When we were contacted by Marks and Spencer’s PR company to do some recipe testing we thought why not? While we always try and buy from independent shops our busy unpredictable lifestyles sometimes mean we get the timing wrong. The small Simply M&S Stores at service stations offer convenience, quality and long opening hours. The fact you can get in and out fast is a big plus. Bigger stores have also got some great products and I like the range of cooks ingredients recently introduced.
We were supplied with ingredients to try out two recipes. A cook from scratch Fish Provencal with line caught cod and the other a Thai green chicken curry using a jar of ‘Count on us” reduced calorie sauce.
This tasty dish was a real hit! Using a selection of fresh vegetables alongside a can of cherry tomatoes gave the sauce a rich texture with a short cooking time. The suggested 15 minutes prep time on the recipe was a challenge even with my knife skills but it is a relatively quick dish to make. Using fresh herbs and crunchy peppers gives plenty of texture and depth of flavour. If you prefer your veggies softer then simply add an extra 8-10 minutes to the suggested cooking time and you end up with a more ratatouille style sauce. Served with steamed couscous, this dish was satisfying to eat and felt body kind. The recipe states its 325 calories but this doesn’t take into account the couscous. I thought this was a bit misleading at its shown on the recipe image.
Verdict? I would definately make this again! Download the recipe here
Thai green chicken curry
This dish is packed with fresh chicken and crunchy vegetables. The sauce (from the ‘count on us’ range) is very mild so if you are used to eating spicy punchy Thai food this may not be for you. This low calorie sauce has very little coconut milk in it hence the muted texture and mouthfeel. You zip the dish up just before serving with fish sauce so you can up the quantity add some extra zing. Again the calorie value here does not include the noodles so if you are counting add that into the equation. Its difficult to make a low calorie version of a Thai green curry that relies on the georgous creamy nutty flavour and texture of coconut (and very calorific) so if you avoid this dish on that basis it could work for you.
Verdict: The low calorie nature of this classic Asian dish is a big compromise , but if you like mild curries it might just suit your palate. Download the recipe for Thai Green Curry here