The Crazy Kitchen: April 2016

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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Stir Fry Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pine Nuts

A couple of months ago I bought a copy of Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks, the Body Coach. I half heartedly followed a couple of recipes but never really got stuck into the book. After enjoying a very unhealthy (but extremely fun) weekend in Portugal with 12 of my friends this past weekend I was craving healthy food again. Over the weekend we discussed Lean in 15, and one of my friends mentioned a couple of her favourite recipes, which made me dig my book out as soon as I got home.

I've so far tried out In a Hurry Curry Fried Rice, Chicken with Smoked Paprika & Almonds and Cheesy Chorizo & Spinach which were all really delicious, and inspired me to make this chicken and sweet potato dish.

I made this version in my Actifry, but it could also be made using the oven & stove top.

Stir Fry Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pine Nuts

Stir Fry Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pine Nuts - serves 1

1 small sweet potato
pinch of chilli flakes
2 tsp coconut oil
chicken breast
handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
handful of green beans
salt & pepper
tbsp pine nuts
  • wash the sweet potato and slice into 1cm strips
  • add the sweet potato to the Actifry pan along with 1 tsp of coconut oil and the chilli flakes
  • cook for 10 minutes
  • cut the chicken into 1cm strips and add to the Actifry, along with the tomatoes, beans & a pinch of salt & pepper 
  • cook for a further 10 minutes*, adding the pine nuts 5 minutes before the end of cooking time

*may take a little more or less time depending on the size of your chicken pieces/model of machine

Stir Fry Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pine Nuts Stir Fry Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pine Nuts

If you're looking for inspiration for breakfast, lunch or evening meals for yourself or the family then I really do recommend this book for quick, easy & tasty meals (affiliate link)

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Forest Live Music - Summer 2016

Where we live we're lucky that we're on the edge of Cannock Chase, a forest lying in the heart of Staffordshire between Cannock, Rugeley and Stafford. We've visited the area many times over the years for walks and picnics, to choose a Christmas tree & visit Santa, and to visit Go Ape, but my favourite and most memorable trips to the forest are when we've been to a Forest Live concert.

 photo forest live 2_zpsffjybw5p.jpg

In the Summer of 2009, we went to see Paul Weller with friends. The weather was miserable but that didn't stop us enjoying ourselves or our cheese & wine picnic. One of the great things about going to a Forest Live concert is being able to take your own chairs or picnic blankets, along with food and drink. There are also food and drink outlets if you prefer to buy these on site.

 photo weller_zpsu24oxjgy.jpg

Unfortunately you can't take umbrella's, so do make sure you have a waterproof jacket with you as you can never rely on this British weather!

I can't comment on the other Forest Live venues, but what I like about watching a concert at Cannock Chase is that you can see the stage wherever you stand or sit, as the stage lies at the bottom of an incline. We like to take chairs and sit towards the back, but if you arrive early enough you can wander down the hill and get close to the stage.

The year before last I went to watch Jessie J, who I'm not actually a fan of, but went along as I knew it would be a great night out.

 photo jessie j_zpsijcnbgxz.jpg

Again, it was a night of food, drink and good company, which made up for the rain (again).

This Summer we're off to see Kaiser Chiefs on 10th July, which are currently sold out, along with James Bay (waiting lists open) but there are still tickets available for Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott on Saturday 9th July. Having seen these in Dublin last weekend I can thoroughly recommend seeing them at Forest Live, especially if you're a fan of The Beautiful South or The Housemartins as they play a few of the oldies!

If you're wondering about the impact of these concerts on the forest, then you can be assured that sites are carefully vetted to ensure that they won't have any undue impact on local flora & fauna. Revenue from ticket sales is also ploughed back into management of woodlands and used to fund environmental projects.

 photo forest live_zps8vmyhfgw.jpg

You can find out what's on at the other Forest Live venues of Bedgebury Pinetum, Dalby Forest, Delamere Forest, Sherwood Pines Forest, Thetford Forest & Westonbirt Arboretum here.

I received tickets for Kaiser Chiefs in exchange for writing this post. 
All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Chocolate Cake Shake

We're well into the second week of the Easter holidays here and the kids have been enjoying spending a bit of time in the kitchen rustling up their own breakfast, which is usually followed by a milkshake of some kind whizzed up in the Nutribullet, and a big mess in the kitchen!

We get through a lot of milk in this house, with the boys eating endless bowls of cereal as well as their milkshakes. Whilst none of us suffer from any intolerance to milk, many people do. Believing that they are suffering from lactose intolerance they cut milk from their diets, however some of these sufferers have discovered that it's the A1 beta-casein protein in milk that they're intolerant to rather than the lactose. a2 milk is a natural milk which is free from the A1 protein, and if you're interested in finding out how they produce it, you can see a clip of the feature on last week's episode of Food Unwrapped here.

We've tried a2 milk before and Jack loves it, so I bought some more this week, along with some additional dairy free ingredients for the kids to make their own Chocolate Cake Shakes - perfect if you're a lover of cake and ice cream, even if you're intolerant to the A1 protein in milk.

Chocolate Cake Shake

Chocolate Cake Shake - makes 1

100ml a2 milk
large scoop of dairy free chocolate ice cream
1 slice of dairy free chocolate cake (or 1 small cake)
chocolate sprinkles
  • add the milk & ice cream to a glass & smash the ice cream with a spoon
  • crumble up the cake and stir most of it into the milk & ice cream (reserving some for the top)
  • serve with crumbled cake & sprinkles on top
Chocolate Cake Shake Chocolate Cake Shake

It really was as good as it looks - you might need a spoon as well as a straw though!

a2 milk chocolate cake shake
a2 milk - easier to digest

I found a2 milk in a Tesco Store close to us for £1.39 for 1 litre, however it's not available in all Tesco stores - you can find a full list of stockists here. Available in semi skimmed or whole.

this post has been commissioned by a2 milk


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