A Healthy Asian Feast, 5 Life-Changing Tips & a Recipe!

On Monday night, I left Hubby with our four little ones for the first time and headed off to Central London. Wriggly (8 months) still refuses to drink milk out of bottles, so I was a tad worried, but she thoroughly enjoyed her time with her dad whilst her siblings were asleep.

After a train journey and three different tube lines, I arrived at Saint Katharine’s docks for the evening. LV, who regularly promote healthy living and recently collaborated with bloggers on a cookbook, had invited me to an Asian cooking course at The Smart School of Cookery. The location was ideal, with the entrance of the cookery school mere metres away from the boats.

the smart school of cookery - St Katharine's Docks - London

I was lucky enough to be part of a lively crowd of bloggers with an interest in food and photography. The evening was relaxed and the conversation flowed. I had a good chat with lovely Lynda, self-proclaimed “shoe fetishist with an unhealthy cat obsession” Sara, complete food addict Victoria and stylish Amanda.

the smart school of cookery - St Katharine's Docks - London - Busy Kitchen

The chef in charge of the evening was incredibly patient with all our questions and the incessant camera shutter sounds. As he was demonstrating how to prepare an Asian-inspired meal, he kept giving us great tips. Here are my top five:

Freeze chillies and ginger as soon as you get home after shopping. They do not need peeling. Just grate them (frozen) into your dish and pop them back in the freezer.

  1. When you stir-fry or sauté food, use sunflower or rapeseed oil. Do not use olive oil, as its smoke point is much lower than the previous two. On a high temperature, olive oil loses most of its antioxidants, releases toxic chemicals (smoke) and gets carcinogenic.
  2. For a healthy curry, poach chicken. Place the chicken pieces in a pan of cold water. Bring to simmering point and leave to cook for 6 or 7 minutes.
  3. When cooking prawns or scallops, use a large, heavy pan and imagine you have a clock in front of you. Place your first prawn or scallop at 12 o’clock, and proceed clockwise until you get a circle of seafood. Repeat until the pan is full. When turning the seafood to the other side, follow the same order. This ensures that each and every piece of seafood in the pan is cooking at the same rate. Cooking is methodical!
  4. Roll lemons and limes to make it easier to extract their juices when squeezing.

With no further ado, here is my favourite dish from the night:

Print

Lime and Chilli Courgette

A light, refreshing ‘free from’ starter.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 courgettes
  • The juice of 3 limes
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chilli
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Make a marinade with all ingredients apart from the courgettes.
  2. Quarter thick slices of one courgette. Place in the marinade for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat the pan and add a tablespoon rapeseed oil.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the courgette pieces to the hot pan and stir fry for a few minutes.
  5. Keep the marinade aside.
  6. In the meantime, ribbon two more courgettes with a vegetable peeler and marinate for 3 minutes.
  7. Serve on a bed of rocket and add the stir fried courgette on top.

We also had a Chicken Noodle Broth

Chicken Noodle Broth

and a Thai Curry.

Thai Curry

LV invited me to the cookery class. I did not receive payment for this post. All opinions and photos are my own.

 

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Comments

  1. evatorocoro
    06/03/2015 / 11:24 am

    Oh Mel! Je suis si jalouse ! J’aimerais participé à des évènements comme ça ! J’imagine que tu as passé un super moment ! Les plats que vous avez cuisinez ont l’air super bon et healthy !
    Bon weekend ma belle !

    • 06/03/2015 / 10:05 pm

      C’était franchement une super soirée. On a beaucoup de chance ici d’avoir autant d’opportunités quand on écrit un blog. Les cours de cuisine sont hors de prix, alors j’étais ravie de pouvoir y aller en tant qu’invitée.

  2. The Free From Fairy
    06/03/2015 / 11:37 am

    Yum that looks delish!! You have been busy this week. Great tips although the whole oil thing confuses me (another thing that confuses me!!!). I thought all those oils were as bad as each other for cooking with and that coconut oil was the way forward in terms of having a higher smoke point. But then, that is just what I read somewhere else!!!!

    • 06/03/2015 / 2:48 pm

      No, you are completely right, coconut oil has the highest smoke point of them all, but I simply do not fancy cooking all my food in coconut oil. Sunflower and rapeseed have a lower smoke point than coconut oil, but higher than olive oil, if that makes sense. xx

  3. 06/03/2015 / 2:16 pm

    What a lovely thing to do. I love the tip on freezing chillies as I never use them all before they go off. I’ll definitely be doing that. #Freefromfridays

    • 06/03/2015 / 2:45 pm

      Just freeze them as soon as you have bought them and they will never go off again! x

  4. 06/03/2015 / 5:55 pm

    Sounds like a fun evening with great food. Thanks for the tip about freezing chillies, I will definitely do that. x

    • 06/03/2015 / 10:30 pm

      I have been freezing mine for as long as I remember as I find them easier to cut that way, but I have always cut them ‘the hard way’, smearing my hands in the spicy juices and then invariably rubbing my eyes a minute later… Ouch! With grating, none of that nonsense! How have I never thought of doing that?

  5. 06/03/2015 / 7:24 pm

    Oh wow Mel, what an amazing experience! I’m also pleased that Wriggly enjoyed her time with daddy. The courgettes look great, that sort of dish is right up my street! I’ve been obsessed with Asian cuisine ever since my first trip to Thailand in 2002 xxx

    • 06/03/2015 / 10:44 pm

      I could not agree more. Thailand is an amazing place for food, isn’t it? One of our best meals when we spent a month backpacking all around the country was by the side of the road and cost us 80p, drinks included!

  6. internationalelfservice
    06/03/2015 / 10:47 pm

    I love this! Great tips and and absolutely simple and delicious recipe. More please 🙂

    • 06/03/2015 / 10:58 pm

      Thank you. I am going to make that again at home really soon!

    • 08/03/2015 / 12:52 am

      It was yummy!

  7. 21/03/2015 / 1:18 pm

    What a gorgeous experience and so glad Wriggly was OK, lovely to get out every now and your feast looks incredible, particularly the broth! You will be writing your own cookbook before you know it. Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays x

    • 21/03/2015 / 8:24 pm

      I would need another ten hours in the day to ever write a cookbook, but that is so sweet of you to say that! xx

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