26 March 2013

CHICKEN THIGHS - how to prepare - debone, spice and store for future use

Chicken thighs are far better and tastier than chicken breast fillets. Reason - the thigh is found in an area where the chicken uses it's force, so it is more developed because it has muscles that has gone through enough exercise than the breast fillet. It contains more fat, which melts slightly during high-heat cooking such as grilling, roasting or frying - helping to keep the meat moister longer. It is tender exactly like chicken breast fillet; beautiful taste, succulent and affordable. Without the bone it's looks similar to chicken breast fillet. 


4 packs of chicken thighs
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of chopped garlic
1 tbsp of table salt
2 tbsp of dark soy sauce
3 knorr seasoning cubes
1 tbsp of dry rosemary
Medium lemon (2 tbsp juice)


Remove the skins from the thighs or you can leave them on, all depends on how you like them. Then debone them and put into a big bowl or any bowl that can contain them.

Add all the ingredients into the bowl of chicken thighs and massage them into the thighs.

Then package the thighs into individual bags or freezer bags and store in the freezer. By the time one cooks them the next day, the ingredients would marinated the thighs and the taste becomes superb. 


Bring out a portion of the thigh from the freezer, allow to thaw/defrost. Its better to allow it thaw on its own instead of soaking it in water because we don't want any water to enter the spiced thighs.  

Pre-heat the grill pan for about 2 minutes. To get those grill lines on the chicken, the pan has to be really hot because when hot, it will sear the surface of the meat and gives it that authentic charred look. A grill pan cooks the best at a high temperature. 

Because we added olive oil while spicing the meat, there is no need to add oil on the pan. So just place the spiced thawed thighs in on the pan.

Grill for approximately 5 minutes, on each side or until the thighs are cooked to how you want/like it. Cook fully on one side before flipping over. 

Once cooked, allow for 1-2 minutes before serving.

24 March 2013


Pancakes are great for a weekend breakfast/brunch. One can prepare them in so many different ways and sizes. 
Find recipe on how to make pancakes here!
Enjoy and have fun.
Belle's Kitchen.

17 March 2013

Healthy Snacks

Losing weight is something I struggle with day in day out. Before I had my first child, I was size 8/10. After I had him, I became size 14/16. Since then until now, I have fought tooth and nail to lose weight but to no avail. My main obstacle to losing weight is the amount of junk foods and snacks I consume despite the fact I cook healthy meals always. I love sweet things…

Hubby came up with the idea that I need to ditch all the junks and switch them with healthy nuts and mix fruits. I listened to the voice of reason and so far it has been working. Not only does the nuts give me those crunchy feelings I crave for from biscuits n all but also the mixed fruits gives the sweetness that satisfies my sweet tooth.

I would be sharing my progress here, from snacking to meal options…

Cashew and almond nuts with mixed-dry fruits; a healthy way to snack which could help improve your diet and enable weight loss.


Cashew nut is jam-packed with nutritional content. It has 5 grams of protein per ounce and high levels of the essential minerals, such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese; which are utilized in holistic health solutions and healthy diets.

These nuts do have a relatively high fat content (12 grams per ounce, 2 grams saturated fat); but it is considered “good fat.” This is due to the agreeable fat ratio in the nut, 1:2:1 for saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated, respectively; which scientists say is the ideal ratio for optimal health. Cashew nut do also have a fatty acid profile that contributes to good health.


Almond nut is often eaten on its own, raw or toasted. Almonds nuts are a rich source of vitamin E containing 26 mg per 100 g. About 20 percent of raw almond is high quality protein; a third of which are essential amino acids.

An ounce of almonds contains 12% of necessary daily protein. They are also rich in dietary fiber, B vitamins, essential minerals and monounsaturated fat, one of the two fats which potentially may lower cholesterol.

Potential health benefits, which have not been scientifically validated, include improved complexion and possibly a lower risk of cancer. A preliminary trial showed that using Almond nuts in the daily diet might lower the contents of several factors associated with heart diseases.

Mixed Dry Fruits:

In general, all dried fruits provide essential nutrients and an array of health protective bioactive ingredients, making them valuable tools to both increase diet quality and help reduce the risk of chronic disease.

The reason is that dried fruits retain most of the nutritional value of fresh fruits. Dried fruits are not only important sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre in the diet but also provide a wide array of bioactive components that could help the body to successfully fight many different diseases. 

Eat healthy, snack healthy and thank me later…

15 March 2013


Yam is not a frequent meal on my menu but whenever am cooking it, I try to make it very interesting, not just for me but for the family as well. Living in the UK, it is difficult to buy everything I need for my African dishes, due to scarcity. This is why I always seem to cook most of our dishes with fewer ingredients but they come out very beautifully! So here is my take on yam porridge (Ji ngwo-ngwo)!


green vegetable also known as Jamaician callaloo
½ medium size yam
Green vegetable/callaloo (any quantity)
1½ onion
2/3cup of Palm oil
2 knorr cubes
½ kg of goat meat


Pluck out the leaves of the vegetable from the stem and discard the stem;
wash the leaves and cut them, set aside.

In a medium, add the meat, 1 knorr cube, salt, cut in ½ onion; add water to the meat, just a little above the meat level, and then cook until tender. Remove the meat and set aside. Freeze the stock for future use. Peel out the back of the yam, slice and dice each slice into 4.

In medium pot, put in the yam and add water. The water level should be a little above the yam; add a teaspoon of salt and cook until yam is soft and cooked.
With the aid of a sieve, drain the water and set aside.

In a clean pot, pour in the oil and heat up for couple of seconds, has to be hot enough to fry the onions; then add the onions, fry for few seconds, and then add the meat, followed by the yam and sprinkle half of the knorr cube.

Turn, reduce the gas and cover the pot, this enables the yam soak up a little bit of the palm oil. You could allow this for over a minute; then add the vegetables and the remaining cube, then turn, turn again and again…

The reason for turning as much as one can, is to enable the yam bring out its crumbs which helps the cooking to turn into yam porridge.

Serve hot and enjoy…

3 March 2013

Tortilla – Belle’s Touch

Tortillas are not something one would find difficult to get in a store. You can create different things with tortillas, they are quite easy and simple to prepare, as snacks or meal. Here is one among many I have created so far.


3 Eggs
1 Tortilla
½ cup of Grated mild cheese
1/3 of whole Cucumber
4 Cherry tomatoes
½ Onions
½ knorr cube
1tsp of sunflower oil


Grill pan
Frying pan


  • Chop the onions and set aside
  • Slice the cucumber and cherry tomatoes as on photo, then set aside.
  • Take a bowl and crack in the eggs, the Knorr and beat together with a fork. Then put in the onions.
  • Set a frying pan, pour the oil, allow to heat up for sometime, then pour in the eggs and fry. Once ready, set aside.
  • Place the tortilla flat on the grill pan.  Sprinkle the cheese on one side of the tortilla, followed by the fried egg, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. At this stage, turn on the gas for the pan to heat up.
  • Then flip close the tortilla.
  • Pan-grill each side for approximately 5mins or more (alternate every 2 mins and work with the pan lines to get the pattern you want on your tortilla), depending on how crunchy/brown you want it.
  • Then serve hot.

the two on the left are egg filled and the ones on the right are chicken filled. so you can fill yours with what ever suits you. 

Have fun…Enjoy!