Chicken in Sweet Pepper Sauce | Low Fat Recipe | Reflux Recipe

As a reflux* sufferer, I often use peppers as a tomato substitute, but they are so much more!

Peppers add a delicious sweetness and richness to many dishes, and this chicken in sweet pepper sauce is no exception.

This recipe makes lots and lots of sauce, that you can then re-use as a soup or as a base sauce for other dishes.  The chicken quantities below are for 4 people, but because it makes so much more sauce, you can just add more chicken thighs for more people.

chicken with sweet pepper sauce

Ingredients (for 4 generous portions)

  • 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs, all visible fat removed
  • 4 big cloves of garlic, finely chopped (leave the garlic out if this triggers your reflux – there are plenty of flavours to make up for the lack of garlic)
  • 2 medium onions, or one large onion, finely sliced (again, if onions trigger your reflux, do not add them)
  • 4-5 peppers (orange, yellow, red), cut into large, approx. 2cm squared, chunks
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • enough boiling water to just about cover all the contents of the pan (if the pan is small and deep, don’t try and cover the contents or the dish will be too watery) – aim for about 700ml
  • 1 chicken stock pot (or any good quality chicken stock cube)
  • optional: a few handfuls of black olives in brine (brine drained)
  • fine sea salt

Method

Remove all visible fat from the chicken, keeping the pieces whole.

Finely chop the garlic (if using), slice the onions (if using) and chop the peppers, keeping all the ingredients separate.

Heat the oil in a non-stick casserole dish, on a high heat.  Season each piece of chicken with a sprinkling of sea salt on both sides and brown in the hot oil.  If your casserole dish is quite narrow, you may have to do this in batches.  Remove the browned pieces from the casserole dish (they just need to be lightly browned, but don’t cook them at this stage).

Add the onions to juices and turn the heat down to medium-low.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing them to soften and start turning translucent (but careful not to let them brown), then add the garlic, stir and cook for another minute.

Add the chicken pieces back in, then add the peppers, olives (if using), the oregano, the chicken stock pot (or cube) and the water and stir.

Turn the heat up and bring to the boil.  Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.  Cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and almost falling apart and the peppers are very soft.

Carefully remove the chicken pieces (including any small pieces that may have broken off) and the olives.

Place the peppers and onions into a blender, with some of the juices, making sure your blender jug is heat proof.   When all the peppers and onions have been removed from the casserole dish, you can place the chicken and olives back in and cover with a lid, to keep warm.  If your blender isn’t very big, do this in batches to avoid spilling hot sauce!  As always, when blending hot liquids, leave the centre piece off the lid and cover with a folded tea towel, then start blending slowly at first. Blend thoroughly to a smooth consistency.

Place a sieve over your casserole dish and gradually pour the sauce through the sieve back into the juices, using a spoon to help you.  Towards the end, you should just be left with minimal pepper paste and the pepper skins, with all the silky pepper sauce having been sieved into the remaining juices.  Stir.

Serve with mashed potato, cous-cous, polenta or rice.

Any left-over sauce will make a great soup the next day!

Gloriously Low-Fat, Gloriously Reflux-Friendly, Gloriously Good!

*Please note I am not a doctor, speech therapist or in any way medically qualified.  The recipes are a combination of my interpretation of the rules outlined in the ‘Dropping Acid – The Reflux Diet’ book and ingredients that work for my reflux.  If you believe you suffer from reflux, please seek advice from a medical professional to confirm your diagnosis and work out the best course of treatment/management for you.  I hope that my recipes can help you as part of this management.  The recipes are, by their nature, very low in fat, so are also suitable for anyone wishing to follow a low-fat diet. 

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Roasted sweet pepper sauce | finished product

Roasted Sweet Pepper Sauce | Tomato Substitute | Reflux Recipe | Low-Fat | Low-Cal

Using a Roasted Sweet Pepper Sauce is a good alternative to using tomatoes,

but this sauce is much more than a tomato substitute!

Roasted sweet pepper sauce | finished product

This roasted sweet pepper sauce is versatile and can be used as the base for soups, meat-based sauces, or on its own.  It’s so delicious, I was struggling to keep my daughter’s hands off it after I’d made it, even though I needed it to use in another recipe.

