Satay Chicken Skewers

Satay Chicken Skewers

Chicken Satay Skewers are always the first thing I order when I am at a Thai Restaurant (or in Thailand!). 

So when I came home from Thailand I knew it was about time I recreated it! Little did I know it would be so easy to create such authentic delicious flavour of the satay sauce. 

chicken satay skewers: close up

First you need to marinate the chicken for as little as 10mins while you prep the sauce (if you have the time marinate overnight, but don’t stress if you don’t have the time!). 

Now the trick to getting a really delicious flavour is the perfect grill marks. The best way to do this is ensure that your BBQ plate or pan is super hot before you add the chicken. 

chicken satay skewers: layered on a platter

As for the sauce I love to use either crunchy or smooth NATURAL peanut butter. If you don’t have natural you can use any peanut butter, but it really doesn’t need the added sugar!

Make extra sauce and save it to drizzle over EVERYTHAAANNG!!! Well that is what I do anyway. I makes a super delicious dressing for a herby salad!

Chicken Satay Skewers

Finish off the entree by serving drizzled with some coriander, lime and crushed peanuts!

Chicken Satay Skewers

A delicious entree that your friends and family will be impressed by or serve with rice and vegetables for a delicious nutritious dinner!
Course Dinner, Snack
Cuisine thai
Keyword Chicken, satay, sataychicken, Thai, thaifood
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people (for entree)

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp siracha
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • 8-10 wooden skewers

Satay Sauce

  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp siracha reduce if you don’t like it spicy
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup peanuts finely chopped

Instructions

  • Slice the chicken breast length ways into 1-2cm think slices. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, siracha and garlic cloves. Pour the marinate over the chicken and marinate for at least 10mins or up to 4hrs. Meanwhile soak the wooden skewers in water so that they don’t burn.
  • To make the sauce: Combine all of the ingredients, except for the peanuts in a small saucepan and bring to the boil for 1-2mins, remove from the heat and mix in the peanuts. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
  • Push the skewers through the chicken and then preheat a griddle pan or preferably a BBQ!
  • Once the BBQ or pan is hot, cook the chicken for 4-5min on each side until cooked through. Serve on a platter with satay sauce, coriander and fresh lime.

Looking for your more recipes to impress your guests? Try our favourites!

 – Thai Spritzers

Creamy Hummus and Zaatar Chips

– and for something a little sweet: Blueberry scones

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble

I grew up eating this. My mum used to make this weekly for us during winter and our family were sticklers for dessert (everynight!!). I feel like I start off a lot of recipe posts like this. But I do, because everything I share on this blog, or at least 85% of it was inspired by my life growing up. I want to share the recipes of my childhood to show you just how much variety you can include in your diet and STILL BE HEALTHY!

Because if you didn’t know, healthy does NOT have to be boring. 

Fresh Rhubarb to make a winter dessert

Rhubarb is one of those confused vegetables…. yes it is a vegetable! The exact opposite to tomatoes, rhubarb is actually a vegetable but we use it as a fruit. It is a little sweet and tart and the perfect stewed in desserts like this strawberry and rhubarb crumble and or on top of oats. 

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble / The beginnings of a crumble

Sweet strawberries go perfectly with tart rhubarb and they cook at the same rate, so there is no need for pre strewing the fruit before topping with your crumble. 

Strawberries are actually in over supply at the moment as QLD strawberry farmers have had fantastic conditions. But we need to help the farmers by buying them all up before the excess strawberries go to waste. Strawberry and rhubarb crumble has always been my favourite way to use them.

Though if you still have more, remove the tops and freeze them for loads of delicious smoothies and baking later in the year!

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble / Crumble right before it is baked

Now for the crumble. I have experimented with so many crumble toppings over my time, but this one is by far my favourite! While Rolled Oats are classic base, I like to top the crumble up with a mix of nuts and Shredded Coconut

I love to use Macadamia Nuts as they have a beautiful mild nutty flavour that pair well with strawberries. 

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble / Winter Dessert fresh from the oven.

Serve this strawberry and rhubarb crumble with a creamy greek yoghurt or a little vanilla ice cream if you prefer!

I drastically reduced the added sugar in this recipe compared to a lot of recipes out there. If your strawberries are sweet enough, you don’t need even need to add sugar to the fruit. 

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble / Crumble served with greek yoghurt

That is why I actually LOVE having this for breakfast in winter! It usually results in having made it for dessert and I end up heating up left overs in the morning topped with a big dollop of greek yoghurt. So it is just like oats, fruit and yoghurt!!

