Nov 18, 2014

Kale, Chicken and Angel Curves.

I dipped my fork into uncharted culinary waters on the weekend.

See that kale artfully arranged in my biodegradable Sumo Salad take out carton?  I ate it.  Every last bitter and stringy shred.  I'd like to say I felt cleansed and nourished after all of that but my mind couldn't quite convince my stomach.

Instead, I sipped wistfully at my (unactivated) Coke Zero and hoped that Pete Evans wasn't looking over my shoulder to see how I was going with my choices from his eponymous menu.

My aspirations to be a cleaner eater weren't helped by the extreme lunch envy I was feeling towards what Toddler SSG was eating.  I don't think he's met a xiao long bao he hasn't liked.

As an aside, don't forget it's 40% off all makeup at Priceline today and tomorrow, online and in store.  I'm multi tasking and have just placed my order online (back ups of my favourite Maybelline mascaras and L'Oreal serum) as I've been writing this post.  Did you pick up anything exciting or did you go the tried and true route like I did?

For anyone reading who's in need of a couple of chicken based toddler food ideas, I thought I'd share a couple of success stories I've had with Toddler SSG.  

First up is a recipe for chicken strips.  These have always been a favourite with Toddler SSG.  I used to make them with thigh fillets but as he's grown, so as his appetite so I've switched to making mine with chicken breasts which are a bit easier to work with.  You also get a nice looking final product that's easy to hold and eat.  

I used Annabel Karmel's Krispie Chicken Nuggets  to make my latest batch of chicken strips.  My mum and Aunty taste tested them with the toddler and all three of them gave Annabel's recipe two thumbs up.  The secret with Annabel's recipe is that she pre soaks the chicken breast in a buttermilk marinade which is lightly seasoned with a bit of thyme.  These leaves the meat tender and full of flavour even if you oven bake your strips like I did.

A united nations kind of crispy coating - rice bubbles, panko crumbs (pictured) plus cheddar and parmesan.

I free styled it with the crumb coating and used both rice bubbles and panko crumbs.

This was my super efficient processing line of dishes - the marinaded chicken was dipped in seasoned flour and then in the crumb and cheese mix.  Things didn't stay this neat by the time I finished making all my strips.

I used a mixture of grated cheddar and parmesan cheese for my strips.  I also froze them on plates lined with baking paper before dividing them up into individual freezer bags for storage.

To cook, I simply placed straight from the freezer strips on a baking paper lined tray and baked for 20 minutes in a 200C fan forced oven.  And there you go - chicken that's yummier than anything I've had from a fast food chain.

Chicken mince hasn't found its way into many recipes at the SSG Manor kitchen but when I found this Spicy Chicken Roll recipe the other day, it was a sign that chicken mince was due for its moment on Toddler SSG's dinner menu.  I know this first photo of the key ingredients looks very processed and pre packaged but with a kitchen loving and curious toddler under foot, it's just safer for me to keep chopping and blending to a minimum.

I sneakily snuck in some grated carrot and green peas into the mince mix but in hindsight, should have heeded S's advice and blitzed everything in the food processor.  I don't think there's a toddler on this earth who can't spot cooked peas a mile away and pick them out individually from whatever it is they're about to eat.   I didn't need as much water in my mince mix as the recipe suggested, possibly because of all the extra vegetables I added.

The recipe suggested sprinkling paprika on top of the egg washed rolls but I skipped this in case there was too much spice for a toddler's palate.  The idea of only partially slicing the individual rolls before baking was a good one because it certainly helped keep my rolls together.  You then slice down fully for the last five minutes of baking.

Is there nothing more perfect for Sunday dinner than home made sausage rolls?  Especially when you forced yourself to eat kale for lunch.  I'm really going to have to let go of this kale issue at some stage...

Customary shot of Toddler SSG's dinner on a lime green Ikea plate.  Note the easy to find green peas..  
Flavour wise, the mild taco mix was just right for us.  If you like more heat, go for the spicier versions and perhaps add some paprika.

My serve of the chicken rolls - with a side of salad greens.
I also had to have tomato sauce with mine.  I have this powerful puff pastry savouries with tomato sauce association in my mind that I just can't shake.

From the Angel Curves website.

So Kim's hit the headlines (and the internet meme circuit) yet again with 'some pictures'.  I'm trying to unsee them myself so I won't link you up to them here but I'm sure you've seen them too.  Anyway.  I had to share this photo of Kim apparently at the gym because I actually met a real live person wearing her Angel Curves waist trainer at the gym the other day.

It was all rather surreal.  I was minding my own business (whilst wearing my undergarments under my gym gear) when I somehow managed to open the door of the ladies area and walk into some kind of situation.  Some of the regular ladies were huddled around the changerooms loudly looking up 'Angel Curves ... the Kim Kardashian one' on their phones as one brave soul wore her's over her top in the manner of Kim herself.  I have full respect for her and how she managed to do 15 minutes on the step machine without passing out.  I don't think I would've fared as well wearing a waist cincher that aims to create 'compression in your core, stimulating thermal activity and ramping up perspiration' (from the Angel Curves website).  I won't lie; I did a google search myself which is how I came up with that last sentence.

Kale I will try but an Angel Curves corset?  Count me out.

Have you done or seen anything crazy done in the name of fitness or clean living?  

I'm off to the gym after work today so I'll see if I can find anything wacky to share with you in my next post.


  1. Who could ever not want a xiao long bao! Nom nom nom!

  2. Y'all meant to massage your kale salad! ;-)

  3. Ah, as I'm just now cooking solids for baby T your post is making me see I'm going to need to up my game a bit when he hits the toddler years! Those sausage rolls look so tasty, and sounds great too! :)

    1. It's easier than it looks, believe me, Mica! I'm a big fan of batch cooking.

      SSG xxx

  4. Yum that sumo salad looks good - and I am NOT a fan of salad haha. I need to eat more of them though. Those chicken strips look delicious too! you're motivating me to try and eat better. I've never heard of angel curves, but good on that girl for wearing them publicly - would have been painful haha xx

    Thrive on Novelty

    1. I know, the pain of wearing a corset whilst exercising... it's a huge step backwards for womankind, in my opinion.

      SSG xxx

  5. I don't like Pete Evans. He has a face I would like to punch.
    Apropos Kale, or any other bitter tough green leafy veg- probably best sautéed in a bit of stock, butter and garlic. All the same nutrients but far more palatable. The French are more sensible about these things.
    Hashtagcleaneating indeed!

    1. There's no such thing as lukewarm towards Pete, I agree.

      SSG xxx

    2. I will never eat a Sumo Salad again because of Pete Evans.
      Anyway, Angel curves erm no thanks either. I don't know how she didn't pass out?!

      Have you tried fish fingers? Basically the same but with fish.

    3. Love your work, Ling! Thanks for the link to the recipe.

      SSG xxx

  6. I actually love kale! But I know a lot of people who also think it's bitter.

    Those sausage rolls look amazing :)


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