TASTY BRAISED LETTUCE WITH TOFU OR CHICKEN

I was watching a rare bit of television the other day (cooking programmes obviously) and the lovely Tom Kerridge was on cooking his usual decadent, meat, wheat, dairy fuelled creations which I am always frantically scribbling down to try and morph (some might say kill?) into something less meat, wheat and dairy like.   

When he started talking about how rubbish lettuce was and he found it boring my ears pricked up. I also struggle with the humble lettuce. Other than using a little gem lettuce as a wrap instead of a tortilla, I must say I am not a fan and would definitely turn to one of its darker leafed cousins. Tom however decided to braise his in a vat of butter and serve it with a roast duck. Wow. This needed to be pulled apart and turned into a ‘clean’ version.   

I used tofu in mine but some leftover roast chicken would work brilliantly here for a very quick mid-week supper.

Tasty Braised Lettuce with Tofu 

Tasty Braised Lettuce with Tofu 

Ingredients – serves 1

1 little gem lettuce cut in half

splash of almond milk

1 tbsp coconut oil or rapeseed oil

250 ml vegetable or chicken stock

1 clove garlic minced

½ leek or 2 spring onions chopped

1 tbsp rice vinegar

chilli flakes (optional)

salt and black pepper to taste

handful of frozen (and defrosted) garden peas

cooked tofu or chicken - palm sized amount 


Method 

  1. Heat the oil in pan and add garlic, leek or onions and cook until soft but not brown.
  2. Add rice vinegar, peas and chicken/tofu.
  3.  When the peas and protein have taken on the flavour from the caramelising onion   and garlic, add the lettuce cut side down.
  4. Allow to brown then turn over and add enough stock to scrape up all the juices in the pan but not flood the lettuce.
  5. Cook on a high heat to reduce down the liquid then add a splash of almond milk to add a touch of creaminess to the pan.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Plate up and squeeze over some lemon if desired. 

Until next time,
Mandy 

SOY & GINGER SALMON WITH SPICY PEANUT NOODLES

The Flying Food Circus is in now in full flow as you will have seen from the MCL posts and the delivery section on the website! If you haven’t had a look yet, go and check out what we’re up to at missioncleanlean.com/delivery and theflyingfoodcircus.co.uk

I thought I would share one of the recipes on the lunch menu this week as it is so so easy and also very adaptable depending on whether you are in a courgette mood rather than carrot noodles or would prefer chicken to salmon (or as is usually my case when prepping for myself, whatever seems to be knocking about in the fridge that day). The dressing can be made in advance and kept in the fridge to use through the week. Add it to your noodles, marinate some chicken in it, throw a dollop in with some greens to add a lovely spicy satay taste with all the flavour and all the good fats!

Ingredients – serves 1

  • 1 fillet salmon
  • 1 thumb ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 chillies, chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp organic sugar free peanut butter
  • 1-2 carrots (enough for one portion) spiralised or shredded into ribbons using a julienne peeler
  • Peanuts unsalted, roughly chopped
  • Coriander, handful
  • ½ lime, juiced

Method

  1. Mix one tbsp. of soy sauce, half the ginger, chilli, garlic and oil in a small bowl and pour over salmon.
  2. Pour over the salmon and grill for approx. 15 minutes until flaky.
  3. Whilst the salmon is grilling, mix the remaining ingredients apart from the coriander and peanuts in a bowl (I find whizzing in a small food processor gives a good consistency).
  4. Taste and experiment with more of any other ingredients as required. You might want more soy, peanut butter or chilli depending on your taste or a drop of water might be required to loosen the paste slightly.  Keep adding and tasting until to your liking – there is no exact science on this paste!
  5. Put the noodles in a bowl/on a plate, add sauce and toss gently.
  6. Garnish with chopped peanuts and coriander and serve with fillet of salmon.
  7. Alternatively allow salmon to cool, keep dressing separate and assemble at work for a lovely easy lunch.

Until next time,
Mandy xx

PHO SOUP

Hi all

It’s April, we’ve had our Easter break and now we’re all gearing up for that late spring sun… where is it?? Not sure about you but as much as I am desperate to get excited about zesty salads and fresh cold plates, I am still craving nourishing bowls of hot stuff. I am just back from a very wet, foggy, muddy run this morning and I am already dreaming about my lunch… a big bowl of spicy Pho soup.

Since discovering the ease of this recipe I must be making it at least once a week in a huge batch and saving the broth in the fridge to add whatever veg and protein I have. It is so versatile and my boys love it too. They prefer theirs with egg noodles and chicken or beef and I am definitely a prawn and rice noodle girl with my meat free (still!) wheat free preferences.

Veggies can be anything really but I find a dark green leafy veg like pak choir, bok choi, kale, cavelo nero is a great contrast to the spicy broth and coupled with the protein, you really feel like you’re putting some good into your body. This is also perfect to prep in advance and take to work, just tumble out the dry ingredients into a bowl, warm up the broth and pour over.

Ingredients
serves 1 (double/triple/quadruple as required)

·         Palm sized amount of protein of choice: chicken, prawn, tofu, as examples

·         Handful of dark leafy veg of choice

·         1 serving of rice noodles soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained

·         3-4 spring onions

·         ½ red onion sliced

·         Other veg of choice, beansprouts and mushrooms work well

·         1/2 litre of vegetable or chicken stock (this will make extra broth that you can keep)

·         2 chopped chillies (or less if preferred!)

