CHRISTMAS is just around the corner and the usual parties are off the agenda. But there is still time to shape up and feel great.
This week we are bringing you delicious recipes from WW, formerly Weight Watchers, to help you shed a STONE before the big day and make you feel healthy too.
The food is easy to prepare and delicious, while WW’s unique Smartpoints system means you can continue to enjoy the foods you love. Today we bring you another extract from the brilliant new WW Batch Cooking cookbook.
We all want to eat well, but if you find it hard to find the time to cook from scratch every day, batch cooking and freezing could be the answer. Here, we show you how to make three deliciously different Chinese meals in one go, from the same ingredients, that you can stick in your freezer.
So try these tasty recipes for soy-poached chicken. Tenderly poach a batch of skinless chicken breast fillets in an aromatic Chinese-style broth and you will have the tasty foundations of three winning dinners. Priced at £9.95, the Batch Cooking cookbook from WW is available exclusively online at ww.com/shop.
- WW recommends a steady weight loss of up to 2lb each week, meaning you can shed up to a stone by Christmas.
MASTER RECIPE: Soy-poached chicken breast fillets
Makes 10 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 20 mins
POACHING fillets in broth results in juicy, flavour-infused chicken that freezes well.
- 150ml soy sauce
- 3 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp light brown soft sugar
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
- 10 x 165g skinless chicken breast fillets
- Put all of the ingredients, except the chicken, into your largest pan and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Lower the chicken breasts into the pan then top up with just enough water for the mixture to cover the chicken. Bring mixture back to a simmer and cover the pan with a lid. Poach the chicken for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Lift the chicken from the poaching liquid, using a slotted spoon, and set aside to cool completely. Discard the poaching liquid, or strain it and let cool completely before freezing in airtight containers for use in soups and stews.
TO FREEZE: Put the poached chicken fillets into individual freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months.
TO SERVE: Defrost overnight in the fridge then bring to room temperature before eating or reheating.
Chinese pancakes with soy-poached chicken
Serves 4 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 5 mins
LOVE Chinese duck pancakes? This low SmartPoints chicken version is just as tasty.
- 30g hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
- Calorie-controlled cooking spray
- 2 soy-poached chicken breast fillets, defrosted and shredded
- 8 x 10g Chinese pancakes
- 1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
- ⅓ cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 3 spring onions, trimmed and shredded
- In a small bowl, combine the hoisin sauce and sweet chilli sauce and set aside.
- Mist a large non-stick frying pan with cooking spray and fry the shredded chicken for 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through. Toss the sauce though the chicken and keep warm.
- Warm the pancakes in the microwave to pack instructions. To serve, fill each pancake with some of the shredded chicken, then top with the carrot, cucumber and spring onions.
Soy-poached chicken with ginger fried rice
Serves 4 | Prep 5 mins | Cook 20 mins
SATISFYING and quick to whip up, this is the perfect dish to make on busy weeknights.
- 250g basmati rice
- 4 pak choi, halved
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 20g ginger, cut into matchsticks
- Handful of coriander, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 4 soy-poached chicken breast fillets, defrosted
- Cook the rice to pack instructions, then drain and set aside to steam dry. Meanwhile, put the pak choi in a large, shallow pan and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 2-3 minutes over a low heat until just tender, then drain and set aside.
- Heat half the oil in a non-stick wok or frying pan and stir-fry the garlic and ginger for 2 minutes over a medium heat. Add the rice and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, then season and stir though the coriander.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan and add the steamed pak choi with the soy sauce and chilli. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Warm the chicken through in the microwave until piping hot throughout and cut into bite-size pieces. Serve with the ginger rice and pak choi.
Chinese soy-poached chicken noodle soup
Serves 4 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 15 mins
READY in just half an hour, this hearty, healthy treat is brimming with fresh flavours.
