If you are a foodie like me (and lets be honest that is where the weight came from in the first place) then you do watch a lot of cooking programmes. I have often found inspiration for a new meal from such programmes and key to losing weight has been being able to cook meals that are new, exciting and tasty.
This week I was expecting my Uncle Basil and Aunt Elaine coming for lunch and I had an idea of what is was going to make until I caught part of Nigella’s latest series. Despite a track record in this area there was no gastro porn involved, just the humble frozen pea. If you are not sure what I mean with this here is a video with a comic version of Nigella in action to let you in on the joke. The idea was enough to change my direction.
This is also accompanied with a dessert which I adapted from a SW one. The good news is that the entire meal takes no more than half an hour to prepare (both courses) with a cooking time of about half and hour.
Chicken with leeks, peas and dill (for four)
- 4 chicken breasts (no skin). Replace with quorn fillets for a veggie alternative.
- A good pile of frozen peas
- 2 leeks, sliced
- Handful of dill roughly ripped
- 500ml of veg or chicken stock (Nigella used olive oil and vermouth).
- Fill the base of a large oven dish or small roasting tray with frozen peas to about 1cm deep.
- Lay the sliced leeks over the peas.
- Pour stock over until it is just lapping at the edges of the leeks.
- Drop the dill over the surface.
- Lay the chicken breasts on top.
- Spray the surface of the chicken breasts with low calorie oil spray (I used a butter one but you can choose the one you like).
- Season the top of the chicken with sea salt and black pepper.
- Put on a tray ( so that nothing drips on the pudding when it goes in) in a hottish oven and cook for 30 minutes (adjust this for you ovens own foibles.)
There is plenty of sauce from the stock and veg and I served mine with new potatoes and carrots.
I used the left over stock and veg to make a vegetable soup for the next day.
Baked Vanilla Plums
- 8 large plums, halved
- Punnet of blackberries
- 1 vanilla pod
- 2 tbsp sweetener
- Juice of two lemons
- 250ml 0% fat yoghurt
- A good splash of no sugar vanilla syrup or a tbsp sweetener and a tsp vanilla essence.
- Lay the halved plums across the bottom of an oven dish and lay the blackberries on and around the plums.
- Slice the vanilla pod in half and scrape the seeds into the sweetener.
- Rub the vanilla seeds into the sweetener.
- Cut the pod into quarters and scatter amongst the fruit.
- Sprinkle the vanilla sweetener all over the fruit.
- With a tsp spread the lemon juice all over the fruit.
- Cook in the bottom of the oven for about thirty minutes.
- Meanwhile mix the syrup (or alternative) into the yoghurt.