Slimming World-friendly Chicken Katsu Curry – this recipe is an absolute game changer! So tasty and syn-free if you use the breadcrumbs as your healthy extra B 🙂
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic crushed
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp of curry powder
2 tsp of cumin
2 tsp of chilli powder
1 small courgette, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
2 small potatoes, skin on, chopped
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 litre of chicken stock
4 chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten
2 wholemeal rolls
Low calorie cooking spray
cal cooking spray to a large saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Once they
are softened, add the spices to heat through and release the flavours.
the courgette, carrot and potatoes, soy sauce and chicken stock. Let this cook
on a medium/high heat for 40 minutes – we want to get all the flavour out but
also let the water reduce.
meantime, preheat the oven to 180c. Blitz the wholemeal rolls in a food
processor to make breadcrumbs. Then take the chicken breast, flatten it out as
much as you can (to get the largest surface area you can), dip it in beaten egg
then into the breadcrumbs. Lay out on an oven tray lined with tin foil and a
liberal spray of cooking spray and cook for 30 minutes.
rice on to boil and turn your attention back to the sauce. Make sure the water
has reduced, then blitz the sauce with a hand blender to create a thick katsu
boiled rice with the thinly sliced breaded chicken breast, topped with a
liberal helping of syn-free katsu sauce! YUM!
Looking for an
interesting holiday, something a little different to the norm, my husband came
up with the idea of a gulet cruise. A gulet is a traditional wooden sailing
boat with two or three masts. This was the first I’d heard of one, but my
husband was really keen and we both enjoy being on the water so I went with the
idea. We booked one week on a gulet cruise from Marmaris in Turkey, and then
one week in a hotel in Marmaris afterwards.
Brace yourselves for
this one. So, we flew out to Dalaman, the closest airport to the Marmaris area,
but it is still 90km away and more than an hour’s drive. Anyway, we arrive in
Dalaman, go outside and look for our transfer. My husband goes off in search
and I man the suitcases. He comes back about 10 minutes later shaking his head.
He can’t find it. I wander off and also come back empty-handed. We finally find
the paperwork with the company on it, and find the stand for them. By this time, the 300 people all
milling around for their transfers are long gone and there’s just a few waifs
and strays left, ourselves included. My husband speaks to the transfer company
who have no record of our booking. Chris calls the travel company we booked
through (a small independent) and amazingly, someone answers the phone despite
it being late at night. He checks the records and they accidentally forgot to
confirm our booking with the transfer company! He apologises profusely but this
still doesn’t actually give us any way to get the 90km to Marmaris at around
11:30pm local time. We spoke to the transfer company who agree to take us, but
we have to pay upfront 40 Euros. Stuck with no other options, we managed to get
on the last mini bus, but as it was full we had to sit in the front with the
This was no ordinary
mini bus. Have you ever heard of the urban legend of disco taxi? I first heard
about this when I moved to Glasgow aged 18 and used to get black cabs into town
and back to the halls of residence on a regular basis. A friend of mine had
mentioned that if we were lucky we’d inadvertently jump into ‘disco taxi’ where
the inside of the cab has flashing lights and music – hence, Disco Taxi. (P.s.
I never did find disco taxi, sob)
Well this mini van
made up for it. We got in the front and had music blaring out and strings of
lights throughout the whole van that flashed and made for an interesting and
entertaining drive. Bear in mind that the journey from Dalaman to Marmaris is a
good two hours so this entertained us on our way.
Fast forward two
hours and the driver drops us off. At a port. A shipping port. Approximately
four miles outside of Marmaris. In the middle of the night. With our luggage.
