Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

20140707-142644-52004305.jpg
When I was in my twenties I had a love affair with Thai food. I fell head over heels for the delicate balance of flavours. Not just eating Thai food- I loved to cook it. I would visit our pokey little Asian grocery, over powered by strange smells and fascinated by all the bottles and jars. I’d load up with unreasonably cheap meat, herbs and veg, dreaming of the culinary creations to come.

I don’t make Thai nearly as often these days. Some might argue that kids can eat bold flavours and spices, and I don’t disagree with them. I’ve just been very slow to offer them to my already quite fussy kiddos. Perhaps Thai food will unlock the secret to their taste buds!

Our family dinner table sees a lot of meat and three veg, casseroles, pastas…. meat and three veg. Did I say that already? I do look forward to Friday nights though. For some reason I always seem to need a special meal on a Friday night. Something that says “Hello Weekend! Pleased to see you!”. It might be homemade gourmet pizzas or a rich pasta dish that we enjoy with a glass of wine (not the kids, obvs!). Lately, though, I’ve been firing up my wok and getting back to that fresh, hot, spicy, sour, sweet and delicate Thai flavour.

Last week I made these spicy chicken noodles and they really hit the spot. I love a big bowl of steaming noodles with a kick to them. This week I reinvented an old favourite. Years ago I used to make a rich, creamy Tom Ka Gai (Thai Chicken Soup) almost weekly. It was slightly sour at the back of the throat with a big punch of lime. Delish! I wanted to find that flavour again but ease up on the creaminess while bulking up the veg content. This is what I came up with.

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

500g chicken breast
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2cm knob of ginger, crushed
1 stalk of lemongrass, bashed but left whole
5 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 small red capsicum, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
2 bok choy, thinly sliced
5 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
2 large red chillies, thinly sliced (optional)
1.25 litres of chicken stock
270ml coconut milk
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon palm sugar
the juice and zest from 1 lime
fresh coriander leaves

Method:

  • Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Fry off the garlic and ginger until fragrant, then add in the lemongrass, lime leaves and vegetables and cook until just starting to soften.
  • Pour in the stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce and palm sugar and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Throw in the chicken breasts and simmer until just cooked through, approximately 15 minutes, depending on the size of the breasts.
  • Add in the lime juice and zest, taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Remove the chicken breasts, shred the meat and return it to the pot.
    Serve with fresh coriander leaves.
  • This soup is packed full of flavour, but is still mild enough to offer to kids. The two chillies I used had hardly any heat, however if you’re concerned about the chilli just leave it out.

    What kind of food do you love to cook? Or do you prefer to dial for your food?

Chicken Satay Skewers with Snow Pea and Cabbage Slaw

Sponsored by Origin Energy

Chicken Satay with Snow Pea and Cabbage Slaw

Every Monday it happens. The dreaded meal planning session. I’m getting stuck in such a rut, and am so frustrated with kids not eating the dinners I make. Of course I do this to myself – I love cooking and love to try new recipes, so I’m often trying new things out on them. Anything to avoid the repetitiveness of meat and three veg. That’s the very LAST thing I want to cook or eat in the evenings, but unfortunately it’s one thing that both kids will have a good go at eating. However, I insist on trying out new things, so that they grow up to be healthy, well rounded eaters and so that I don’t lose my marbles.

I recently found a great new source of recipes to try out. They all looked really easy to put together but still interesting enough to keep me happy while meeting kids needs too. I tried out the Chicken Satay Skewers, which turned out beautifully. The chicken was moist and tender, the satay sauce was absolutely scrummy and the snow pea and cabbage slaw is a side that works all year round.

Chicken Satay Skewers with Snow Pea and Cabbage Slaw

Chicken Satay with Snow Pea and Cabbage Slaw

Serves: 4
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes

Ingredients

600g chicken breast fillets, cut into 3cm pieces
2 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup soy sauce
¾ cup coconut milk
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
1 tbs sweet chilli sauce
2 tbs coriander leaves
For the coleslaw:
2 cups shredded wombok (Chinese cabbage)
2 green shallots, sliced
100g snow peas, trimmed and shredded
¼ cup lime juice
1 tbs sesame oil

Method

Combine chicken, garlic and 2 tbs of soy sauce in a bowl. Toss to combine. Thread onto 8 wooden skewers.

Preheat a char-grill pan over medium heat. Cook skewers for 3 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through. Place on a plate and cover to keep warm.

Place coconut milk, peanut butter, sweet chilli sauce and remaining soy sauce in a small saucepan. Gently heat and whisk until smooth.

Meanwhile, place wombok, green shallots, snow peas, lime juice and sesame oil in a bowl. Gently toss to combine.

Serve skewers drizzled with sauce and sprinkled with coriander. Accompany with coleslaw.

How easy is that? If you’re looking for some more recipe inspiration pop over to the Origin Energy website. You’ll find this recipe along with lots of other tasty offerings. We’ve also tried the Beef and Vegetable Stove Top Stew. I’ll admit that I have struggled to master the humble stew. Mine always turn out a little watery and less than tasty. This recipe was a winner and has become my favourite go-to recipe for a delicious, winter-warming stew.

Have you found any new favourite recipes lately?

Baking the Alphabet

Baking the Alphabet {via Octavia and Vicky}

Baking the Alphabet {via Octavia and Vicky}

The weather is turning cooler and I’m loving it. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the cold weather, the colder the better! I think perhaps I should have been born in a much cooler climate, Australia is too hot for me!

