Teriyaki Chicken Noodles

Teriyaki chicken noodles are a delicious mix of salt and sweet, simple to make and healthy to boot.

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It’s the summer holidays. Yay. I do actually (mostly) mean that. Regardless of the fact that I have seven weeks with my four children. Twenty-four/seven. No breaks. No get outs. No ‘me-time’. Because I also don’t have the school run. Halle-bloody-lujah. We can sit in our pyjamas till lunchtime and it doesn’t matter (and believe me when I tell you that we’ve most definitely done this – a lot). I can roll over in bed at 7am and not worry. The kids can watch as much YouTube crap till their eyes bleed and I finally crawl out of bed to give them breakfast. Oh yes, the holidays rock.

It also means I’m back to enjoying cooking again. There was a time back there, that last summer term when it all gets stupidly manic and you’re trying to recall whether you’ve remembered to put pants on that day, let alone whether you’re missing some vital end-of-term event, that cooking became an afterthought. There certainly wasn’t any enjoyment in cooking, it was just a case of necessity. Or not, as I threw more fish fingers at the Kinder and ordered the Husband and I another curry.

I’m also back on Pinterest with a vengeance. Bloody love it. So guess where this recipe came from? It’s actually another Damn Delicious recipe that I’ve changed slightly to suit us. I just reduced the sugar slightly and simplified the cooking method. It’s a really nice recipe and I’ve been making it quite a lot. I even took the plunge and played the Dinner Lottery i.e. fed it to the kids. Henry ate it all, Alice ate the noodles, Hannah and Lucy ate the chicken and carrots. Comme si, comme sa.

Ingredients (Serves 4 adults)

1-2 carrots, cut into batons
small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
1 small courgette, cut into batons
mushrooms, sliced (use however many you fancy)
4 chicken breasts (about 550g), diced
250g dried egg noodles
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water
100ml soy sauce
200ml water
4 tbsp honey
3 cloves garlic (or 3 tsp of garlic paste)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp oil

1. I pre-cooked the carrots and broccoli in the microwave to soften them slightly as the kids will only eat them like this. I gave the dish about 3 minutes on full power. If you don’t mind your veg crunchy you can skip this step.

Teriyaki Chicken Noodles | thehecticcook.com

2. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions (i.e. bring to boil then simmer for about 4-5 minutes until soft) then sieve and set aside.

Teriyaki Chicken Noodles | thehecticcook.com

3. In a small bowl mix together the cornstarch and water, then set aside for a moment.

Teriyaki Chicken Noodles | thehecticcook.com

4. In a small pan add the soy sauce, water, honey, garlic and ginger. Whisk together whilst bringing the mixture to a simmer.

Teriyaki Chicken Noodles | thehecticcook.com

5. Once the pan is simmering add the cornstarch mixture (give it a quick stir before adding as the cornstarch tends to solidify at the bottom of the bowl). Simmer gently until the sauce has thickened slightly (a couple of minutes). It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Turn off the heat and set this aside.

Teriyaki Chicken Noodles | thehecticcook.com

6. In a wok (or large frying pan) add the oil and warm over a medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook until cooked through.

Teriyaki Chicken Noodles | thehecticcook.com

7. Once the chicken is cooked through, pour off any water before adding the veg – any water from the chicken will thin the sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the mushrooms and courgette have softened slightly.

Teriyaki Chicken Noodles | thehecticcook.com

8. Add the noodles and the sauce to the wok, stir through and serve.

Teriyaki Chicken Noodles | thehecticcook.com

This dish has the extra step of making the sauce separately before adding it to the wok, but it’s honestly worth it and really doesn’t take that long. It’s fairly quick, really simple, and bloody tasty. It’s fast becoming a HC Household favourite.

Happy cooking!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:52]

Teriyaki Chicken Noodles - A sumptuous mix of sweet and salty, easy to rustle up and healthy to boot! | thehecticcook.com

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Healthy Pork Chow Mein

This Pork Chow Mein is not only healthy, the gorgeous fusion of flavours make it super tasty too.

I’ve already ‘Face-bragged’ so now I’m going to ‘Blog-brag’ – I’m just back from a weekend away. A whole weekend sans children (trumpets, fanfare). The Husband did the necessary childcare letting me escape for 2 whole nights (he’s a keeper). I went to see one of my best friends in the whole world – she knows way too much about me to piss off now. We drank copious amounts of alcohol, ate diet-unfriendly food, and spent an afternoon wandering around Ikea. We know how to live. It was awesome. So now I’m home feeling refreshed, and ready to take on the world – well my kids at least. I’ve already broken a couple of nails trying to scrape stickers off the new rug thanks to Lucy. But even still, I am a happy-mother-of-four-including-triplets.

