It’s a continuous struggle to be able to eat relatively healthy and still have a lot of flavour in your food. I Crossfit thrice a week post work and I don’t have the time to cook (or even eat) elaborate meals. Which is also why I haven’t been able to post regularly on the blog. Anyhoo! One of the easiest and quickest meals I can think of making is a chicken stir-fry with a few veggies thrown in. Sometimes it turns into a stew with coconut milk. Other times it ends up becoming something in between. Like this dish for example, isn’t a stew or a stir-fry. But I ate it like a stew for dinner and added some cooked soba noodles for lunch.
Thank heavens for bottled sauces. Sometimes all you have the energy and time for is to whisk in a sauce with meat and get going. For me, weekends are when I cook elaborate meals. I don’t have that kind of time during weekdays. So, it’s always quick cooking and quicker packing for lunch. Nothing easier and quicker than a bowl of minced chicken with some soba noodles to go with. A few days ago I got some chilli garlic sauce and spicy black bean sauce along with some minced chicken and it was a great time to open these jars.
I’ve been on a clean and healthy eating spree (again). This time I’ve teamed it up with Crossfit sessions that make me want to eat better on a daily basis. My go-to meal would be a chicken stir fry with broccoli or paneer with other veggies. Sometimes I throw in some quinoa there if it’s lunch. I wanted something different yet healthy and so I ordered for some tofu which I hadn’t had before. I hate soy milk and I had this mind block about soy products. But as it turns out tofu isn’t that bad. Also, it has less fat than paneer which makes it ideal for dinner.
I’ve made Thai curry plenty times before and more often it’s been the red kind. I don’t have a reason why I never made the green one. But it’s never too late. Sunday lunch it was. In the red curry, Kashmiri chillies give it the colour and in yellow, it’s turmeric. For the green one, it’s green chillies, coriander and lemon leaves. Of course, I made the paste at home. Besides these three ingredients, there’s lemongrass, ginger (or galangal), garlic, cumin and shallots. It’s fragrant and delicious. You can alter the number of chillies according to how spicy you want it. I went a little low on these.
For those days in the middle of the week when you feel like ordering in because you’re too lazy to cook, or want something spicy, this chilli chicken is perfect. I didn’t plan for it. I was going to order in some greasy Chinese on a cold weeknight. But I remembered I had some boneless chicken marinating in the fridge and that I should use it before it goes bad or something. The marinade was just ginger garlic paste and some paprika. Simply pan roast the chicken with onions and capsicum with soy, hoisin or honey, chillies and crushed pepper. It’s alright if you haven’t marinated it as well. Best part – it comes together in under 20 mins!
I wanted to break the monotony of an everyday salad lunch and that’s why a quick stir-fry of soba noodles and bell peppers did a delicious job of a distraction. You can get soba noodles from most supermarkets today. Otherwise, there’s Amazon. Being mostly made of buckwheat, it is relatively healthy for you. It is high in fibre and a great alternative to wheat based products. What makes it convenient is that it cooks in under 5 minutes. So, while you’re prepping the veggies, the noodles are cooked. All you do is stir it in some sesame oil with soy and hoisin sauce.
The temperature here in Gurgaon is low enough to make me want to crawl into my oven. That’s why soups are my favourite go-to meal in a bowl this winter. Since I make a meal of it, just broth soups don’t cut it. It has to have some body and full of flavour. So far my roasted beetroot and tomato soup and carrot and lemongrass soup have been hits. This soup though was inspired from Nigella Lawson’s after I saw a picture she posted on Instagram. I absolutely loved the bright yellow colour and wanted to cook something similar.
Got stock? Make soup.
In my previous post about mutton roast I mentioned how I saved the stock to use it in another dish. That’s how this soup came about. This soup can also double as a stew. With a very few ingredients, you can whip this up in under 15 minutes. No chopping, cutting or any big prep work needed here. But the stock is a must. If you don’t have chicken or meat stock, use a stock cube with water. Won’t match the real deal, but close enough.
Sometimes you don’t want to spend even 20 minutes in the kitchen. But all you’re thinking is about a bowl of food that’s comforting and delicious. Something to pick your mood up, something to put a smile on your face and something to help you through the rest of the evening. This chilli basil chicken stir-fry is definitely that something. With a light chilli kick and freshness of basil, it sure will perk you up in no time. You know what the best part is, though? It can be done is less than 15 mins with 2-3 mins of prepping.
Soba noodles are made with buckwheat and whole wheat. Definitely healthier than regular noodles. I came across Nigella Lawson’s recipe that called for soba noodles on my Twitter feed and figured I must try something out with soba noodles. Luckily, the grocer near home stocks all kinds of imported products and he had soba and udon noodles as well. You can also find it on Amazon. There’s no real distinct taste these noodles have, but I can say they’re less starchy and don’t feel heavy on the tummy.