Archive for July, 2016


Last night’s dinner was a winner winner chicken dinner – both literally and idiomatically.

So today’s post is a recipe

Roast chicken portions in coconut curry sauce

dav

This may be the easiest meals you will ever make that has the maximum impact. Feel free to pretend it was way harder than it is

The first prize recipe is obvs the best option, but the options in brackets are actually fine too – just do what you can.

So, you need:

Chicken portions. I use thighs and legs but breasts would work too. Wings may not work so well but they wouldn’t be bad. And you want skin on portions.

A can of coconut milk

1 tsp curry paste. I used green thai curry paste but you could use anything.

1 stalk lemon grass, cleaned and bashed flat  (if you don’t have, don’t panic)

1 or 2 limes – use the juice and the zest  (again, if you don’t have limes you could use lemons. Fresh is the best option but I don’t think the bottled stuff would run the meal.)

1 tsp fish sauce (this gives the meal a deep, satisfying seasoning without blasting your blood pressure through the roof with salt. But salt is okay too)

1 or 2 potatoes – grated (I added this to make the sauce thicker. You could leave it out if you are anti potato, just know the sauce will remain the consistency of the coconut milk)

salt and pepper to your liking.

 

You do:

 

In a bowl, mix the coconut milk, all the other bits and pieces (not the chicken) and the grated potato. Put this mixture in an oven proof bowl or casserole. Put the chicken pieces in, skin side up with the skin showing above the sauce. I like to spray the skin with some olive oil and sprinkle it with salt to up the crispiness but that’s not entirely necessary

Put it all in the oven at 180 for about an hour, until the chicken is cooked

 

And there you have it – roasted chicken portions in a coconut curry sauce

 

I served it with cauli/broc rice with beans.

 

You can make it even more of a one dish meal by putting veg in, around the chicken,

about half way through the cooking. Cauliflower florets, broccoli florets, beans and even baby marrows would quite happily cook partly submerged in the sauce at the same temperature.

And if you are really determined to do a one pot dish, once the chicken is cooked, take the chicken (and veg if you added them) out of the sauce, and stir cous cous into it. Leave for a few minutes and your starch and sauce will be one lovely, gloopy taste sensation. If you plan to do this, omit the potato as the cous cous will do the thickening for you

 

There you have it – an easy, adaptable recipe which is very tasty and truly quick to make

weekends and water

when trying not to eat all the food in the world, and be vaguely healthy in what i consume, i find the weekends so very hard.

the lack of structure, the spontaneity, the not being by myself and in control of my environment all contribute to making sticking to any kind of regime really difficult.

and i realised this weekend that part of the problem is that i just don’t drink enough water on weekends. during the week i have a pot of (once was) hot water with ginger and lemon on my desk at all times – and i drink it throughout the day, probably consuming at least 1,5 litres a day like this. i don’t even think about it, its just there so i drink it

on the weekends i am not at my desk and i still don’t think about it – only now i am not drinking it either

so i am underwatered which makes me think i am hungry, which means i want to eat all the food in the world

and i feel shitty on monday because, after two days of being underwatered i am probably dehydrated – i know i am fucken thirsty!

i will have to make a plan for next weekend – i can’t keep doing this

 

 

bumsy clugger

I am feeling good – no crazy cravings or anything

Just trundling along – a bit tired but nothing too unusual

BUT

i may be a just a little clumsy. to be honest, i am not the most graceful of people usually – i have been know to fall up stairs, choke on air and fall out of my shoes (which once i realised were on the wrong feet when i got home from a night out!) – so clumsy is not far from words used to describe me.

But i am also a cook and generally in the kitchen i am pretty together. I have cut myself – of course i have. and burnt myself and even dropped heavy shit on my feet but not more, and probably less, than some chefs and cooks I know. in the kitchen is the one time i stop being the bull in a china shop and sort of become the ballet-dancing hippo in fantasia.

So i was beyond gutted at my bumsy blugger moment yesterday. I made 8 glorious litres of bone broth; bone broth that quietly gathered and intensified flavours for 18 hours in my slow-cooker; bone broth which you could smell from the street; bone broth the colour of mahogany.

Bone broth i then decanted into a colander in a large bowl on the kitchen counter. Why i did it on the counter and not in the sink as i usually do, only my sugar depleted subconscious knows. because of course the inevitable happened – the bowl slipped, the hot bone broth cascaded out of it, all over the kitchen counter and up against my body. It was hot so i leapt backwards, allowing all that deliciousness to run off the counter tops, down the cupboard doors, over the drawer lips and onto the floor.

