Posted in cooking, filling food, Fish, Food, rice

Kedgeree – technically breakfast at dinner time!

Carbohydrates, particularly pasta and rice, have been my very good friend since I moved out of my parents home and started having to fend for myself – initially as a cheap way to fill up a poor student but then I grew to love the variety of shapes and sizes and textures – I swear pasta shells taste so much better than fusilli .

I tried so hard to ditch them in the run up to my wedding, but I’ve been more than making up for it since! I have been doing all I can to enjoy a carbfest without the side dish of guilt, so making little changes like swapping white rice for brown and to be honest you don’t really notice the difference!

Kedgeree is something I’ve never tried, certainly not in the true traditional sense as a breakfast, I’m a delicate sole (that was a genuine typo, but I do enjoy a good pun so it’s staying put) and smoked fish and curried rice in the morning is more than my stomach can handle.

As a quick midweek dinner after a long day at work though…lets give it a whirl!

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree 


You will need:

Smoked fish – I used haddock but I think any smoked white fish would work, rice, onions, green chilli, cardamom pods, curry powder, boiled eggs, lemon, butter and something green to have on the side if you like a variation in colour on your plate – otherwise it is very yellow.

So easy to make:

I followed the basic steps from this recipe on Guardian Food but reading around it does seem quite an intuitive process and really if you can cook rice and fish you don’t really need a recipe.

So cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet and leave to one side with the lid sealed on. In the meantime pop the fish in a shallow pan, skin side up covered with water, over a low heat and leave for 10 minutes. When its done, remove from the water and pop on kitchen towel to cool.


Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the onion, fry until soft and add the chilli, cook for a couple of minutes and then crush two cardamom pods and add to the onion and chilli along with a tablespoon of curry powder.


Flake the fish from the skin, and add the rice to the curried onions and mix well. Then stir through the fish and serve with two halves of boiled egg on top, a wedge of lemon to squeeze over and greens of your choice.


It was absolutely delicious – still not convinced about having it as a breakfast though.


Posted in baking, cakes, chicken soup, coconut milk, cooking, filling food, low calorie, oats, rice

Week 9 – Malaysian Chicken Broth and Apricot Oat Bars

So I’m writing week 9 as I’m about to enter the 10th week of my 2012 challenge and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself. I was wandering round Asda today doing the weekly shop thinking about what I’ll be cooking this week and to my surprise I came away from the shop with my usual trolley load plus an aubergine and some trout fillets. I don’t even like aubergine and I haven’t the first idea of what to do with trout – but I’m going have to find something to do with both of them – although potentially not in the same recipe! By the end of this year I’ll have tried so many new foods that I wouldn’t have tried before and I just find that so exciting! Anyway I’ve digressed, you’ll have to come back next week to find out what I do with this weeks shopping, but read on to see how I got on in week 9! 
Apricot Oat Bars 
Try as I might I can never find an oat bar or granola bar that is quite how I want it to be. I came pretty close to one that I had on Sunday in Costa Coffee but although it was delicious it was tiny, had over 300 calories in it and I felt guilty ALL day afterwards. 
After a hard days house hunting with Mr Gem I needed to clear my head so headed to the kitchen to do some baking and come up with a recipe for an Oat Bar that I will really enjoy eating and won’t cause my waistline to expand too rapidly! 

I couldn’t find a recipe online that a) I had all the ingredients for and b) I liked the look of so after a bit of reading around I decided that the best way to make the bars would be to make a cake mix as a base and then add in my own ingredients – so instead of providing a link to somebody else’s recipe, for the first time in Kitchen Gems (albeit short) history here is how I made them:
Basic Mixture 
150g Self Raising Flour 
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
75g Soft Brown Sugar 
150g Porridge Oats 
2 eggs whisked
2 Tbsp Clear Honey
1 Tbsp Butter
Any fruit and nuts you want to use – I used 25g Walnuts, 25g Mixed Raisins and Sultanas, 25g Dried Apricots chopped up and half a banana mashed up. 
Mix the dry ingredients (including the nuts and fruit) together whilst you melt the butter in the saucepan. When all the dry ingredients are well mixed add the melted butter, eggs and honey and mix until all combined. 
Pour into a lined square baking tin and cook on 180 degrees for about 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Done! 
I got 12 bars out of this recipe and they work out at about 150 calories each so as well as being very tasty they are filling and won’t break your calorie limit, but the best thing about these is, you can use whatever fruit and nuts you have in the store cupboard, add chocolate, yoghurt etc – they’re a really versatile snack. 
Mr Gem was quite fond of these as a snack and all 12 were gone before the week was out. I’d give these a 7.5 out of 10 – give them a whirl, I’d love to hear of any variations on the recipe that work well.
Malaysian Chicken Soup
My second new recipe for this week was a real winner. I found the recipe in Sainsburys free magazine – but I can’t find a similar recipe anywhere online. 
For two good sized portions you’ll need olive oil for frying, an onion (really thinly sliced) diced red chilli, 2 tsps lemongrass paste, 75g easy cook brown rice, 1/2 tin of light coconut milk, 600ml chicken stock 1 tbsp fish sauce, cooked chicken breast, shredded, 5 spring onions, 75g sugar snap peas cut into thin strips and a lime.
Fry the onions and chilli until softened and then add the lemongrass paste and stir til the onion and chilli are coated in it. Add the rice, stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil, turn down the heat and let simmer for about 20 – 25 mins. Add the chicken, spring onions and sugarsnaps and heat through for another 5 mins. Squeeze half a lime into the sauce and mix. Divide the soup between 2 bowls and serve imediately. 
It was a really fresh and flavoursome soup but with the rice and chicken it was so filling. 
This was a definite winner in the Kitchen Gems household, Mr Gem has already requested it again soon! Its also another meal that is so satisfying without being highly calorific – just 418 calories per serving. I’d give this meal 8.5 out of 10, simple but effective.