May’s Time Saving Kitchen Tips!

Week beginning Friday 4th September 2020

This 2 ingredient paste is an easy staple to keep in your fridge (or freezer) that will save you time and mean you can put together a tasty, flavoursome Asian inspired meal in no time. Making your own means you know what’s in it; no oil, salt or additives or preservatives; just straight garlic and ginger. And you don’t even need to peel the ginger!

It’ll keep in the fridge, covered with a thin layer of oil (any but not olive oil as it’s the wrong flavour combination) for up to 3 weeks. Alternatively, you can freeze it in ice cubes and cover with cling film, or even more simply, in small mounds on a tray and then when they’re frozen scoop them up and store them in a ziploc bag, glass jar or plastic tub. You can use them straight from frozen – no need to defrost.

  • Homemade ginger garlic paste ***

    Equal amount of garlic cloves, peeled and fresh ginger (no need to peel), cut into chunks. I like mine to be quite heavy with ginger, for full flavour but you can use half the amount of ginger vs garlic if you prefer. Store in a jar in the fridge (for around 3 week) until you’re ready to use it. But don’t forget it…use it and it will elevate any meal instantly!

    In a food processor, blend to a relatively smooth paste, scraping down in between. You may need to add a little water if the mixture is too dry- a tablespoon at a time. 

  • Sesame Chicken & Sugar Snaps Peas ***

    This dish is all about the marinade! A basic chicken stir fry is so quick to make using any seasonal vegetable and you’ve got a healthy one-pan meal that you can put together just before serving.That combination of first-class protein, crunchy seasonal vegetables and great flavours is a perfect midweek winner!

    • Ingredients – serves 4
      4 small chicken breasts, cut into strips
      1 large onion, thickly sliced
      1 handful sugar snap peas (or green beans/mangetout)
      1 tablespoon homemade ginger garlic paste
      1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice
      1 green chilli, thinly sliced
      Rapeseed oil for frying
      Sesame oil for serving
      2 tbsp soy sauce
      2 tbsp sesame oil
      1 tbsp mirin
      juice of 1 lime
      Black pepper
      2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
      1 tsp maple syrup (or honey)Start by marinating the chicken, preferably 2-3 hours before if time allows, otherwise at the outset is fine. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and add the chicken strips. Mix well to ensure they are all evenly coated.Heat a little rapeseed oil in a large frying pan or wok and add the onions. Saute for 5mins over a medium heat, tossing until they are starting to turn colour. Now add the chicken strips along with the ginger garlic paste, chilli and five-spice and continue to toss until they start to cook through, about 5mins. Finally, add the sugar snap peas and cook for a further 5-8 mins until they are cooked but still crunchy.

      Serve with a drizzle of sesame oil for a delicious flavour boost with rice or noodles

  • Crispy Teryaki Salmon and Seasonal greens (Vegan flexible)

    This green medley of vegetables is delicious in its simplicity. This meal really can be ready in 15mins and that includes the chopping! If you’re serving with noodles, they can be cooked at the same time so it’s all ready at once.

    • Ingredients – serves 2
      2 salmon fillets, with skin
      3 rounds of Egg noodles (if using)
      1 large onion, thickly sliced
      1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
      1 tbsp Soy sauce
      1 green chilli, thinly sliced (optional)
      1 tbsp Teriyaki (or soy sauce)
      Rapeseed oil for frying1 handful green beans, topped, tailed & halved
      1 courgette, cut in half and thinly sliced lengthways
      1 green pepper, halved and thinly sliced
      1 handful button mushroomsSesame oil & sesame seeds for serving

      If serving noodles….bring a pan to the boil and cook the egg noodles according to packet instructions. Drain and return to the pan. set aside

      Start by frying the onions for 2-3mins before adding the ginger garlic paste. Continue to fry for a further 2 mins and then add the sliced vegetables and chilli if using. Toss them through quickly and continue until they are starting to soften. Now add the soy sauce and cook through for a minute or so.

      At the same time, in a separate frying pan heat some rapeseed oil and place the salmon, skin side down. Add the Teriyaki sauce and allow to cook over a medium heat, for 5mins until most of the fillet has cooked through.

      Carefully, using a flat spoon, turn each fillet to finish off cooking the top section; around 3 mins. Remove from heat and place alongside the vegetables and noodles (if using)

      Just before serving, drizzle with sesame oil for a flavour boost and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

      Simple, healthy & tasty!

    • VEGAN alternative; skip the chicken and pan fry Tofu cubes in Teriyaki; add them in at the end so they also absorb the flavours of the vegetables.
  • Warming Carrot & Ginger Soup (V)

    Rarely does a week go by without me making this soup, particularly in cooler weather! It’s incredibly tasty and a great way to use up a large bag of carrots that arrives in my veggie box most weeks!

    • Ingredients
      1 bag carrots, preferably organic, roughly sliced
      1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
      1 onion, finely chopped
      1 tbsp coconut oil
      1 tsp salt
      Pumpkin/Sesame seeds
      In a large saucepan, heat the coconut oil and add all the ingredients at once. Cook over a medium heat for around 10mins until the carrots start to soften.Now add salt and water from the kettle to cover the vegetables. Cook for a further 10mins until the carrots are soft.Blend using a handheld blender in the pan itself or for a smoother soup, use a kitchen processor. I use a Thermomix kitchen machine for a super smooth velvety texture.

      Serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds (optional)

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