So this recipe is a really old Slimming World recipe I came across yonks ago. I’ve followed Slimming World intermittently for the past 6 years. I really rate it as a diet-plan, I just can’t seem to follow it. Oh well. But this is a recipe I make a lot. It has a nice lightness to it, but is still really filling. You can use any meat you like. I often use chicken, but on this occasion had pork in the freezer. Beef would also work really well.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

8 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp white wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves, crushed / 4 tsp garlic paste
1 heaped tsp ginger paste
1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
600g pork loin steaks, thinly sliced
4 dry egg noodle nests
1 tbsp oil (I used groundnut, but use whatever you have in the cupboard; vegetable, sunflower etc)
stir-fry veg of choice
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

It looks like quite a few ingredients, but it honestly takes no time to make, so don’t be put off.

1. Mix the light soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and 5 spice in a bowl.

Pork Chow Mein | thehecticcook.com

2. Add the pork and leave to marinate for around 20 minutes (use the time to chop your veg).

Pork Chow Mein | thehecticcook.com

3. Cook the egg noodles according to the packet instructions. I’ve stated a quantity, but use as many noodles as you think you need, depending on the appetites you’re feeding.

Pork Chow Mein | thehecticcook.com

4. Heat the 1 tbsp of oil in a large wok. Add the pork (including the sauce) and cook over a medium high heat until almost cooked through (about 5 minutes).

Note:

The only thing I’ve changed from the original recipe is the 1 tbsp oil. Slimming World use the spray oils you get, which are ‘syn’ free, to reduce calories . Use whatever you’d rather – 1 tbsp oil is 6 syns. 

Pork Chow Mein | thehecticcook.com

5. Add your veg – I used carrots, courgette, pepper and mushrooms – and cook for a further 5 minutes (or until the veg is as cooked as you like it).

Pork Chow Mein | thehecticcook.com

6. Add the cooked noodles to the wok, plus the oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and sesame oil (this was in the original SW recipe and counts as 2 syns, so 1/2 syn per person). Stir through (2 forks are good for this) and cook for a further few minutes until everything is piping hot.

Pork Chow Mein | thehecticcook.com

Pork Chow Mein | thehecticcook.com

7. Serve straight away.

Pork Chow Mein - Gorgeous flavours make this healthy pork dish a dinner favourite | thehecticcook.com

This is a really good dish to make on those weeknights when you don’t have much time, but fancy something healthy. You can change the quantities of meat and noodles to satisfy any size of appetite, and still keep it pretty healthy.

Pork Chow Mein - Gorgeous flavours make this healthy pork dish a dinner favourite | thehecticcook.com

Happy cooking!

 

Pork Chow Mein - Gorgeous flavours make this healthy pork dish a dinner favourite | thehecticcook.com

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:42]

Filling Lentil Curry

This filling lentil curry is a substantial vegetarian dish that will satisfy any appetite, and is super simple to make.

So after all the sharing of cake recipes and last weeks Fudgy Easter Egg Brownies, not to mention the abundance of chocolate everywhere, I figured perhaps a healthier recipe was the order of the day.

I’m one of those people who kids themselves that because I eat pretty healthy meals most of the time, I’m doing myself a favour. I tend to cook from scratch and more-often-than-not stick to meals that are generally classed as healthy. I then conveniently ‘forget’ about the kilo of chocolate I’ll have eaten to get me over the mid-afternoon slump. Or the gallon of ice-cream I packed away whilst home alone of an evening. I do genuinely love healthy food. I also genuinely love cake and chocolate. Oh well.

This is a good example of one of those healthy meals. I love this. If you’re looking for a good vegetarian meal, this is substantial and filling. It’s also really simple. Enjoy it with some fluffy basmati rice and naan bread, and you honestly won’t be disappointed. Add in a large glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and follow it with a slab of chocolate fudge cake. Winner!

Filling Lentil Curry - A really substantial and filling vegetarian curry that is simple to make and won't disappoint | thehecticcook.com

 

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp garlic paste / 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
1 heaped tbsp medium curry powder
1 heaped tsp garam masala
200g red lentils
700ml vegetable stock
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp salt

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and soften gently (about 10 minutes).

Filling Lentil Curry | thehecticcook.com

Add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.

2. Add the curry powder and garam masala, stir and cook for a few minutes more.

Note:

Don’t misread the quantities of curry powder and garam masala, one is a tablespoon, one is a teaspoon!