My four dogs, ever lurking at the kitchen door, desperate to be allowed in just in case i dropped something, took the gap and hurtled towards the puddles. I could do nothing but watch as they slurped up the yumminess.

I managed to save 500ml from the bowl, a mere 500ml that had not slopped out of the sideways bowl.

Humans – half a litre, Dogs – 7,5 litres

Sigh

dav

the remains…..:'(

Day 4 and I woke up headache free – but tired, just really really tired. It took most of the morning to stop feeling like I had just woken up and it was 4am. But I had no headache – so that was good.

Also, I don’t know what is going on in my digestive tract. It is like cement and super glue had a baby – and it is not pretty. I know, from last time I tried this, that it’s the milk in the morning coffee that makes my tummy say heelllloooooo, not the coffee. So I guess it is trying to work out what to do now it doesn’t have the dairy irritant. Pretty gross and less than comfortable, but it has to do what it has to do.

On the plus side, I did managed to be out twice in one day and not mess up. In the morning I was in a mall and had to wait for something so I went for a coffee. I have gone from rubbish coffee with sweetened creamer to straight up, proper quality, black coffee. And I didn’t even ‘accidentally’ eat the little biscuit, pretending I may be on the Titanic and it’s the last cup of coffee I might ever have. Those women who didn’t have dessert that last night haunt me, little petit fours floating around their watery faces.

And,

and this is big,

I went to our local pub last night and saw my mates. And drank water the whole night! Yep, I felt like one of those purse-lipped prim women of old, sipping on my water surrounded by heathen drinkers! It was fine actually, but wow, semi-drunk people get really boring, really fast. We talk such repetitive shit when drinking, don’t we?

The moral high ground is quite comfy, thank you very much 🙂

We had dinner there. The chef is a friend so he does what I need for my food. Chicken, calamari and veg – and no washing up. My best end to a meal that!

I am still astounded at the effect no sugar is having. I don’t have a headache, nothing sore enough to be worthy of a title, but I am muggy of head and thought. I was not/am not even a great obvious sugar eater. I don’t add it to anything and don’t eat loads of sugary stuff. But clearly I do. All that hidden sugar I didn’t even know was there. frightening.

And tired. Did I mention I was tired?

 

My meals:

dav

breakfast was a mushroom, tomato and pork shank frittata that wasn’t so keen to come out the pan

dav

lunch was a kale, tatsio and spinach salad topped with leftover prawns

Let’s hope the tired decreases and the brain clears soon

dav

headache had me on my knees

Aaaaah, the headache. The day three headache. The ‘where the fuck is my sugar’ headache. The headache that makes you realise that sugar clearly does something to your brain, and makes you not care at all, that’s how much you want some. The headache that makes you understand why druggies sell kidneys for a hit. The headache that makes you question this whole stupid bloody thing.

For me, the fact that the lack of sugar gives me such a headache is why I need to do this. I need not to be a slave to the sugar, a slave who thought she was a free person making her own decisions. Obviously not if just two and a bit days of no sugar can make me want to kill my partner for simply being there, in his chair, in our living room. How very dare he!!!!!

By 4pm I decided that I no longer had to power through the headache (not sure why I thought I wasn’t allowed pain killers) and I finally took a headache tablet. Sweet relief. In hindsight, I am glad I didn’t mask the pain until it became a question of social sanity, because I need to know and remember what sugar does to me. I don’t want to have to kick it again so the best thing would be to not start eating it again.

But I say that at the start of Day 4 – let’s check that attitude until Day 28 shall we? Easy to be brave when strong.

My meals:

dav

Left over livers and onion, mash potato cake, poached eggs and tomatoes

dav

Salad with lamb ribbies

dav

prawns with veg cabbage (instead of rice)

Not the easiest day but 10% done

On I go

Day 2 was not fun but that’s not the eating challenge’s fault. No siree – its mine. Well, mine and the loads of strange men wandering around my property.

Let’s go back to the evening of Day 1. I had some shaved coconut in a jar I sat and nibbled on after dinner. I may have got carried away by the fact that my until very recently very sore tooth was managing to chew the coconut and I think I ate too much of it.

So Day 2 started okay but my belly got progressively more and more bloated and sore until I wasn’t sure if it was my intestines, my lower back, my uterus or my kidneys that were sore, because everything was.

Put that with the fact that we are having work done on the house, specifically the windows, so at any stage any number of men may be peering into a window. This situation does not make for comfortable toilet trips at all.

So it seems my excretion system has shut up shop with severe stage fright.

A winning combination that ended with a rather uncomfortable midriff.

