Honey Soy Chicken with Mushroom and Cauliflower Rice

Sunday nights are for Roller Derby.

Which means Monday mornings are for sore thighs and Voltaren cream.

It also means that Sunday night dinners need to be made by the hubby (he’s more than capable), or be quick and easy for me to prepare before or after . This past Sunday, I combined the two, and had hubby roast the chicken while I somewhat literally skated my butt off, then came home and whipped up this amazing and quick cauliflower rice dish from Primavera Kitchen.

Now, I used to think I wasn’t big on food trends, but my obsession with zoodles, and now realising how fabulous cauliflower rice is, I guess I can’t lay claim to that any more. I am head over heels in love with this recipe. And at 81 calories for a really generous serve, nobody will judge you if (when) you take it to a whole new level with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Best of all, it keeps! I took it to work the next day, then forgot about it (entirely possible when you stash soup in your work freezer like I do), which made for a happy lunch surprise today (Tuesday). In summary, this is perfect Sunday meal prep fodder. Because on Sundays, we meal prep, right?!

The only significant change to the original recipe I made here was that I used beef stock because I forgot to buy the vegetable kind, and I am far too slack to always have a stash of homemade stock. So, it’s no longer vegetarian. But then, neither am I, so no worries there. Oh, and I used spray olive oil, because when you only eat 1200 calories, you don’t want to spend 50 of them on oil.

Ingredients 

  • 2-3 second spray olive oil.
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 300g mushrooms
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup good quality beef stock (I see no reason why you couldn’t use any flavour)
  • 2tbs soy sauce
  • 60g baby spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp parsley

Method

  1. Cut cauliflower into large florets and pulse in a food processor until it reaches a rice-like consistency.
  2. Heat oil in a large frypan on medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook for 4 minutes, until tender.
  3. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Add mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and juices are released.
  5. Stir in the cauliflower rice and sautee for one minute.
  6. Add the vegetable broth. Simmer for 5 minutes, for the cauliflower rice to absorb the vegetable broth and soften. Be sure not to let it get soggy.
  7. Mix in baby spinach and cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Add soy sauce and mix to combine.
  9. Season with parsley and salt and pepper to taste, .

Honey Soy Chicken 

Ingredients

8 chicken drumsticks

1/4 cup soy sauce

2tbs honey

1tsp ginger

1tbs garlic

1tbs sweet chilli sauce.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Prepare and grease large baking dish. Add chicken.
  2. Combine all other ingredients in a jug. Pour over chicken, turning to coat.
  3.  Place chicken in fridge for 1 hour for flavours to develop.
  4. Bake chicken, covered with foil, for 50 minutes- 1 hour, until cooked through and juice run clear.
  5. Serve with cauliflower rice.

 

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Smoky Chicken with Pomegranate and Mango Chutney

 

I’m going to be honest here… this one didn’t really speak to my kids. I  mean, they ate it and seemed to enjoy the fruity chutney, but they weren’t super stoked about the chicken itself.

They’re insane. Or, they’re 10 and 7… same thing, really. I knew going in that the kids probably wouldn’t be raving about this one. But I was itching for something new and different.

This dish certainly ticked those boxes – it was complex and intriguing, and no two bites tasted exactly the same. The intense smokiness of the chicken was tempered by the sweet tang of the chutney, which also mellowed the gentle bitterness of the brussels sprouts.

It also was one of those recipes that taught me something about myself – that it takes a couple of F bombs, a youtube video and a huge mess for me to extract the seeds from a pomegranate. This was not a family-friendly procedure. But now I know how to do it effectively, so I guess it’s one less thing to fear in the kitchen. Pomegranate seeds and naughty words for everybody!

This recipe was (barely) adapted from my new favourite recipe site, Clean Eating Magazine. I changed a few things around to have it fit into my particular preferences, but the essence of the recipe remains virtually untouched. All together, what you see in the photo was 357 calories, which is pretty low cal for a full meal.

Serves: 4 (smallish meals)

Ingredients

1 tsp cocoa powder

3tbs paprika

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

A couple of cracks of rock salt

Spray olive oil

1 red onion

1tbs minced ginger

1/2tsp chilli flakes

250g frozen (or fresh) mango

1/2tsp cinnamon

1 pomegranate, seeded in whatever inelegant fashion that gets the job done

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1.3 tbs honey

steamed baby potatoes, beans and carrots, to serve

sauteed brussels sprouts (because boiling or steaming them should be illegal), to serve

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven 180°F, and line a shallow baking dish with foil. Lightly spray with oil.
  2. Combine paprika, cocoa, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Add chicken and coat.
  3. Transfer chicken to prepared dish and cover with foil. Bake until cooked through. This should take about 30 minutes, but your oven may vary.
  4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and chilli flakes. Cook, stirring often, until onion softens but does not colour.

    This chutney is purposely saucier than the original recipe. The mango should hold some structural integrity, though!

  5. Stir in garlic and sauté until fragrant, for roughly 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  1. To serve, top chicken with chutney, and add vegetables. This chutney also does amazing things to the humble steamed potatoes.
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Zucchini and Mushroom toast

 

Like so many of us, I tend to be stuck in a lunch rut. During the week, I eat a lot of soup (usually vegetable or lentil soup that I’ve made on the weekend), tuna veggies and brown rice, or leftovers. I’m far too busy in the morning to make lunch a huge priority, so I stick with what I know works for me.

