27 Sep 2019

Good afternoon Coffs Coast! I hope you are all having a good end to your week. For those of you who follow me on social media or who were at The Chilli Festival in Sawtell last weekend, you will know I was cooking up against two fantastic chefs at the Aussie BBQ Great Chilli Cook-off!

How did happen you ask! Well, first of all, it started with a message from Duncan Marchant (My Boss) titled ‘a fantastic opportunity…’ Now, my mind puts up an automatic barrier to this type of message. I consider my already hectic schedule and think ‘there is no way I will have time to do this!

The message went on… at that point, firstly my mind had already said NO! The lack of time was already playing with my anxiety and the only words I saw were COOK, STAGE and THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE! 

After finishing the email telling Duncan Thank you. I started to question myself why I wouldn’t want to have ‘a fantastic opportunity? However, my reaction was purely based on fear!

I went on to have a very grounding conversation with my husband Dan.

Which went a little like.

Dan: You like cooking?
Me: Yes! 
Dan: ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’.
Me: “I could embarrass myself!”
Dan: What’s the worst that can happen?.


He had a point! I love to cook and food is central in my life. Therefore. I said Yes! and guess what happened!

Most importantly, I didn’t embarrass myself. I enjoyed the experience and to top it all off I WON! The cook-off was judged by Denise Knight (Coffs Harbour Mayor), Kevin Riddell (Regional Australia Bank), Joey de la Victoria (Professional Chef) and Tania Kernaghan (Country Singer). 


Sawtell Chilli Festival 2019 


I think it comes down to what we are capable of if we give ourselves the chance and every time you do something new, you grow and develop as a person.

We have this ability to constantly say yes, moreover agree to new opportunities, walk through new doors. If we perceived failure or mistake, we are always going to learn something.

We will probably learn more if we fail. Start saying ‘yes’ to things that we know will enrich us.

In conclusion, the more we say ‘yes’, the better placed we are to make more decisions about how to best spend our time and this never would have happened if I hadn’t!

What opportunities are you saying Yes to?

Feel free to DM me jenloufitness@gmail.com or follow my Facebook Jen Lou Fitness at Coffs Coast Health Club or Instagram @jenloufit

Have a lovely day.



Want to see more photo’s from the event… check out my album of Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenloufit/photos/?tab=album&album_id=647131335765053


What did I cook?


Spice Yoghurt, Ginger & Chilli Chicken with a Fresh Lime, Mint & Coriander Salad served with Chapatis


For the Chicken:
1kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs
400g zero-fat yogurt
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
4cm fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 Birds Eye chilis de-seeded and diced 


For the Chapatis:
400g wholemeal flour, plus a little extra for dusting
200ml of warm water
A little salt
1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve


For the Salad:
(1) red onion finely chop 
(1) Tin Chickpeas
(1) bunch fresh coriander and mint roughly chopped
2 red Cayenne chilies, finely sliced – and de-seeded if you don’t like it hot
½ cucumber, de-seeded and diced
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper


Firstly, Put the chicken into a large dish. Mix yogurt, ground spices, ginger, chilis, and garlic and then pour over the chicken. Give them a good stir to coat the chicken and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Overnight is better.

Secondly, Make the Chapati dough by slowly working 200ml of warm water into the flour with a wooden spoon. When the water is incorporated tip the mixture on a clean floured surface and knead for 5 min until you reach a smooth, elastic dough.

Put it back in a clean bowl and cover with cling film and leave to rest for 10min after that. 

Mix the chickpeas, onion slices, coriander, mint, red chilies, cucumber and tomatoes along with the juice of 1 lime and Season, cover and leave to sit at room temperature until you’re ready to eat.

Light the barbecue a half-hour before you’re ready to cook remove the chicken from the fridge and allow to rest at room temperature.

Lay the thighs flat over the hot barbecue and cook for 6–8min each side and If you’re using a griddle pan, cook for about 4 min until chicken is fully cooked. After that take the cooked chicken off the heat and leave it to rest.

Divide the dough into six large pieces or eight smaller ones and roll each into a circle about the thickness of a dollar coin on a clean, floured surface.

Put the chapatis directly on your barbecue or griddle pan and cook for about 90 seconds each side. When the chapatis are cooked, serve alongside the chicken, salad and garnish with lime wedges.
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