In our family we are always trying to be a little healthier, so tend to use very little oil, fat or butter in our cooking. When we were chosen to take part in a Flora Shopping challenge and sponsored post for Collective Bias®, I was immediately interested to find a recipe which used the NEW Flora Cuisine, which is advertised as a healthy cooking liquid! It is something I have never used or seen ‘up close’ before, so knew this would give me a hands on experience so I could see exactly what it was like for myself!
The first part of our challenge was to choose a recipe to cook from the Flora website… and this was no easy challenge! The Flora site has LOTS of different and interesting recipes which look delicious and vibrant. As it was going to be Father’s Day we decided to find a lunch recipe that my 7 year old son could help to cook on the big day – so headed to that section to see what took our fancy!
We like to cook meals that burst with flavour, so when we came across the recipe for Chicken pittas we knew it was the one! Though we don’t eat a lot of bread, we do sometimes have stuffed pittas for lunch, so this recipe was right up our street. It looked REALLY tasty too, a bit like a Mexican come Indian filling, and as we like our spice and flavour this was definitely the one for Daddy! It would be easy to adapt too so that Daddy and I could have a spicier version than the boys!
Once we had written a shopping list we ventured for the first time into Waitrose! There has never been a store near us before – but one opened a short while back in an old bowling alley, and I have be dying to see what it is like! This was the perfect opportunity!
I was concerned that the prices would be a lot higher than what I am used to, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised, especially on seeing price match signs with Sainsbury’s. This was really reassuring and good to know!
The only thing I didn’t like was the labelling in the Fruit and Vegetables section. There were SO MANY labels, prices and signs – and it was not obvious which was for which product, especially when there were different varieties of the same thing! It was all very confusing and would be VERY difficult to decipher in a hurry! Luckily as it was my first visit I took the time to battle through and make sense of them all!
You can see all the photos of our shop in our Flora Google+ Photo Album!
As it was Father’s Day, my eldest son and I took the challenge of cooking a tasty lunch – and I was keen to teach him some essential cooking skills. He has always been keen on cooking, asking for the box set of Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals when he was only 5 as he LOVED watching them so much!
I teach a cookery club at school for KS2 children (ages 7-11) so am a dab hand at teaching safe knife skills with good chopping techniques, and decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to teach him some of these skills too!
So, armed with the recipe for Chicken Pittas on the laptop, we got started!
The first thing to be done was to prepare the chicken which needed to be marinated for at least 3 hours (or ideally overnight… Whoops! – should have read that bit!). We started with the chicken, Flora Cuisine, garlic puree, lemon juice and garam masala (this should have been tikka powder according to the recipe, but Waitrose didn’t stock this so we resorted to the pot in the cupboard!).
Using a fork to hold the chicken (and keep his fingers out of the way!) JT diced the chicken into smallish cubes. He did a GREAT job and both Daddy and I were VERY impressed!
3tbsp of Flora Cuisine were added and mixed in well with the garam masala and garlic puree. It smelt delicious!
Using a fork again JT safely sliced half a green and half an orange pepper (for added colour) and an onion. Using a fork is a great way to keep little fingers out of the way when using really sharp knives. I also showed JT how to use the claw and bridge methods – but we need to practise a little more with these!
JT then added 1tbsp of Flora Cuisine to a pan and we put it on to heat. The liquid was strange stuff – but worked really well! As it heated up it almost melted and then began to sizzle. It was then ready to add the chicken which needed cooking for around 5 minutes to seal…
Once the chicken had been cooking for around 5 minutes and had turned from pink to white, JT added the sliced vegetable and carried on cooking for around 4 minutes until the vegetables were tender and the chicken cooked through. We sliced into a big chunk to check – and talked about why is was important to cook chicken thoroughly. This was also a good point to explain that that was why we had changed chopping boards and knives when preparing!
When the chicken was cooked through, JT popped the pitta breads into the toaster and toasted them for a couple of minutes until hot and puffed up! I helped with this to make sure no fingers were hurt! Then it was time to put it all together…
We were really impressed with the recipe – it was a great choice and easy to prepare and cook too! The Flora Cuisine was good to cook with – perfect for this recipe – but if I was to make this again I think I would use less of it! Being used to not using fats and oils, we did find the finished dish quite oily so could probably halve the amount of Flora Cuisine used making it even healthier!
I already have my next Flora recipe planned – and now have the Flora Cuisine to make it! Chocolate Brownies HERE WE COME!