This past week I decided to give myself a break from red meat. Don’t get me wrong, I love red meat, but I think we eat too much of it at times, so a week of chicken, bacon or veggies (may have to throw in some fish tonight) has been well received by my body, and surprisingly, my family weren’t too concerned. I had a terrible headache yesterday and wondered if that had anything to do with it, something like withdrawal symptoms, but decided that I was just being dramatic and the headache was just a headache.
One of my favourite things to do is snuggle up on the couch with a few good foodie magazines and ponder over the recipes and “ingredients in season” sections. I then plan my meals for the next two weeks as I find fortnightly shopping more economical than weekly, both from a financial point of view as well as my time. Besides, its just a chore traipsing round the store more often than I have to as there is already so much to get done every week.
Back to my recipe mags…my favourite at the moment is the Healthy Food Guide. I try to buy it monthly, but sometimes that’s just a luxury so I find myself returning to older copies of the magazines that I have stashed away. This week was one of those weeks when it was easy to pull out the old favourites and adapt them here or there, plus the weather turned cold again so a few casserole type dishes were in order. This recipe is taken from the June 2010 edition of the HFG.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
500g skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breast (I used leftover roast chicken from the previous night)
1 carrot, diced
1 red pepper, sliced
400g can chopped tomatoes
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup white wine
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp brown sugar
4 cups chopped spinach (use frozen if you don’t have fresh)
fresh parsley to garnish
- In a large pan, heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic over a medium heat until softened. Add the chicken (if using raw), carrot and pepper. Stir-fry until the chicken is browned.
- Add tomatoes, stock, wine, tomato paste and sugar. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid has reduced a little. If you use pre-cooked chicken that you’ve cut into strips, add it after the sauce ingredients have simmered for about 10 minutes.
- Add the spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley if you like and serve with pasta, rice or potatoes. I opted for lovely nutty brown rice in keeping with my health kick this week.
This meal takes less than half an hour to prepare and cook – the brown rice probably took the longest, so is a nutritious and delicious dish to turn to on those nights when you are running low on time. The original recipe also suggests adding chillies or black olives as an alternative for extra flavour so play with it a little and make it your own.