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble / A serve of crumble topped with greek yoghurt for dessert

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble

My Families favourite when rhubarb is in season! What better way to highlight it other than simply paired with tart strawberries and a crunchy nutty crumble topping!
Course Dessert
Keyword berries, crumble, healthy fats, in season, low sugar, nuts, oats, Rhubarb, strawberries, winter produce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 People

Ingredients

  • 200 g Strawberry hulled and halved
  • 1 bunch rhubarb leaves removed and cut into 1inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar*

Crumble

  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • ¾ cup nuts roughly chopped – I used macadamias and cashews
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 125 g butter melted

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 160C.
  • Combine strawberries and rhubarb in a baking dish and then sprinkle with sugar.
  • To make the crumble combine flour, oats, nuts, coconut and brown sugar in a bowl, then add in melted butter to form a moist crumb. Spread the crumb over the fruit and then bake in the oven for 30/40mins until fruit starts to bubble and crumble is golden brown**.

Notes

* it is a good idea to taste your strawberries before adding the sugar, as you may need more or less depending on how sweet they are!
** If fruit doesn’t look cooked, but crumb is starting to brown cover with aluminum foil for the last 10mins of cooking.
Serve with vanilla icecream or greek yoghurt!

If you like this recipe you with love some of my other family winter favourites

 

 

 

 

Healthy Hot Chocolate:  Winter Warmer Drink

Healthy Hot Chocolate: Winter Warmer Drink

Sitting by the fire or rugged up on the couch under a blanket watching your favourite movie, healthy hot chocolate in hand while the temperature continues to drop outside. 

This has to be one of my favourite things to do in winter. I always love to have a little something for dessert and this healthy hot chocolate satisfies my cravings every single time. 

I have tried a heap of hot chocolate powders, healthy and not so but they either have a weird after taste or they are far too sweet for my liking. 

Two Healthy Almond milk hot chocolates

While I have no problem with drinking cows milk I usually opt for a plant based milk when making this hot chocolate to keep it a bit lighter and I think the nuttiness of plant based milks really complements the Cacao and cinnamon. 

Close up on healthy hot chocolate

I used to make it only on milk, but now opt for boiling water to make up nearly half the liquid, again to keep it lighter as well as helping to properly dissolve the cacao and maple syrup before adding in the frothy milk. 

Frothy milk is mandatory, but it definitely does take it up that one more notch. I use the CaffItaly Milk frother and it works an absolute dream!

Healthy Hot Chocolate

You can make this warm cup of hot chocolate in just a matter of minutes, which has to be my favourite part about this recipe. 

When you are craving chocolate after dinner the last thing you want to do is stand around making something (or woofy down the whole block of chocolate). But now you don’t need to! Try it tonight and let me know what you think in the comments below – if you are anything like me, this will satisfy your sweet tooth perfectly!

Healthy Hot Chocolate

Creamy cinnamon hot chocolate with out the crap! Make your own delicious cafe style hot chocolate at home!
Course Drinks
Keyword Chocolate, dairyfree, Drink, drinks, hot chocolate, winter, winterdrinks
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 person

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tsp maple syrup more if you like it really sweet
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ cup-3/4 cup almond milk

Instructions

  • Combine cacao powder, maple syrup and cinnamon and boiling water in a mug and stir to dissolve the cacao powder.
  • Heat milk frother and then pour over cacao mixture. If you don’t have a frother heat milk a in small saucepan until small bubbles start to form around the edge. Be careful not to boil the milk as it may burn.

If you like this check out my favourite winter warmer dinner recipes – Shepard’s Pie

Sugar: Is it really all the same?

Sugar: Is it really all the same?

If you have read anything online in the past 4 years you will probably believe that sugar is evil and honey, maple syrup, rice malt syrup and dates are the god send. They are the healthy alternative. Look I don’t blame you for believing this. I believed it before I actually studied nutrition and found out exactly how our body digests it all.

 

I spent a good year ignoring the caster sugar and brown sugar in my cupboard and replaced it with coconut sugar, medjool dates and honey (you name the replacement, I tried it!) to make the perfect ‘healthy baked treats’.

 

But guess what. All of these ‘replacements’ are all still forms of sugar.  We are told they are healthier because they are natural or unrefined.

 

This statement is completely flawed.

 

Caster sugar and brown sugar comes from a plant!!! – aka natural

 

Coconut sugar and rice malt syrup are also all refined and processed!!!

 

You don’t find them like that in nature. They have to have something done to them to allow them to sit on our shelf.

 

You could claim that honey, maple syrup and medjool dates are quite natural, they are all found as is in nature. But just like sugar they contain sucrose and fructose. While honey contains slightly less fructose and glucose than white sugar it is actually worse for weight loss. Why? Because honey actually contains more calories than white sugar.

 

It is true that white sugar has a higher glycaemic index than honey meaning it will increase your blood sugar levels faster. However, when have you ever eaten white sugar alone?

Generally, it is added to baking or a beverage which can reduced the glycaemic index and slow down the absorption.

 

All of these products contain either glucose or fructose or both.

sucrose, glucose, fructose... it is all the same

So how is sugar (Sucrose, glucose and fructose) broken down by the body?

I am going to try and keep this as simple as possible.

 

Glucose and fructose bind together to form sucrose. So, the first thing the body does is break that bond to individually break down glucose and fructose. Once they are broken down into these single molecules, they are free to be absorbed across the intestinal lining into the blood stream to be taken to the liver for further processing (another reason you don’t need to detox).

