Chicken Coconut Curry (serves 4)

Chicken Coconut Curry by The Fat Foodie

Some time ago I’d been visiting my young granddaughter and needed to make her some dinner. Her Dad always has a brilliantly stocked pantry that’s full of herbs and spices and he’d also left plenty of healthy and nutritious ingredients in the fridge too, so after assessing what I had to play with I came up with this Chicken Coconut Curry.

This Chicken Coconut Curry was going to be served to a toddler therefore, it couldn’t be too spicy overall, so I made it a creamy and aromatic curry instead. It’s delicately flavoured with mild garam masala spice and toasted cumin seeds, all of which is enhanced by the warming effect of fresh ginger.

This Chicken Coconut Curry makes a delicious dairy-free alternative to traditional cream and ground almond-based kormas, but without the horrible effects it has for IBS sufferers. It’s light, fresh and very delicious.

Ingredients:

3 chicken breasts (diced)

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsps garam masala

The seeds of 6 cardamom pods (husks discarded)

20g fresh minced ginger

30g green spring onion tips

60g mangetout (cut into bite-sized pieces)

100g tinned baby corn on the cobs (cut into bite-sized pieces)

240ml tinned coconut milk

160ml lactose-free cream or non-dairy cream

2 tbsps cornflour mixed into 2 tbsps cold water

1 low FODMAP chicken stock cube

Rice (to serve)

Method:

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the spices and fry for 2-3 mins to release the aromas.

Add the diced chicken and fry for 6-8 mins before adding the coconut milk, cream, stock cube and vegetables. Simmer until the chicken is fully cooked.

Add the cornflour mixture and stir through until the sauce has thickened. Serve with boiled rice.

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Lamb Rendang (serves 6)

Lamb Rendang by The Fat Foodie

I developed this Lamb Rendang recipe because, in the spirit of spring, I treated the family to a Sunday dinner which consisted of a leg of lamb with the usual roasted vegetables etc, but I didn’t realise just how much meat was actually on it! There was loads of tender meat left over so I thought it’d be nice to use it in a slow cooked curry. One of my favourite ways to cook lamb is in a Lamb Dansac, but I wanted to make something new for a change so I went for a lamb rendang instead.

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Thai Green Curry (serves 6)

Thai Green Curry by The Fat Foodie

When I was at work yesterday I found myself pondering over what I was going to make for dinner. I knew I had a pack of chicken breasts in the fridge, but I was a bit fed up of making the same chicken dishes over and over again. However, I remembered that I had a thick chunk of fresh root ginger in the fridge as well as a jar of minced lemongrass in the cupboard, so I found myself thinking about making a Thai curry.

I’ve never made a Thai green curry from scratch before because I’ve always thought that they require ridiculous amounts of individual ingredients and, let’s be honest here, sometimes after a long day at work you can’t be bothered with all of that faff-on, can you? However, after a brief mootch in the Thai cookbook section at work (one of the benefits of working in a bookshop!) I actually realised that it doesn’t really take that much to make a Thai green curry after all and that, with the exception of having to buy fish sauce and a packet of mangetout on my way home, I was all set.

Now, I’m going to offer a word of advice here and I really hope you take it. I’ve never cooked with fish sauce before so I added it after sweating off my spices, ginger and lemongrass, but this was a huge mistake. IT FREAKIN’ STINKS!!! I’m not kidding, this was an ‘open all of the doors and windows’ job. This was a ‘thank God the living room door was closed so the smell didn’t meander up into any of the bedrooms’ jobs. It was horrific. So my advice is: only add the fish sauce after you’ve already added the coconut milk so that it blends into the curry sauce without releasing its infernal pungent aroma into your kitchen.

After I’d added the coconut milk and allowed my nasal passages to dissipate the strong stench of the fish sauce I steeled myself and tasted the curry sauce and… it was delicious. You couldn’t taste any aspect of the fish sauce whatsoever, but it had definitely added a richness to the Thai green curry that it would have sorely lacked had I omitted it. Please trust me and use the fish sauce, just don’t smell it. Ever.

I loved this Thai green curry and so did my family. It’s rich, multi-flavoured and very satisfying and it makes a nice change from the usual Indian curries I tend to make a lot. Its coconut milk base carries the delicate notes of root ginger and lemongrass without overpowering the chicken and making it taste too sweet. I don’t think it’ll be long before I’m making this for dinner again, but you can be damn sure I’ll be adding the fish sauce AFTER I’ve added the coconut milk. I won’t make that mistake again!