As such, weekends are for something a little different.

Yesterday was Easter, and while I didn’t indulge outrageously, it amazed me that I so keenly felt the impact of eating so differently for just one day. Today, I crave veggies. Who am I to argue?!

Since August, I have realised that I am a hopeless mushroom junkie. Mushrooms belong in EVERYTHING. Garlicky mushrooms are the ambrosia of the gods. I’ve also come to realise that after 31 years

Seriously, it’s ridiculous how therapeutic I find this!

of believing the exact opposite, I don’t hate zucchini. I hate steamed zucchini, but will happily munch on sauteed, roasted or raw zucchini, especially if it means I can put it through my beloved spiraliser first! I’m not much of a kitchen appliance tragic, but there are no words for how much I adore this thing. SO. MUCH. FUN.

 

So when I stumbled across this recipe from Mushrooms Australia, that combined the veggies I love most and gave me an excuse to bring down my spiraliser, there was little doubt left in my mind about what we were having for lunch this warm public holiday. It’s the easiest thing to make, but it’s a little different, and the taste belies the simplicity involved. I’ve adapted it a fair amount, and while the original looks great, this was far more in line with what I was after in my mind. And it certainly delivered… Just ask Master 10!

Zucchini and Mushroom toast

Serves 3 – 165 calories per serve

Ingredients

5g olive oil spray

1tsp minced garlic

200g button mushrooms, sliced

250g zucchini

200g cherry tomatoes

3 x slices bread

30g cottage cheese

2tbs grated parmesan cheese

Pepper, to season

Method

1. Spiralise or julienne the  zucchini and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large fry pan over medium heat. Add garlic and mushrooms, stirring until mushrooms have softened and released their juices.

3. Add cherry tomatoes, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 3 minutes until softened.

4. Add zucchini and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, so that it retains it’s firmness.

5.  Place over toast spread with cottage cheese, and top with parmesan and pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New and Improved!

A friend of mine mentioned on my Instagram account the other day that I should include recipes with the pictures I post. I immediately thought, “well that’s why I have a blog”.

Then I realised it’s been 12 months since I posted anything here. And that there was a 6 month gap between that and the post before it. Ok… So maybe it’s a little disingenuous to say I have a blog.

It is clearly time to poop or get off the pot, and I’ve been looking for a new project, so the choice rather made itself!

Life has changed in many ways since I last posted, and these changes will definitely affect the direction and content of this little website. My main hurdle to blogging in version 1.0 was certainly time – between work, uni and family, I simply didn’t have any. I’m glad to announce that I graduated with a Masters degree in teacher librarianship last December, so while work is still crazy and Spunky Tech Guy, Master 9 and Miss 7 keep me well and truly on my toes, I now have one less major commitment to worry about.

Just as I have the time to maintain a blog (and the inclination – I had to blog for uni, and it sucked all the fun out of it!), I also have a better sense of direction for What’s Cooking Good Looking. Since August 2017, I have lost 41 kilograms (that’s 90 pounds)! I have cut nothing out – I still eat treats, I still make fun and varied dishes, and I still have a passion for cooking. I just eat a little less of it, with a better sense of balance, and I walk and/or run 5km daily. I count my calories using My Fitness Pal, and have built an amazing support network of friends there. No tricks, no gimmicks. I just educated myself on eating well, and stopped lying to myself about what I was doing.

All that to say, I want this blog to be a celebration of healthy, family friendly eating. I’m pretty blessed in that my kids eat pretty much anything I put in front of them, and the only argument I have to have with them about vegetables is when they eat the salad ingredients they know I need for dinner that night. Still, STG and I are responsible for their development, and it’s important to me that the kids follow a healthy lifestyle, so we talk a lot about making good choices and eating whole, nutritious food while stressing that it’s absolutely okay to indulge once in a while, too!

It’s also very important to me that we eat food that is awesome and honest in it’s own right. Everything I cook has easy to obtain ingredients, and is usually fairly budget conscious. I also don’t want to eat or share “fat free, dairy free, carb free” anything. I want to appreciate food for what it is, not resent it or only accept it for what it isn’t (allergies/sensitivities aren’t something I have to worry about). While the majority of what I post about will be low calorie, relatively “clean” food, I don’t subscribe to any diet or food fad, and you won’t find anything described as paleo, XYZ-free, “better for you”, or diet in the title (even if it is one, some or all of those things). These recipes are what they are. If you’re after a low fat, sugar free, grain free cheesecake, you and I see the point of cheesecake in very different ways.

You can be relatively confident that everything I post fits comfortably into an active lifestyle in which 1200-1500 calories are consumed across 3 meals and a couple of snacks, and I will likely post the amount of calories of the dish, simply because I calculate them on MFP, so I know that information already. But I’m not a nutritionist or dietitian, I’m not looking to give advice (I’m just sharing my experiences and recipes!), and those calculations aren’t guaranteed.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how this blog goes. I get a lot of “I can’t believe you’ve lost so much weight and still cook food that looks like that”. Honestly, I’d never have lost any weight if I had to restrict what I ate to lettuce and grilled chicken (although I eat my fair share of both). I genuinely love food and cooking even more now that I’m eating so well, and I am excited to share my journey with you all.

 

 

 

 

 

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