I’m not a photographer. My photographic abilities are fairly limited. I’ve learnt a little since I started this blog, but thankfully the Husband bought a decent camera which manages to make most of my clueless photographic attempts look half decent. I have learnt something about light though. Like how artificial (kitchen) light makes everything look a bit yellow. To take decent pics of food, you really need natural light. But this is where I often come unstuck. Having (lots of) kids means that taking photos of food can be pretty impossible. They just want to get involved. Which never ends well. So I have to take pictures when they’re not around. Thankfully this is about to get easier as the girls enter full-time education (whoop whoop), but up to now I’ve had to fit this in around small windows of time, including bedtime.
This meal fell into the ‘pictures-taken-once-kids-in-bed’ category. It was after 7pm, the light was fading fast but I was damned if I was taking yellowy-artificially-lit photos (again). So I ended up taking these in my back garden. Yup, I was one of those weirdo neighbour types, taking pictures of food on the garden table. We’re new to the neighbourhood, so I can only guess what they’ve already made of us.
This is a dish that deserves good photography though. I came across it originally on a blog called Cafe Delights – I have changed the original slightly to suit the ingredients I had. The flavours are fantastic. No seriously, I’m not exaggerating. For what this dish lacks in carbs, it makes up in delicious creamy cheesy tomatoey sauce. I’ve attempted to eat relatively ‘low carb’, on and off, for a while. I know I feel better for reducing my pasta/rice/potato intake, I just find it hard to follow through with the good intention. However, this dish has become a staple in the HC household for the Husband and I – yup, he eats it without grumble, without carbs! You could cook it with pasta or rice if you want, leave out the ‘zoodles’ (courgette noodles – should they be coodles over here in Blighty? Or Couroodles??). The sauce is the star of this show. Either way, give this a go, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
2 larges courgettes (zucchini), spiralised*
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 tsp oil
40g sun-dried tomatoes (about 4), chopped*
1 tsp oil from the tomatoes
mushrooms, sliced (optional)
2 tsp garlic paste / 2 garlic cloves, crushed
50g soft (cream) cheese
20g parmesan, grated
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1 heaped tsp fresh (or frozen) chopped basil
* I bought a fancy-schmancy spiraliser and surprisingly, I do actually use it. However, if you don’t fancy splashing the cash you can get hand-held ones, or even buy ready-made Courgetti Noodles (Zoodles) from some supermarkets.
* I find a jar of sun-dried tomatoes will keep for ages (several months) in the fridge.
1. Spiralise your courgettes.
2. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a wok or large frying pan. Add the chicken, sprinkle with a little salt and cook until pretty much cooked through (about 10 minutes).
3. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, their oil, mushrooms (if using) and garlic to the pan, and cook through for a couple of minutes.
4. Turn the heat down slightly and add the cream cheese. Stir through, adding a couple of splashes of water to loosen the sauce. Add the parmesan, chilli flakes and basil, and stir through.
5. Add the courgette noodles, stir through, then pop the lid on and gently cook for around 5 minutes to soften the courgette.
6. Serve straight away.
Do you see what I mean about the difference in photos? The ‘action shots’ were all taken indoors whilst cooking (obviously). Hopefully though my photos won’t put you off trying this recipe. It really is fab and super flavourful.