|Extra special with your favourite chutney's and a dollop of yogurt!|
Today I’m sharing a really quick midweek meal. Something I try to do is regulate my portions and calorie intake during the week very rigidly. Sometimes I am really brilliant with it and sometimes not so much! The easiest way for me to get control of calories for the last meal of the day is a half cup of rice topped with something that has been stewed, like a sauce. You can do that using a completely vegetarian palate or a low fat protein such as chicken breast, turkey breast or I even find great success with lean beef in smaller quantities. My secret to keeping the calories low is taking away any fat that I can. My biggest enemy with calories is anything with fat in it. If you have something that has a high fat content or even just a few tablespoons of olive oil, you’re automatically going to be dealing with high calories since fat has a lot of calories. I know that before I started looking at calories and what they translated to in my every day routine, I was shocked at how much oil I was actually using! People say that olive oil is healthy, and while it is; everything in moderation! If you’re not measuring the oil going into your food you can quite easily go overboard. In 1 tablespoon of olive oil there are over 100 calories! If you’re making a one person dish, that’s a lot of calories to part with on your total daily intake; or it is for me anyways!
So with that said, the way I get around it is to boil boil boil! I use a non-stick pan, and I literally toss everything in, bring it to a boil and boil the crap out of it until it’s a thick sauce! No precooking, no heating oil to fry the onions and meat first, none of that! Just toss it in and boil boil boil, keep adding water if it’s not cooked through. Even if you don’t have a great non-stick pan, any large saucepan will work. I’ve found great success in this because you’re also left with a lot of flavour to dive into. I realize that for some things it just takes a bit of time. But if you get home from work and you toss it all in the second you get home bring it to a boil while you’re prepping for a shower, turn it down to medium and cook the crap out of it. My other tip is to stretch everything out with vegetables! Frozen vegetables are particularly the best because they’re completely hassle free and you can have them in ready when you need them. I tend to watch frozen items like peas, and sweetcorn because they tend to generate more calories, but mushrooms, red peppers, onions, green beans are fantastic for this. This recipe makes three portions, and can easily be stretched out for 4-6 with everything doubled. A secret of mine is also LARGE batches! Get those old takeaway containers out because they’re going to be your best friend at making portions correctly. I hope you enjoy!
500g (1lb) diced turkey breast
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 red pepper
150g button mushrooms
100g frozen peas
30g dried red split lentils
2 tbsp. mango chutney
Handful of coriander (cilantro)
Handfull curry leaves (optional)
2 green cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
1 inch piece cinnamon
2-4 tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
Salt to taste
To Start (This will take appx. 1hr)
Prep all of the veg – cut the peppers, slice the mushrooms, dice the onion.
Take out the peas and weight them.
Weigh out the red lentils.
Gather all spices.
Heat a pan really hot. (While you don’t have to add oil, you want to throw everything into a very hot pan.)
Start by throwing in the meat first, then the veggies.
Add in the tinned tomatoes and two cans of water.
Next add the spices, and lentils and peas while it’s coming up to a boil.
Salt lightly because it will develop more salt while cooking.
When it’s up to a rolling boil add in two cloves of garlic and turn to a medium boil and cover.
After about 30 minutes of boiling take off the cover, taste to check seasoning, if it needs more salt, salt it.
At this point add half the mango chutney (1 tbsp.), stir in and continue to cook.
If it’s too watery, turn that flame up high and evaporate the water, if it’s running out of water, add a bit more. Cook until the sauce has reached a consistency you like.
If it’s still too bitter add the remaining 1tbsp. of chutney.
At the final 5 minutes of cooking throw in the last clove of garlic, crushed or diced up.
Serve it up when hot on a bed of rice with some fat free yogurt.
*Note: If you can’t find mango chutney, a few tablespoons of coconut milk would be perfect.