·         1 clove garlic minced

·         Thumb sized ginger grated

·         1 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)

·         Splash soy sauce

·         Handful coriander leaves torn

·         ½ lime cut into wedges

·         Tbsp coconut oil
 

Method

  1. Add red onions, and garlic to melted hot coconut oil in a large saucepan and quickly fry off until charring slightly, add ginger, chilli and protein of choice – and either brown off if chicken or flash fry if tofu/fish/prawns.
     
  2. Add the stock and all other ingredients apart from noodles, lime and coriander and cover.
     
  3. Simmer on a low heat for approximately 20 minutes (check protein is cooked through.)
     
  4. In a bowl assemble pho with noodles at the bottom, spoon on greens and protein and then pour over broth. 
     
  5. Garnish with coriander and a wedge of lime
     
  6. Enjoy!

Until next time,
Mandy

 

 

 

 

ROLL UP, THE FLYING FOOD CIRCUS IS IN TOWN!

You might have noticed that me and the MCL crew have been very busy over the past couple of months getting ready to launch our very exciting new venture. My love of cooking and recipe creation has morphed into an opportunity to cook and deliver meals to the lovely people of Leeds. This means you can continue to have all the words of wisdom, support, meal and exercise plans that you get with your MCL programmes, but in addition to this, you can also have your lunches and dinners prepared and delivered to you.

This is perfect for anyone with a hectic weekday schedule, couples following the plan together and of course for those reluctant cooks out there… there are only so many boiled eggs you can eat to fill your protein quota! We are so so excited to bring this to you and hope you are too. Dates for delivery are below so if you're interested, make sure you hop on the website and sign up with your preferred dates so we can start planning your delicious meals.

Those of you who have been following my blog for the last couple of years will know what to expect... I love a spice (or four) and most of my recipes take inspiration from dishes around the world. If you want to get more of a feel for it, check out my instagram (theflyingfoodcircus) and twitter (@mandy_panesar) feeds. 

Aside from the delivery service, I am also very excited to bring The Flying Food Circus to this year's MCL retreat! Three days of lushness in the form of Pilates, HIIT, beautiful scenery and of course deliciously nourishing meals. The details are here and there is an earlybird offer until the end of March so get in there quick! It would be great to meet some of you in person, especially those non Leeds MCLers that the delivery service won't reach (just yet!) 

Dates for Delivery:

All deliveries are for 5 days, Monday to Friday.  You will receive a weekly meal sheet before your delivery date so you know what you're getting. Make sure you fill out the 'sign up' form with any dietary requirements so we can tailor the meal plans to suit your needs.

March
7/3/16
21/3/16

April
4/4/16
18/4/16

May
2/5/16
16/5/16
30/5/16

June
13/6/16

Come and have a look at what it's all about and check out our opening offer of just £55 per week:  www.theflyingfoodcircus.co.uk 

Looking forward to popping round soon with your meals!

Until next time,
Mandy

CAULIFLOWER CRUST

I'm into the final week of my 21 Day Detox and loving all the inspiration from my fellow MCLers on their clean meal ideas. I love how the group bounces off each other with encouragement and support when we need a boost as well as celebratory whoops as appropriate! The brand new Low Impact 21 Day Detox is coming up on Monday, be sure to check it out and join up if you need some motivation to get out of those bad habits we've all fallen into over Christmas! 

The plan coupled with my Pescetarian January month means I am downing veggies by the bucketload. I'm packing them in as main courses rather than just sides (made some fab veggie fritters this morning) and also as a carb substitute. 

My new best friend is the humble cauliflower. You can rice it and have it plain or warmed up with some added spice or seasoning for a perfect carb-free side to chilli or curry or you can create a crust which can be used as a base for pizza, veggie tarts or as I did recently for a MCL meeting, as a substitute naan bread. It really did the trick! 

Most recipes just use cauliflower but I find by adding some ground almonds to the mixture it's  easier to work with, holds beautifully when cool and creates a much softer lighter 'bread'. I served mine drizzled with hot coconut oil which had been flavoured with garlic and coriander to create a garlic naan bread of sorts. I've also smothered with passata and basil and topped with garlic prawns for an amazing mini pizza. I actually prefer the taste and texture to pizza dough and there is no bloated heavy feeling afterwards. 

Here is the basic recipe for the crust, use it in whatever way you like - use your imagination! Oh and get a candle ready for when you've finished... microwaved cauliflower stinks the house out!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower pulsed to a 'rice' in food processor 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g ground almonds 
  • salt and pepper to season
  • any other seasoning of your choice, the following work well: onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, mixed dried herbs

Method

  1. Microwave the riced cauliflower for approx. 4 minutes (until the kitchen pongs of cauliflower!)
     
  2. Spread out on a tea towel and allow to cool slightly. 
     
  3. Use tea towel to squeeze out as much moisture from the cauliflower as possible. I use a 'nut bag' from Amazon which I use for making oat or nut milk but a tea towel works fine. This is a very important step as the more moisture you can remove, the firmer the crust. 

4. Add the beaten egg and seasoning of choice and mix well. 

5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and grease liberally with coconut oil.

6. Make one large crust or several small ones by placing a mound of cauliflower onto the tray and shaping into a crust with the back of a spoon or your hands (hands work best), keep the mixture as compact as possible and about the thickness of a pound coin. 

7. Put tray (split between 2 if easier) into a preheated oven (200°C/180°C fan) and bake for 15-18 minutes. 

8. Allow to cool before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool underneath. 

9. This is the fun bit! Decide what you're going to use your crusts for, top and return to the oven, or use as an accompanying bread for a curry.

IMG_4915.JPG

Let me know what you decide to do with yours! 

Until next time, 
Mandy xx