Filling Lentil Curry | thehecticcook.com

3. Add the lentils and stir to coat.

Filling Lentil Curry | thehecticcook.com

4. Pour in the stock and tomatoes, add the salt and stir.

Filling Lentil Curry | thehecticcook.com

5. Pop the lid on the pan and cook for 30-40 minutes over a medium low heat, stirring often to avoid the lentils sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Filling Lentil Curry | thehecticcook.com

The curry is ready once the lentils have absorbed most of the liquid and are soft. If it looks like the pan is drying out before the lentils are cooked, add a little bit more water to the pan.

Filling Lentil Curry - A really substantial and filling vegetarian curry that is simple to make and won't disappoint | thehecticcook.com

6. Serve with rice and/or naan.

I had a bit of a mare with the naan on this occasion. I often make it in the bread machine, and it turns out fine. Not this time for some reason. It was a gloopy, unmixed mess. So cue sending the Husband to Tesco for some naan bread (it’s imperative I serve this dish to the kids with naan bread as Hannah doesn’t eat rice, at all, and at least I know they’ll all have eaten something if naan bread is included – as a parent do you ever feel like a short-order cook?). So I went to take the naan breads from Tesco out of the oven, and promptly dropped them all over the floor. Oh well, dirt is good for kids.

Happy cooking!

If you’re looking for some more vegetarian meals there’s also my Quorn Chilli Burritos, Mushroom Stroganoff, Skinny Veggie Lasagne (excuse the photos, it’s an oldie), and Garlic Tomato & Basil Risotto.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:38]

Honey Garlic Chicken

A gorgeous mix of sweet and salty, this Honey Garlic Chicken is addictively good!

I feel slightly guilty. I posted on my Facebook page our dinner from the other night – Slow Cooked Char Sui Pork Belly – but then didn’t deliver. In all honesty I couldn’t. I made that dish without the thought of blogging it. Bar the Instagram one I took on my phone, there are no photos. Thus I can’t blog it. The OCD in me just can’t. However, I do intend to make it again (fairly soon as the Husband seemed to like it) and will post the recipe.

I’m hoping though that this will do in the meantime. I actually made it a little while ago – ok, so hands up, I have a backlog of recipes ready to blog. I have to. Life is fairly hectic (ha ha, get it?) so I’m never sure when I’ll get time to blog. But I’ve been wanting to post this for some time, as it’s one of the nicest recipes I’ve made in a while. I made this for Ma and Pa HC, and my Mum said she’d happily just eat the chicken out of the bowl.

This is good enough to be a totally stand alone dish. Once again I found this recipe on Pinterest. Yes I do spend a considerable amount of my time on Pinterest. I’m sure there’s a help-group out there somewhere for folk like me. But anyhow. It has its uses. I’ve changed the recipe slightly though to suit me – it called for a fair bit of blackberry jam which I felt would make it too sweet. It’s a fairly sweet dish as it is. And I’ve simplified it a wee bit.

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts
130g honey
100ml soy sauce
65g hoisin sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp garlic/cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 onion, diced (I used frozen)
1/4 tsp chilli flakes (or as hot as you’d like it)

Note:

I weighed the honey and hoisin sauce as I found it easier to weigh them out than try to measure them in a jug.

1. Arrange the chicken breasts in your slow cooker. Honey Garlic Chicken | thehecticcook.com

2. In a bowl, chuck in all of the remaining ingredients.

Honey Garlic Chicken | thehecticcook.com
Honey Garlic Chicken | thehecticcook.com Honey Garlic Chicken | thehecticcook.com

3. Whisk until the honey dissolves. This sauce is really good, a lovely mix of sweet and salty – you can lick it out of the bowl. If you do that kind of thing.

Honey Garlic Chicken | thehecticcook.com

4. Throw this over the chicken and ensure it’s fully covered.

Honey Garlic Chicken | thehecticcook.com

5. Slow cook this on low for around 4 hours, turning the chicken breasts a couple of times during this time (this isn’t essential but I convinced myself it helped, as I can’t leave stuff alone). Honey Garlic Chicken | thehecticcook.com

6. It’s not particularly pretty at this stage, but once cooked, take the chicken out of the sauce and shred it on a board using a couple of forks.

