Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Chicken Salad

Roasted cauliflower is so versatile, taking on whatever flavours you add to it. It also feels very filling despite being low in carbs (100g of cauliflower has around 4.5g of carbs, which is much lower than sweet potato which has 22g). If you’ve never tried it, give it a go.

Like this recipe? Pre-order my book 100 High Protein Lunches now for lots just like it.

Ingredients

1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1 can (260g) of chickpeas, drained
2 tsp olive oil
½ a medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp honey
1 tbsp mild or medium curry powder
3 leftover cooked chicken breasts, sliced

to top
1 granny smith apple, cored and cut into matchsticks
a handful of mixed herbs, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400° Place the cauliflower florets and chickpeas on a baking tray, add a teaspoon of oil and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Roast in the hot oven for around 30 minutes, until crisp and golden.
  2. Heat up the remaining teaspoon of oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the sliced onion and garlic and leave to cook slowly for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once browned and softened, stir in the honey and curry powder and turn off the heat.
  3. Make the apple & herb topping: whisk the olive oil together with the vinegar and a little salt & pepper. Add the apple and chopped herbs and mix everything together.
  4. Remove the cauliflower and chickpeas from the oven and combine with the onions/garlic and apple/herb mixtures. Add the sliced chicken breast and serve.

Macros

385 calories
45g protein
13g fat
21g carbs

Recipe Notes

– This salad is also great served warm – just leave out the apple/herb mix.
– For a veggie version, replace the chicken breast with feta or goats cheese.

 

Creamy Chicken Pot Pie topped with Butternut Squash and Goats Cheese

valentine-chicken-pie

I was looking for something to do with the butternut squash noodles (or ‘Boodles’, as it said on the packet) which I got from my local supermarket and this is what I came up with – chicken with a creamy, red wine sauce topped with crispy butternut squash and goats cheese (the latter two are a match made in heaven).

Serves 3 (you will need 3 small ramekins)

Ingredients

1 chicken breast
1/2 an onion
1/2 a carrot
a bunch of parsley (stalks only)
1/2 a small glass of red wine
1/2 a chicken stock cube
100g 0% fat greek yoghurt
1 tsp caramelized onion chutney (optional but recommended)
80g spiralized butternut squash
50g goats cheese
2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Slice the onion as thinly as possible and peel the carrot.  Chop the parsley stalks and slice the chicken breast thinly and into small pieces.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of oil to a frying pan and fry the onion on a high heat for around 5 minutes, until it is beginning to soften.
  3. When the onion is beginning to brown, grate in the carrot (which will cool the pan right down) and add in the parsley stalks.
  4. Add in the chicken breast slices to the pan and stir everything together.
  5. Add in the wine and crumble in the stock cube.  Allow the wine to reduce a little before turning the heat right down.   The mixture needs to be very dry before you carry on with the remaining steps.
  6. Turn off the heat and stir in the greek yoghurt and, if using, caramelised onion chutney.
  7. Put the spiralized butternut squash into a bowl and add the remaining olive oil and salt/pepper.
  8. Add the chicken mixture into individual ramekins until about 3/4 full (you should be able to fill 3 ramekins).   Fill the remainder with the spiralized butternut squash, taking care not to squash it down too much.  Add the goats cheese on top.
  9. Cook in an oven at 180 degrees for around 20 minutes, checking that the butternut squash has lost its crunch completely before serving.

Macros

300 calories | 25g protein | 5g fat | 13g carbs

Recipe Notes

  • Before adding the greek yoghurt, make sure that most of the liquid from the wine has evaporated – the dish should be sticky rather than watery.
  • Turn off the heat and let the pan cool for a minute or two before adding the greek yoghurt; otherwise it will curdle.
  • Keep the oven temperature on or below 180°C and don’t put too much butternut squash on the top of the ramekins.  This is because the top will cook much faster than the bottom layers (if you want extra butternut squash as a side dish, you could cook some in a separate dish, drizzled in olive oil, seasoned and maybe even with some goats cheese throughout).
  • Before serving, make sure that all of the butternut squash is cooked (this shouldn’t be a problem if you have stuck to the suggested quantities below).  If not, you could carefully mix it around with a fork to uncover the bottom layers (which might ruin the presentation but at least it will be cooked).
  • You don’t have to use the caramelised onion chutney, but it is a nice finishing touch.

