Taxis, Trains and Temptation!
5:2 Diet Fast Day Recipe:
Smoky Mexican Stir Fry with Chicken
What have taxis, trains and temptation to do with a delicious low-calorie recipe you may be thinking, and the answer is not much! But, as a title of today’s post, it’s just my way of telling you what I have been up to over the last two days, as well as the name of the tasty recipe I am sharing with you this Sunday………Smoky Mexican Stir Fry with Chicken, which, only has 234 calories in each generous portion, making it an ideal recipe for those of you following the 5:2 diet, and making it a substantial meal for a “fast day”. And yes, I have not posted in two days, which is VERY unusual for me, but I have lots of lovely recipes to share with you over the next few days, as well as some reviews, news, giveaways and a weekly meal plan too……along with photos and my daily thoughts, I hope to be back on track (excuse the pun – all this talk of trains has obviously affected me) very soon!
It may be obvious from the photos that I have visited St Pancras International station recently; in fact I have been there several times over the last ten days, travelling to and from central London, as well as being my departure point to the West country, and beyond…….namely France. I love St Pancras station, its elegant façade, its history as well as its amazing shops and events…….and oh yes, I LOVE the Betjeman statue and the pianos (available for public use) that are dotted about the station. I love the atmosphere, and the fact that it is the home to the British part of the Eurostar. It’s cosmopolitan and busy without the frenzy of other large stations; and for the most part, the passengers who arrive from across the channel, appear happy and impressed……and head straight for the M & S food hall!
But back to taxis and temptation, now that trains have been discussed; I decided on my multiple journeys to the SW of England to take a London cab from St Pancras to Paddington station – mainly due to one disastrous journey on the tube, where, with my small but “lethal weapon” suitcase, I almost plummeted to my death from the top of the escalator, nearly taking several innocent passengers with me…….on my crazy “case driven” downward descent. And, when I worked out the cost of a single tube ticket, (I couldn’t get a return as I was travelling back on a different day) the extra cost of a taxi was well worth travelling in comfort and with a certain amount of style….plus, you get to see a bit of London, and have a chat with the locals, it was all SO much better than the smelly, hot and frankly dangerous journey underground.
There will be more posts to follow about my crazy ten days of travel – plus, I have notes to share with you from Somerset, Abergavenny, Pierre Koffmann’s and also central London and Blogcamp…….be prepared for a plethora of jam, chutney, jelly, damsons, eels, crab, gin, inspirational restaurateurs, famous cookbook authors, marmalade vodka, google + and so much more….but before I progress and share my latest recipe for Smoky Mexican Stir Fry with Chicken (suitable for the 5:2 diet fast days, as well as normal feasting days), let me tell you about my temptation……
…….on a predesignated 5:2 Diet “Fast Day”, and whilst wandering around Lille Flandres station waiting my for my TGV train connection to Angouleme, I happened upon a branch of Pains à la ligne, and there sat in a seductive pile of bready goodness, was the sandwich of my dreams (at that particular time anyway), a Jambon Beurre Baguette……simple, très French and very soon all mine after money changed hands! So, there was my fast day blown out of the water, but the guilt that I expected to sweep over me never happened, as my teeth sunk into the crisp, buttery and hammy goodness of that desired sandwich! So, today shall be my fast day, and I will be eating a BIG bowl of stir-fry for my lunch, with chicken.
The smokiness of this tasty stir-fry comes from a wonderful little pot of paste that I was sent from Sainsbury’s, as part of their Speciality Ingredients Range; Speciality Ingredients chipotle chilli paste . I was sent a selection of products from their speciality range and this was the first one I used (I have more recipes to follow using the rest of the products I used) as I LOVE chipotle chillies, and the smoky flavour that you get from them. Chipotles are a staple in Mexican cooking, and drying and smoking the jalapeños takes the sting out of their heat but intensifies the flavour, so you can use our delicious chipotle paste in lots of family dishes that maybe the children will be eating. I added a very small amount of the paste to the chicken pieces and allowed them to marinade for a few hours, before I cooked the stir-fry.
An eighth of a jar of this chipotle chilli paste only has 18 calories in it, so it’s a GREAT way to add flavour to a low-calorie meal, and although stir-fries are usually associated with Asian cookery, I like to play with flavours and this recipe was a HUGE hit with all who ate it! You can use pork fillets instead of chicken, and of course Quorn pieces would be great for vegetarians, you just need to adjust the calories for those two ingredients (if using), the Quorn will be lower in calories and the pork if lean, will be about the same if slightly higher. (Tofu would also work well in this recipe)
As I said above, stir fries don’t have to be Asian inspired, and this Mexican style recipe is packed full of flavour, as well as being healthy and containing some of your five-a-day in one filling dish, the spicy chipotle chilli paste adds a smoky heat to the chicken, and no other seasoning is needed when this is served with a big bowl of stir fry vegetables with edamame beans; if you are using a normal stir fry vegetable mix with NO edamame beans, the calorie count will be much lower – 150g of stir fry vegetables added in place of the edamame beans stir fry mix, will be 180 calories a portion, instead of 234 calories per portion when using 100g of edamame bean stir fry vegetable mix – the choice is yours, but I LOVE the addition of the edamame beans, so I make this recipe my main meal of a fast day.
Edamame beans are baby soya beans served either in their pods or shelled. They look like small broad beans, but have a sweet taste and slightly crisper texture……they are quite high in calories, but I love them in salads and stir-fries. I am very pleased with this new recipe, and as I mentioned before, the calories can be cut by leaving out the beans and you can also make this a veggie meal with Quorn; one bowl of this filled me up for hours, and it was very easy to cook – my non-fasting friends had noodles with theirs, but I was more than satisfied with the amounts I ate.
That’s it for today, I have NOT forgotten my Sepia Saturday post – it will be posted later today, so a Sepia Sunday post, and I have also got my Patchwork of Recipes and Photos planned too, with a weekly meal plan for tomorrow…..I also have lots of news to share, about my jaunts about Britain, and new recipes too of course, I hope you have a GREAT Sunday, I now need to unpack my case, do all my washing, and then re-pack it for another trip back to the UK next week! See you later, Karen
Disclaimer: I received several sample products from Sainsbury’s Speciality Ingredients range to try out; all opinions expressed are my own. Karen S Burns-Booth
St. Pancras International is proud of the restoration and redevelopment work that has taken place. It is equally proud to be the home of some specially commissioned pieces of Art.
The meeting place
A 9m tall bronze of an intimate pose by the world renowned sculptor Paul Day.
The Betjeman statue
Sir John Betjeman was responsible for saving the Station and the Chambers from demolition in the 1960′s. In tribute to the famous poet and railway enthusiast an 8.5ft sculpture by Martin Jennings has been designed to celebrate the man and his poetry.
The St Pancras International Clock
The famous St. Pancras Clock has been re constructed by the original makers Dent and now hangs high in the apex of the Barlow shed once more.
Have you ever cooked with Chipotle Chillies?
If so, what is your favourite recipe that uses them?