Category: recipe


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

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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

 

I had an organic Karoo lamb shoulder to cook the other day and decided to make slow roast lamb – only the best way to cook lamb!

First I made a mint pesto by blitzing together mint, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.

I browned the lamb and then smeared it with the mint pesto. In the pan, around the lamb, I put onions and fresh tomatoes. I added a small amount of water, just in case anything wanted to stick, and covered it all in foil.

In the oven at 170C for about 3 1/2 hours and the lamb was moist but falling off the bone.

I took the meat from the pan to rest and blitzed the remains of the tomato and onion and lamb juices to make an amazingly delicious gravy

Yum yum

and #whole30 compliant

lamb

This is the winning soup of the charity event really. More people picked it than any other soup as the winner. The mushroom soup was joint first only because the people who picked it felt so strongly that it should win. Quality vs quantity of votes really.

This is a crowd pleaser of note.

You need:

oil

1 chopped onion, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 450g of peeled chopped tomatoes. Chop these up small as you will eat them as is.

2 tsp gound cumin, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp groun ginger, 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley

2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, or your own soaked boiled chickpeas

1 litre stock

juice of half a lemon

 

You do:

Fry the onion and garlic gently in the oil. Add the dry spices and cook until it smells fabulous. Then add half the chickpeas, the tomatoes and 800ml of the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.

Whizz the remaining stock and chickpeas to a smooth puree. Add this to the soup. Heat. Add parsley and lemon juice and serve

 

It’s so much nicer than it is difficult – a meal in a bowl

 

I am off tomorrow to buy blankets – have been too busy to do it before.

will post photos of the pile we get

I can’t find the recipe I used to make the gammon and leek soup which came third in the Charity Soup off so  here instead is the recipe for the joint first place soup.

But before that – a blanket update.

There isn’t one.

I was in Cape Town all of last week and this week my co blanket buyer and hander outer is writing her psychology masters mid-year exams so i have to wait for her before we can go spend the money and start dishing out the warmth. But this will happen next week. and photos shall follow.

 

But – back to the soup

Wild mushroom soup with sage

(only i bought the mushrooms from Pick n Pay and didn’t have sage)

You need:

25g butter

1 chopped onion, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 6 fresh sage leaves (if you can find them. i couldn’t so i used parsley. a different taste but it was still delicious)

1 Tablespoon flour, 1 litre veggie or chicken stock. (I have bought a bottle of organic veggie stock which i don’t for one second belive is really organic but it is much less salty than normal stock so i think worth it)

750g of assorted mushrooms. (I used a mixture of brown mushrooms, button mushrooms and those fancy shmancy mushrooms you get at Pick n Pay now.)

120ml of white wine (like anyone ever measures the wine they put in food), 120ml double cream (i used plain yoghurt)

salt, pepper and parsley to garnish

 

You do:

Melt the butter in the pot you will cook the soup in. Gently fry the onion and garlic until the onion softens. about 4 minutes-ish. Add the flour and cook for a bit. Then add the stock slowly, stirring away. Add the chopped mushroom and bring to the boil. Here I went my own way because i was making the soup in advance. I added all but one packet of those skinny mushrooms with the little ball heads. They look like these enoki mushrooms but I don’t remember that that was what PnP called them.

 

Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for about twenty minutes. It is surprising that it really does take that long for the mushrooms to get soft.

Use a food processor or wand to whizz the soup up. It never gets completely smooth but whizz until it is as you like it. Ten minutes before serving I added the rest of the mushrooms  and a handful of chopped parsley, and allowed the soup to simmer. Then I added the yoghurt and the recipe asked for the wine at this stage. I didn’t much fancy raw wine in the soup so I left it out!

I know – shocking!

Once the yoghurt was added you can’t let the soup boil, so warm it through, season with salt and pepper and serve with a parsley garnish.

Was a very filling, creamy, rich and delicious bowl of soup.

 

 

Last night I had a little gathering at my home to collect blankets and raise money to buy more blankets for cold homeless people in Durban.

It was a wonderful success in many ways – we collected 10 blankets, R1100 to buy more blankets, 1 person landed up under the table giggling and 3 of the guests tried to use  mind power to fly the couch home.

I made 4 soups which everyone enjoyed. There was much conversation about soup strategy and how best to attack the options, about which flavours should be eaten in what order, and about how to make sure you had enough space in your tummy to try all four.

Votes were cast and soups rated

in fourth place was spinach & coconut soup

You need:

2 tsp oil

1 chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 green chillies. I used seeds and all and could have used an extra chilli.

2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp tumeric, 1/2 tsp ground ginger. All of these are rough amounts. When I make the soup again I will use more of each.

600ml stock, 600ml coconut milk, juice of 1/2 lemon. Again I will use more next time.

500g spinach. This is a lot of spinach! More than one bunch – almost all of two.

salt

You do:

Heat the oil. Add onion, garlic and chillies. Cook gently for a while – like 4 minutes or so until the onions are getting soft. Stir in the spices and then add the stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil and then cover, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Clean and shred the spinach. Add to the liquid and cook for a few minutes until the spinach is wilted. The recipe requires you remove 2/3 of the soup and blend in a food processor and then add to the original soup. What I did was use my wand blender and whizzed the soup up until it was the kind of smooth I like. You will never get all the spinach whizzed up so don’t expect a completely smooth, even coloured and textured soup.

Once the soup is smooth enough for you, add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Heat again if necessary and serve. The recipe called for coconut shavings to serve but I have no idea where you would these from and the soup was fine without them. You could possible use desiccated coconut.

I served the soup with french crusty bread.

This soup may have come 4th out of 4 but it was not a loser. Was very nice – the rest were just better.

Recipes 3, 2 and 1 will follow over the next while. As will pictures of the blankets etc

No photos cos we forgot – and then continued to forget as we drank wine, ate soup and giggled

Last week the MasterChef contestants had to use fish, fish, fish. David, one of the MasterChef Stalkers does not like fish. at all. and it was his turn to cook yesterday.

Luckily for him our rules are gentler than the actual rules so he was allowed to pick from the original choice of main ingredients for a curry. the options were fish, duck or lentils and tofu and pulsey-type things.

 

Last night he served us butternut and lentil curry. very yummy indeed.

here is his recipe taken from the interwebz

Ingredients:
1 butternut
1 T olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
3 chopped shallots
1 T butter
Olive oil
1 T curry powder
4 fresh curry leaves
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup vegetable stock
1 cup red lentils
Cooking instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel and cut butternut into bite-sized cubes, then toss with olive oil and cloves crushed garlic. Roast for 40 minutes, or until tender.

Place chopped shallots in a pan with butter and a little drizzle of olive oil. Soften over a low heat for 5 minutes, then stir in curry powder and fresh curry leaves and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add coconut milk, vegetable stock and red lentils and gently simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked. Serve hot with the caramelised butternut

was very nice indeed

Next week Leaza has to make magic with pork – she is threatening pig’s ear but i am hoping for a pork roast.

we’ll see