Firecracker Chicken

It’s a dish that I can’t stop myself from ordering every time I go to Wagamama.  As you can see from the video, there are loads of ingredients for the marinade, but it’s this combination of sweet and spicy flavours (with a hint of sourness from the tamarind and vinegar) that makes the dish.

Where you have sweetness, you will of course have sugar.  Or, in this case, sweetener.  I used Sukrin Gold, a natural sweetener which looks and tastes just like brown sugar but without the calories.   I highly recommend it.

Macros

480 calories | 54g protein | 7g fat | 54g carbs

The full recipe can be found in my book High Protein Classics – order it here.  

(I also made it live on Facebook – see the video here)

Nandos-style Peri Peri Chicken

nandos-square

Yes you could just use a Nandos rub.  But it’s much more fun to make your own.

I haven’t worked out the macros for this dish as it varies with whichever part of the chicken you eat.  However, all of the recipes in my books have full macros (calories, protein, fat & carb breakdown).

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken
  • 2 large red chillis, chopped (and deseeded if you don’t like it too spicy)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • a small bunch of parsley, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Make the marinade:  combine the chopped chillis, garlic, parsley, paprika, red wine vinegar and olive oil together with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Mix well.
  2. Spatchcock the chicken:  turn it breast-side down with the parsons nose facing towards you and, using some very sharp kitchen scissors, cut out the backbone.  Flip the chicken over and push down firmly to flatten it.  Cover the chicken with the marinade and leave covered in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour (or preferably overnight).
  3. To grill on the barbecue, wait until the flames have died down and the coals are glowing and grill breast-side down for 15 – 20 minutes.  Then, flip over the chicken and cook for around 10 minutes, until it’s done (use a meat thermometer or check if the juices run clear).  Alternatively, cook the chicken in the oven for around 40 minutes (again, make sure it gets fully cooked) and finish off on the grill to crisp up the skin.

Super-High Protein Butter Chicken

My version of the Indian classic Butter Chicken is a high protein dream.  Combine chicken breasts, Greek yoghurt and nut butter and you get a whopping 52g of protein a portion!

AND my version actually has butter in it (not a lot, but enough..) whereas many healthier versions call themselves ‘butterless’ Chicken.  It STILL manages to have only 15g of fat a portion.

I always assumed that Butter Chicken was difficult to make, but I recently did an Indian cooking class with Rupen Rao when he was visiting Scotland and this was one of the dishes we made.  I’ve adapted Rupen’s recipe slightly to cut down on fat (Rupen’s more authentic version calls for chicken thighs rather than breasts, dried fenugreek leaves which you need to get from an Indian supermarket rather than ground fenugreek and cream instead of nut butter).

A note on the nut butter:  in the video you will see that I used cashew butter.  Indian cooking often uses ground cashew nuts as a thickener so I was trying to be authentic.  BUT in my practice run I used peanut butter (as I didn’t have any cashew) and it actually tasted better.  Plus it’s cheaper and easier to find.

The recipe & full macros (calories, protein, fat & carbs breakdown) can be found in my book High Protein Classics.

Download it as an eBook for only £1

or

Get the paper version on Amazon 

Chicken Jambalaya

This is a super-easy one-pan meal, which means that there is no need to spend ages washing up afterwards.  It is ideal to make if you are meal-prepping as it will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.

Macros (per portion, excluding greek yoghurt)

387 calories | 24g protein | 8g fat | 56g carbs

The full recipe is included in my book High Protein Classics – order it here.  

I also made this recipe live on my Facebook page, see it here.

 

Thai Green Curry

Here is a very simple Thai dish you can make at home.  If you are trying to impress, by all means add in fresh lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaves too, but these are crazily expensive for a weekday dinner so I left them out of the video.