Cold weather means more comfort foods like casseroles, soups, dumplings, mash and PIES. I was inspired (yet again) by Beth’s yummy recipes and we made her chicken pot pies. They were DELISH and I’ll definitely be making those again.

Pebble was keen to help and loved placing the pastry on top of the pies and brushing them with milk. Each pie was lovingly topped with a pastry in the shape of our family member’s first initial, and Pebble thought that was the best bit ever. We had some pastry left over and made more letters, with me cutting out the shapes and Pebble painting them with milk.

I asked Pebble which letters she wanted to make as we went along and she delighted is seeing the shapes emerge from the pastry. She sprinkled a few with cheese to make them extra tasty. Then it was time to pop them in the oven and start baking the alphabet.

Baking the Alphabet {via Octavia and Vicky} Baking the Alphabet {via Octavia and Vicky} Baking the Alphabet {via Octavia and Vicky}

Where was Rocky while this was going on? He was kept busy with the age old toddler distractor – the plastics cupboard! It never fails :)

Baking the Alphabet {via Octavia and Vicky}

Eight more ideas for learning letters and sounds in the kitchen:

Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.


Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities
More literacy ideas from Octavia and Vicky:

Multisensory Activities for Learning Letters {via Octavia and Vicky}

Custom Alphabet Play Dough Mats

Asian Noodle Soup with Dumplings

Down here is little Adelaide it’s pouring rain outside right now and the weekend ahead looks like more of the same. I see a bowl (or two) of this nourishing, soul warming Asian Noodle Soup with Dumplings in my very near future.

It all started with a recipe by one of my fav ladies, the lovely Beth. She’s a TV star now, did you know? Beth is often posting delicious recipes and I’m often trying them out in my kitchen, with much success. When I saw this home made cuppa soup I had to give it a go… and then give it a twist. Of course my twist involved making it bigger and adding lots of carbs (piggy, piggy me!).

Follow Octavia and Vicky on Pinterest.
Like Octavia and Vicky on Facebook.

10 Minute Winter Warmer - Asian Noodle Soup with Dumplings

Apologies for the average pic – mobile phone photos are the go for me lately, usually with a baby juggled in the other arm! I’ll try to get another pic next time I make this. Which WILL be soon.

Asian Noodle Soup with Dumplings

You’ll need:

  • 4 cups stock
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 grated cloves of garlic
  • 1 grated knob of ginger
  • 1 chilli, sliced
  • 200g packet of frozen dumplings of your choice
  • 150g dried noodles

Easy peasy method:

Throw everything except the noodles and dumplings into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add in the noodles and dumplings according to packet directions (my noodles and dumplings both took 8 minutes, so I whacked them in together). Serve in big bowls and stuff your face.

You can easily adjust the ginger, garlic and chilli to your liking – I love the spice to be just enough to make my lips tingly. If you were so inclined you could also throw in whatever veg you’ve got around the place. Or perhaps shred in some leftover chicken and tip in a tin of corn for an easy chicken and corn soup.

Thanks to Beth for the inspiration for this nosh up.

Honey Soy and Garlic Prawns with Capsicum and Snow Peas

Follow Octavia and Vicky on Pinterest.
Like Octavia and Vicky on Facebook.

Sponsored by Nuffnang.

Honey Soy and Garlic Prawns

Remember that Asian banquet that my sister and I cooked up for our family? I hope you all enjoyed the Teriyaki and Sesame Lamb recipe – we certainly enjoyed eating it! As promised here is a second recipe using the Maggi Stir Fry Creations range – Honey, Soy and Garlic Prawns with Capsicum and Snow Peas. Don’t forget to read to the end for the best. giveaway. ever.

This little winner has a delicious sweet flavour without being too sticky and overpowering like some sauces can be. The crisp snow peas and crunchy capsicum were a perfect match with slippery, slurpy noodles. I love the amount of sauce that comes with the Maggi Stir Fry Creations range, it’s just right amount to coat the noodles and give a kick of flavour. I’d like to try the Honey, Soy and Garlic Stir Fry with chicken, bok choy and broccoli too. I think that would be so yummy!

The Maggi Stir Fry Creations range made is so easy to throw together a fresh and tasty dinner for our family. Just two steps and dinner is on the table – not just any dinner either. One that is healthy, well balanced and full of flavour. I’m going to make sure that I’ve always got some Maggi Stir Fry Creations in the pantry, then I’ll know that dinner is never far away, especially on those busy days.

Honey, Soy and Garlic Prawns with Capsicum and Snow Peas

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients
1 tablespoon peanut oil
600g medium green prawns, shelled and deveined
1 packet Maggi Honey, Soy and Garlic Stir Fry Creations
200g green beans, trimmed
350g broccoli, trimmed, cut into florets
450g fresh hokkien noodles

Method
1. Coat the prawns in the Infusion Paste and set aside for 2 – 5 minutes.
2. Prepare the noodles according to packet directions.
3. Heat half the oil in a wok over high heat. Add half the prawns and stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
4. Heat the remaining oil in the wok and stir fry the capsicum and snow peas for 3 minutes, or until vegetables are bright and tender crisp.
5. Add the prawns, drained noodles and Finishing Sauce to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes before serving.

Giveaway

Thanks to Maggi Stir Fry Creations one lucky reader will win a Scanpan Wok, a $100 Coles Voucher and the entire Maggi Stir Fry Creations range.

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW CLOSED.

Terms and Conditions


Hosted by Three Lil Princesses