Monday, 10 December 2012

Shrimp curry!

I've had a bit of a hiatus from blogging, but I'm back with a lot of stuff to post, as over the past few months I have been cooking and baking and reading lots!

To start, I thought I'd post a recipe given to me by my friend Tara at Eat, be and see. By teegee.
She cooks some pretty darn good Indian stuff, and when she told me all about her shrimp pineapple curry, I knew I just had to make it.

I bought some fresh shrimp (prawns) from the farmers market, but was running out of time to use it, and I didn't have all the ingredients, so I left out the pineapple, curry leaves, asafoetida and cilantro. It was still pretty damn delicious though...I cant wait to try it with everything, to make it that little bit more mouthgasmic. :D

Served with fluffy basmati rice

Saturday, 6 October 2012


Feast your eyes on this! That is a "sandwich" made of fat bread (i.e bread whose calories come mostly from fat - the good kind in macadamia nuts, coconut oil and egg yolks), with some lamb salami I picked up from a music festival of all places, and raw cheddar cheese from the farm me and my mum visit. Put together, it created this sandwich of awesomeness. Actually tasted like it looks. Even better in fact!

The 'bread' recipe comes from Richard Nikoley at Freetheanimal. I made it exactly as is. Genius. Pure genius.

Don't forget a thick layer of butter!

Other sandwich ideas I'm planning on trying - chicken salad, BLT, beef/horseradish... :)

Seriously, go make it now!

Friday, 3 August 2012

"There is no death, only a change of worlds" (Duwamish)

After a long hiatus (where I was in the US for a month), I am finally back in London, ready to blog more!
There were many experiences I'd like to share here , but if I had to limit it, I'd limit it to the animal slaughter I was present at, as it was something I particularly wanted to share, and also something that will especially be appreciated by real foodies.

So a neighbour farm to where I was volunteering were slaughtering two of their lambs one day, and I, along with a few others also at the farm decided to head over to witness it. It was a hot sunny day like any other, and about 15 or so of us were in a grassy field surrounded by trees. The lamb was led to a pen where it was lain on it's back by Augustine, "the guy with the knife", who was to make the cut (sheep get really docile when on their backs).  Augustine was the perfect person for the job, he was clearly an animal lover, but also one who realized this was a part of the circle of life...humans eat meat, and therefore animals must die. And when we die, our bodies are recycled back into the earth which nourishes the grass which nourishes the herbivores that we eat. This cycle is part of a much larger cycle that is essential to our ecosystem and Mother Earth. And whatever qualms one might have with killing animals, etc, this is a fact which cannot be denied. Before being cut, the animal was thanked for the sustenance it was to provide. After sharing the experience, my friend Mike made this comment which I thought was insightful and beautifully said :

"It reminds me of the ritual that was performed whenever a Native American would take one of its brothers or sisters of the wild to feed his tribe. He would place his hand on the animal as it was on its way out and lovingly say something along the lines of, "Dear brother (or sister) I thank you for your life which will now be used to sustain the lives of my family. As you know, the cycle must go on. Nothing of your corpse will be laid to waste. When you find your spirit in the form of a human and I find mine in the form of a buffalo, I will give myself to you as you have given yourself to me." 

As the animal bled, it did not look as distressed or in pain as I imagined - I would say it was certainly humanely done. While the lamb lay, everyone was silent; a few of us in the pen rested our hands on it's warm body and a few cried. Even as someone who eats meat and who finds nothing inherently wrong with killing animals for food, this was still an intense and powerful moment, and I felt like I was taking part in something much bigger than myself. It also reminded me why I do my utmost to avoid supporting conventionally raised meat. This was the slaughter of animals who were well taken care of and loved. It wasn't about efficiency or supremacy (i.e "we are humans and we're better so we can do what we want"). It honestly felt like we were all equal. Animals, humans, the earth  - we're all in this together. The concept of 'death' was also different - rather than being a horrible negative thing (as many of us in the west are led to believe), it was clear it was a natural part of life, one which needn't be feared. You can't have life without death, and this experience was a poignant reminder of this.
 When the second lamb was brought out, we sang 'The river she is flowing' as it took its final breaths...