Aside for the self inflicted agony, the day was a good one. I went out before eating breakfast – rookie error – so got home at 10am hangry as hell. But I didn’t cheat and scoff down something quick and carby. Nope, I bothered to make a proper breakfast – broken fried eggs and all.

I had to modify dinner when I realised I hadn’t thought the beef livers I bought through well enough. No milk allowed and no bacon at the moment until I find one that doesn’t contain sugar, so I used pork shank and fried that with mushrooms and onion and a grated apple, and added the very thinly sliced livers. Was very nice and I am glad I didn’t just decide fuckit and use the bacon, milk. And red wine for a gravy of course. I need to make some good stock to replace the wine in recipes – non-drinkers manage so surely I can.

2 or 30 done and dusted – feeling good and will feel much better once this belly ache is gone

I am sure I just need a huge fart

 

My meals:

dav

breakfast was pork shank instead of bacon with a veggie hash and two fried eggs

dav

breakfast was similar to yesterday’s lunch – coconut crusted chicken breast with salad and home made lemon mayo

 

dav

dinner is often my favourite meal that is the worst pic of the day. a lack of natural light makes it hard to get good pics. this is the liver with pork shank, onion, mushrooms and apple on mashed potato with brussel sprouts. was delicious

I have never been a fan of fasts or cleanses or diets which completely cut any one thing out. Moderation seemed to me to be the answer to most of life’s questions. Then a friend of mine, equally not into silly eating things or juicing or colon cleansing (urgh!) said she had done whole30 and felt bloody brilliant on it. So I thought what the hell, let’s give this a bash.

I did it for 30 days but I realise now I did cheat – a lot. I knew then I was cheating but didn’t quite own how much. I drank wine – because life. I also drank sugar-free soft drink because I hadn’t read the book and didn’t think they counted as sugar. They do. And I ate bacon which I now know has dextrose used when curing it.

Blah blah blah – the fact was that even cheating I felt awesome after the month

I then went back to eating and drinking Every. Thing – and felt just totally crap.

So yesterday I started whole30 again. And this time I am doing it properly properly.  And part of that, always for me, is writing about it. So here goes:

Day 1 – it was easy. It seems pretty easy not to eat grain, legumes, sugar and dairy when you had a cheese sandwich  with hummus and a cup of milky, sweet coffee the night before as a sort of good bye to all that. i know this is the false sense of security and easy that this program starts with but that’s okay – I am enjoying the ease know the rest is coming.

 

My food was great and my tummy does already feel less sore. When I was eating all the food in the world, my IBS-like symptoms came back to say hello. I realised then that they had been gone for a month and their return reminded me that I thought a sore stomach was standard issue for life for an adult. Apparently not.

 

And the eating disorder self-esteem gobbling monster in me had nothing to bitch about as I got into bed to go to sleep. My last thought of the day was not what crap I had eaten and how I was weak cos of it. It was normal stuff like ‘oh my god, did I turn the oven off’, ‘I hope the dogs don’t fall in the pool and drown over night’, ‘remember that stupid thing you said in 1986’… you know, normal shit.

Anxiety issues much?? Naaaah J

This lack of self-beration may be the most important thing to me – I am tired of fighting that voice so maybe one way to beat her is to cut her fuel off. But we’ll see.

So yes, there we are, three meals down and up and ready for day 2. Feeling strong, feeling good, looking forward to the next 29 days.

 

One cannot blog about what one eats without begin that person who shares photos of it

so here you are

dav

breakfast – that’s fried aubergien pretending to be toast and preserved lemon rind on the top

dav

lunch – coconut flour crumbed chicken breasts on salad

dav

dinner – always hard to photograph. venison potjie with veg

 

And for what this eating thing is all about, go check out www.whole30.com

gender bullshit

At Woolies today I saw some Father’s Day merchandise for sale at the till. I didn’t look at what it was and whether it is a Woolies product or not but it disturbed me somewhat.

The wrapping  has two options. They refer to the father as: A son’s first hero or a daughter’s first love

Hmmmm – that sticks a little in my crop

Are girls only soft, gentle things that need love and boys are future toughies who need a hero to aspire to? Do girls not deserve heroes as much as boys deserve love? Are dads not heroes to their daughters too?

And how heteronormative is it??? Girls love dad first and then other men because of course all girls are straight. And I assume boys’ first love is mom followed by other females. Let us not even mention the horrible incestuous undertones underpinning the hetero assumptions there.

And then, since when are dads always the hero of the family? Do fatherless kids have no heroes and therefore no chance of becoming whatever these fictitious boys have lined up for their future?

Could we not have just had Dad – my hero, or Dad – I love you instead of putting gender bullshit on the merchandise?