And no way of getting back to the town, let alone locating and boarding our
We managed to find a
security guard for the shipping port who we gesticulated to, and who
gesticulated back and she called us a taxi to take us into the town. Remember
that – as is often the case with pre-booked transfers – you have no idea where
it is that you’re actually meant to go, and that’s when its a static hotel with
an address, not a small wooden boat that could be docked anywhere along miles
Whilst in the taxi,
after asking a confused driver if he knew ‘where the gulet boats were’, my
husband called the travel agents in the UK – which thankfully had its number
diverted to the owner’s mobile (remember, its around midnight in Turkey at this
point, so 9pm in the UK). The (very apologetic) owner was trying to track down
where our boat might be, to no avail, and was giving us ideas of locations to
pass onto our taxi driver to take us on the off-chance.
Basically, it didn’t
work. We were lost, it was nearly 1am at this point, there was no-one around
and we had nowhere to go. My husband (as we take it in turns to meltdown in
these kind of situations) had his meltdown at this point. I realised that while
we were on the gulet for one week of our holiday, our second week was in a
hotel in Marmaris. I gave the taxi driver its name and he dropped us off there,
with my husband on the phone to the travel agent who agreed to reimburse us for
the cost of the night in the hotel while we found our where our boat would be.
Luckily, we knew that our first night on the boat was to be docked, and it
wouldn’t actually set sail for its coastal week-long trip until the following
We checked into the
hotel and they allowed us to have some cold meats and bread to eat (we hadn’t
eaten for hours and had missed dinner). We sat in the lobby (where there was
free wifi and tried to locate someone who could advise us of where this boat would
be and how we could get to it). We found a couple of numbers but it was too
late to call so we finally gave up at 2am and went to bed.
We awoke around 5am
to torrential rain and lightning. Now it was my turn. I kid you not, I sat on
the edge of the bed, looking out the window, and cried my heart out. I will
say, in my defense, that my brother had died six months earlier and I was still
struggling to control my emotions at times. I had also been in a car accident
four days before our holiday where my car had been written off and I had
injured my neck. I NEEDED this holiday and it was slipping away. I sat and
cried and felt really sorry for myself while my husband went back down to the
lobby to make some calls. I wandered down after having a word with myself to
find that he had called a woman in the UK, who had given him the number of a
woman in Turkey to call, who said she would find the exact location of the
boat, contact them to tell them to wait for us and would call us back with
directions of where to go! Success! And this poor woman had done all this at
6:30am Turkish-time, bless her heart!
She called back with
a location and we raced upstairs, repacked our bags, ran downstairs to pay our
bill and jumped in a passing taxi. It dropped us off at a sad looking pub,
obviously mobbed every night, but there is nothing worse that seeing a night club
or bar first thing in the morning. We sat on a wet bench and started worrying
if we’d got the wrong place when I man walked up to us and asked our names.
YAY! It was the captain! He led us round the corner to the boat (which was one
of at least 15 identical boats – we’d never have found it) and we went below
deck and found our room and dumped our bags. We got changed (we were still in
the same clothes we travelled in) and went above deck to find our fellow gulet
companions who we’d be spending the next week with.
An hour or so later
we set off from Marmaris harbour and the clouds burned away and we were left
with the most brilliant sunny day. Before leaving we’d been visited by a rep
who had mentioned various tours and trips we could go on when we got to
different locations. Day one’s trip was to a natural mud bath which we didn’t
bother with. We were so tired and worn out that we just wanted to stay on the
boat and relax. Funnily enough, later that afternoon while lying on the sunbeds
at the back of the boat we saw a small boat approaching. Two women climbed up
the steps to our boat and it turned out that the same thing happened to them!
They had got lost and had missed the boat (literally) and had managed to get
someone to track down the boat in a bay and sailed out to drop them off!
The boat was a good
size for what it was, the rooms below deck were rather small, basically a tiny
amount of floor space and a bed, but they did all have en suites. We were so
lucky – particularly as we had last choice almost – to get a room at the back of
the boat with a window that was at bed height. When you opened it up it was on
the curve of the hull and we had the crystal water about a foot beneath us.
This gave us a constant breeze to keep us cool all through the night.