Sunday, May 27, 2007

Chicken with lemon, thyme & garlic; apple cinnamon muffins

To ease my way through the working week, I like to do most of my cooking for the week over the weekend. This means that when I get home from work, I can settle down in front of the TV with my equivalent of a TV dinner, albeit one that I have made myself. The drawback of this approach is that I often eat the same meal for the whole week; however, it is one that I am prepared to live with for the sake of simplicity in the evenings. I also usually bake muffins or a cake on the weekend so that I can take it to work for morning tea. I will generally only bake again during the week when I am baking for my work colleagues, which I love to do, because (a) people seem to enjoy eating my baking as much as I enjoy doing it; (b) it allows me to try out new and more adventurous recipes than I would generally make for myself; and (c) I usually make things that do not pretend to be low fat, on the basis that once they are shared around, none of us is risking our waistlines. Everything in moderation, I always say!

Today, I made apple cinnamon muffins from page 12 of the Australian Heart Foundation's
Deliciously Healthy Cookbook. For copyright reasons, I will not post the recipe. However, here is a photo of my version:

These muffins are terrific served warm or cold, and can be served for breakfast instead of for morning tea. Although one muffin has roughly the same fat and calorie count as one
Tim Tam, it contains apple and oats, making it more "filling" and nutritionally valuable (and besides, who can stop at one Tim Tam ;)).

For dinner, I meant to make Chicken with Lemon, Thyme, Garlic and Smashed Potatoes from p119 of Karen Martini's
Where the Heart Is. Karen is a Melbourne-based chef who writes regularly for The Age newspaper on Sunday. Unfortunately, I forgot to buy potatoes, so I substituted Japanese pumpkin rubbed with sumac and salt, and sprayed lightly with oil before roasting for half an hour in the same dish as the chicken. Other alterations that I made to the recipe were to place 2 teaspoons of low fat olive oil spread under the skin of the chicken instead of the butter referred to in the recipe, and spray the chicken lightly with olive oil instead of pouring a larger quantity of oil over it. These changes reduce the amount of fat. Also, instead of serving the chicken with a green salad as suggested by Karen, I served it with boiled mixed veges.

This chicken tasted devine - the flavours of garlic, thyme, lemon and onion blend wonderfully and satisfy my need for "zing", but I believe are subtle enough to be enjoyed by those who do not like strong or spicy flavours.

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