Niki’s Chicken Laksa Soup

2016, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Super Quick, Sweet

laksaasoup

Hey guys!

Let me take you to Malaysia with my spicy and creamy chicken laksa soup. What I really love about this soup is the simple (and versatile) process but what you get back is a full on taste sensation. There are deep creamy notes from the coconut milk which compliments the punchy chilli and aromatic curry notes. You then get another level of zingy and fresh flavour from the lemongrass and coriander too, it’s just a moreish dish all round and is perfect for a dinner party or just a quick meal for yourself.

 

You can also swap out the chicken for portobello mushrooms (or other mushrooms for that meat like texture, for all you vegetarians/ vegans) or even a soft boiled egg for a lighter option as well. My chicken laksa soup is seriously good for you too as coconut milk is high in saturated fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are both easily burned as fuel by the body (keto friendly). Chillies also add that warming touch as well and don’t worry if you don’t like it spicy, a little goes a long way and you can always deseed and clean the inner flesh of the chili with cold running water to numb the heat further. If this wasn’t enough to tickle your taste buds then the turmeric that’s used in the base is sure to sway you since it has great anti-inflammatory properties and helps diabetes management to name only a couple of benefits.

 

Ingredients:

 

(use organic/natural real food ingredients where possible)

 

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

 

For the laksa base:

 

1 red bird’s eye chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped or ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1 thumb sized piece of ginger, roughly chopped

The stalk of 1 lemongrass, bruised and coarsely chopped

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon of turmeric powder

1 tablespoon of mild madras curry powder

3 shallots, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt

2 tablespoons of water (filtered)

 

For the soup:

 

2 medium sized organic and grass fed chicken breasts, chopped into bite sized chunks

1 handful of coriander, finely chopped

Some extra chopped red birds eye chilli for garnish

1 tablespoons of coconut oil

1 bay leaf

1 cup of water

1 tin of organic coconut milk

 

From your kitchen:

 

A chopping board

A wooden spoon

A sharp knife

A few bowls for serving

A couple of teaspoons and tablespoons for measuring

A silicone spatula

A large saucepan (iron skillet, non-toxic)

A large ladle

A food processor

 

Method:

 

Step 1:

 

To start, simply throw in all your laksa base ingredients into the food processor and blitz a few times until a smooth paste forms. The leave this to one side whilst you get on with the soup base.

 

Step 2:

 

The next step is to heat your coconut oil in your pan over a medium high heat and add in your bay leaf and laksa paste. Cook for a few minutes until the lovely aromas waft out into your kitchen and the mixture comes to a full boil. Add your chicken now and cook for a further 5 minutes.

 

Step 3:

 

Then, add in your coconut milk with water and then bring to the boil. Once this happens it’s time to turn the heat down to simmer and keep it covered for around 15 minutes and your laksa soup is thickened and your chicken is cooked through as well.

 

Step 4:

 

Before serving please check for seasoning and then garnish with your chopped chilli and coriander and serve immediately! You can even spoon some over some white rice for a substantial dinner for autumn or winter.

 

 

This light yet creamy soup is super nutritious and filling which can be enjoyed both hot or cold. You can also play around with the different kinds of protein like wild fish and other sustainably caught fish, the choices are endless! This soup also freezes very well and a little goes a long way, give my laksa soup a go and see how delicious and quick it is to make.

 

 

Happy Baking!

 

Niki

Recipe Creator

 

https://draxe.com/cayenne-pepper-benefits/

https://draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/

Niki’s Quinoa Tabbouleh

2016, Healthy, International, Savoury, Spring, Summer, Super Quick

quinoatab2

Hey guys,

Let me whisk you away to the Middle East with my take on the classic tabbouleh. If you love fresh flavours and herby salads then this one is right up your alley guys. As we have been so fortunate with this glorious sunshine, I wanted to show you how quick and easy it is to shake up your next salad by adding some simple yet nutritious ingredients such as organic quinoa, parsley and mint.

Quinoa is a truly magnificent; it is the only seed (not a grain!) which is a complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids and is gluten free too. What’s more, it also has anti-inflammatory properties as well as having wonderfully nutty yet soft texture once cooked. High in magnesium and iron as well, quinoa is quite literally a star when it comes to its nutritional value and I really enjoy having it at least two to three times a week.

Come and see how fun and straightforward it is to create my quinoa tabbouleh guys!

