In need of dinner inspiration? Try this mouth-watering Mongolian beef or crowd-pleasing chicken katsu from The Wonky Spatula: Cook Healthy, Live Happy

The Wonky Spatula chicken katsu

The brand new book by Nicola Halloran, The Wonky Spatula: Cook Healthy, Live Happy, is packed full of recipes centred around helping people to find their feet in the kitchen, just like Nicola did not so long ago. She says: “I really wanted to show people that eating healthy doesn’t mean cutting out all of the things that you love and that you can pack serious flavour into a homemade meal. There’s something for everyone in it with over 100 recipes from overnight oats, to take away cheats right up to indulgent desserts and also an A-Z on all things cooking – from how to boil an egg right to how to safely store food.”

The Wonky Spatula: Cook Healthy, Live Happy | Nicola Halloran | Orpen Press

Wanting to learn to cook quick and healthy recipes for herself, Nicola started her award-winning blog The Wonky Spatula back in 2014. Now with a large following and regular appearances on Ireland AM, her aim is to show that you can have it all when it comes to finding a balance. Built on an of understanding what it’s like to be time-poor, many of the recipes in the book will have food on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Here are two super tasty recipes to try at home from The Wonky Spatula: Cook Healthy, Live Happy, which is out now.

The Wonky Spatula Mongolian beef

MONGOLIAN BEEF

A play on a recipe from one of my favourite Asian restaurants – using ribeye steak. This is a great little one for a quick and easy Friday night in; the steak can be subbed for any cut of meat you have to hand but if you can I really recommend trying it with ribeye – it’s drool-worthy!

Serves 2

  • 2 ribeye steaks, cut into strips
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 peppers, finely sliced
  • Large handful of mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 inches of ginger, grated
  • 2 chillies, finely sliced
  • 1 cup of coconut aminos 2 tbsp honey
  1. Heat a large pan with some olive oil and sear the steak with a good pinch of coarse sea salt for 1–2 minutes per side before setting aside.
  2. In the meantime, add all of the sauce ingredients to a small pot, bring to the boil and allow to simmer while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  3. Heat a large pan or wok with some olive oil and lightly sauté the onion, peppers and spring onions for 4–5 minutes until they start to soften.
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook the veggies for a further 2–3 minutes before adding in the sauce.
  5. Finally, add the steak to the pan and cook for a further couple of minutes until it is cooked to your liking. Serve and enjoy!

CHICKEN KATSU

This is such a crowd pleaser and total comfort food – I love to serve mine with some cauliflower rice and roasted green beans on the side but it’s totally up to you and what you’re in the mood for.

Serves 2

  • 2 chicken breast fillets, butterflied
  • Sprinkle coconut flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g ground almonds
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper

For the curry sauce:

  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 1/2 chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Spring onions, finely chopped to serve
  • Sprinkle of sesame seeds
  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F.
  2. Begin by making the curry sauce: heat a saucepan with some oil, add the shallots, chilli and garlic and cook until softened. Add the carrots and cook over a low heat for 6–8 minutes until they start to soften.
  3. Stir in the curry powder and spices before cooking for a further minute. Gradually stir in the chicken stock until combined.
  4. Next, add all of the remaining ingredients for the sauce and bring the mixture to the boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes until sauce thickens.
  6. Finally blend into a sauce, adding some additional chicken stock to loosen it up if needed.
  7. To make the chicken, season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  8. Coat the chicken breasts in the coconut flour, then dip into the egg, before covering in the ground almonds.
  9. Heat some oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Place the chicken into the pan and cook until golden brown, about 1–2 minutes each side.
  10. Place the chicken on a baking dish and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, until fully cooked through.
  11. Remove the chicken from the oven, slice and lay on some cauliflower rice, pour the curry sauce over the chicken and garnish with some spring onions and sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!