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Tag Archives: easy recipes

Chicken Stir fry (with Chilli, Garlic and Coriander)

‘Time Flies’ is an age old adage but the supersonic speed at which the flying is happening in my life currently leaves me so lazy to cook. Too many work and personal assignments that leave me completely drained of time and energy that the everyday meals has become such a chore.

And more often than not, it is not the actual cooking that takes time but rather than the planning of ‘what to cook’! So I decided to pull out my cookbooks (the few that I have) and find inspiration amongst the pages.

Today’s recipe is adapted from ‘The F-Word’!

Chicken Stir fry (with Chilli, Garlic and Coriander) - simple and delicious - thespiceadventuress.com

Yup, you heard it right. This fantabulous book by Mita Kapur is one of my most treasured ones because it is more than just recipes. It is a glimpse into Mita’s food crazed family and her constant juggles as a working mother. The recipes are from around the world with no borders whatsoever and perfectly suit my style of cooking. I have written more about this book here, if you would like to have a read.

And one of my all time favourite recipes from the book are these Malai Kebabs (minced chicken patties with spices, aromatics and cream).

This time, given the time situation, I chose a simple chicken stir fry. Just a handful of ingredients stir fried in a wok topped over rice or noodles; makes an amazing dinner in no time at all.

Chillies are a key ingredient and I have used both Thai red chillies and large green ones. The original recipe has much more heat but with a 7 year old at home, I had to tone down the heat factor. But it depends on what you like; adjust the number of chillies accordingly.

Always use boneless thigh fillets for making stir fries as the meat is much more tender and juicy while the breast meat often tends to go dry. And of course the wok, never undermine the importance of this cooking vessel in getting that perfect stir fry. A good quality wok is a must have in your kitchen!

Ingredients:

  1. 500gms boneless chicken thigh fillet; cut into bite sized pieces
  2. 3 Thai red chillies; chopped
  3. 3 sprigs fresh coriander leaves (with roots); chopped
  4. 4 garlic cloves
  5. 2 large green chillies
  6. 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
  7. 2-3 tbsp oyster sauce
  8. 4-5 tbsp vegetable oil
  9. Salt; to season

For garnish:

  1. 2 sprigs fresh coriander leaves; chopped
  2. 1 spring onion (leafy part); sliced

Method:

  • Using a mortar and pestle, pound the red chillies, garlic and coriander leaves into a coarse paste; keep aside.
  • Heat 3-4 tbsp oil in the wok and add the chicken pieces. Stir fry the chicken pieces on high heat till 3/4ths done and remove.
  • In the same wok (add a bit more oil if necessary), add the pound chilli mixture and sauté on low heat for about a minute. Add the oyster sauce, fish sauce and whole green chillies; also return the chicken pieces to the wok.
  • Stir fry on medium heat till done; add salt only if necessary.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and spring onions
  • Serve hot.

 

Chicken Stir fry (with Chilli, Garlic and Coriander) - simple and delicious - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

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Asian style Prawn Omelette

This was not a recipe I really planned on posting on the blog. But I made it for lunch yesterday and it turned out so delicious and made me so happy that I thought I must put it up for all those lonely souls who work from home and find lunch a boring affair.

Asian style Prawn Omelette - simple and delicious - thespiceadventuress.com

My lonely lunch sob stories periodically makes its appearance on my social media channels and I realised that there are many out there who work from home, freelancers, homemakers etc….who feel the same way. Lunch is often a hurried, last-minute-put-together, whatever-in-the-fridge, leftovers on a plate at least most of the days.

While I do enjoy the creativity involved in re-inventing leftovers, there are days when I want to make something nice and delicious, just for myself. And then, sit down for the meal perhaps with a good television programme or book in hand. A few minutes grabbed all to myself, from an otherwise maddening multitasking superwoman day. Or to make up for some real human contact…

This recipe is adapted from the Chin Chin cookbook; remember the one I won for the Bank of Melbourne’s #socialfeeds competition. The book’s a dream for those who love Asian flavours; so full of stunning recipes. I have cooked quite a bit from it including this mean Massaman Curry and this refreshing Bellini.

And now this insanely delicious Prawn Omelette!

