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Aromatic ginger, tomato & coconut cook-in sauce

This sauce makes a brilliant base in which to cook or heat vegetables, white fish, tofu, pre-cooked lamb, or cooked chickpeas.  It also freezes well for future fast dinners.  I have also posted my “Aromatic ginger, tomato & coconut chicken” recipe where I use this lovely sauce to cook chicken fillet and spinach.

For enough sauce for 2 people
Remember to check out my “larder & shopping” section for unusual ingredients
25g creamed coconut cut up roughly OR ½ cup of thick full-fat tinned coconut milk
3cm approx of fresh ginger root, peeled
500g (500ml) bottle of passata (sieved tomatoes – from all supermarkets)
2 green chillies or ¼ teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
1 large handful fresh coriander if you have it
2 large garlic cloves
13g/½ (about a rounded dessertspoonful) fresh ginger, grated finely

Version 1 (made with food processor or liquidiser)
1. Peel the garlic, de-seed the chillies (or if you like your dish quite spicy leave them in), chop the ginger and coriander roughly and throw the lot into a small food processor.  A food processor is preferable to jug liquidiser as if gets the ingredients ground up more quickly.
2. Add enough of the passata to get everything going and blitz until smooth.
3. Pour into a saucepan, add the rest of the passata and the creamed coconut or coconut milk and simmer for five minutes until the creamed coconut is melted and the sauce has slightly darkened.  The sauce is now ready for use.  Or cool and store in the fridge for a day or two until needed, or in the freezer.

Version 2 (without kitchen gadgets)
1. De-seed and chop the chillies, crush or finely chop the garlic, chop up the creamed coconut and the coriander roughly, finely grate the ginger.
2. Put all of this, with the passata, into a saucepan
3. Simmer for 5 minutes until the coconut is melted and the sauce has darkened a little.  The sauce is now ready for use.  Or cool and store in the fridge for a day or two until needed, or in the freezer.

Add green vegetables of your choice and cubes of raw chicken or fish, or cooked lamb or beef and simmer till everything is cooked.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Chicken pieces and baby spinach (see recipe)
  • Stir the following into the sauce and bubble, covered, until the veg are cooked but still crunchy, and the meat is heated through:
  • 150 cooked, cubed lamb, 1 x 454g tin or mug of cooked, drained chickpeas, and 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 x 450g tins or mugs of cooked, drained chickpeas plus 4 cups green beans cut into 4cm lengths
  • 4 cups broccoli florets or 5cm lengths of runner beans and 300g bite-size cubes of firm white fish such as monkfish, lemon sole or coley
  • If you are not wanting to lose weight, and are not following a ketogenic or paleo diet, you could also enjoy some brown rice on the side.

Why this recipe is good for you:
Processed tomatoes with no additives are a rich source of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects your skin from the damaging effects UV rays – like an edible sunblock!  Your body absorbs lycopene better from pureed tomatoes than from whole tomatoes.  Ginger, tomatoes, turmeric and chillies all have anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful for a healthy digestive system and good, clear skin.  Non organic rice can be heavily contaminated with arsenic but fresh coriander bind to this and other toxic metals in your intestines, helping them be eliminated from your body.  Spices like ginger and garlic help boost liver function, also to eliminate both natural and man-made toxins.  Yet more reasons why herbs and spices are fantastic for you.  Using passata packaged in glass jars or bottles means less exposure to toxic bisphenol A (BPA) , which is present in the plastic linings of cartons and tins.  Scientific studies link BPA to hormonal imbalances such as low libido, endometriosis, fibroids, and hormone breast and prostate cancer) as well as osteoporosis. Limiting your exposure is good news.