So last night, I tried a little recipe I found in a random, health magazine and thought I’d do a little review from the perspective of a lazy, I-hate-washing-up kind of uni student.
Why I chose this recipe
LETS GET SOME MORE VEGETABLES IN MY SYSTEM. This has been my biggest foodie challenge yet and I’m constantly trying to incorporate more and more fibre into my body to reach my goal of five serves of vegetables a day. In saying that, I’ve still got lots to learn regarding healthy eating but I figured this meal had a fair amount of vegetable intake (even though it might all be kale) with an interesting Asian-influenced marinate.
I have quite little experience with the sweeter cuisines of Asian food. Coming from an Vietnamese background (fish sauce background), trying to make something with peanut butter was a bit out of my comfort zone but if you can squeeze a recipe into that tiny portion of a magazine, it can’t be too hard!
While this recipe does take an hour with the marinate, I think it’s quite a quick and cheap meal to make. You can buy a 500g bag of kale for about $2 at Coles and the chicken fillets cost about $13. Everything else I had in my Asian pantry which bring the cost of a serving to $3.50. The only other added expense would be the quinoa which I bulk bought from Costco but it can definitely be replaced with brown rice or cous cous.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned in making this dish.
- Being the lazy cook that I am, I cooked my chicken in a pan, then just added the kale – I am way too lazy to swap pans/have multiple pans and it seems to work just as fine. You should know, however, that the kale stem doesn’t soften as much with my lazy girl method.
- Use a god damn big enough pan. I feel like this is standard knowledge but the kale takes up a fair amount of space before it wilts. If you can’t get it all to fit, put a lid on it while it wilts. (#amateurhomecook)
- I’m not sure this is right – but I treat quinoa like a carb – so, my replacement for rice. The “salad” by itself would be too meaty/vegetably without something to balance the saltiness of the marinate.
- Reduce the soy sauce – the salt content in soy sauce can actually be really bad for you, so keep an eye on it and adjust it to your minimum requirement.
- If you are not a massive chilli fan like Chris is, I would suggest using a green chilli instead. Mama said that it’s less intense.
- Chop the cashews – getting out the mortar and pestle is just effort.
By the way, Chris hates anything related to seafood and while I could’ve snuck in the fish sauce, I actually forgot.
Taste test results:
I ate the meal cold, because yes, I am lazy and couldn’t be bothered to trek it to the university microwaves and I thought it was quite tasty! My quinoa wasn’t as fluffy as I would’ve liked it to be and the peanut sauce, while it was there wasn’t too overpowering. I must say since my serve of porridge this morning that it hasn’t quite filled me up as I would like to (I don’t have time to snack until dinner). Overall, a nice healthy lunch that was really quick to make. 8/10
Well as a completely unbiased reviewer (*wink*), this was an amazing meal! In all seriousness though, the flavour was nice and balanced, it was reasonably filling, and it seemed pretty healthy. Bearing in mind your tastes are inevitably different to mine, I thought it was a solid 4.5/5 and could imagine eating this quite regularly.
Overall, quite a lovely dish. I’m pretty happy with my lunch today.
Check out the original recipe here:
Give it a try and let me know what you think/what you’d do differently? Also, if anyone has any tips for making extra fluffy quinoa, feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear it.