Honey Garlic Chicken | thehecticcook.com Honey Garlic Chicken | thehecticcook.com

7. You can either return it to the slow cooker bowl with the sauce, or place it into a serving bowl and pour the sauce over it. Either way, soak it in the sauce. Chicken is one of those meats that doesn’t really need to be slow cooked particularly (it just saves on electricity and can be left to its own devices), so if you don’t have a slow cooker, just make this in a casserole dish and bung it in the oven, on about 170°C/325°F/Gas 3, for about an hour and a half, ensuring the chicken is cooked through.

Honey Garlic Chicken - a gorgeous mix of sweet and salty, this Honey Garlic Chicken is addictively good! | thehecticcook.com

I served this with boiled rice and stir-fried veg – I used a little of the sauce from the chicken to stir-fry the veg. You could serve this in wraps; on rolls; on top of chips; tossed through noodles. The options are fairly varied. I think I’ll cook this next time I have visitors as it’s so simple, but definitely a crowd pleaser. I love how cooking doesn’t need to be complicated to appear impressive 😀

Happy cooking!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:29]

Honey Garlic Chicken

A wonderfully flavoursome dish, this slow-cooked chicken dish is so simple, and yet totally delivers on taste.

I feel slightly guilty. I posted on my Facebook page our dinner from the other night – Slow Cooked Char Sui Pork Belly – but then didn’t deliver. In all honesty I couldn’t. I made that dish without the thought of blogging it. Bar the Instagram one I took on my phone, there are no photos. Thus I can’t blog it. The OCD in me just can’t. However, I do intend to make it again (fairly soon as the Husband seemed to like it) and will post the recipe.

I’m hoping though that this will do in the meantime. I actually made it a little while ago – ok, so hands up, I have a backlog of recipes ready to blog. I have to. Life is fairly hectic (ha ha, get it?) so I’m never sure when I’ll get time to blog. But I’ve been wanting to post this for some time, as it’s one of the nicest recipes I’ve made in a while.

I made this for Ma and Pa HC, and my Mum said she’d happily just eat the chicken out of the bowl. This is good enough to be a totally stand alone dish.

Once again I found this recipe on Pinterest. Yes I do spend a considerable amount of my time on Pinterest. I’m sure there’s a help-group out there somewhere for folk like me. But anyhow. It has its uses. I’ve changed the recipe slightly though to suit me – it called for a fair bit of blackberry jam which I felt would make it too sweet. It’s a fairly sweet dish as it is. And I’ve simplified it a wee bit.

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts
130g honey
100ml soy sauce
65g hoisin sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp garlic/cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 onion, diced (I used frozen)
1/4 tsp chilli flakes (or as hot as you’d like it)

I weighed the honey and hoisin sauce as I found it easier to weigh them out than try to measure them in a jug.

1. Arrange the chicken breasts in your slow cooker.

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2. In a bowl, chuck in all of the remaining ingredients.

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3. Whisk until the honey dissolves. This sauce is really good, a lovely mix of sweet and salty – you can lick it out of the bowl. If you do that kind of thing.

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4. Throw this over the chicken and ensure it’s fully covered.

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5. Slow cook this on low for around 4 hours, turning the chicken breasts a couple of times during this time (this isn’t essential but I convinced myself it helped, as I can’t leave stuff alone).

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6. It’s not particularly pretty at this stage, but once cooked, take the chicken out of the sauce and shred it on a board using a couple of forks.

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7. You can either return it to the slow cooker bowl with the sauce, or place it into a serving bowl and pour the sauce over it. Either way, soak it in the sauce.

Chicken is one of those meats that doesn’t really need to be slow cooked particularly (it just saves on electricity and can be left to its own devices), so if you don’t have a slow cooker, just make this in a casserole dish and bung it in the oven, on about 170°C/325°F/Gas 3, for about an hour and a half, ensuring the chicken is cooked through.

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I served this with boiled rice and stir-fried veg – I used a little of the sauce from the chicken to stir-fry the veg. You could serve this in wraps; on rolls; on top of chips; tossed through noodles. The options are fairly varied. I think I’ll cook this next time I have visitors as it’s so simple, but definitely a crowd pleaser. I love how cooking doesn’t need to be complicated to appear impressive 😀

Happy cooking!

Quick Coconut Chicken Curry

I used to have a bit of a love affair with the food magazine Delicious. For about 2 years I subscribed, and saved pretty much every magazine. I then started to realise that I was seeing a lot of the same recipes in slightly different guises, so I unsubscribed. However I gained (as well as a mountain of magazines) a fair few really good recipes over this time, many of which have become favourites, and which get trotted out over and over again.

I should probably tell you now that I am a complete recipe whore – I’m not particularly loyal to most recipes, I try them, then never look at them again. So when a recipe sticks, and is made and remade, I know it’s a good one.

