A small confession and Asian inspired chicken meatballs with cucumber and chilli dipping sauce

IMG_9771

Wow it’s been a stupidly long time since I last posted anything and I have been feeling incredibly guilty. My sister had been abusing me for months and friends hounding me for more recipes and stupid stories. So here I am, tail between my legs and boy oh boy has a lot happened!

Well firstly me and my man made the extremely adult move and bought a house! We are crazy happy despite moving into the cat hair infested home sporting walls from a bad acid trip, purple walls…wait, two tone purple walls, fluorescent greens, bright blues, strobe lighting, I think you probably get the picture! Now, well without blowing my own or Jase’s trumpet…wait that came out wrong, I’m blushing…. we are rocking this whole house renovation business. I have taken on the role as best painter in the world, Jase plays with a drill and I get distracted picturing Channing Tatum from the new Magic Mike film and end up dribbling paint all over the carpet. No big deal as the carpet smells like cats and the stuff that made it to the walls look fabulous. There is a lot of my handiwork that can’t be seen too as I decided to try my hand at electrics pulling off all the ugly lights from the walls and hacking at the wires with my kitchen scissors. Surprisingly I didn’t electrocute myself, Bravo!

I also travelled to South America to meet Jase after he finished a shoot for North Face doing silly things like skiing, hiking and growing a beard, all above 5000m, sometimes I think he’s mad. Anyway I intend to write some blurb on that soon so I’ll save you from thinking jeez this girl has got the verbal poops.

Oh wait there’s more …the actual coming out! Right the big reveal. Well it turns out I’ve been living a lie. Well not entirely – I did truly give the whole Vegetarian, Paleo, Vegan, every fad you can imagine a good shot over the last few years. But at the end of the day it turns out, I love bacon! And not just bacon but all meat…especially steak, bread, cheese, pasta, pizza…the lot. Gosh a giant weight has been lifted. There’s nothing like starting a healthy food blog trying to use alternatives for absolutely everything and then turning full circle. It was a gradual process since moving to New Zealand, not being helped by living with a boy who wants bacon, cheese and sriracha on bloody everything! Why does that stuff smell so damn good? However, the main thing is that my tummy (which was the reason I started all this) has decided to chill out. This has led me to behave more frivolously with my food choices, I have exciting mornings where I eat a croissant and then wait to see what happens, can you imagine the fun?! My tummy was the entire motivation to explore the wonderful vegan, gluten free world and it was a crazy discovery and I learnt stupid amounts from so many super cool blogs, and maybe that’s the reason my stomach no longer inflates like a giant balloon after everything I eat.

Just to be clear I’m still going to be posting healthy recipes to make at home, I’m not just vegging out on the sofa eating Mac n cheese, I will be spiralizing courgettes to go with my bolognaise and I haven’t turned to the mega dark side, I’m still not going to touch white sugar, I mean come on ewwww – that would be too far!

So welcome to the new blog, still healthy, just more normal and stuff!

Asian inspired chicken balls with cucumber and chilli dipping sauce

Thai chicken balls

asian chicken meatballs

Dipping sauce
 2 tbsp soy sauce
½ lime juiced
½ tsp finely chopped chilli
½ tsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp organic unrefined brown sugar
5 tbsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp finely chopped cucumber
 
Chicken meatballs
1 shallot
1 small fresh chilli, 
1 ½ tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 spring onions
4 lime leaves
 
2 chicken breasts
1 lime zested and half juiced
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
 
Salad
1 carrot
½ cucumber
Handful of bean sprouts
half a lime to squeeze over

First make the dipping sauce. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Done!

For the meatballs, put the first lot of ingredients into a food processor…basically not the chicken and sauces. Whizz up until finely chopped then add the chicken, soy etc and a big pinch of salt. Pulse until all of it’s all mixed up.

Put a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat and drizzle a little sesame oil in. Now get your hands all covered in raw chicken and make some small balls to cook in the frying pan. When frying wait until they are nice and caramelised before turning. Check they are cooked by chopping one in half and if your nervous or eating them later just sear them in the pan on high heat and pop them in the oven for 10 minutes.

For the salad using a potato peeler make ribbons from the carrot and cucumber and mix with the sprouts. Serve with half a lime to squeeze over.

Serving ideas, either scrap the salad and serve them like extremely fancy nibbles at one of your raving parties, or serve all together and pour the dipping sauce over the salad. OR if your feeding a gang add some coconut rice to the mix and you’ve got yourself a pretty mean spread.

Photos by me

Coconut milk, lemongrass, chilli and lime pumpkin soup

lemongrass pumpkin soup-3

Super exciting news, well it’s not mega news because I have had it booked for ages…but now it’s actually here. I am off to New Zealand in 1 week wahooo! So ridiculously excited, two weeks in what looks like the coolest country ever. Me and two friends are travelling over for a friends wedding just outside Wanaka and the whole trip just sounds way too cool. As soon as we get there we are off to go surfing with dolphins for the hen doo! And it’s going to be hot!

I am hoping that this will be my last wintery post since when we get back to the mountains spring should be creeping up. So voila, yummy thai style pumpkin soup to keep all you cold people warm!

lemongrasssoup-collage

Serves 6

2 tbsp coconut oil
4 small shallots, thinly sliced
3 big garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 lemongrass stalks, peeled and finely chopped
1 birdseye chilli, chopped
2 skinny thumb sized pieces of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2kg pumpkin, peeled and chopped roughly into 2cm sized chunks
500ml coconut milk
about 2-3 cups water
1 bunch coriander, chop stalks and leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 lime zested, and juiced
Salt and pepper

Grab yourself a big saucepan thats going to fit everything in and on a medium heat fry off the shallots gently with the coconut oil.

When nice and soft add everything in the top list and cook off for about 5 minutes until nice and fragrant smells are wafting up your nose. Then chuck in the pumpkin, give it all a stir and add the water, coriander stalks, coconut milk, fish sauce and some seasoning.

Stick a lid on it and leave to simmer until the pumpkin is totally soft. Using a hand blender whizz it all up with the rest of the chopped coriander until it’s all velvelty and smooth.

Check the seasoning and add the lime zest and juice. Serve with either some more chopped coriander or some black sesame seeds. Bon Appetit!