Easy lunches: Gut Soothing Bone Broth with a whole chicken

Mr Incredible and I have been reading Dr Michael Moseley’s “The Clever Guts Diet” and finding some great ways to implement a better diet for our gut health (and reasons to do so). One of the best things about the book is really easy to follow recipes that are easy to do. One of them is the recipe for “Gut Soothing Bone Broth” – I’ve made bone broths before but using the carcass of a chicken and then cooking that overnight. What I LOVE about this recipe is that it basically poaches a whole chicken, which you then strip of its meat for when you want chicken throughout the week – salads, omelettes, sandwiches, a quick dinner etc. It’s perfect for our lifestyle and is a way we can waste less but use more.

We utilise organic chickens for this – but a note for those looking to save a penny or two, check when your supermarket’s organic chickens are going to expire and pop in the day before this happens – this is how we get our ethically sourced, organic meat at 30-70% off. I base my shopping around the discount routines of the grocers I go to and utilise my deep freezer to its full! IMG_4965.JPG

Gut-soothing Bone Broth from Dr Michael Mosley’s The Clever Guts Diet

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium organic chicken
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 3 chopped carrots
  • 2 chopped celery sticks
  • 3 sliced zucchinis (or one big one!)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp of live (raw) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2-3 slices of root ginger
  • 1 tsp of ground turmeric (or sliced fresh)
  • sea salt and black peppercorns

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan with just enough water to cover them. Bring the pan to the boil, then lower the heat, put the lid on and let it simmer, ideally for 6-8 hours but for at least 2-3 hours, topping up the liquid with water as required
  2. Take the chicken out and place it on a platter to cool. Remove all the meat from the carcass and place it in the fridge for use throughout the week.
  3. This broth will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or can be frozen for up to 1 month. Aside from using in recipes, it can be sipped as a warm drink and works well with a squeeze of lemon and a little salt.

Weekly weeknight dinner: Chicken and Veggie Pasta Bake

We make this meal at least once a fortnight and we’re not board with it yet! The best thing about the meal (as we make it) is that with the additional load of vegetables it makes enough for our family (including leftovers for lunch) as well as a meal to give to another family, or a meal to freeze. I find that cooking on a budget often means boosting the vegetable to meat ratio in most of the recipes I find. Even though we eat organic vegetables, it still works out MUCH cheaper (and healthier) to use more veg than is often specified. As I heard someone say yesterday, meat in meals should be an addition rather than the main ingredient.

The base of the recipe is from Amanda at Foodbefore5, however, as you’ve likely guessed by now, I’ve made a few changes! The main change is that I’ve included a LOAD of veg (again, are you surprised?). Try it – unless you’re a vegetarian you won’t be disappointed… but if you are a vegetarian, i reckon it would work without the chicken and bacon too!

Ingredients

  • 500g packet dried pasta
  • 500g chicken thigh (if you get your chicken from a butcher, ask them to dice it for you – it saves so much effort and makes the meal able to be easily prepared with a wee one at your side!)
  • 100g bacon – chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic – finely diced
  • 600ml cream
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste (salt free)
  • 50 gr semi-dried tomatoes – diced (more if you like – I just ask for a small scoop from the deli so there’s no wastage, or I make my own if tomatoes are in season)
  • 50 gr olives (more if you like,  I just ask for a small scoop from the deli so there’s no wastage)
  • 1/2 cup cheese – grated (plus extra for topping)
  • 1 broccoli – finely chopped including most of the stalk
  • 2 zucchinis – chopped
  • 3 flat mushrooms – chopped
  • 1 bunch silver beet – chopped (Kale, spinach or beetroot leaves can also be used)

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to packet directions
  2. While pasta is cooking, fry chicken, bacon & garlic in a frypan over high heat until chicken is cooked through
  3. While chicken mix is cooking, in a large bowl whisk together cream and tomato paste.
  4. Add chopped veg, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and 1/2 cup of cheese to the cream mixture and combine
  5. Add cooked chicken mixture (minus the oil – I use a slotted spoon to only get the bits I want)
  6. Drain the pasta and line the bottom of the dish you want to use with the pasta (as the meal makes quite a lot, I use about half the pasta for a standard casserole dish)
  7. Add the proportionate amount of the food in the bowl (i.e. if you used half the pasta use half the mixture)
  8. Mix that together in the casserole dish (if you have an enormous bowl you can mix it with the pasta before putting them all in together, I find though that this is much less messy)
  9. Once combined, top your pasta bake with cheese
  10. Either cover and refrigerate until required or cook immediately. If cooking immediately, cook for 20 minutes covered and a further 10 minutes uncovered. If cooking from having been refrigerated, cook for 30 minutes covered and then a further 10 minutes uncovered.
  11. With the remaining food, make up another pasta bake for friends or else pop it in a freezer bag (combining the pasta and mixture) and freeze for up to three months.

Flavour Gold: marinated stir-fry chicken with vegetables

I was searching the www for some new recipes and came along this one from Slender Kitchen. It’s for a slow cooked honey garlic chicken that I looked at and thought “elements of that would make a really nice marinade for a stir-fry”… so, I made a few changes and it appeared on our plates this evening in its updated form. The “flavour gold” title was given by Mr Incredible after his first taste… high praise as he’s not backward about being forward when the flavours aren’t to his taste! When probed for his reasons behind the name he said that “it was all there, sweet, salty, a bit of spice – YUM”. Adventure Girl also loved the meal – a bit of a treat for her as I wouldn’t usually give her something this high in salt (the tamari/soy is quite salty). Additionally, it’s not friendly for children under 1 due to the honey.

This fed two hungry adults plus a child and had enough left over for another meal to go in the freezer.  

Ingredients

  • 500 grams chicken (I used sliced organic chicken breast)
  • 4 finely diced garlic cloves
  • 2cm finely diced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup tamari (or light soy sauce, however, I prefer tamari though due to the lower salt content)
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes (add more according to taste)
  • 2-3 cups of vegetables of preference (I used a frozen organic stir-fry mix with some added veg as it had been a long day)

Method

  1. Place all ingredients excepting vegetables and chicken in a medium sized bowl. Whisk these together and when combined add the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (I prepared this earlier in the day and had it sitting in the fridge for 4 hours until it was time for dinner)
  2. Prepare vegetables (i.e. defrost or wash and cut ready for cooking)
  3. Heat a wok / frying pan and add 2 tsp of coconut oil.
  4. Stir fry chicken and marinade (the sauce will thicken with the cooking)
  5. When the chicken is mostly cooked, add the prepared vegetables
  6. Enjoy!

Serve with rice / quinoa / cous cous.