Monday, August 19, 2013

Simple supper: chicken with beans and greens

Shane and I are on a health kick. Not for any great reason and (probably) not for very long, but we thought it would be a little challenge to see who can lose the most weight in a week. Yep, very responsible adult behaviour. Although it's unlikely I will lose anything more than a couple of pounds, and despite being pretty ravenous most of the time, it has been nice making a few different meals from usual and not relying quite so much on pasta.

Here's a quick example of a typical evening meal (two point to note: I am not really much of a recipe-follower, and I am also a big fan of the one-pan-meal):

chicken leg or 2 thighs per person
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 courgette, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
225g tin butter beans
approx 200ml passata
approx 200ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper
generous pinch of oregano
pinch of thyme
4 cabbage leaves, shredded

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Rub the chicken with a little oil or butter and season well. Place on a baking tray and cook for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through (to be honest I didn't time it exactly). You may need to baste the chicken in its cooking juices every so often to keep it moist. Fry the onions and garlic on a low heat, and add the other vegetables when the onions start to soften. After about 10 minutes, pour in the stock and passata, season and add herbs. Let this simmer for a while, then add the cabbage and, a couple of minutes before serving, the butter beans. Add more stock if the liquid is reducing too quickly.

Serve into bowls and add the cooked chicken on top.

The great thing about this meal is that you can substitute pretty much all of the ingredients for whatever you have in the fridge/cupboard. Perfect for using up past-its-best veg or the old tin of beans hiding on the back shelf. Use borlotti or kidney beans instead of butter beans, add kale or chard instead of cabbage, throw in some potatoes to bulk it out, shred some basil in at the end... Endless possibilities. These are the kind of meals I like.

And for dessert...

...natural yoghurt with vanilla and a swirl of our homemade blackberry coulis. 

Song of the day: 'Human' - Goldfrapp

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