Ingredients:

  1. ½ cup sriracha
  2. 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  3. 2 medium garlic cloves; grated
  4. 5-6 king prawns; deshelled, deveined and chopped into small pieces
  5. 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  6. 3 eggs
  7. ¼ tsp Chinese five spice (optional)
  8. Salt, to season
  9. Bean sprouts, a handful
  10. 2 sprigs fresh coriander leaves
  11. ½ tbsp ginger juliennes
  12. 1 tbsp fried shallots

Method:

  • To make the dressing, mix the sriracha, oyster sauce and grated garlic in a bowl and keep aside.
  • Whisk the eggs well with a pinch of salt. Add the chopped prawns and Chinese five spice and beat well again.
  • Heat oil in a flat pan and pour in the egg mixture. Allow to cook well on one side before flipping over; cook on the other side till done. Roll the omelette and remove to a plate.
  • Garnish with bean sprouts, coriander leaves, ginger, fried shallots and drizzled generously with the dressing.

Asian style Prawn Omelette - simple and delicious - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Back to School with Smash Lunch Boxes + a Recipe for Easy Lunchbox Pasta Stir Fry

I think life has become a series of shopping lists, one after the other. Still getting over the effects of the Christmas list and it’s time already for the ‘back to school’ list. Sigh!

But in all fairness, life must go on and so does the shopping list. And one of the top spots in the back to school list is always reserved for a new lunch box.

Now we all agree that the lunch box is such an integral part of the school life. Apart from the fact that it is a source of nourishment and good health for our little ones, it is also an integral part of school memories. I can recollect so many fond memories when it comes to school lunches and so will all of you.

So presenting to you my favourite brand of lunch boxes from Smash. I discovered this brand two years back and haven’t looked back ever since. In fact, I even wrote a blog post about it last year; there is also another easy lunch box recipe so do check it out.

Back to school with Smash - thespiceadventuress.com

Smash is an Australian brand so that means they totally understand our needs and requirements better. All the products are BPA free and extremely durable and reliable. In fact, all the lunch boxes, drink bottles from last year are still in great condition and the only reason I would change is because I received these samples to test out. (The old ones will be donated to the local Red Cross, and I strongly urge you to do so too if your old ones are in reasonably good condition)

The new designs out this year are so bright and colourful making it real fun for the kids. Our favourite happens to be this one shown below…of course it has to be blue because Adi is in that phase where ‘pink is for girls’. I like how the compartments are divided in this model and also the fact that there is an outer insulated case (removable) which also has the new Blue IQ antibacterial lining. The wipe-clean formula helps to keep the case clean devoid of any sort of mould or mildew, smells fresh and also protects the life of the lunchbox.

Smash lunchbox and outercase with Blue IQ antibacterial lining - thespiceadventuress.com

Smash has an extensive collection so there are plenty of choices for all sorts of lunch requirements. I love the add-on containers in various sizes, shapes and colours which mean that the food can be kept divided. The yoghurt container is so cool; it keeps it chilled and my son absolutely loves his during summer. The tube shaped box for wraps and rolls are so cool too.

Back to school with Smash lunch boxes - thespiceadventuress.com

Back to school with Smash lunch boxes - thespiceadventuress.com

Back to school with Smash lunchboxes - thespiceadventuress.com

Smash has a good collection for the grownups too especially taking into account the male/female preferences. I remember my hubby cribbing about the lack of ‘male’ colours till we started using Smash. Now he has his favourite blue and brown case which I must admit is really cool.

I also love the ‘Soup, Salad, Smoothie’ containers that were launched this year. Extremely thoughtful designs; for eg: the salad container has a separate portion for the dressing which means goodbye to soggy salads for lunch. I have been using these containers a lot while travelling too. Sturdy and great for road trips.

Smash products are available easily at many department stores and leading supermarkets like Coles, Woolworths, Officeworks, Target, Kmart and David Jones.

Smash office lunchbox collection - thespiceadventuress.com

Now that we have chosen the perfect lunch box, let’s go ahead with the perfect lunch too – a delicious easy to make Pasta stir fry with Mortadella and an assortment of vegetables.