I started off by wanting to make a sauce using peppers as a substitute for tomatoes.  The jury is still out on whether tomatoes set off my reflux or not (acidity-wise, they’re above a pH of 4, so they should be ok for most reflux sufferers, but they’re one of those foods that trigger reflux for many, even though they’re strictly-speaking ok in terms of acidity), but I wanted to come up with an alternative that would be safe for most reflux sufferers*.  And besides, I love the taste and smell of peppers!

This sauce is easy to make but does take a little bit of time and a bit of effort.

Ingredients for approximately 800ml of sauce (this will depend on the size of the peppers, how much water they hold through the roasting process etc – it’s not exact):

  • 8 large peppers (mixture of red, orange, yellow)
  • 8 cloves of garlic (if you have reflux and garlic affects you, you can use herbs instead – choose your herbs based on what you’ll use the sauce with, for example rosemary or thyme for chicken dishes, parsley for fish dishes, oregano for many pasta dishes & soups etc)
  • a sprinkling of sea salt
  • 1tbsp of olive oil
  • Optional: chicken or vegetable stock – just enough to ‘wash out’ the blender at the end and avoid waste…this also dilutes the very thick sauce a little

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C (fan-assisted).

Lightly crush the garlic with the side of a large knife (using pressure from the palm of your hand) – leave the skins on.  Crush it just enough for the skin to burst.

De-seed the peppers and cut them into large chunks (about 2 square cm).

Place the peppers and garlic into a large oven-proof (ideally non-stick) dish, drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Stir.

Roast in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes, until the peppers and garlic are soft (some of the garlic may have burst out of its skins – that’s ok), stirring halfway through.  It’s ok if some of the peppers go a little black around the edges.  It adds to the roasted flavour.

Place everything, garlic skins included, into a blender.

Tip: If you are doing this while it is still hot, ensure the jug on your blender is heat proof, that the jug is not over-full (do in batches if needed) and that the removable centre section of the lid is removed.  Before you start blending, place the lid (with the hole in the top) firmly on the jug, then loosely hold a tea towel folded into a square over the hole.  Doing this will ensure that steam can escape and that your hot sauce doesn’t burst out of the blender.

Place a fine sieve over a bowl and pour in the sauce from the blender.  Do this in small batches and, using a spoon, stir the sauce so that it can go through the sieve, leaving behind only the tiny pieces of garlic and pepper skins. Keep doing this until you have sieved the entire sauce and you cannot push any more pulp through the sieve.  The sauce in the bowl should be quite thick and velvety.

Roasted sweet pepper sauce | Stages of cooking

Optional: Use a bit of chicken or vegetable stock to ‘wash out’ the blender jug and get every drop of this delicious roasted sweet pepper sauce into your bowl.

The sauce is now ready for you to use or refrigerate/freeze for later use.

Gloriously simple, Gloriously Low-Fat, Gloriously Low-Cal, Gloriously Reflux-Friendly, Gloriously Good!

*Please note I am not a doctor, speech therapist or in any way medically qualified.  The recipes are a combination of my interpretation of the rules outlined in the ‘Dropping Acid – The Reflux Diet’ book and ingredients that work for my reflux.  If you believe you suffer from reflux, please seek advice from a medical professional to confirm your diagnosis and work out the best course of treatment/management for you.  I hope that my recipes can help you as part of this management.  The recipes are, by their nature, very low in fat, so are also suitable for anyone wishing to follow a low-fat diet. 

 

BBQ Recipes | BBQ Vegetables

Maybe not so much a BBQ Recipe but a suggestion for BBQ Vegetables

I love putting vegetables on the BBQ!

You can use so many different ones: Peppers, Onions, Fennel, Aubergines, Courgettes, Garlic…or a mixture of all the above!

Ideally, you need a smooth-surfaced hotplate/griddle for your BBQ in order to do these.

BBQ Vegetables

Simply lightly coat the vegetables (cut into large chunks of similar thickness, about 2mm thick) in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and season with a sprinkling of salt, then place on the very hot BBQ hotplate and turn occasionally until charred in places and lovely & soft & juicy.

It’s lovely if you add slightly crushed, unpeeled garlic as it gives a really sweet garlicky taste to the other vegetables and is delicious to eat!

Today, we just put some fennel and green, red and yellow peppers on the BBQ.

BBQ Vegetables – Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!