Roll with it this easter with decadent chocolate truffles!
What you'll need:
1 tablespoon of raw cocoa powder or 85%+ cocoa powder (I used 97% Green and Black's organic cocoa powder)
A drop of water
80g of fine oats
1 heaped tablespoon of ground nuts or seeds (choose your favourites) I used ground hazelnuts and chia seeds in one batch and shelled ground hemp seeds in another. Both good.
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (gently melted in a pan)
4 teaspoons of xylitol
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and form into balls of chocolatey goodness. Place into truffle cases and let to set for at least 4 hours (or overnight in air tight container preferably).
6 chicken thighs (use breast if on weightloss)
350-500g okra (depends on size of your pan)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions sliced
2.5 teaspoons of whole coriander seeds
5 cloves of garlic crushed
1/2 teaspoon xylitol
1.5 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons of tomatoe puree
2 cartons/cans of tomatoes
juice of 1 lemon
To start, perpare the okra: wash, cut off the stalks, place in a bowl. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a spinkling of salt over them. Mix and leave to stand (this preserves their colour and prevents sliminess)
In a large tagine (or pan/casserole dish) gently heat the olive oil. Add the onions, coriander seeds (whole) and fry gently fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the crushed garlic, xylitol and oregano, tomato puree, tomatoes and water. Mix well and allow the sauce to bubble up. Once bubbling add the chicken. (if using chicken breast add them whole and slice up at the end). Cover and leave to cook for 25 minutes.
Rinse off the okra. Arrange them ontop of the chicken. Squeeze the lemon juice over them, replace the lid and leave for another 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the okra should be a bit crunchy, not mushy.
Place the chicken in a serving dish and spoon over the sauce. Serve warm with couscous or brown rice (if wheat free). Et Voila!
Tips: Don't eat the chicken skin. This contains a lot of fat. If you can buy skinless chicken this would be preferred.
To speed up this recipe use chicken breast instead of thighs as they will cook faster. You could then add the okra in after 15 minutes instead of the 25.
I use an Emile Henry tagine as it can be used for many dishes and is oven proof. It also makes a cool centre piece when entertaining but really any tagine or casserole dish will work.
Go on… Try something new this week
Have you tried tofu yet? For many people tofu conjures up images of tie dye, hemp wearing, tofu knitting hippies but it really shouldn't ;)
I tend to avoid supermarket tofu as the texture is never quite right and it’s not organic. Look for tofu that is not made from genetically modified soybeans; since organic soybeans cannot be genetically modified, organic tofu is a great choice.
Here’s one way I like to cook it… Perfect if you are trying to lose weight.
Tofu stir fry
1 tbspns of coconut oil or olive oil to cook with
3-4 tbspns Soy sauce (or tamari if wheat/gluten free)
250g of tofu (500g if you wish to make enough for a few days/meals) (plain or marinated best, avoid smoked)
Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
1-2 red chillies (to taste)
½ a cabbage (savoy or Chinese or kale all great options)
2 red onions
Large bunch of fresh coriander
40g sesame seeds
Sesame oil to drizzle
½ lemon or lime
If you have time it’s best to marinate the tofu an hour or two before you cook but don't worry, sometimes if I’m in a hurry I skip this and it’s still just as good.
Marinade: Cut the tofu in chunks and marinate in soy/tamari sauce, chilli, garlic, ginger
Heat the olive oil or coconut oil, add chopped onion and stir fry for 2 minutes. (If you skip the marinade add the chilli, garlic etc. now).
Add the tofu and all the marinade. Continue to stir fry for 5 minutes. Next add the peppers and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the chopped cabbage and mangetout and stir fry on med-high for about 4 minutes. You want the veg to retain some crunch and preserve the nutrients so try keep them al dente.
Once cooked, stir in the chopped coriander and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Squeeze in the lemon or lime, stir through. To finish sprinkle with raw sesame seeds. Add more soy/tamari sauce as required.
All done and you’ve got yourself a big portion of tasty fresh vegetables in very little time. Serve with buckwheat or brown rice noodles, brown rice or by itself for a light lunch/dinner.
Store in a large tub in the fridge and continue to eat over the next 3 days.
Tip: To avoid using too much oil and having the pan too hot, add a drop of hot water to the pan if you notice the oil drying up and this will create enough steam to fry with instead of using a lot of oil.
Stir fries are a great way to get extra vegetables into your diet and inject lots of flavour. Here are some of the benefits of these ingredients
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