We all know that life isn’t fair and that good people are not immune from having bad things happen to them. And when people we love are struck by something they never saw coming, it creates opportunity for those around them to show they care.
Just before the end of the year, Carl and I were at a Christmas party chatting to good friends. Things were going so well for them as they’d just been on an unforgettable family holiday, had a planned extension to their home, their careers were going well and there was even a new puppy in the home. It looked like they were headed for a fabulous 2014.
But when we returned from our holiday we found out that a few days after Christmas one of their three daughters had found a lump in her leg. It didn’t seem like much, just a lump deep within her thigh like a hard boiled egg. It turned out to be a very rare type of sarcoma; so rare that there have only been three reported cases in the last 28 years.
Just before their teenage daughter started treatment, I was contacted by one of their friends asking if I’d like to take part in a meal roster. Did you know there’s a site called, Take Them a Meal? It’s a fantastic idea. You log on and indicate the day you’d like to provide a meal and the day before you’re sent a reminder email. It gives you a list of things they’d prefer to eat and also lets you know if there are any intolerances so you don’t make mistakes like delivering a gluten meal to a coeliac.
When your world is thrown into chaos and you’re having to spend a lot of time in hospitals, there could be nothing more comforting than arriving home to a meal delivered by a caring friend.
Here’s a recipe that I’ve used often when delivering a meal. It’s carb-free, it’s something the whole family can enjoy, it’s able to be re-heated, it can be frozen, it has lots of protein and vegetables and all you have to do is just heat and serve.
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: An affordable family meal
- 2 tbspns olive oil
- 3 tspns Moroccan seasoning
- 8 chicken thigh cutlets (sometimes known as chicken chops)
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 yellow capsicum, sliced
- 1 red capsicum, slices
- 3 gloves garlic, crushed
- 3cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 long red chilli, seeded then sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 a preserved lemon, rinsed, flesh discarded, then chopped
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 400gm can chickpeas, drained then rinsed
- 1/2 cup Sicilian olives
- 1 tbspn honey
Preheat oven to 175C (350F).
Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Sprinkle 2 tspns of Moroccan seasoning over the chicken then brown in the frying pan in two batches. Remove to a large casserole dish with a lid.
Reduce heat to medium and add onion and capsicums. Cook, stirring, until softened. Add garlic, ginger and chilli and cook until fragrant; about 1 minute. Add cinnamon, remaining Moroccan seasoning, paprika, tomatoes, preserved lemon and stock. Bring stock to the boil then pour mixture over chicken.
Cover with a lid and cook for 35 minutes.
Remove from oven and add chickpeas, olives and honey. Stir through then replace lid and place in oven for another 20 minutes.
Can be served with rice or couscous or quinoa but pretty good all on its own.
This recipe has been adapted from a recipe found on Taste.
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