This is one such recipe that has been made a fair bit, and remains a firm favourite. Its title is not misleading, it’s fairly quick and extremely easy. Because it is made with korma curry paste, it’s also very mild which means I can feed it to the kids. And, to varying degrees, they eat it.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

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1 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
140g korma curry paste
50g ground almonds
400ml tin coconut milk
200ml chicken stock
4 chicken breasts, in chunks
1 tsp garam masala
seasoning to taste

1. Warm the oil over a low heat, then add the onion and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes. Keep a close eye though, as the onion can start to brown really quick if your cooker is slightly too hot.

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Because of my kids (now well renowned) hatred for onion, I’ve started to either grate or blitz it prior to cooking. It then doesn’t need as much cooking and can burn quite quickly, so you really need to keep an eye on it. But the end result is a dish with the taste of onion but none of the texture. Result.

2. Stir in the almonds and curry paste, give a good stir and let cook for a couple of minutes.

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I tend to keep ground almonds in my cupboard as it comes in handy. But even if you just bought it for this dish, it would last long enough sealed and stored, to be used and reused solely for this dish (if you find you like it!).

3. Add in the coconut milk and stock, and leave to cook, uncovered for about 15 minutes. Add in the chicken pieces and cook until the chicken is cooked through (at least 5 minutes, but just let it go until you’re ready to serve; it won’t hurt it as it’s quite a ‘saucy’ dish).

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4. Once the sauce has thickened a bit (it probably won’t thicken massively, so don’t worry) take the pan off the heat and stir in the garam masala. Season to taste, and serve.

I added in some frozen peas right before serving, to add some colour and because the kids like them. I then served this with rice and mini naan breads – at least I could be assured the kids would eat the naan breads!

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If you’re not a massive curry fan, this is probably a good dish to try as it’s very mild and creamy, but it still has a lot of flavour. If you like spice, you could always add in some chilli flakes with the almonds and curry paste.

Happy cooking!

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

This recipe needs to come with a couple of disclaimers. Firstly, it’s not quick. I underestimated how long this would take and we were eating dinner at 7pm. Oops. Secondly, my kids didn’t like it. Even after trying to ‘sell’ it to them as chicken nuggets in a ketchup sauce. Henry spent most of the meal trying to pick off the coating on the chicken. Alice took one look, pushed it around the plate for a second, then pronounced she was finished. Lucy, bless her, gave it a good go. Hannah showed a feigned interest then got stuck between her stool and the table.

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However, this means absolutely nothing. Because it was bloody lovely. And it’s fairly simple. Just not quick. I’ll definitely be making it again, albeit maybe not for the kids.

Ingredients (to serve 4 adults)

4 chicken breasts, cut into bitesize chunks
100g cornflour
2 eggs, beaten
salt & pepper
vegetables of your choice (I used carrots cut into batons, sliced mushrooms & red pepper)

For the sauce:

75g brown sugar
100ml red wine vinegar
75g ketchup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 small tin of pineapple chunks in juice

1. Make the sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Add the whole tin of pineapple, juice and all. Then add your veg to the bowl and stir. You can use whatever veg you like, as much as you want. Set this aside whilst you prepare the chicken.

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2.  Just so you know, this will get messy. Put the cornflour in a bowl and season. In a separate bowl crack your eggs and beat. Take your chicken pieces in batches, plonk them in the cornflour to coat, then dunk them in the egg and onto a plate. That’s right – cornflour then egg.

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3. Fill a frying pan or wok with vegetable oil to about a centimetre depth, and heat over a medium high setting. Fry the chicken pieces, again in batches, for a couple of minutes, turning over halfway, until nicely golden. This doesn’t take long, they really only take a couple of minutes. Set aside on a plate with a piece of kitchen roll to absorb some of the excess oil.

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4. Lightly oil a large casserole dish (a large shallow dish is best) and place all of the chicken into this dish. Onto this tip the sauce mixture and stir through.

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5. Chuck this into a preheated oven, 170°C/325°F/Gas 3. Cook for about 50 minutes, until the sauce has thickened, stirring a couple of times to coat everything in sauce.

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Serve with whatever you fancy. We had ours with lovely fluffy basmati rice (see my Kedgeree recipe for how to cook great rice every time).

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I made this for three adults and four children – my Mum’s visiting – which required a fair amount of chicken, another reason why it took so long. Cut the quantities in half and it probably wouldn’t take quite so long. Although I’d still be tempted to cook this the next time we have visitors. It’s worth the effort.

Happy cooking!