For those who are new to Mortadella, it is basically an Italian sausage or luncheon meat that can be purchased from a deli. Often had as a cold cut like ham or salami in a sandwich, but I am going to lightly stir fry it for this recipe. If you do not have Mortadella, you can substitute it with ham, salami, sausages or any other kind of meat. Or even skip it all together if you want a vegetarian version. The only thing to remember while purchasing from a deli is to ask the staff to cut it into a thick chunk instead of thin slices.

Apart from the fact that this dish is ready in less than 30 minutes, I also like the fact that there is no sauce involved which makes it a great lunch box option; tastes great even when it has gone a bit cold. I usually prepare this pasta stir fry for dinner which doubles up for the next day’s lunch for all of us. One dish for everyone in the family…..

Pasta stir fry with Mortadella and an assortment of vegetables - thespiceadventuress.com

Pasta stir fry with Mortadella and an assortment of vegetables - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

  1. 300 gms pasta curls
  2. 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  3. 200 gms Mortadella (cut into a single thick chunk); diced
  4. 2-3 garlic cloves; chopped
  5. 1 large red onion; diced
  6. 1 cup mushrooms; diced
  7. 1 red bell pepper; diced
  8. 1 zucchini; diced
  9. 1 ½ tsp chilli flakes (adjust to preference)
  10. 1 tbsp mixed dried Italian herbs (a mix of oregano, thyme, rosemary)
  11. Salt, to season
  12. Freshly milled black pepper; to season

Method:

  1. Cook the pasta as per packet instructions in salted boiling water and keep aside; reserve a little pasta water too.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan and add the chopped garlic; sauté on low heat for a few seconds and then add the diced Mortadella; stir fry on high for a minute.
  3. Next add the onions and mushrooms; continue to stir fry for another 30 seconds. Finally add the zucchini and bell peppers; mix well to combine and season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and Italian herbs. Reduce heat and cook for a few seconds.
  4. Add the cooked pasta with ½ cup past water and mix well to combine.
  5. Remove from heat and enjoy; or ensure it’s cooled well before packing into lunch boxes.

Pasta stir fry with Mortadella and an assortment of vegetables - thespiceadventuress.com

Disclaimer – This post has been brought to you in collaboration with Smash Enterprises but the opinions expressed and recipe are entirely mine.

Chicken Fajita Tacos with Minty Cucumber Yoghurt

What a newsworthy month it has been! And while the headlines continue to shock and stir us, the social media is filling up with delicious treats that promise us much joy and hope this festival season.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have no plans whatsoever for Christmas or New Year; in fact we haven’t thought or discussed about it as a family. There will be some sort of celebration and most likely a quiet one with just a couple of close friends….that’s our style of entertaining.

I have always been picky and choosy about my friends. And while during my teens, that was seen as a disadvantage (my parents used to get a tad bit worried that I walked around lonely with a book in hand most of the time), it eventually turned out to be the biggest strength of my life. My ability to choose just a handful of good people as friends ensured that I was always surrounded by positivity.

And luckily I am married to a person who shares that idealogy though it took him a while to get that. He had a zillion friends only to discover that when life dealt him a series of blows, there was hardly anyone to turn to. So now we have our chosen few, friends who are non-judgemental, accept us the way we are and shares a common thread of mutual respect and understanding not confined by social norms. And I know, plan or not, we will celebrate this holiday season with a couple of them.

While I am getting busy developing, testing and photographing new recipes leading to the festive season, the reality of everyday dinners is always on the horizon. So when Maraya, who is one of the super moms behind the popular blog ‘Stuff Mums Like’ reached out to me for a guest collaboration, I was thrilled.

While there were a zillion ideas buzzing in my head, I zeroed in on tacos….I mean, who doesn’t like tacos. I am sure it’s a fave at every home. And this recipe is bound to be a big hit with the kiddos; my 7 year old adores it. And if there are any leftovers, you can convert it into a wrap or add it to the salad bowl for a delicious lunch the next day.

Chicken Fajita Tacos with Minty Cucumber Yoghurt - simple, easy to make and feeds a crowd - thespiceadventuress.com

Chicken Fajita Tacos with Minty Cucumber Yoghurt - simple, easy to make and feeds a crowd - thespiceadventuress.com

Also, don’t forget to make an extra batch of the fajita seasoning; a very handy blend in your spice cupboard.

