Cooking deelitefully

Welcome to  the deelitefull blog.  I am a cooking and nutrition coach based in Dublin, Ireland.   Food should both taste great and make you feel great. My experience of some healthy eating guides & books is that they can be a little worthy, bland and humourless. Eating should always be a pleasure both to the senses and to the soul. There is nothing worse than eating a meal and feeling like you need a crane to hoist you out of your chair but on the other hand there is nothing more dreary than a meal that is assessed purely on the reduced calories and fat grams it contains. So on this blog you can follow my search for delicious healthy recipes with soul.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sugar overload

I still can’t stop thinking about an article I read in the health section of the Irish Times a couple of weeks ago about the amount of sugar in Uncle Bens sweet and sour sauce. 
So I decided to share 2 recipes for sweet and sour type sauces that are not only better for you but taste much better than any commercial sauce and are very quick to make. 
They still contain sugar and honey so they are not my healthiest recipes but  alot healthier than what you find in the supermarket.    One is a lemony one, courtesy of Bill Granger  and the other is an orangey one that goes lovely with duck.  
Here is a pictorial representation of the amount of sugar in Uncle Bens sweet and sour sauce (500g), 22.5 teaspoons  .  Yikes!!!

I don’t like to think of myself as a food dictator.  I use sugar and butter in my cooking where needed. I love cakes and use both when baking -  Lemon drizzle cake -mmmmmm.   
 But its all this sugar in processed food where you least expect that I really think is contributing to our obesity crisis.   Foods labelled as low fat are often the biggest culprits.  Food companies take all the fat out of products but generally stuff lots of sugar and salt back in so the food will taste of something.   I really passionately believe the easiest way to start eating healthy is to learn to cook for yourself.  By handing over responsibility for what you eat to a profit - driven food conglomerate is just asking for trouble.   To be fair to the food companies they are just trying to make money,  your health is not their concern.  ands its not just Uncle Bens,  loads of processed food is stuffed with sugar and salt.
These recipes are really quick and easy ,  go on...... leave the jar in the supermarket and give it a go.  If you have any problems with any of the recipes don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Happy (and healthy) cooking Dxx

Lemon chicken  
Ingredients (serves 2 - 3 people)
25ml Sunflower oil
1 tbsp Plain flour
½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
Large pinch of  sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Chicken breasts,
2 Lemons, 1 lemon cut into wedges, 1 lemon for juice only
2cm Fresh root ginger, cut into strips
2 tbsp Clear honey
2 tbsp Light soy sauce
1 tsp light brown soft sugar

1. Heat the oil in a wok over a medium-high heat. Preheat the oven to 200C/190C fan/gas 6.
2. Mix the flour, five spice, salt and pepper. Toss the chicken in it to coat, then fry it for 3–5 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper, then put it on a baking tray with the lemon wedges. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, until cooked
3. Drain all but 2 tbsp oil from the wok. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer to form a glaze.
4. Slice the chicken, drizzle with the glaze, squeeze over the roasted lemon wedges and serve with steamed vegetables and boiled rice
Another sauce I did recently for Easy food Valentines feature was a lovely sweet and sour  type sauce to go with duck.  But I like this with chicken and pork chops aswell.  Just be sure to serve with lots of stir-fried veg for a balanced meal.

Or to make your Orangey sweet and sour sauce for 2 - 3 people:
1.  Pour chicken/vegetable stock (125ml), soy sauce(2 tbsp) and rice wine (2 tbsp) into the pan and then add the tomato puree (1 tsp), chilli powder (pinch), orange juice and zest (1/2 an orange) and honey(2tbsp) . 
2. Mix the sauce together over a high heat, bring to the boil and cook for approximately 2 minutes to 4 minutes until it thickens.
Serve with grilled/roasted chicken/duck breast or pork and plenty of stir fried vegetables. 
Use brown rice to make it even healthier,  try and buy the Tilda brand ( no connection to the company,  just like it   )   its a little more expensive but its worth it.