Category Archives: Dinner

Karen’s Chicken Noodle Soup

This simple chicken noodle soup recipe is an easy, low fat, winter meal that can be prepared while the kids are at school and even divided into portions and frozen for quick meals. Just be sure to freeze the chicken and stock only. It’s best to add the noodles and fresh leafy veggies just before serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 x 1.7 -2 kg whole free range chicken, organic if possible
  • 2-3 carrots -peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 celery sticks chopped in chunks
  • 2 onions halved
  • 10 pepper corns
  • 3 bay leaves (fresh if possible)
  • thyme (fresh) – small bunch
  • 2-3 whole garlic cloves – peeled
  • fresh ginger (inch piece thick)
  • sea salt
  • Asian veggies of your choice (I add fresh shitake mushrooms,  bok choy, wombok, Chinese broccoli)
  • Organic soba noodles

Method

  1. Make the stock – skin chicken and cut in half through the breast bone (it will cook quicker!). Throw in large stock pot with whole garlic cloves, ginger, celery, carrots, peppercorns, onions and herbs. Cover with cold water ensuring chicken is submerged, add salt; slowly bring up to boil then immediately lower to simmer and cook very gently until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and skim surface off any excess fat.
  2. De-bone the chicken and shred into bits, it should come away from the bone and be very tender and juicy then strain the broth removing everything and return to the pot. Throw the carrots back in and  add the fresh veggies. Meanwhile cook the noodles in a separate pot, drain and rinse. Don’t over cook the noodles or it will turn into clag! The noodles cook within 3-4 mins.
  3. Once the veggies are cooked, fill your bowls with some noodles, ladle over broth and veggies and  top with the shredded chicken.  Serve with fresh coriander, red or green chilies (seeded and chopped) and chives. Fresh bamboo shoots are great too!

Variation: Once the stock has been strained, return it to the pot and add 1/2 cup of Shao Hsing wine, few splashes of Tamari, and palm sugar to taste.

Serves 5-6

 

Delicious Root Veggie Salad

Ordinary root vegetables made amazing. This is a filling vegetarian meal on it’s own or a colourful accompaniment with grilled chicken, steak or lamb.

Ingredients

  • 2-3  medium carrots
  • 1 large beetroot
  • Meredith Bay goats cheese fetta
  • large handful of continental parsley
  • large handful of fresh mint
  • olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1-2 sprigs of thyme or majoram
  • sea salt  and freshly ground black pepper
  • about 1/4 cup of water

Method

  1. Wash and chop carrots into round chunks (no need to peel). Throw it in sheet of foil. Fold the sides up to create a pocket and add the fennel and cumin seeds (lightly crushed), salt and pepper to taste, dash of olive oil,  water, lightly bashed garlic cloves (unpeeled) and a sprig of thyme. Wrap and bake in a hot oven until tender.
  2. Prick and wrap beetroot. Bake in a hot oven until tender. NO seasonings of any sort needed. Once both are cooked and slightly cooled, peel and dice the beetroot. Toss both in the same bowl, crumble fetta over the top with roughly chopped fresh parsley and mint; drizzle with olive oil, toss and serve.

Sumac spiced Eggplant & Asparagus Salad

  • Demo Image

Another veggie salad flavoured with middle eastern spices. This salad works really well with chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant sliced into think rounds, salted rinsed and drained
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of sumac
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • 1 bay fresh leaf
  • 1 small red onion finely sliced
  • handful each of mint and coriander
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Slice the red onion finely and place in a small bowl sprinkled with a large pinch of sea salt and set aside. The salt will draw the moisture out of the onions leaving soft, sweet onions which makes a delicious garnish. The longer you leave it to soak the better the result. After cooking everything else, squeeze the excess moisture from the onions, rinse if necessary before adding it to your dish. This can also be prepped ahead of time.
  2. Pat dry the eggplant then toss with the spices and a little olive oil. Slowly pan fry with the bay leaf or use a griddle pan. Drain any excess oil on kitchen paper. Steam the asparagus and cool. Toss both veggies in a bowl with the herbs, sprinkle with extra sumac and stir through the onions. Adjust seasoning to taste.

This delicious dish is so simple and quick to make that I tend to make it quite often. Leftovers work really well served cold the next day with a poached egg or a tin of tuna. At dinner time, it goes really well with lamb cutlets and harissa spiced yoghurt. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as myself and family do... 😉

Variation: Add chickpeas

Harissa Yoghurt Dressing

  • 1-2 teaspoons of good quality organic harissa paste
  • Plain Greek style or goat yoghurt
  • salt to taste
  • squeeze of lemon juice

Stir it all together and spoon over your cutlets.

Wild Rice for Wild People

Wild rice is a type of edible grass dried and sold as a whole grain. The rice is a dark chocolate-like colour and has a nutty taste and texture. It’s an excellent low fat, high protein and high fibre grain and  I love it because it’s an alternative to regular rice and can be used to make many  hot and cold dishes. This recipe is one of my Summer salad versions.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of wild rice (cooked according to packet instructions)
  • 2 cups of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • 1/2 medium sized red onion, diced
  • large handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium vine ripened tomatoes (de-seeded and diced)

Method

Once the rice is cooked rinse under cold water using a sieve, and allow to cool.  Dice the remaining ingredients and toss them through the rice. Dress the salad with my classic versatile dressing.  Adjust the seasoning to taste and voila! Eat! Great addition for BBQ parties, to have with a tin of tuna at work or with a grilled steak for a simple but nutrient dense mid-week meal.

Vinaigrette Salad Dressing – this quantity will make enough for many meals.  I use a 320 ml jar.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • White wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice (always 2/3 oil to 1/3 acid)
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 Garlic clove-mashed to a paste with a dash of sea salt
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

Throw it in a jar and shake

Variations – There are endless variations with this recipe and it completely depends of your own tastes.  Here are some of mine.

  • 1/2 teaspoon of  honey or agave nectar
    Replace lemon or white wine v w balsamic (I like the aged thick stuff)
  • Add a stalk of thyme or tarragon
  • Try macadamia, avocado or walnut oil for a change
  • Add capers or gooseberries

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