Bang Bang Chicken

Hello everyone. Chris here. It is two years since my last blog.

I made Bang Bang Chicken the other day. It was:

  1. Nice
  2. Diet friendly
  3. Ludicrously easy

You should make it too. Here is how:

A chicken breast
2 carrots
2 courgettes
2 handfuls sugarsnap peas
1 red chilli
4 tbsp smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil (or other oil)
1 lime
50g honey roast peanuts (these are generally expensive, so get them from Aldi, where they are 85p)


  1. Boil a pan of water, add salt, and add the chicken. Poach for 10 minutes. Cool.
  2. Peel the carrots.
  3. Use the peeler to thinly slice the carrot and courgette. Add them to a lasagne dish. Mix them up a bit to look nice.
  4. You can use a spiraliser for that if you are posh. But that is just gilding the lily.
  5. Thinly cut the sugarsnaps on a 45 degree angle (like Masterchef) and scatter on top.
  6. Use two forks to shred the chicken (like pulled pork, or like when they do duck in a Chinese restaurant) – then scatter this on top too.
  7. Mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, chilli sauce, lime juice and sesame oil.
  8. Dollop it on top of the chicken/veg mix.
  9. Finely chop the chilli and scatter this on top.
  10. Bash the peanuts in a bag but don’t totally pulverise them. You’re looking for chunky, not dust.
  11. Scatter these on top too.
  12. Reflect upon how easy and quick it was.
  13. Eat it up. (Optional: serve with prawn crackers you have picked up from the Chinese takeaway on the way home.)
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chilli, cheese and garlic mushroom omelette

Another Olive recipe that’s really more of an idea!

150g chestnut mushrooms

2 spring onions

1 red chilli

3 eggs

50g cheddar

Cook the mushrooms in a frying pan

add the spring onion, chilli and garlic for 3-4 mins

remove to a plate

wipe the pan

beat and season the eggs and pour in

When the omelette is nearly cooked, pour on the mushroom mix and sprinkle on the cheese

Flip one side up and serve

519cals, 40g fat



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Fried egg in a hole

More an idea than a recipe!

2 slices sourdough bread

chilli jam (Or chutney I guess)

1/4 avocado

1 egg

brush 1 slice of bread with oil (or spray with spray oil)

fry until golden

cut a hole from the other piece and spray with oil

flip the bread and crack an egg into the hole (apparently you can crack it into a sieve first to get rid of some of the runny white) Fry until cooked

Spread the first slice with chilli jam and avocado and top with the second slice

381 calories and 17g fat apparently


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Easy lemon curd

Not tried this yet but looks easy and yummy… good for showing off! From my old Olive magazines that are being shredded for rabbit bedding

100g butter

200g golden caster sugar

4 lemons, zested and juiced

3 eggs, beaten


Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy

beat in the lemon zest, followed by the eggs

finally beat in the lemon juice- apparently will look like a curdled mess- don’t panic!

Tip into a pan on very low

Keep stirring– like making custard, to avoid the eggs scrambling

Cool completely- if you think the egg scrambled a bit push through a seive

Keeps for 2 weeks in a clean jar in the fridge

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Roasted red pepper sauce

This is handy! A suggestion for kids from recent Good Food magazine


4 peppers

2 onions

2 garlic cloves (skin on)

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 cans tomatoes

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp light brown sugar


Toss the peppers and onions with the garlic and olive oil in a lasagne dish

Roast for 40 mins

Add the rest of the ingredients and roast for another 20 mins

Tip into a blender and blend until smooth


Reckons to serve 8, used for gnocchi and pasta, but ours did even more portions!

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courgette, lemon and chilli pasta

We make this all the time, although don’t totally follow the original recipe. It is a recipe we got in a Marley Spoon box. We get our artichoke hearts from Aldi where they are way cheaper than elsewhere.

1 courgette

1 onion (don’t always include this)

1 garlic clove

1 red chilli (I often use dried- but be careful not to overdo it!)

1 lemon

75-100g pasta per person

jar artichoke hearts

dried oregano (not sure I’ve ever used this!)

grated cheese to serve


grate the courgette and squeeze in a colander to remove excess water

peel and chop the onion and garlic. Deseed and chop the chilli

Zest the lemon

Cook the pasta

Sweat the onion for 2 mins. Add the garlic for a minute (careful not to burn it)

Add the courgette and cook for 4-5 mins

Add the lemon zest and juice

Drain the pasta (not too well!) and add to the courgette pan

Add the oregano and cheese

Serve with the artichoke hearts on top

Continue reading

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Slow cooked Chinese beef

Another I’ve had my eye on for a while. I will do this in the slow cooker.

750g braising beef cut into pieces

1 bunch spring onions

3 cloves garlic

root ginger, thumb sized, grated

2 sliced red chillies

2 tsp Chinese 5-spice

1 star anise

2 tbsp. brown sugar

4 tbsp. dry sherry (or rice wine)

2 tbsp. soy sauce

shredded greens and rice to serve

360 calories without rice


Put the ingredients in the slow cooker with 200ml water (save a little spring onion and chilli)

Cook on low all day

To thicken the sauce, boil on hob for a bit

Sprinkle the rest of the spring onion and chilli and serve with rice and greens


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Broccoli and blue cheese gnocchi

Untried recipe from an Olive magazine I’m about to shred! Serves 4, 473 cals

500g pack gnocchi

1 head broccoli

150g blue cheese (sliced, ideally creamy like dolcelatte)

1 x 150ml pot single cream

50g grated cheese


Boil the broccoli in boiling water for 3-4 mins

Cook the gnocchi in the same water (with broccoli removed) for whatever time packet says

Mix the cheese, cream and 1/2 the parmesan and season with pepper

Mix sauce, gnocchi and broccoli and pour into an ovenproof dish

Put the rest of the cheese on top and bake for 15-20 mins

Serve with a salad


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Pulled beef ragu

This is loads more expensive than the average spag bol, and didn’t go down so well with the kids, but Chris really liked it and it was a really nice change. Bought the brisket when it was reduced, otherwise feel like it would be too expensive, although it does make 6-8 portions. The original recipe is from Good Food magazine, but I did it in the slow cooker

1kg brisket (think mine was a fair bit smaller, hence only 6 portions)

2 onions

4 garlic cloves (or some garlic powder)

5 carrots

250ml red wine (I didn’t have this, which was a shame)

2 cans tomatoes

2tbsp tomato puree

4 bay leaves (I used basil and oregano instead)

75g pasta per portion


put the tomatoes, herbs and chopped veg (everything except pasta and meat) in slow cooker and mix up (obviously chop the onions and carrots)

place the brisket in the middle and cook on low all day

Pour the whole lot into a pan and cook on high for a bit to make the sauce thicken up

Shred the meat with 2 forks

Eat with the cooked pasta

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Ginger and fennel bitter chocolate thins

These will also be featuring at a party or as a present in the near future!

250g dark chocolate

30g butter

3 tsp golden syrup

2 balls ginger, finely chopped

3 tsp fennel seeds, crushed


Melt the chocolate over boiling water

Stir in the other ingredients

Pour onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper and smooth into a thin layer

Chill then cut into neat squares (or even easier, break into shards!!!)


Be careful, makes 24, 68 cals each!!!

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