Archive for the 'stir-fries' Category

Mountanous walks & Turkey stir-fry!

On weekends I enjoy practicing impressions of my favourite vegetable on the couch. This, in turn, means I am not much of a walker. (Seriously, do you see any potatoes walking the streets?) With my new diet, I am more eager to get a little breeze in my hair, but before January Frank needed a giant-potato-sized crowbar to get me off the couch.

The fact that I am not much of a walker was never kept a secret from Frank. The giant sighs when a walk was suggested definitely indicated that. Despite this, he insisted on walking when we went on holidays – we walked the entire length of Istanbul, we walked Stockholm (in snow), and we walked Copenhagen (in sub-zero winds). But as Australia is such a big place, when we came here for our first visit we drove almost everywhere. *yay!*

One day on this holiday, Frank asked if I was interested in checking out the beach and “going for a little walk”. As we were in the sunshine, and I was mildly distracted, I agreed to it. Naively I asked if I need to bring my trainers, or if thongs/flip-flip flops will do. And his answer was “ah, maybe bring your trainers just in case”.

And when we arrived at the little walk the realisation hit me: Frank is great at keeping a straight face!!  I stared up at a mountain and gasped, we were at Tomaree Head.  With a 161 metre high summit, it wasn’t what I classified as a “little walk”! Needless to say, we got to the summit with the maximum amount of whining, sulking, and reluctance; and I never let him live it down. The views from the top are amazing though, so it made the whole effort worthwhile.

I liken my diet to that fateful trip to Tomaree Head. It is a long, hard slog; and I am whining and sulking all the way, (cue mini violin of pity) but in the end the whole effort will be worthwhile. So, with the maximum amount of whining and sulking, I have adapted my cooking to exclude all the allergens. As I am not allowed beef mince, I made the below recipe with turkey. It tastes surprisingly good despite being healthy, so if you’re looking for something that is full of flavour but not many calories this is the dish to try…

Spicy turkey mince – a Lollcakes original
Serves 4 normal appetites, or 3 big ones

225g rice noodles
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 red chilli
500g turkey Mince
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh chicken stock
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (I used organic tamari as it is wheat-free)
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 tablespoon water
1 cup grated courgette
1 cup grated carrot
Handful coriander, chopped finely
Shredded red onion, for garnish

Cook noodles according to packet instructions
Heat oil in wok over a medium heat; add onion, garlic, chilli and ginger and lightly sauté for 1 minute.

Add turkey mince and increase heat to high. Cook turkey for 8 minutes till brown and toss frequently.
Reduce heat to medium and add to the turkey the carrots, stock and soy sauce.

Stir to combine and thicken with blended cornflour and water. Allow liquid to gently simmer and thicken slightly. Stir through the courgette and coriander.
To serve, divide hot noodles into serving bowls and top with cooked turkey mince and onion.


Frank’s chicken stir-fry

I love birthdays. They don’t have to be mine (and these days, I prefer it if they aren’t), as long as there is a birthday happening I get all giddy! I’m not sure if it is because my Mom wants us to have the most special day imaginable, or if she loves birthdays as much as I do, but she always goes out of her way to make the day “our” day. And to this day I love to make a big deal about birthdays because of her influence.

One of the reasons I like birthdays so much is that they are a great excuse for embracing your inner child. Be it with cake, or fairy bread, or brightly coloured wrapping paper; we all find ourselves channeling our inner kid on those days.

I love to make a big deal of Frank on his birthday. But I realised (and to quote Hallmark and possibly my mom) that we should always let people know how much we appreciate them, and not just on birthdays. So, this week I have been making Frank’s favorite food. First on the list: chicken stir-fry. I’ve been making this dish since we met, and Frank loves the kinda-home-made sauce that goes with it. He also loves the heap of chicken that makes up the dish!

I’ve found that stir-frying chicken makes it rubbery and tough. My secret to soft, delicious chicken in a stir-fry is to pre-bake the chicken and shred it into the stir-fry at the end. Baking preserves the juices, and adds additional flavour to the dish.
I made this for Frank last night and he loved it!

Frank’s chicken stir-fry – a lollcakes original

Serves two big eaters with some left-overs
olive oil/peanut oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 chicken breasts
1 carrot, julienned
1 red capsicum, finely sliced
6 mushrooms, sliced
handful sugar-snap peas
bunch chinese broccoli, chopped
1 courgette, julienned
handful salted peanuts
bunch coriander, chopped

For the sauce:
1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice

To serve: rice or noodles

Preheat the oven to 180C. Cover chicken with small amount of oil and bake for 40 mins, turning over after 20 minutes. Take out and shred into bite-sized pieces. While chicken is baking, mix all ingredients for the sauce in a bowl.

Heat remaining oil in a wok, and fry onion and garlic until soft. Add in rest of vegetables and stir-fry until cooked. Tip in sauce and chicken, and fry until hot. Finish off with peanuts and coriander, and serve on top of nice or noodles.

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All recipes are on Petitchef