You have heard and read a lot about adopting healthy eating practices, but let’s face it….sometimes browsing through the health food aisle can just be plain boring! You want to stick to your diet plan and not indulge in something fattening, but you find yourself longing for a delicious meal that leaves your tummy, your taste buds and even your soul satiated. And doesn’t that always happen just around the weekend?
So if you are feeling a little experimental this coming weekend, here is a simple, healthful yet delicious three course meal that will not jeopardise your diet, but will definitely perk up your weekend! Whether you are entertaining some friends over the weekend, have a family get together, or simply want to pamper your own self by cooking an elaborate meal, these recipes are guaranteed to hit just the spot…..
Starters: Baked Sticky Chicken Wings
This is a delicious recipe for sweet and sticky chicken wings that are full of fresh flavours. The Soy, Honey & Ginger added makes it perfect as finger food, great to be enjoyed alone or with company. This recipe serves 2, so adjust the ingredients accordingly if you are cooking for a larger crowd.
– 250gms fresh Chicken Wings; washed and prepped
– 2 tablespoons Soy sauce
– 1 tablespoon Honey
– 2 tbsp Canola oil
– 1 tsp Rice Vinegar
– 2 Garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
– 2 tbsp fresh Ginger, grated or minced
– Toasted sesame seeds to garnish
– 1 scallion, chopped; few coriander leaves chopped(optional)
1. In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, canola oil, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger. Marinate the chicken in this mixture for about 2-3 hours, so that all the flavours can seep in.
2. Remove the wings from the marinade and set aside. Heat a pan and add the marinade to it. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower heat and let it gently simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. At the same time, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
4. In a baking tray, place chicken wings evenly so that they don’t stick together. Let them cook halfway through, for about 20 minutes, making sure you turn them so that they cook evenly on both sides.
5. About 10 minutes before the chicken is completely cooked, pull out the tray and pour the marinade sauce mixture over the chicken wings and toss gently until all of the wings are coated.
6. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin on the wings begins to darken. Turn the wings once in between to make sure that both sides are equally done.
7. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallions, along with some coriander leaves. Serve.
Main Course: Chicken and Spinach in Gravy
This is a simple recipe that makes for a hearty meal. The rich flavours of Indian spices add certain warmth to this dish, making it the perfect soul food that will heighten your spirits! Don’t be discouraged to see the long list of ingredients; you can easily find all these ingredients at a local Indian store, and once you have them together, the cooking method is actually quite simple to follow.
Prepared to be amazed – not only will this elegant yet healthy main course leave you satiated, it is also guaranteed to make your kitchen smell divine! This recipe serves 2, so adjust the ingredients accordingly if you are cooking for a larger crowd.
-500g Chicken thighs, chopped into chunks
-2 Onions, finely chopped
-2 large Tomatoes, roughly chopped
-500g Spinach leaves
-2 teaspoons of Coriander powder/coriander seeds
-1/2 teaspoon of Cumin seeds/ cumin powder
-1 teaspoon of Paprika
-10 Black Peppercorns
-1 stick of Cinnamon
-2 teaspoons of Garam Masala (Indian mixed spice)
-1/2 teaspoon of Turmeric powder
– 4 Cloves
– 5 Cardamom pods
– 3 Indian Bay leaves
– 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper
– 2 tablespoons of Olive oil
– 1/2 cup Yoghurt
– 2 cups of Water
– 1 tablespoon each of Ginger and Garlic paste
– Salt to taste
1. Dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds for a couple of minutes and crush together in a pestle and mortar. If you are using the powdered form, you don’t have to do this.
2. Wash the spinach thoroughly and keep it aside. To keep the nutrients and the flavours of spinach intact, we will be adding this to the gravy at the very end.
3. Use a non stick pan (preferably one that comes with a lid) to fry the chicken in the oil until golden. Remove the chicken and set aside. In the same pan that contains the oil and the leftover chicken juices, add the onions along with the garlic and ginger paste. Fry until translucent, and then add the tomatoes. Let this masalas paste cook for about 5 minutes and then add ALL the spices. Cook for about 2 to 5 minutes on medium heat, until you feel the aromas of the spices filling up your kitchen.
4. Pop the chicken back into the pan. Add the yoghurt and 2 cups of water bring to the boil and then turn down the heat. If you want more flavour, you can replace the water with some chicken stock, which can be prepared in advance. Put the lid on and simmer for half an hour, or until the chicken looks almost cooked. Make sure you keep stirring occasionally.
5. This is the right time to season. Add the salt and cayenne pepper and make sure its mixed in to the gravy well.
6. Once the chicken looks almost done and is cooked through, add the spinach. Put the lid back on and cook for 5 -7 minutes. You can fish out the cinnamon and bay leaves if you’re feeling adventurous. If not give someone a surprise.
7. Serve with freshly boiled rice or simple flat bread.
Dessert: Quick Poached Pears with Ruby-Red Raspberry Sauce
Who aid desserts are banned on a diet? Only because you need to eat healthy doesn’t mean you need to leave your sweet tooth deprived! Try this simple dessert that is full of fruity flavours that are sure to delight your heart. Romantic and heart healthy, if you want to impress that special someone, we recommend you give this recipe a try pronto!
– 2 medium sized Pears, ripe
– Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
– 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
– 2 teaspoons of honey
– 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (reserve about 10 raspberries for garnish)
– 1 tablespoon black currant-flavour or orange-flavour liqueur
– Mint sprigs for garnish
1. With an apple corer or small knife, remove cores from blossom end of pears. Peel pears almost to top but do not remove stems. Rub pears with lemon juice and sprinkle with sugar.
2. In a glass plate, arrange pears lying down with stems toward center. Add 2 tablespoons water. Cook uncovered in the microwave oven on high for about 5 to 6 minutes, until tender. Make sure you turn the pears over halfway through cooking. Transfer pears, stem ends up, to 2 dessert plates and drizzle over with honey and set aside until ready to serve.
3. In your blender puree raspberries at high speed. Press raspberry puree through a sieve and then stir liqueur into the mixture.
4. To serve, spoon the raspberry sauce over poached pears. Garnish with mint sprigs and reserved raspberries.
So, there you have it – A simple yet elegant 3 course meal that will not take a lot of time to cook, but is guaranteed to leave you feeling indulgent. Happy Cooking! 🙂