You want to know what the most exciting part of moving house was for me? Getting a massive freezer! When we lived in our small flat, our freezer was tiny and I’d often be so disappointed when I couldn’t fit more in. Now we have a really large double fronted fridge freezer and it’s the best thing ever.
Many of us haven’t fully embraced our freezers as the place to start when it comes to cooking a healthy meal. Using the freezer and frozen foods can save us time, money and create really healthy, tasty dishes. I for one have been really excited to see healthier frozen food options and many of our family meals are based on them. I find that using frozen food saves us a lot of money and prevents waste as well as making meal planning easier – particularly with a toddler! The great thing about frozen food is its ‘shelf’ life, even if my meal planning slips I generally have the ingredients to hand to make a balanced meal.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how generally I’m eating quite samey meals these days so I was really excited to be challenged to try cooking a new recipe as part of Channel 4 show, Eat the Week with Iceland. This lunchtime, the ‘All the Gear, No Idea’ episode will be airing and we’ll have the delight of watching Simon Rimmer cooking some really lovely recipes using store cupboard ingredients and a few special frozen ingredients too.
I know that I, like the participants in today’s show, have many random ingredients in my store cupboard and this episode is a nice reminder to experiment with what you have and come up with something a bit different to your usual rotation of weeknight meals.
The recipe I tried out was the Goan Green Chicken Curry recipe. I made a couple of tweaks, using sweet potato in place of potato as that’s what I had on hand, and green chillies rather than the birds eye chillies so it was a little milder.
- 4 green birds eye chillies
- 1 onion – roughly chopped
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tsp tamarind paste
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- Oil for frying
- 1 clove of garlic
- Salt to season
- 400g spinach
- Good handful of mint
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 400ml coconut milk
- 3 chicken breasts – cut into strips
- 200g sweet potatoes – cubed and blanched
- 150g peas
- Curry paste – in a food processor, blend the chillies, onion, coriander, garlic, tamarind and sugar to a fine paste.
- Fry gently in a little veg oil until it releases its fragrance, probably 4-5 minutes.
- Sauce – puree the coconut milk with the spinach, mint and coriander (you don’t need to wash the blender in between). Add to the pan with the paste and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes (may need a little water or stock to thin it down).
- Add the chicken and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes until they are soft. Add the peas and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Serve with rice and naan bread and garnish with more coriander and lime wedges.
It also reminded me how easy it can be to make your own curry paste and how it really does taste fresher than ready made curry paste.
Check out the show today at 12.30pm on Channel 4 for more delicious recipes.
Do you make good use of your freezer? What are your favourite store cupboard meals?
*post in collaboration with Iceland