 

Glucose is then moved to cells around the body where it is broken down through a process called glycolysis where glucose is broken down into two carbon molecules called pyruvate before then converting to ATP which can be used by our cells to power our muscles and organs.

 

The breakdown of fructose is similar to this, however can generally only occurs in the liver.

 

Any glucose that isn’t required immediately for energy use is converted to glycogen and stored for later use. Fructose on the other hand can’t be stored, so is instead converted to glucose like molecules and stored as glycogen.

 

When the body reaches it glycogen storing capacity that is when glucose is converted to fat. But don’t get confused by the use of glucose in the previous sentence, remembering that both fructose is also converted to glucose like molecules and treated by the body in the exact same way.

 

So when professionals say that all sugars are treated the same way by the body, that’s because they are.

 

Conclusion

Whether a product contains glucose or fructose they are both types of sugars and broken down by the body in near exact processes. Remembering again that all the ‘sugar’ replacements do still in fact contain at least one of either glucose or fructose.

 

The slight different that these alternatives or replacements contain are micronutrients, but that makes next to no difference to how the sugar is actually broken down.

 

Overall the best advice I can give when talking about sugar (and by sugar, I mean any form of it!) is to try and reduce your overall amount. If you currently like 2 tsp of sugar or honey in your coffee reduce it by ¼ tsp each week and within a month you will have halved your sugar intake. The small incremental changes are the best way to reduce sugar intake and slowly adapt your taste buds.

 

The facts in the article are the reason I still use brown and white sugar in so many of the recipes you will find on my website. Where I can I reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe, but if it’s still quite high, enjoy it for what it is. A TREAT. Because whether a recipe has 1 cup of sugar or 10 medjool dates it isn’t something that we should be eating in high quantities.

 

I do still use maple syrup and honey in baking, but I do this for the flavour profiles they lend to a recipe, not the ‘health benefits.

Shepard’s Pie

Shepard’s Pie

Shepard’s pie originated in Ireland, so with our Irish heritage there is no wonder it is a family favourite! I still remember visiting my family on the west coast of Ireland a few years ago in the middle of their winter (aka December!). We went to a local Irish pub down the road from where my grandpa grew up and all I had the most delicious Shepard’s Pie. 

It is perfect on a cold winter day, just serve with a side of broccoli or your other favourite veg. Or just serve alone as this Shepard’s pie is loaded with vegetables!

When you are making the pie leave the mince to simmer as long as possible. While the recipe says 10-15mins (and that is plenty), the longer you leave it on a low heat the more depth of flavour you will get!

Just like bolognese this is another dish I love to cook double quantity of and freeze some of the mince base for a quick and easy dinner when I am busy.

Let your mince cool for a little while before you top with the mash potatoes and this will allow the mash potatoes to be easily spread over the mince mixture. 

Then to make the top of the Shepard’s pie extra crunching run a fork through the top of the mash potato to create little ridges that will crispen’ up in the oven. 

The cheese is totally optional, but a delicious addition on top and that allows for a little extra crunch!

Allow the shepard’s pie too cool a little before serving as the mince will get very hot under the mashed potato.

Then enjoy this winter classic with your whole family. It is loaded with veg that the kids will hardly notice so is perfect for a healthy hearty winter meal!

Shepard’s Pie

With winter upon us, what better than a hearty warming Shepard's pie! Loaded with veggies, this is the perfect nourishing winter meal for the whole family.
Course Dinner
Keyword Dinner, lamb, pie, Potato, shepard's pie, vegetables
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 people

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery finely chopped
  • 2 carrots finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini finally chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 kg lamb mince
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 cup beef stock
  • 1 can (400diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp wosterchire sauce
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • ¾ cup green peas frozen
  • 1 kg white potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 50 g butter
  • ½-3/4 cup milk
  • 50 g parmesan cheese grated

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy base saucepan. Add the onion, celery, carrot and zucchini and cook for 5mins until it begins to sweat and soften. Add in garlic cloves and cook off for 1min. Add in the mince and cook in 2-3mins until it starts to brown.
  • Stir in tomato paste, beef stock, diced tomatoes and wosterchire sauce. Combine corn flour with 1tbsp of water in a small bowl to remove lumps and then stir it into your mince mixture. Bring the mixture to a bowl and then reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 10-15min until it starts to thicken. Stir occasionally to prevent it sticking. Allow to cool slightly while you make the mash.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Add potatoes to a large saucepan and top with water. Heat on high until water begins to boil. Cook for 7-10mins until potatoes are soft. Drain the potatoes and then add back into the saucepan. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the potatoes whisk in butter and milk into the potatoes until they are smooth.
  • Pour mince into a large baking dish and then spread mashed potato over the mince. Use a fork to drag it along the potato, this will create a crunchy top! Sprinkle with parmesan and then bake in the oven for 40-50min until meat is bumbling and potato is crunchy and golden.