Monday, December 8, 2014

Homemade Guacamole

You really cannot serve Mexican especially Spicy Chicken Nachos without Homemade Guacamole.  It's that perfect accompaniment that pleases the tastebuds along side all the warm wonderful spices that Mexican food is laced with.
One of the major positives about this dish is that it's such an easy side dish to make, taking only minutes and the flavour is just an explosion in your mouth compared to shop brought prepackaged dip.

Homemade Guacamole
Serves: 8
ProPoints per serve: 2
2 ripe avocado
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
150 grams cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 red bullet chilli (seeds removed if desired) finely chopped
juice of 1 fresh lime
freshly ground black pepper

Cut avocados in half, remove stone and peel.  Dice each half and place in a large bowl.  Mash gently until chunky.
Add onions, cherry tomatoes, coriander, chilli and lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix until well combined.

Refrigerate until required.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Spicy Chicken Nachos

We love having people over and there is always something quick and easy we can whip up just to keep everyone's tummies happy while we enjoy the great company.  Mexican is one of those friendly comfort foods that everyone seems to love and I would have to say that Nacho's are high on everyone's favourite food lists.

These Spicy Chicken Nachos are definitely a crowd pleaser served with sour cream and Home Made Guacamole - they were definitely a hit..  So easy to make especially the corn chips being made from tortillas, the mince spicy but not overpowering which can be made with or without the chilli kick.

Please note as we had a houseful I doubled the recipe below.

Spicy Chicken Nachos
(Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers 1 Recipe 3 Ways Cookbook)
Serves: 4
ProPoints per Serve: 11
4 x 40g extra light flour tortillas
1 tablespoon olive oil
500 grams low fat chicken mince
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 red capsicum, finely chopped
1 green capsicum, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teadspoon ground coriander
300 gram jar chunky tomato salsa
1 cup water
1 - 2 teaspoons chilli flakes (if desired)
1/3 cup extra light sour cream
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves

Preheat oven to 200 degress Celsius or 180 degrees Celsius fan-forced.  Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.  Cut each tortilla into 12 wedges.  Place on prepared trays and lightly spray with oil.  Bake for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden.  Cool.
Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add mince and cook, breaking up any lumps for 3-5 minutes or until browned.  Transfer to a bowl.
Heat remaining oil in pan.  Add onion, capsicum and carrot.  Cook strirring for 5 minutes or until softened.  Add cumin and coriander and cook stirring for 1 minute or until fragrant.  Return mince to the pan with salsa, water and chilli flakes if using and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 - 12 minutes or until thickened.
Place tortilla chips into serving bowls.  Top with mince mixture , sour cream and coriander. 
Serve with a 0ppt salad, homemade guacamole and some grated cheese if desired.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Asian Pork Cutlets

This meal had to be one of the easiest that I have prepared EVER!!  And the outcome was a really tender pork cutlet flavoured with all the spices of the orient.

I have to be perfectly honest that I am not a fan of cooking small pieces of meat in the oven (baking) in fact I don't even cook large peices of meat in the oven as we cook all of our roasts in the Weber.  So this itself was an interesting exercise for me and thankfully with success.

The flavour was full considering the marinating time was very minimal making these Asian Pork Cutlets a perfect midweek wonder.  The kids loved the flavour - somewhat sweet but with the underlying tones of cinnamon, star annise and soy added character to the plum sauce base.

Overall a terrific dish which I am sure will be on the menu again very soon.

Asian Pork Cutlets
(Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers 5 Ingredients Cookbook)
Serves: 4
ProPoints per serve: 12
1/2 cup plum sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teapsoon chinese five spice powder
4 x 200 gram pork cutlets, fat trimmed
1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed
1 cup white rice
Combine the plum sauce, soy sauce and five spice in a shallow glass or ceramic bowl.  Add pork, turning to coat.  Set aside for 30 minutes to marinate.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Line a baking dish with baking paper.  Place cutlets on the baking tray, reserving any marinade.  Bake cutlets for 25 minutes, basting with marinade every 10 minutes.  Cook until pork is cooked through and golden or to your liking.
Meanwhile cook rice as per packet instructions. 
Place remaining marinade in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce heat, simmering until sauce slightly thickens. 
Steam broccolini for 2 minutes or until bright in colour.
Place cutlets on serving plates with rice and broccolini.  Drizzle with sauce and serve.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chicken Leek and Corn Crepes

This dish definitely is at the top of the Comfort Food list - it's creamy, flavoursome and a definitely "can I please have some more?" meal.    In fact this dish has 'Comfort' written all over it. There was not much left of this dish at all (and I had planned to freeze some as I had doubled the recipe). 

While this sounds like a recipe that involves a lot of elements - it would if you cooked them all yourself but making this mid week is easy when you can by already made crepes.  Here in Melbourne you can find them in the freezer section at supermarkets near the pastry).  Defrost them before use and away you go.

The creamy chicken, leek and corn filling is easy to make and with all the ingredients prepared before hand is completed in 20 minutes allowing a little extra time for it to cool. 

Overall, a perfect dish...

Chicken Leek and Corn Crepes
Serves: 4
ProPoints per Serve: 12

cooking spray
1 leek, finely sliced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
400 grams lean chicken breast fillet, fat trimmed, cut into 1 cm pieces
2 tablespoons water
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Weight Watchers Canola Spread
2 tablespoons plain flour
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup chicken stock
pinch ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernals, thawed
8 French-style frozen crepes, just thawed
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius or 180 degrees Celsius fan-forced.  Spray a 28cm x 20cm x 3cm ovenproof dish with cooking spray.
Lightly spray a large non-stick frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.  Add leek and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened.  Add chicken and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until browned.
Heat spread in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Combine milk, stock and nutmeg in a jug.  Gradually add milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until  smooth.  Bring to the boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 - 3 minutes or until sauce has thickened.  Stir in chicken mixture, corn and parsley.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture.  Lay crepes on a flat work surface.  Divide remaining chicken mixture among crepes and spread evenly along 1 edge.  Roll crepes to enclose filling and place, seam side down, in prepared dish.  Spoon reserved filling along centre of crepes.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Served sprinkled with a 0ppt garden salad if desired. 
(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)