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Thai Chicken Burgers with Korean Slaw

Image 1It’s the first weekend of Dry July, so in an effort to keep busy and eat clean, I decided to make a healthy dinner (as opposed to lazily getting takeout as I am often guilty of on a Friday night, bottle of wine in tow).

This recipe is from the “detox” menu plan in Gwyneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good” cookbook. By the way, I’ve tried a few of her recipes now and I must say, I am digging them! I had mine bun-free as I had already indulged in pizza, chips and cake today (oops) but you can have them on a gluten-free bun. These burgers were, as my friend Lauren would say, absolutely deeelish!

Thai Chicken Burgers

Serves 4

  • 500g minced chicken breast
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely minced
  • 2/3 cups coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped – I used spring onions
  • 1 tsp very finely minced red chilli – I used 2 small hot chillies
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs neutral oil (like canola, grapeseed or safflower oil)

Thoroughly mix the chicken with the garlic, coriander, shallots, red chilli, fish sauce, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 4 burgers (I made 8 smaller ones).

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Rub each burger on both side with a bit of the oil and grill for about 8 minutes on the first side and another 5 minutes on the second, or until nicely marked and firm to the touch.

Korean Slaw

Makes 2 cups

  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil – Next time I would use only 1tbs, it was a tad oily for my liking
  • 2 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded cos lettuce
  • 3 tbs finely diced red red onion
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced – I used spring onion
  • 3 tbs roughly chopped coriander
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice and fish sauce in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and allow the slaw to sit for at least 10 minutes and as long as 6 hours before serving.

Easy as!

I hope you enjoy the burgers as much as I did, and that you have a happy and healthy weekend! Rest relax rejuvenate xx

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Mexican Beef Tacos with Chimichurri Corn and Green Goddess Slaw

IMG_2154On the weekend my girlfriends and I had a takeaway picnic lunch in the park – to take advantage of the beautiful winter’s day, and really so we could all be selfish and have whatever flavours we felt like that day. I opted for Chinese (steamed chicken with rice and greens and lots of chilli) and my friend had Mexican. The few bites I snuck in were yummo and thus became my inspiration for tonight’s dinner.

This is a mix and match of a few recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good”. I took a few liberties and improvised a little with what I had in my fridge. Next time I may be a little lighter-handed on the oil and salt, but that’s my personal preference (and it’s a little healthier), though my dinner amigo thought it was just delicioso as is.

Mexican Beef Tacos with Chimichurri Corn and Green Goddess Slaw

Serves 4 hungry fiesta guests

Mexican Beef

Rub some rump steaks with olive oil and Mexican seasoning (cumin, oregano, garlic, paprika, chilli, pepper) then BBQ for a few minutes on each side. Remove from heat, cover and leave to rest whilst you make the sides.

Chimichuirri Corn

  • 4 fresh ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • Himalayan rock salt
  • 2 tbs Chimichurri (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

Remove the kernels from the corncobs. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over high heat and immediately add the corn kernels and a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring now and then, until the corn is softened and takes on a bit of char around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the Chimichurri and chilli flakes. Season to taste.

Chimichurri

  • 1 packed cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 packed cup coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Himalayan rock salt

Pulse everything together in a food processor (I use a powerful blender like a Vitamix). Let it sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Mexican Green Goddess Dressing

  • 2/3 cup Greek yoghurt – I use Chobani No Fat. It’s got heaps of protein, zero fat and low in sugar (and non of the yucky added sugars)
  • 1/4 cup coriander
  • 2 scallions, which and light green parts only
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 jalapeno – I used a whole one, I like spicy
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

Combine all the ingredients in a powerful blender and blitz until completely smooth. This makes a lot of dressing. If you don’t use it all, it will keep well in a jar for up to a week.

Slaw

  • 1/2 red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1/2 green cabbage, finely shredded

Combine in a large bowl and top with Green Goddess Dressing. Keep some dressing to the side for your hombres who like a creamier salad.

