Things I’ve been cooking…

Now, one of the things I do tend to post a fair bit about on my blog is food. Well, it’s something that there’s a lot to say about in a city like Abu Dhabi! But contrary to appearance, I don’t eat out all the time – I do actually stay home quite a bit and eat there, so on that subject, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I like to eat and cook when I’m not dining out…

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So, this is a sort of a twist on a Shepherd’s Pie I guess… it’s a chicken curry pie recipe I got from a supermarket leaflet when we lived in Australia! It’s made with a mild korma sauce and heaps of veggies and it’s delicious. I usually make it with sweet potato on the top but on this occasion I had left over mash potato to use up (I always make way too much!) so used that instead.

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My plating up skills are not ones to make any chef proud, but I can assure you it tastes great!

Recipe:
700g sweet potato / potato
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
600g chicken breasts cut into 2-3cm pieces
1.5 tablespoons Patak’s Korma curry paste
2 teaspoons plain flour
400g can diced tomatoes
80ml water
150g frozen peas (thawed)
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh coriander
2 teaspoons lime juice

Method:
Preheat the over to 180ºC. Cook potato / sweet potato in boiling water until tender, then drain and mash.
Heat a frying pan, spray with olive oil spray then sauté the onion and carrot until soft. Add the chicken pieces and stir until browned. Add the curry paste and stir, add the flour and water and stir. Bring to the boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly then take it off the heat and add coriander and lime juice. Put into an oven dish, top with sweet potato / potato and bake for 15 mins or until golden.

Ok, so this next one isn’t a cooking one but I do love a good juice and a smoothie – I’m a massive fan of Jason Vale ‘Juice Master’ and have followed a number of his programmes very successfully on several occasions previously. In fact, it’s something I tend to do fairly regularly, a few times a year. But anyway – here’s a one off smoothie I made for a light lunch. Mango and passionfruit is my absolute favourite and I often add extra seeds to make it more filling… this one has sunflower seeds, chia seeds and linseed also added. You just bung it all in the blender and whiz it up. I tend to keep frozen mango pieces in my freezer and just buy fresh passionfruit whenever I fancy or can get hold of them. If you are going to buy frozen fruits though, do make sure you read the ingredients and buy the nice ones that don’t have any sugar and stuff added. I’ve noticed a lot of ‘fresh frozen’ fruits here in the supermarket often have all sorts of unwanted extras if you don’t look carefully. I don’t know why companies do that – as if fruit needs anything else added to it?!

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I actually discovered this next recipe on twitter of all places from @OneGreenPlanet a few years back now (great website too). Despite not being vegan myself I thought it sounded curious and good enough to give it a go – vegan banana muffins – and they are just delicious! This is one recipe that has since stayed in my repertoire and we make them every so often. You can make them easily by hand but I’m lazy and find my Magimix makes it much easier and faster!

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And here’s the finished product… Again, they taste way better than they may look. Hey – I never claimed to be a domestic goddess now did I?!

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Vegan Banana muffins:
3 ripe bananas
60ml olive oil or melted vegan margarine
200g sugar or equivalent natural sugar substitute like Stevia
280g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
A big handful of walnuts / raisins / blueberries / choice chips / coconut or whatever tickles your fancy – we often use raisins but find that blueberries are particularly delish!

Method:
Mash the bananas, add oil / margarine and mix well. Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate soda together and add to mixture. Gently mix til flour is blended (but do not beat), add your extra flavour of choice – raisins etc then pour into muffin pan and bake at 180ºC until a toothpick comes out clean (usually around 20-30mins I find).

OK, so again this isn’t cooking, it’s a lazy bite but one of our favourite weekend bites to eat is a plain old simple filled roll. At the moment the ones from Carrefour are our favourite rolls. We get a cooked chicken, pull it apart, put a slick of mayo on the bun, salt the chicken and add lettuce and sun-dried tomatoes. Yum in a bun indeed.

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Mr. Arabian Notes is a bit of a dab hand with a wok, so one of the easiest things to throw together with whatever you’ve got leftover in the fridge is a stir fry. We keep soy sauce and stir fry sauce in the cupboard and use up whatever veggies we have around – especially good later on in the week after we’ve visited the Ripe market the previous weekend! It’s also a good way to use up leftover chicken from those whole cooked chickens we sometimes like to buy. The chopping is the worst part here but again, if you’ve got a food processor it does all the hard work for you in seconds.

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And there you have it… there’s a quick insight into just some of the stuff I sometimes eat when I’m at home!

What are your thoughts? What’s your favourite thing to cook up at home? Let me know in the comments below!

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