A few tips:

  • Use full fat coconut milk rather than light coconut milk.  To make it ‘light’, more water has been added and less coconut!  If you really wanted to cut the calories/fat, you could just thin it down yourself with water or stock.
  • Simmer coconut milk very gently or it will split.
  • Not all curry pastes are created equal:  the best brands I have found are May Ploy and Thai Taste.  I once bought a supermarket-own jar and it was awful!

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large shallot
1/2 an aubergine
3 cloves of garlic
small handful of coriander
rind of 1/2 a lime
1 tsp oil
2 – 3 tbsp of Thai green curry paste
1 can of coconut milk (full fat)
400g chicken breast, sliced
a handful of green beans
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar (optional but recommended)
Thai fragrant rice (to serve)

Method

  1. slice up the shallot, aubergine, garlic, chicken breast and grate the lime
  2. chop up the coriander stalks and reserve the leaves for adding just before serving
  3. add the oil to a wok, turn on the heat (medium heat)
  4. throw in the shallot slices and stir until they begin to become translucent
  5. add the sliced aubergine, garlic, lime and chopped coriander stalks and stirfry for a few minutes
  6. spoon in the thai curry paste and stir into the vegetables
  7. turn the heat right down and add in the coconut milk and 1tsp of fish sauce
  8. throw in the sliced chicken breast and simmer gently for 20 – 30 minutes, until the aubergine is soft and – most importantly – the chicken breast is cooked
  9. around 5-10 minutes before serving, add in the green beans
  10. at this point, check the seasoning – add in more fish sauce if more saltiness is required and add the sugar to sweeten the dish
  11. serve with the fragrant rice with coriander sprinkled on top

Macros (per serving and including 50g of rice)

512 calories | 32g protein | 18g fat | 56g carbs

 

Healthier Sweet & Sour Chicken

Like Crispy Chilli Beef, Sweet & Sour Chicken is a Chinese takeaway classic.  Here is a healthier version, without the oily batter and without the MSG.  This recipe is plenty for two people when served with rice – it doesn’t keep well so you are best to eat it straight after cooking it.

The recipe & full macros (calories, protein, fat & carbs breakdown) can be found in my book High Protein Classics.

Download it as an eBook for only £1

or

Get the paper version on Amazon 

 

Easy Pad Thai

I love a good Pad Thai.  But in the past when I’ve looked up recipes for it, I’ve been put off by the need for exotic ingredients, such as salted radish and palm sugar.  Speaking of sugar, I was also a bit scared to find out just how much of the sweet stuff is actually in the dish (you may remember the headlines from a few years back which suggested that Pad Thai contains more sugar than a chocolate bar).

I am not a chef and have no desire to traipse around ethnic shops to look for fancy ingredients.  As I assume that many others are like me in this respect, when it comes to creating recipes, I try to only use ingredients which are easy to find in the supermarket.  As a result, this may not be the most authentic version of Pad Thai (the carrot is probably not very Thai) but believe me, it tastes really good.

Instead of using lots of noodles, I’ve bulked things up by using more veg (hence the carrot), which keeps the calories down.  I’ve left out the salted radish and used regular sugar instead of palm sugar (which is available in my local supermarket but is stupidly expensive).  I tried leaving the sugar out altogether, but I discovered that adding just half a teaspoon per serving really does transform the dish (demerara sugar is a better substitute for palm sugar if you happen to have any).

A few tips on stirfrying:

  • slice all of your ingredients as thinly as possible (but don’t cube them as they will burn)
  • prepare everything you will need in advance and keep it close to the stove
  • unless you are going to use lots of oil, use a good non-stick wok
  • the wok should be really hot before you add any of the ingredients (and should remain on high heat until any liquid is added)
  • you need to stay in front of the wok and stir continuously – don’t wander off!

The recipe & full macros (calories, protein, fat & carbs breakdown) can be found in my book High Protein Classics.

Download it as an eBook for only £1

or

Get the paper version on Amazon