Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Claire’s Healthy CaribBEAN Jerk Chicken Stew

Readers, it’s been getting hot, hot and hotter in my kitchen this week, as I’m helping Grace Foods to celebrate Caribbean Food Week from 24th to 31st August 2015.

I haven't yet made it to the Caribbean but it's definitely on my places to go list at some point. Meanwhile in Glasgow, I've turned the heating on, downloaded some summer tunes and got cooking! 

I received this great hamper of goodies and am hoping to create more Caribbean dishes soon, however, here’s a healthy take on a traditional dish to start with. 

Instead of rice in this recipe, I’ve used cauliflower “rice” – milling cauliflower in a blender to turn it into fine rice like pieces – healthier if you are trying to cut carbs and with the beans and chicken in the recipe, you are filled up with nutritious proteins.


I made my own marinade for the chicken, using some ingredients from the hamper and added the beans later in the cooking process. If you found the spices a little too hot, add a teaspoonful of creamy coconut milk or semi skimmed milk, to bring the heat down a notch.


Claire’s Healthy CaribBEAN Jerk Chicken Stew

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 chicken breasts (chopped)
1 cauliflower (milled into rice)
½ cup frozen peas

Marinade Ingredients
2 dessert spoons sunflower oil
Thumb sized piece fresh ginger (grated)
Zest and juice of 1 fresh lime

Method

  1. Chop chicken into small pieces and set aside.
  2. In a tub with lid, peel ginger then grate into tub, grate lime zest and add juice of 1 lime. Add jerk seasoning, jerk barbeque sauce and sunflower oil.  Whisk ingredients together to form a marinade.
  3. Add chicken to tub and toss to cook.  Put lid on tub, shake chicken to coat again and refrigerate for 2-3 hours to let the flavours develop.
    Marinade for around 3 hours
  4. Once marinated, remove from fridge and transfer to a pan.  Over a medium heat on the hob, transfer the chicken and any leftover marinade to the pan and cook through for around 10-12 minutes until no pink meat remains.
  5. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend a whole cauliflower (you’ll need to do this in small florets, to make sure the blend is even). Once each floret is the consistency of rice, transfer to a microwave proof bowl.  When finished blending cover the bowl with cling film, pierce a couple of holes in the top and part cook in the microwave for 3.5 minutes.
    How your cauliflower should look
  6. Once chicken is cooked through, add the peas and beans to the pan and cook through for a further 3-5 minutes.  If you find that a runny sauce has formed, thicken with a little cornflour mixed with water.  Taste the sauce – if it’s a little hot, add some milk to cool the chilli burn!  Cook the cauliflower rice in the microwave for another 3.5 minutes.
  7. Plate up the cauliflower rice first, followed by the jerk chicken stew.  Serve immediately.
    caribbean jerk chicken stew
    Disclaimer: Grace Foods send me a hamper of Caribbean goodies to help them promote CFW2015 (Caribbean Food Week 2015) and to create recipes.  Any opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Glasgow Life Part 1 – Brunch, Cocktails & Afternoon Tea

Readers, as part of my commitment to regular blogging, I’m hoping to add a “Glasgow Life” feature every so often on the blog.

For those of you who may or may not have realised (blog header needs updated, sorry!) Mr What Claire Baked and I have recently relocated.  We’re now in Glasgow.  Careers, a need for a change and liking the city has led us to live southside and over the next few months, I am hoping to chart our foodie adventures as we go.
glasgow tenement flats
Glasgow Life!


My lovely friends arrived yesterday for a day out and wanted to see where we lived as well as spending some time in the city.  We had a typical ladies day, starting with brunch and ending with cocktails.

One of my good friends is coeliac and we’ve always tried to find a venue that caters to her wherever we go – by caters, I mean be happy to provide gluten free alternatives: not suggest she brings her own roll and they’ll provide the filling (somewhat takes away the experience when you’ve to take a handbag big enough to fit a roll in!)