To serve 2 people you will need:

(Prep time: 15 minutes)

(Cooking time: 15 minutes)

(Total time: 30 minutes)

1 cup of organic quinoa, thoroughly washed beforehand http://www.realfoods.co.uk/product/835/organic-quinoa

1 large bunch (about 400g) of organic parsley, finely chopped

1 small handful (about 100g) of organic mint, finely chopped

10 organic cherry tomatoes (halved or quartered)

3 organic spring onions, finely chopped (I recommend Abel and Cole, Riverford or Ocado for all fruit and veg guys)

 

For the tabbouleh dressing:

 

1 teaspoon of red chilli flakes https://www.abelandcole.co.uk/chilli-flakes-steenbergs-30g

1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt https://www.abelandcole.co.uk/himalayan-rose-pink-fine-salt-profusion-500g

2 tablespoons of organic avocado oil http://www.olivado.com/products/extra-virgin-oils

The juice of one organic lemon https://www.abelandcole.co.uk/lemons-500g

 

From your kitchen:

 

A mixing bowl

A wooden spoon for mixing

A metal teaspoon and tablespoon for measuring

A serving bowl

A whisk or fork to mix your dressing

A sharp knife

A chopping board

A small pot or deep pan

Some water to cook the quinoa with

A small bowl to create your dressing

 

In your small pot bring your water to the boil and cook your quinoa according to the packet instructions. I generally go by a 1:2 ratio method, that is 1 cup of quinoa to two cups of water but please take care and read the instructions on your packet too. Leave the quinoa aside to cool a bit whilst you chop up all your herbs and half/quarter your washed cherry tomatoes.

 

Whilst the quinoa is warm add in all your herbs, cherry tomatoes and spring onions and you’ll soon be assaulted with the most wonderful savoury smells of the herbs (my favourite part of creating this dish really), toss gently with a spoon and leave to rest.

 

Finally whisk in your lemon juice, avocado oil and seasoning in a small bowl, pour over your quinoa mixture, check for seasoning and mix again, you are now ready to dive into your delicious quinoa tabbouleh! I do hope you enjoy this delicious and nutritious dish guys, perfect to cool you down this summer, if you’re interested, I also have some extra articles on quinoa, just click on the links below.

 

Happy Baking!

Niki

Recipe Creator

tabuloushquina

http://www.cabolqui.org/en/news/dr-oz-helps-staff-battle-obesity-granola-quinoa-exercise-mantras/

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/05/the-true-colours-of-quinoa

Niki’s Sweet Potato Brownies

2016, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Summer, Sweet

swepotbro

Hey guys!

My mother always said that if the batter of your cake tastes like you can devour it in its raw state then you have got a winner…well she is certainly right with this number guys.

My sweet potato brownies are truly soft and squidgy…really chocolatey and just so good for you! They are light and heavenly as the only flour I have used here is just some ground almond flour and a few other gluten free and dairy free ingredients. You will be amazed when you see how quick and easy they are to make, the sweetness of the dates and maple syrup naturally complement the sweet potato base beautifully too.

What’s more, you can really be quite adventurous with the toppings after you are done with baking the brownies, to include ground ginger which has great anti-inflammatory properties and can aid with muscle soreness as well so it’s perfect to treat yourself to them after your workout. Bee pollen is also another one of my toppings used here and it’s great because it’s a wonderful energy enhancer as well as soothing your skin and boosting your immune system.

 

All you will need for about 12 brownies are:

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

2 medium to large organic sweet potatoes

½ cup of organic ground almonds http://www.realfoods.co.uk/product/14656/organicalmondsground

10 organic medjool dates, pitted https://www.abelandcole.co.uk/datesmedjool200g

3 tablespoons of organic raw cacao powder http://www.bulletproof.com/chocolatepowdernetwt16oz

4 tablespoons of organic maple syrup http://www.meridianfoods.co.uk/Products/Otherranges/NaturalSweeteners/Organic/MapleSyrup

2 tablespoons of organic pip and nut almond butter http://www.pipandnut.com/

½ teaspoon of organic Himalayan salt https://www.abelandcole.co.uk/himalayanrosepinkfinesaltprofusion500g

 

From your kitchen:

1 silicone spatula

A food processor

A brownie tin lined with parchment paper

 

Start off by preheating the oven to 190°C or gas mark 5, peel your sweet potatoes and cut into small chunks. Boil them

for about 10 minutes or until they are tender. Allow to cool slightly before adding them to the food processor with the

pitted dates.

Pulse a few times and you will see an almost soft toffee-like consistency (yes, really) come together. Next, pop in the

rest of the ingredients and mix the combination well, pausing every now and again to scrape down the sides with your silicone spatula.

