Friday, 10 May 2013

Butter Chicken, Cauliflower Poppers and Banana Raspberry Icecream

Holy Feijoa season!! After this past week of crazy weather and getting back into the swing of the weekly routine, the kids and I finally managed to venture out into the garden. I could see a whole bunch of feijoas on the ground that needed to be collected before the birds and other garden creatures got to them. 2 shopping bags and a sore back later we finally had them all collected. Curiosity got the better of me so we got out the scales....16.5 kilos!!! If only we could sell them at supermarket prices - we'd make a fortune!  Haven't got any feijoa recipes for you today, but I can pretty much guarantee that the foreseeable future is going to see a lot of feijoa action in the kitchen.

Now that I have shown off the haul, time to get back to the recipes for today.

Last night was Indian night - I'm more of a tikka masala or tandoori girl, but hubby is all about the butter chicken. I found a recipe a while back for a home-made butter chicken, that is so delicious it keeps us both happy. As I am inclined to do I have tweaked the recipe a little to suit our needs (mostly just adding a whole bunch of veges). We finished the meal off with homemade banana/raspberry 'icecream' which is so delicious that you'll never know it's good for you!

 Cooking up a storm

 Cauliflower poppers - roasting nicely

The finished dinner - it's not really pretty, but tastes SO good!

Butter Chicken:

2 tbsp organic butter, or if you want to make it dairy free use coconut oil (technically it won't be 'butter' chicken, but it'll still be awesome!)
approx 500g chicken cut into chunks (breast or thigh - whatever you prefer)
1 tsp garam masala
1tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated 
1/4 tsp chilli (adjust according to your preferred level of spiciness)
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon if you don't have sticks in the pantry)
1 can of tinned tomatoes (either leave them chunky as I do or puree them if you prefer a smooth sauce)
3/4 cup coconut milk
Juice of a lemon (adjust to taste)

Optional ingredients - I added a few vegetables as below so you can either use the same veges, or just whatever you like to eat or have in the fridge
1/2 an eggplant, diced into 1cm cubes
1 onion thinly sliced
a big bunch of silverbeet or spinach chopped roughly

1. Heat 1 tbsp butter or oil in a large frying pan. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned. 
2. Remove chicken from pan
3. Heat second tbsp of butter or oil and add all of the spices (gram masala, paprika, coriander, ginger, chilli, cardamom, cinnamon). Heat until aromas are released (a couple of minutes) - the kitchen will smell amazing!
4. Add chicken back to the pan along with all of the vegetables. Mix chicken, veges and spices together until well mixed in
5. Add the tomatoes and simmer for around 10-15 minutes, until veges are tender.
6. Add coconut milk and lemon juice and stir to combine
7. Enjoy! 

This recipe feeds 2 adults and 2 children easily. If you are feeding more adults I would recommend doubling the recipe. No problem if there are leftovers - it tastes even better reheated for lunch the next day!

I served this dinner with steamed brown rice, steamed carrots and broccoli, and 'cauliflower poppers'. 

Cauliflower Poppers:


1/2  head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tsps coconut oil, melted
1 tsp garam masala
pinch of salt


1. Preheat oven to 180C 
2. In a large bowl combine oil, salt and garam masala.
3. Place cauliflower florets into the bowl and use your hands to cover all florets with oil and spice mix
4. Spread out on a baking tray lined with baking paper
5 Bake in the oven for approx. 10-15 minutes or until browned. 

These 'poppers' are a great way to make cauliflower more interesting, are super easy to make, and you can play around with the spices used to suit the meal you are making. I used garam masala to tie into the indian theme of the dinner, but I often use turmeric to make yellow cauliflower for the kids, or you could make them moroccan, thai, mexican...or just oil and salt for a more simple yet still delicious option.

For the grand finale, time for some 'icecream'

 Blending it up in our super awesome blender - best kitchen purchase of the year!

The finished product - Yum!

Banana Raspberry Surprise 'Icecream'

3 frozen bananas 
1 cup frozen raspberries
a big handful of baby spinach (that's the surprise! Optional if you don't have any. Great way to get greens into the kids)
1 tbsp sweetener of choice (I used date puree, but you could use honey, stevia, whatever you like. This is also optional - all the bananas make it pretty sweet anyway)

1. Place all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until combined
2. Eat! This is such a great dessert, and the result is silky, smooth and creamy. You will not be disappointed!

If your food processor isn't handling the pressure of all of that frozen goodness it may help to add a little liquid (maybe almond or coconut milk). Your end product will probably be slightly runnier, but still delicious. I also softened the bananas a little before blending, just so as not to completely destroy the blender. This is a great way to use up old bananas. When you get those bananas in your bowl that are turning all sorts of nasty shades of brown, throw them in the freezer. I'm lazy, so I just throw them in as they are, skin and all, but if you are prepared it would save time in the long run to peel them and store them in a freezer bag. 

Keep an eye out tomorrow for some more yummy recipes - today I made a delicious Zucchini bread which made full use of the sunflower butter recipe I posted yesterday. We also had kid friendly turkey San Choy Bao for dinner which was a total hit with the kids, so I'll get a recipe written up for that too.