Ingredients:

2 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsps minced fresh root ginger

1 tbsp minced lemongrass (or 2 crushed lemongrass stalks)

1 mild red chilli (finely chopped)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp asafoetida

1/2 a bunch of fresh coriander (chopped)

1/2 a bunch of basil (chopped)

2 tbsps fish sauce

2 tbsps lime juice (or the juice of 2 limes)

400g of tinned coconut milk

80g desiccated coconut

6 chicken breasts (cut into bite-sized pieces)

60g mangetout (cut into bite-sized pieces)

Rice

Method:

In a large saucepan heat the sesame oil and once hot add the ginger, lemongrass, chopped chilli, cumin and asafoetida.

Add the chicken pieces, tin of coconut milk, lime juice and fish sauce and leave to simmer for 10-15 mins.

Start your rice cooking.

Add the mangetout, basil, coriander and coconut cream and cook for another couple of minutes.

Drain your rice.

If you used whole lemongrass stalks then just before serving remove them from the Thai green curry.

Serve on top of the rice with fresh basil (and a bit more chopped chilli if you like).

Thai Green Curry by The Fat Foodie

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Vegan Moroccan Tagine (serves 8)

Vegan Moroccan Tagine by The Fat Foodie

Vegan Moroccan Tagine by The Fat Foodie

One of my favourite meals is a Moroccan tagine, so the other day when I was searching for inspiration in the fridge and I realised that I had quite a few vegetables that needed used up I decided to make a vegan Moroccan tagine recipe. Whenever I’ve made tagines in the past I’ve always used lamb in them and cooked them in the slow cooker for hours, so it felt a bit odd to make this vegan Moroccan tagine within an hour. However, it turned out to be really tasty, with a wide variety of spiced vegetables incorporated within it, and it was pretty substantial thanks to the inclusion of chickpeas.

It’s easy for non-vegans to discount vegan food as being bland or boring because they think that the omission of meat from a dish equates with a lack of flavour, but I think the opposite can often be said of vegan food. A dish without meat can frequently surprise you because it allows the unique and delicate flavours of the vegetables, pulses and spices to sing due to the fact that they are not being overpowered by the strong taste of meat.

If you enjoy Moroccan flavours and fancy a light, but hearty vegan tagine then this is the recipe for you. One of the benefits of this meal is that the choice of vegetables can be altered to suit whatever you have in the fridge and whatever suits your FODMAP needs. You can tweak the recipe to suit your own tastes too, so add less cinnamon if you’re not a fan of it or feel free to go to town with the fresh chilli if you’ve got a mouth made of asbestos. It’s all about cooking something that works for you.

I was concerned in case it would be very spicy so I served my family’s tagines with a dollop of crème fraiche resting on top, but you could use coconut yoghurt if you can’t tolerate dairy and want to keep it a completely vegan Moroccan tagine. I also served mine with a generous scattering of toasted flaked almonds, a component I would wholly recommend you use because it adds a lovely nutty crunch to each spoonful you munch. You can serve it with rice, cous cous, flatbreads or on its own, but either way, it’s just a really easy, big ol’ comforting bowl of spicy, tasty veg that’s just the ticket on a cool, drizzly autumn evening.

Ingredients:
200g red bell pepper (cut into bite-sized pieces)
2 carrots (cut into bite-sized pieces)
150ml water
4 tbsps. soy sauce (or tamari – a gluten-free soy sauce)
1 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp asafoetida powder
2 tsps. ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. fresh ginger (minced)
½ a fresh red chilli (deseeded and thinly sliced, but optional)
The juice of ½ a lime
300g of tinned chickpeas (drained & well rinsed)
700g of tinned chopped tomatoes

To serve (optional):
20g flaked toasted almonds
Freshly chopped coriander
Chopped fresh chilli
Lactose-free crème fraiche or coconut yoghurt
Rice, cous cous or flatbreads.

Method:

This is a really easy one that doesn’t really require much work apart from the veg prep.

Prepare all of your ingredients as directed.

Put a large pan over a medium heat.

Put the soy sauce and water in the pot and then add all of your vegetables.

Cook for 10 mins and then add all of your spices and the lemon juice. Stir thoroughly and cook for another 10 mins.

Add the chickpeas and chopped tomatoes and stir well.

Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook for another 15-20 mins.

Put your flaked almonds in a dry frying pan and toast them, stirring frequently so that they don’t burn. Once they’re golden brown remove them from the frying pan.

Garnish each bowl of tagine with chopped fresh coriander and flaked almonds and add any other accompaniments as desired.

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