic after a few minutes so it doesn’t burn. Cook the chicken for 10 minutes, it just needs to be sealed as it will be going into the oven later
  • Steam or boil the broccoli for 8-10 minutes – This process is the same whether you choose to use frozen or fresh, just break into smaller pieces first
  • Cook the mushrooms in a deep pot, a large soup pot is best, on a low heat, stirring occasionally . Be generous adding ground black pepper, 2-3 teaspoons at least
img_0178

Mushrooms cooking with black pepper

  • When the mushrooms have cooked down and appear soft and brown, add in the melting chicken stock pot and 200ml coconut milk, stirring everything together. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat
img_0182

Add chicken stock pot and coconut milk to the mushrooms

  • Blend the mushrooms and coconut milk mixture until it is smooth
  • Place the chicken and broccoli into an oven proof dish, pour over the mushroom sauce and then top with the champ
  • The champ is normally cooked in the microwave, I put it in the microwave for 3 minutes to soften it to be able to spread it over the top of the bake
img_0183

Place the chicken and broccoli into an oven proof dish

img_0184

img_0200

Spread the champ on top, cover in tinfoil and into the oven

  • Cover with tinfoil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  • Remove tinfoil and cook for a further 5 minutes to crisp up the top

img_0201-2

img_0226

This dish can be made without a top at all, or a breadcrumb top, the choice is yours. I made this exact same dish last week with a breadcrumb top instead. Just blend 3-4 slices of any bread you have that’s beginning to go a little stale

img_0145-2

 

This is a perfect dish to pack veg into, and to batch cook as it will keep in the fridge for 2 days. If you make this make sure to show me on instagram with #studentfoodbible

 

 

Rosemary & Garlic Hasselback Potatoes

This is a simple recipe that produces a dish that looks much more impressive than you would think. A tasty side suitable for any dish, why not give this one a go. The garlic butter part of the recipe below should make enough to cover around 8 new potatoes.

IMG_5198

What:

  • New potatoes (2-3 per person as a side)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • Salt & Pepper

How:

  • Preheat an oven to gas mark 6/180 degrees
  • Rinse the potatoes under cold water, scrubbing off any soil there may still be on them
  • Place the each potato in a wooden spoon to cut, you want to cut the potato into thin slices along its length, without cutting right through. By cutting the potatoes when they are sitting in the spoon, the knife will hit the spoon before the end of the potato, ensuring that the potato stays wholeIMG_5150
  • Mix the butter, garlic and rosemary together and spread over the top of the cut potatoes, fanning the slices out and spreading the butter between the slicesIMG_5152
  • Cover an oven tray with tinfoil, place the potatoes in with the butter side up, season with salt & Pepper, and cover completely with the tinfoil
  • Cook for around 45-50 minutes covered
  • Cook for a further 10 minutes uncovered, allowing the potatoes to crisp

 

If you make this make sure to show me on instagram with #studentfoodbible

Leek & Celery Soup

When vegetables are starting to look a little worse for wear, and are in the reduced aisle in supermarkets there’s only one thing to do with them, make soup. I spotted celery for 17p last night which I couldn’t resist. Making your own soup is one of the cheapest meals you can make, packed full of veg and easy to freeze. Soup is the ultimate cheap eat for the savvy student. A large pot makes making soup a lot easier, and is versatile for many other dishes too,  this one from ikea ticks all the boxes.

IMG_5109

I chose to add in a bag of soffrito, which is just a vegetable base for soup consisting of red onion, carrot and celery. You could just as easily make this yourself with one red onion and one carrot chopped, forgoing the celery as there’s plenty already going in. Try to buy vegetables loose, the price per kg is almost always cheaper and you don’t buy more than you need to. It tends to be larger supermarkets that offer a wider range of loose vegetables, or independent fruit & veg shops.

What:

  • Celery – About 8-10 stalks chopped
  • 2 medium leeks chopped
  • 1 packet soup veg mix/soffrito
  • 800ml of Bouillon Vegetable Stock (or any vegetable stock cubes)
  • 250ml boiling water
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil

IMG_5110IMG_5113

How: 

  • Chop the veg and rinse through a colander under cold water
  • Pour the olive oil into the soup pot on a gentle heat
  • Add the soffrito/soup base and gently stir occasionally, seasoning with salt & pepper
  • Next add in the chopped leeks and celery, allowing to cook down and soften for about 10 minutes
  • Prepare the Bouillon stock and add to the pot, along with the boiling water
  • Set the lid on and let the vegetables cook gently for a further 15-20 minutes
  • You can leave it at this point if you like a chunky vegetable soup, otherwise take off the heat and use a stick blender
  • This part is down to personal preference, the longer you blend for the fewer chunks there will be

IMG_5116

This recipe makes for a fairly thick soup. It’s safer to err on the side of caution at first, adding in more water to make a thinner, or runnier soup. Soup can be frozen easily in tupperware, defrosting quickly when desired. You can extend the quantity of the soup after some has been eaten by adding more water with a little stock to maintain the flavour. You can also throw in whatever vegetables you have at the back of the fridge, nothing takes care of them better than a soup.

Mushroom & Tarragon Chicken

Having just landed back from Italy and with only a few hours before I had to be in work, I did a supermarket sweep style dash around the shops to pick up a few pieces to throw a packed lunch together. After two weeks enjoying the most delicious food in Italy, I couldn’t bear to have an overpriced ready meal in work, resulting in this Mushroom & Tarragon Chicken. This is a bit of a bare bones recipe which you can easily adapt to your own taste with some different veg or sides. Make enough for 4 portions and keep it in the fridge, or put some in the freezer for when you too are tight for time.

IMG_4816

The packed lunch version with microwave wholegrain rice & quinoa

 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 5-6 Chestnut mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 450-500g chicken breast (the smaller it’s cut, the quicker it will cook)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 spring onions chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of dried tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper – Granny’s Spice Salt from Tiger is a gamechanger
  • 3 tablespoons of Creme Fraiche
  • Rice, pasta, or quinoa to serve. This one’s up to you

 

How: 

  • Peel and chop the garlic, chop the mushrooms, tomatoes and spring onions. Keep a few spring onions to the side to garnish at the end
  • On a different chopping board cut the chicken breast into small chunks
  • Heat the oil on a low heat in a frying pan
  • Add the chicken to the frying pan, seasoning with salt and pepper and dried tarragon
  • Stir occasionally, letting the chicken brown on a medium heat. After a few minutes add the garlic, mushroom, spring onion, and tomatoes. Adding garlic in a little later than at the start of cooking stops the garlic from burning and brings out the flavour in a much nicer way
  • Let the ingredients cook together for about 10-12 minutes. Some water will be released from the tomatoes and chicken, let this reduce until there’s just a little water remaining in the pan
  • Reduce to the lowest heat, add 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper and stir through the creme fraiche
  • Serve alone or with rice, pasta or quinoa, or anything you fancy, and sprinkle the remaining spring onions on the top
photo (4)

Presentation with a little more time

You could add peas, leeks, broccoli, spinach or some peppers into this dish. I would have added some extra veg into this had I had any! Hopefully you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. If you make this make sure to show me on instagram with #studentfoodbible