- Calorie-controlled cooking spray
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 15g ginger, cut into matchsticks
- 125g shiitake mushrooms, torn
- 1.5 litres chicken stock, made with 2 stock pots
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1-2 tsp chilli sauce
- 200g dried egg noodles
- 4 soy-poached chicken breast fillets, defrosted and shredded
- 150g frozen edamame beans
- 2 carrots, peeled into ribbons
- 100g choi sum
- 1 red chilli, finely sliced
- 2 spring onions, trimmed and shredded lengthways
- Handful of coriander leaves, to serve
- Mist a large non-stick pan with cooking spray and fry the garlic and ginger for 2 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken stock, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and chilli sauce. Bring to the boil, then add the noodles, shredded chicken and edamame. Simmer for 6-7 minutes, adding the carrot and choi sum for the final 2 minutes, until the noodles are cooked and the chicken is piping hot.
- Divide between bowls and serve garnished with the chilli, spring onions and coriander.
Get 20% off in WW shop
HOW TO CLAIM:
- Visit ww.com/shop.
- Add all your goodies to your cart.
- Add code SUN20 to the coupon box and click “Apply Coupon”.
- Proceed to the checkout and follow the steps to complete your order.
TERMS & CONDITIONS: Promotion applies until November 30, 2020. Offer non-transferable and no cash or product alternative will be offered. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or voucher. Valid while stocks last. Only valid in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands.
'Having each other to count on has been such a help and we are so much happier'
BEST friends Steph Aburrow, 32, and Debra Maddern, 31, both from Chichester, West Sussex, decided they wanted to change their lifestyles and get fit for their 30th birthdays.
In 2018 they joined WW together and have lost a combined 7st-plus, leaving them feeling happier and healthier than ever. Starting their journey together meant they were able to support and encourage each other through down days, while providing healthy competition in terms of activity and weight loss.
Steph, a wine and spirits account manager, who lives with her daughter Lillie, 14, says: "I met Debs at antenatal classes and we’ve been best friends ever since. We’ve supported each other through every part of our lives so this is no different.
"In my early 20s I had major surgery on my back and I think I used that as an excuse not to do any exercise. I was eating loads of crisps and ice cream – I could get through a whole tub of Ben and Jerry’s – but I was completely miserable. In 2019 something really clicked and I decided that I wanted to do this for me.
"My whole life had changed and I wanted to feel happier in myself. WW has been brilliant – our coach Neil is absolutely amazing and the whole wellness aspect has helped so much. I hit my goal in April 2019 and now eating healthily has just become a part of my everyday life.
"My body has completely changed and I find myself needing fruit now instead of ice cream, which I never thought would happen! Working as a motor circuit catering supervisor at Goodwood, Debra is constantly around food at work.
But before joining WW, Debs would go the whole day without eating, then badly overeat when she got home to her husband Perran and children Casey, 14, Maddie, nine and seven-year-old Bella.
She says: “I was never really big growing up, but when I met my husband 11 years ago, I think I just became content, started overeating and had too many treats. I would eat a whole tub of ice cream at a time, and I loved full fat Coke.
“I was a complete snacker, but now we totally live by ‘snack it, track it’. We don’t deny ourselves treats but we just have to make sure we keep within our points allowance.
The first lockdown represented a challenge for the pair, but it was during this time that Debs hit her goal weight, despite the stresses of home-schooling and lockdown life in general. "It was such an overwhelming feeling when I got to my goal,” says Debs. “I just thought. ‘I’ve done it – I’ve done this for me’.”
Attending virtual meetings and exercise classes was an essential part of maintaining healthy habits.
Steph says: “Lockdown was tough, and in the first week I feel like I ate more cake than I could possibly make. But the virtual meetings were amazing and Debs’ lockdown weight loss was inspirational.
“I had a slipped disc in lockdown which would normally have had me in hospital or unable to walk for a month, but I was back on my feet in days which made me realise just how much healthier I am now.
"I feel like I’ve just got into a flow with things and can see that I can keep this up forever.”
Debs adds: “Having each other to count on has been such a great help and we’re both feeling so much happier and more confident about all aspects of our lives.
“Mentally, my mind is so clear, and although we know lockdown is going to be tough the second time around, we also know that we are ready for anything.
“There have been ups and downs but going through this whole experience with my best friend has been amazing and we know this is a journey that won’t end until we want it to.”
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