Pour into your line brown baking dish and bake for about 25-30 minutes, prick with a fork to make sure it’s cooked all the way through (the fork should come out clean) and allow it to cool for a further 15 minutes, please be patient on this last step as the brownies needs to really come together so don’t attempt to cut them into squares whilst warm otherwise they will fall apart.

 

Once they have cooled completely, cut into your desired size and top your sweet potato brownies however you desire. I have generously slathered on some green and black’s 85% dark chocolate along with a sprinkling of organic bee pollen, organic ground ginger and even some Himalayan salt for a deliciously intense chocolatey flavour. You can find out where to get these ingredients below along with some extra information on the benefits of ginger.

 

I can’t wait for you to cook these, please share and #nikibakes with your photos!

 

Happy Baking!

 

Niki

Recipe Developer

 

http://www.planetorganic.com/rawlivingbeepollen250g250g/14140/

 

http://www.greenandblacks.co.uk/ourrange/Bars/Dark85?p=2691&c1=1559#first

 

http://blog.doctoroz.com/ozexperts/herbofthemonthginger

 

Niki’s Fruity Chilli Jam

2016, Healthy, International, Spring, Super Quick
chillijammy

www.facebook.com/nikibakes

 

Hello my lovely readers,

As you all know by now, I’m a massive chilli fan, I can’t get enough of the deliciously flavourful fruit. My chilli jam is quick, straightforward and won’t blow your socks off (so all you foodies who have milder taste buds can still enjoy :P).

 

In fact you can truly control the heat intensity of your jam by the choice of your chilli (you can find this by your desrired intensity ) –

Super hot – hot –  I would recommend birds eye or habanero
moderate to mild – I would recommend jalapeño or chipotleThe choice is yours but feel free to experiment!

It’s aromatic and truly fruity, you’ll see what I mean when you make it for yourself and trust me once you start making my fruity chilli jam, you’ll be hooked.

I have tweaked a few of the ingredients from the conventional recipes to make it a healthier version of the classic chilli jam by swapping out the standard caster sugar for xylitol. This sustainable and natural sweetener is that is sourced from plants so it’s easily digestible.

 

This jam keeps for up to 2 months in the fridge and is the perfect accompaniment to meat, fish and vegetable dishes, it’s a very versatile jam indeed.

 

I personally love to have it with some grass fed lamb chops or on the side with my steamed veggies.

All you need is:
8-10 yellow, orange and/or red organic chillies, deseeded (regardless of variety) and finely processed in a food processor
A handful of organic cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
1 teaspoon of tamari
1/2 teaspoon of finely grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed finely
1 tablespoon of avocado or olive oil
5 tablespoons of xylitol

Simply heat your pan over a moderate to high flame and soften your ginger and garlic for just a moment. Once the aromas start wafting out, add in all your chillies and stir for a couple of minutes. (Your eyes may begin to water a little but just remember that you’re cooking out most of the raw heat from the chillies anyway and is in no way an indication of how your chilli jam will taste). Next, add In your chopped tomatoes, rice vinegar, tamari and xylitol, mixing well until all the xylitol has dissolved into your jam. Cook this down for a good 15 minutes and you’ll see very quickly how it thickens and becomes sticky and saucy…it’s a beautiful moment when that happens and when it does it’s time to take it off the heat. Let it cool completely before you put into your sterilised jam jar and store in the fridge.

I do hope you give this one a try folks, you’ll love it for sure!

Happy Baking!
Niki B
Recipe Creator

 

 

 

Niki’s Grilled Polenta Slices with Pesto

2016, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Spring, Super Quick

polenta

Good evening my bella readers,

Today is the last day of my Italian week here at nikibakes and I wanted to share my grilled polenta slices with you all. It’s so simple but truly satisfying and tasty. This gluten free and veg wonder is also very versatile in that you could add it as a side to your next steak or meat dinner or even as a light lunch with some salad, the choices are truly endless!

 

All you need is:

250g of cooked polenta, cooled and poured into a square pyrex dish to set

½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper

Extra olive oil to brush the polenta steaks

 

For the Pesto sauce:

 

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 handful of basil

2 garlic cloves

½ cup of almonds

 

Simply slice your polenta into ½ inch thick slices and season your delicious slabs. Set aside. In a food processor blend together the olive oil, basil, garlic cloves and almonds until a lovely and aromatic pesto sauce forms. Next, heat your grill pan over medium high heat and lightly brush your polenta slices with olive oil. Grill each polenta slice on both sides for 3-5 minutes each. Serve warm with your pesto sauced drizzled over. Enjoy!

 

Ciao for now!

Happy Baking

Niki