Why bother with a packet mix for dinner tonight?

The Food industry makes a fortune selling us those little sachets of packet mix to flavour everything from cottage pie to fajitas. I have never liked to them due to the common inclusion of MSG which disagrees with me and of course their main ingredients of sugar (dextrose) and salt (sodium). They are also more expensive than mixing your own.

Back in the 70s and 80s When I lived in the inner city it was easy to go to the local shops and buy my own spices and experiment with all the then uncommon vegetables on sale, later on larger supermarkets began to stock a much wider range of spices for our increasingly spicy diets.
No little expensive jars for us but big packets to divide up and share with my friends as spices do go stale after a while and stored in honey or pickle jars in a dark cupboard. Don’t think I have ever thrown any out though.

With a few basic spices a wide range of meals can be created.
A medical student showed me basic curry mix learned from his Consultant and Mr Said’s curry became a household favourite (chilli, turmeric, coriander, cumin and salt that’s all- with cheap canned tomatoes to make the sauce.

Latterly as a teacher the students wanted fajitas and this is the recipe I will share today:

1/2 lime (or use bottled juice not the sweetened squash though)
1/2 green or red chilli or 1 teaspoon (5g) dried chilli powder
1 clove garlic
1x15ml spoon fresh coriander or parsley (Optional)
1x10ml spoon vegetable oil 1 medium chicken breast (or turkey or Quorn strips)
1 small onion
1/2 green or red pepper

For those of you addicted to the packet mixes try mixing up your own with half a teaspoon powdered coriander, cumin, chilli or paprika to taste, plus a little salt if you must.

1. Prepare the marinade in a bowl:
squeeze the lime;
peel and crush the garlic;
de-seed and slice the chilli;
chop the coriander;
stir everything together in the bowl with the oil.

2. On a red chopping board, remove any skin from the chicken and cut into strips.
3. Heat pan- Add the marinated chicken to the wok or frying pan and stir-fry for about 4 minutes.
4. Check that the chicken is cooked through should not be any pink
5. Add the onion and green pepper and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes

Wrap in tortilla and serve with guacamole or salsa!

Easy so enjoy