Category Archives for "Chicken"

Vietnamese Chicken Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

vietnamese-spring-rolls-high-protein

Spring rolls were one of the best things I discovered when I went to Vietnam a few years ago.

Ingredients

1 small chicken breast (cooked – see video here)
3 mint leaves
5 basil leaves
a handful of rocket or lettuce
a few carrot and cucumber sticks
3 spring roll rice wrappers

for the sauce:
2 tbsp peanut flour
2 tbsp water
1 tsp brown sugar substitute
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
a squeeze of lime (optional)

Method

  1. Firstly, finely chop the chicken breast and salad ingredients. Fill a bowl or pan large enough to fit the rice wrapper into with hot water. Mix all of the sauce ingredients together.
  2. Dip the first wrapper in the hot water for around 5 – 10 seconds, until it is starting to lose its stiffness.
  3. Lay the wrapper flat on a chopping board and add a third of the chicken salad mixture in the centre. Fold the sides inwards and then tightly roll it so that the filling ingredients are completely encased.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the remaining two wrappers. Serve with the dipping sauce.

 

1

Creamy Chicken Pot Pie topped with Butternut Squash and Goats Cheese

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.

See High Protein Classics 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.

 

See High Protein Classics 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.

See High Protein Classics on Amazon 

Chicken Tikka Masala

Low Fat Chicken Tikka Masala

Let’s face it, Chicken Tikka Masala is not supposed to be low fat.  Whenever I’ve bought a ‘healthy’ ready meal version, it has always been tasteless.  It is supposed to have lots of ghee and cream in it.

Having said that, I’m really pleased with this recipe!  I’ve replaced the cream with Greek yoghurt and I’ve used minimal oil.

I decided to use regular Greek yoghurt rather than 0% fat Greek yoghurt for the extra creaminess (the regular version has only 5g of fat per 100g (and 9g of protein!) so is hardly going to ruin your diet).   I usually buy the 0% stuff because Greek yoghurt, together with eggs, is probably my main source of protein so I eat a lot of it – I suppose it’s like the difference between full-fat and semi-skimmed milk:  you get used to the lower fat stuff and forget how good the full fat version is.  But if anyone fancies giving this recipe a go using 0% Greek yoghurt, please let me know how it goes 🙂

A note on spiciness level:  for me, a heaped tablespoon of tikka spice mix in the sauce (step 6. below) was perfect, but my mum found it a bit spicy, so ½ a tablespoon would be better for a milder curry.

Macros

315 calories | 40g protein | 9g fat | 18g carbs

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