We started our day at The Glad Café on Pollockshaws Road, next to Queens Park.  Tucked down an alley it’s a café by day and provides craft beers, wines and entertainment of an evening. “Gluten Free Fi” as she’ll now be known was delighted to have French toast with bacon and maple syrup – served on the café’s vast selection of gluten free bread and rolls.  Result was a big thumbs up from her!
Photo Credit: The Glad Cafe 
We headed back into town for some shopping, before going down to Merchant City for afternoon tea at Arisaig -  a Scottish restaurant located in Merchant Square.  Despite being there on an itison deal (great value), the venue didn’t treat us differently or try to move us on quickly.  Hats off to Autumn and the staff who took a delivery of 30th birthday decorations the day before and had dressed the table for us arriving.  A surprise for the first 30 year old in the group! We treated ourselves to some prosecco with raspberries, then enjoyed a few hours in Merchant Square, even stopping off to visit the craft market that takes place on a Saturday and Sunday between 11am and 6pm.  Autumn even popped out to check everything was ok and we were happy with the décor.
arisaig afternoon tea cakes
Selection of cakes at Arisaig, Merchant City

Again, Gluten Free Fi was catered for with A LOT of sandwiches and some cakes.
gluten free arisaig
Gluten Free Afternoon Tea Selection

Our day of eating was thirsty work, so we finished off our afternoon with some cocktails in October – the top floor cocktail bar in Princes Square shopping centre.  Take note – this is no ordinary shopping centre.  The second floor has some lovely restaurants and the bar has a nightclub feel up on the top of the building.  Drinks prices are reasonable at around £6 for a cocktail that’s properly mixed.  We all had variations on berry cocktails seeing as it was summer.   The bar was packed with girls heading on a night out:  much more glamorous than us, who’d been out since 9.30am.
cocktail october glasgow
Strawberry Collins Cocktail at October
All in all a great day was had by one Glasgow newbie and three Glasgow visitors. This concludes Glasgow Life Part 1… tune in next time, for more city foodie adventures! 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Product Review: Keep Me Going Cereal

Well ladies and gents, August has been quiet on the blogging front. Mr What Claire Baked and I have moved halfway across the country and as a result, we were without internet (and in my case, phone signal) for several weeks. Despite the chaos, things are slowly returning to normal and we are digging ourselves out of box city.

A few weeks ago, my foodie friends at Freedom Cereals got in touch, to ask me to review their new cereal, which recently launched in the UK, through Ocado.
keep me going cereal


It’s a new take on cereal.  Many cereals in the marketplace are packed full of sugar and additives meaning a less than healthy breakfast is consumed by children (and adults) up and down the country every day.  Many of these cereals cause an energy spike, but leave a person feeling unfulfilled within an hour or two… then the biscuit munchies take hold!

Keep Me Going cereal is low fat, high fibre, wheat free and has reduced salt and sugar.  All in all, it’s a healthy breakfast cereal designed to KEEP ME GOING for longer (get it?!)

The recipe is also packed with vitamins and minerals to help maintain a healthy immune system.  It’s also vegetarian friendly.  Bonus.

So what did I think of my experience with Keep Me Going?   It took a bit of getting used to.  Not likely the fault of the cereal.  More my taste buds which have been subject to overly sweet cereals for the past 28 years. The oat pillows are a little smaller and darker than they look on the front of the pack, which took me surprise the first time I poured them into the bowl.
keep me going cereal

Plus points – they don’t go soggy quickly!  I have a pet hate for cereal which goes soggy quickly.  I spent several days testing this theory (every time I tried to have a bowl at my desk, someone asked me to do something,). I left them for 10 minutes in milk and they were still edible.

Whether it’s mind over matter, or adjusting my breakfast eating time, I’m not sure, but I did find myself being less hungry between breakfast and lunch after a few days of eating these. I’ve found myself so hungry at 10am in the office in the past, but I do feel like a few days of eating Keep Me Going has prevented my morning munchies.

On the whole I think these make a great accompaniment to breakfast – if you dress them up a little.  I did find with milk they were a little bland, but using them as a topping for greek yoghurt and fresh raspberries gave a crunchy cereal addition to breakfast, without adding any nasties, salt or sugar. 

For those looking for a healthier cereal for breakfast, these would be worth trying. Keep Me Going retails at £2.65 on Ocado for a 375g box (12 servings).  Find out more by visiting their Twitter feed. 


Disclaimer: I was sent two boxes of Keep Me Going for sample and review.  Any opinions expressed are my own.