Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Stir Fried Garlic Chilli and Basil Chicken with Rice Noodles

Late in 2017 we, as a family, were faced with a challenge!  Our son's partner was diagnosed with having Coeliac disease therefore meaning we would have to change the way we cook a variety of foods to accommodate this.  It has never been thought of by any of us as a problem or an issue.  As unexciting as having a disease can be we all decided that this would be easy and that with a few changes here and there we can all still enjoy food and cooking without compromising tastes etc.

So just incase you are unawares Coeliac disease is where the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats), causing small bowel damage. People with coeliac disease remain sensitive to gluten throughout their life, so in this sense they are never cured. However, a strict gluten free diet does allow the condition to be managed effectively.  A strict, lifelong gluten free diet is currently the only recognised medical treatment for Coeliac disease. By removing the cause of the disease, a gluten free diet allows the small bowel lining to heal and symptoms to resolve. As long as the gluten free diet is strictly adhered to, problems arising from Coeliac disease should not return. Relapse occurs if gluten is reintroduced into the diet. Coeliac disease affects on average approximately 1 in 70 Australians. However, around 80% of this number remain undiagnosed. This means the vast majority of Australians who have Coeliac disease don’t yet know it.

I remember years ago upon first learning of all these allergies, such as gluten, dairy, fructose, and thinking to myself "oh that poor person - they must miss out on so many things".  The fact of the matter is years ago they did miss out on so many things.  Years ago it was hard to find suitable safe things to eat so they did go without.  Today however the world is far more aware of these allergies and diseases and "special" foods are more readily available.

To be honest I am surprise how easy it is to omit gluten from some meals that we cook - others have been challenging but it's all about learning.  Learning to change, experimenting with other ingredients and ideas whilst trying not to compromise the taste.  I will put my hand up right now though and admit I do not like working with Gluten Free frozen pastry - it sucks big time and my quiche failed completely.  LOL!  I am sure that there will be more interesting adventures with foods....

Anyhow I have to say that a stir fry is always a quick option for dinner especially after a busy working day.  Thankfully rice and rice noodles are Gluten Free along with many other Asian ingredients these days. I substituted the soy sauce in the original recipe for Gluten Free soy sauce but obviously if you are not on a Gluten Free diet you could just normal soy sauce.

When it comes to cooking Asian meals at the House of Murray it's all about finding that flavour - you now the flavours that will be different, tempt the tastebuds from the first mouthful and the dish that you just want to keep eating even though you are full.  Everyone knows this desire.... mmmm.

This recipe does that.  The flavours of the garlic, chilli and fresh basil coupled with the fresh vegetables, tender chicken and the soft rice noodles was magic.  Drizzled with fresh lime juice the taste was so vibrant and the crunchiness of the beanshoots and sesame seeds just made every mouthful enjoyable.  I also did not have Thai basil at the time so substituted this with normal basil and while it wasn't as spicy as the Thai variety it was still very pungent.

Talk about a mouthful of freshness...  I am sure that you will enjoy this as much as we did.

Stir Fried Garlic, Chilli and Basil Chicken with Rice Noodles
(Recipe sourced from Weight Watchers Australia)

Serves: 4
SmartPoints per Serve: 4

500 grams lean chicken breast, fat trimmed, thinly sliced
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 whole fresh red chilli, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
1/4 cup Gluten Free soy sauce
140 grams dry rice noodles
cooking spray
2 medium red onion, sliced
1 medium Capsicum, red, raw, thinly sliced
300 grams snow peas, halved lengthways
70 grams fresh bean sprouts
1 cup fresh Thai basil or basil plus extra to serve
1 medium fresh lime, cut into cheeks
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Combine chicken, garlic, chilli and half the soy sauce in a medium bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to marinate.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until just tender, drain. Set aside.

Heat a large wok over medium-high heat and lightly spray with oil. Stir-fry onion and capsicum for 2 minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Transfer to a plate.

Reheat wok and stir-fry chicken in 2 batches for 2-3 minutes or until cooked. Return onion, capsicum and chicken to the wok.

Add snow peas, bean sprouts, basil, noodles and remaining soy sauce. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until heated through and cooked.

Serve garnished with extra basil.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

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