Now assemble! Layer all ingredients onto heated tortillas. Top with salsa, Tabasco, chopped chillies, extra coriander, big squeeze of lime.. whatever you like! That’s what makes Mexican so much fun to eat!

¡Buen provecho!

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It’s All Good

I suppose when I look back at it, I have always had an interest in food, with the curiosity and focus on nutrition developing as I got into my late 20’s. Perhaps it’s the Asian in me (the Chinese love food) or maybe it runs in my family (I still remember as if it were yesterday, the summers I used to spend with my family in Sydney when I was very young. My mom would spend countless hours looking at produce, and my dad and I used to laugh at how she could be fascinated by the dead fish out on display at the Fish Market). Little did I know that I too would develop the same fascination!

So, after much encouragement from my friends (thank you!!), I have finally stopped procrastinating and have started this blog. I hope that it will help me explore and develop my passion for food styling, and that it will inspire you to get into the kitchen, try new things, eat and live healthily and happily.

I tossed up whether my first post should be based on someone else’s work, namely Gwyneth Paltrow’s newly released cookbook “It’s All Good”, but given that my philosophy about food (there’s a brief explanation in the About section) is very much aligned to that of her’s and that the book was delivered to my desk just in the nick of time for the weekend (gotta love online shopping), it seemed only fitting (and practical) that I road-test some of the recipes.

It's All Good Cover

Things I like about the cookbook:-

  1. Her philosophy on food – simple, clean, healthy.. delicious!
  2. That it is beautifully printed in hardback and on scrumptious paper delightful to touch
  3. Most recipes are pictured – I like to see what the end result is supposed to look like
  4. The menu plans included in the back – body builder, detox, family-friendly, vegan, everyday – making easy, healthy and delicious food accessible to everyone
  5. The explanations accompanying the recipes – tells us why the recipe has been included, why it’s good for us and little tips for the cook

A slight inconvenience in the book is use of Imperial measurements but I found this was easily overcome with Convert Units (free iPhone app) and the use of my probably not-so-finely-attuned guesstimation skills, but that’s okay, it’s all part of the fun.

Lamb Tagine with Squash & Chickpeas

(that’s Lamb Tagine with Pumpkin & Chickpeas for us in the Southern Hemisphere)

There were a few reasons for choosing this dish:-

  1. It’s getting colder which invites the coziness of warming and heartier meals
  2. The man in my life loves lamb
  3. I was given a tagine at Christmas two years ago and I haven’t had the chance to use it (I swear I’m not lazy, we just haven’t had the correct stove until recently!)
  4. The recipe calls for a marinade that needs to be prepared in a powerful blender which is something I’ve been wanting to try

There’s only two of us and the recipe feeds 4 to 6, plus my tagine is quite small, so I halved the ingredients and scaled down the cooking time (75% should do it).

I also took some liberties with the ingredients and made substitutions with whatever I had in my pantry. Also, the cookbook calls for a crockpot in the oven to slow-cook this meal. I have used a stove-top tagine instead.

Let's get started!

Let’s get started!

The marinade

Blend the marinade ingredients

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Green gorgeousness

Get your hands dirty!

Moosh in the marinade – get your hands dirty! Cover and set in the fridge for at least 6 hours

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Tagine essentials

Take the lamb out to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Brown the meat for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour

Add in the chickpeas and pumpkin

Add chickpeas and pumpkin. Simmer for 1.5 hours

Bon appetit!

Et voila! Delicious, melt in your mouth lamb. Top with coriander and preserved lemon. Bon appetit!

Gwyn's version

Gwyn’s version – and the ingredients list (click to enlarge)

Traditionally, tagines are served with cous cous. I served mine with white quinoa – a gluten free alternative, together with an Israeli salad (cucumber, tomato, red onion, garlic, parsley, mint, lemon juice and olive oil), but you can use anything you like:- millet, brown rice or even some warm crusty bread.

A delicious success! We had no leftovers to pack for lunch.

Stay tuned for more recipe reviews!

Book cover image credit to:
The Book Depository http://www.bookdepository.com/Its-All-Good-Gwyneth-Paltrow/9780349400839
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