Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Quorn Thai Salad


I can almost see the finish line with this project! Only four more recipes to go!

Anyway, as the weather in the UK is akin to mid-summer at the moment (despite it being March) it was lovely to do another of the salads from the book.

This is a Thai salad and it does indeed involve many Thai flavours, it is also quite a filling salad as it is full of raw veg as well as the quorn pieces. It is easy to make and the dressing is lovely and light, as you will see below it also ticks all the boxes in terms of how healthy it is so a winner all round!

First things first, you need to marinade the pieces in green thai curry paste, I used a couple of tablespoons because we like it spicy. I left it for around an hour before doing everything else. The salad consists of shredded white cabbage, a sliced pepper, diced mango, blanched green beans and a couple of chopped tomatoes.  The marinaded quorn pieces are then cooked off until the marinade has browned and the pieces are cooked through.

The dressing is simply garlic, ginger, soy sauce, lime juice and zest and a small amount of oil. This is why the salad is so zingy, the combination of lime, soy, ginger, garlic and the final coriander garnish is very Thai tasting and delicious. The veg and quorn mix, along with the dressing are then tossed with salad leaves to create the final salad dish.

It is also a very colourful salad, as you can see here:

I thoroughly enjoyed this salad (which is quite something as it is not a style of dish I particularly like). The mix of textures and the vivid flavours made it very enjoyable and I will definitely be making this one again - fantastic on a warm day.

In terms of weight watchers points, only the quorn, paste and oil in the dressing carries any points and therefore, based on this serving four, each portion is only 4 points as follows: quorn (2), oil (1), curry paste (1). An absolute bargain in terms of daily points!

We would give this salad an 8/10 and I think it is my favourite salad to date from the book.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Quorn Steak & Red Pepper Broth


Another soup from the book (only one more soup to do after this one!) and this is definitely more of a hearty broth. As this one contains noodles and is almost a main meal in itself I really quite enjoyed it - it reminded me of the ramen style dishes you can get in Wagamama.

Very quick and easy to make, the base of this is chopped ginger and garlic simmered in hot vegetable stock for 5 minutes. Before I set to creating the stock base I marinaded the steak strips in Chinese 5 spice powder and some szechuan sauce. The recipe calls for only a tablespoon of the sauce but I whacked in a full 'Blue Dragon' sachet and personally I liked the heat this gave to the soup.

Once your stock is simmered you drop in the marinaded pieces, chopped pepper (I used frozen) and chopped pak choi and cook for a few more minutes to heat through, then add in the noodles (cooked and refreshed in cold water) and heat the whole thing through, garnish with spring onions and fresh parsley and serve.

This is what it looks like served:

Because of the noodles this feels like less of a soup and more of a main meal and we really enjoyed it. I think for us it would have been a bit bland if I had not bumped up the amount of szechuan sauce in the dish but obviously you can tweak this to suit your own tastes. The ginger and garlic and also the 5 spice come through really nicely and make for a very aromatic dish. 

As the ginger and garlic are simply cooked off in the stock there is no fat in this recipe at all which is a real bonus. In terms of weight watchers points, using the recommended 50g egg noodles per person, each portion works out at only 6 points as follows: noodles (4) and steak strips (2). Everything else in this recipe is zero points!

I would personally make this again, the dish had a real vibrancy to it and the flavours were very distinct, it also has the added benefit of being healthy whilst also filling, we would give this an 8/10 and it is probably my favourite soup by a long chalk from the Quorn book.