Fajita Seasoning - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

  1. Mini wheat tortillas
  2. 500gms skinless chicken thighs; cut into thin strips
  3. 1 orange bell pepper; cut into strips

This is a guest post in collaboration with Stuff Mums Like, so kindly head over to their website for the full recipe.

Chicken Fajita Tacos with Minty Cucumber Yoghurt - simple, easy to make and feeds a crowd - thespiceadventuress.com

Chicken Fajita Tacos with Minty Cucumber Yoghurt - simple, easy to make and feeds a crowd - thespiceadventuress.com

Sweet and Spicy Prawns

The past week started off hectic, but very exciting. A new project came into fruition (spoiler alert!); of course you would soon get to hear about it. And this meant a lot of planning, cooking and shooting amidst other writing assignments.

But I loved this hectic pace; I was in my best creative space which made me happy, truly happy. Everything was going great guns and then Thursday struck. I woke up feeling the laziest that I have felt in a long time. Mindlessly moving from room to room, not focusing on anything and feeling guilty every time I took a look at my planner; desperately trying to get back into my working element.

But a few hours into the day, I gave it up and let the laziness engulf me. I reveled in doing nothing, took the time out to do the small things that I usually do not have time for. Put on my favourite songs from yesteryears, spoke to my plants in the balcony, cuddled my son longer than usual and dreamt!

It made me happy; this slowing down actually helped me recharge and rejuvenate myself.

We talk a lot about slowing down; and in the recent times, there has been a lot of conscious effort to get people to slow down in their lives. Yet, this has become one of the most difficult things to do. The word ‘stress’ looms large above us….we talk and fret a lot about it but yet, we actually do not want to do anything about it.

Slowing down spells failure for many of us. We are scared that if we slow down, the world will rush by past and we would have lost our time. The competitiveness, the rivalry, the rat race…….

Just as I promised myself yesterday, I encourage all of you to pledge moments of silence in your day, your week, your month…..moments where you are truly in harmony with your inner self. Do not think, just be….in the moment!

And for me, these silent moments are intertwined always with thoughts of food. I crave savoury deep flavours, fingerlickin deliciousness that somehow comforts my soul like none other….

Sweet and spicy prawns is just that….fingerlickin deliciousness!

Sweet and Spicy Prawns - a quick and delicious stir fry in under 30 minutes - thespiceadventuress.com

 

It’s easy and simple; just a handful of ingredients working its magic together inside a wok. And make sure you get the juiciest, plump prawns you can lay your hands on.

A dash of heat, a pinch of sweet, a handful of crunch all deliciously coating the succulent prawns!

Ingredients:

1. 1kg Australian raw prawns; peeled and deveined, leaving shells intact
2. 1 semi-ripe tomato, deseeded and sliced
3. 1 medium zucchini, sliced
4. 1 bell pepper, sliced
5. ½ lime; rind grated and juiced
6. 1 tsp five spice powder
7. 2 tbsp sriracha
8. 1 tbsp ginger, grated
9. 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10. 1 tbsp palm sugar, grated
11. 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
12. 2 tbsp fish sauce
13. ¼ cup pine nuts
14. Salt, to season
15. 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Method:

1. In a bowl, mix the lime zest, five spice blend and 1 tbsp vegetable oil; marinate the prawns in this for at least 1 hour.
2. Combine the sweet chilli sauce, sriracha, fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar in a bowl; taste and adjust to preferences.
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok to just smoking, add the prawns and cook on high for 2-3 minutes. Remove and keep aside.
4. Heat the remaining oil; sauté ginger and garlic on high and add the prawns back. Add the zucchini and bell peppers.
5. Add the mixed sauces to the prawns and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
6. Then add the tomatoes, taste and add salt if necessary.
7. Continue cooking till the sauce has coated the prawns well.
8. Add the pine nuts, mix and remove from heat.
9. Serve hot with steamed white rice.

Sweet and Spicy Prawns - a quick and delicious stir fry in under 30 minutes - thespiceadventuress.com

Sweet and Spicy Prawns - a quick and delicious stir fry in under 30 minutes - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

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