The river she is flowing, flowing and growing
The river she is flowing, down to the sea.
Mother, carry me, your child I will always be
Mother, carry me down to the sea

Finally, the lambs were hung from some trees, and we set to work skinning and gutting them. The strong smell of the fat lingered in the air (not an unpleasant smell), and we all played 'guess the organ' as we found the good stuff. The intestines (which took up a large part of the inside of the carcass) were set aside to be thrown away, and great care was taken not to perforate them (or the smell would have been a lot worse than it was!).   Finally the heads were removed (the brain was to be used to tan the hides), and the carcasses wrapped up to be hung and then butchered.
         Once the lamb became a carcass, it didn't seem so 'real', and it was much less emotional, though of course the previous events were still fresh in our minds. In a way, it is a shame most of us buy our meat all cut and wrapped up, so it's hard to imagine the life of the animal, how it died, what it was fed, and the impact of everything from beginning to end.  It makes us very disconnected to our food, , but I guess that's an  inevitable part of modern city life, and the luxury of convenience. But even if we can't always have  one on one experiences such as this, we can think and question and make choices, whether we live on a farm or in a city, and I am very thankful for that.

The hide

I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to experience this, and it definitely made me feel more connected to nature and where my food comes from. I would highly recommend anyone  to take an opportunity like this if it ever arises!

I am sharing this on Fight back friday

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Week 3/Foood

So, I kinda failed in my 'weekly updates', but I blame lack of a stable internet connection and exams! Nevertheless my food for the last two weeks was pretty much similar to week one.. I took a pic of some of the stuff I ate...

"It takes 40 muscles to frown, but only 12 to shove some chicken and rice in your mouth and get over it"

primal lemon curd - egg yolks, butter, lemon juice/zest and a touch of honey

mackerel and cortido

Technically this was supposed to be a 4 week experiment, but I sort of splurged on icecream and chocolate after my exam. However, after a few bites of over sweet stuff, and realizing it really wasn't worth it, I'm back to primal eating.
So how did it all go? Well pretty good. I'm glad I decided to be more strict diet-wise, and I know the benefits to me, so there won't be many lapses in the future! Also, 'the pain' as I have now started to refer to it did not come back when I was eating well, and taking care of myself.  This was just a reminder to myself that I shouldn't take health for granted, and that my chosen 'lifestyle choices' as my friend's refer to it are important to my well being. I encourage everyone to do their own 'experiment' - just take a few weeks, to be very strict health wise - so eat well, exercise, sleep well, reduce stress via meditation or other means, and just see how it feels. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Week one of 'diet experiment'

So it's been one week since the start of my lil experiment.
 Here's my food diary for the week:

Fri - grassfed beef top round, strawberries, an avocado,  organic elderberry syrup (low sugar)
Sat - 1 tbsp raw honey, rare grassfed beef top round with some suet, ginger and spring onions, 1 small avocado, handful strawberries
Sun - ground beef/lamb with spices, onions, garlic and peas, with some white rice
Mon - meat stew (oxtail, lamb breast and neck cooked in red wine with garlic and sprouted cabbage tops), grassfed beef top round, a bit of vanilla yogurt (grass fed unhomogenized guernsey milk), spicy mackerel cooked in coconut oil, elderberry syrup
Tues - small amount of basmati rice, spinach chicken curry, handful of blueberries
Wed - leftover meat stew, plain yogurt with some maple syrup, blueberries, strawberries, choc pudding (almond butter, avocado, cocoa powder, brown rice syrup)
Thurs - leftover meat stew, spicy mackerel in coconut oil, curtido, strawberries, almond butter
Fri - mackerel, curtido, strawberries, blueberries, primal lemon curd, whey

So, I think I did ok this week. Not perfect. But not bad either. I ate lots of berries, because my mum kept getting cheap organic fruit on offer for me, and we had a bit of a heatwave, and I like to eat berries frozen :)
Wednesday was a bit of a fail, as I had an exam and when I came home just wanted to treat myself (also had a ton of avocados that needed using up hence the pudding!). The elderberry syrup is also there as I came down with a sore throat and some sniffles (first time in a long time! Worst timing ever though :/)

I tracked everything on cronometer and here some important stats for my average daily intake:

Calories - 1267 net
Fat - 68g
Protein - 100g
Carbs - 62g
Sugar - 22g
Fiber - 8.5g

Calories are pretty low, but fiber is a bit higher than I would have liked, as is sugar (due to the fruit). Next week I'll work on lower fiber, slightly less protein, more fat and less sugar!

What differences have I noticed so far?

- A flatter stomach. It was amazing, I noticed a flatter stomach in the first few days and even after meals, as I was eating less in one go.
-My sleep was also slightly improved. Unfortunately I started this at the same time I came on with a bit of a sore throat/stuffy nose, but even then my sleep was pretty darn good

Friday, 18 May 2012

Diet experiment

I have decided to do a lil dietary experiment, suggested by a friend of mine. We are going to eat only animal foods for 4 weeks or so (though I won't be as strict - see below).
I've been slacking a lot with my diet recently, and I haven't seemed to have been able to get away with it, so I think it's good for me to do this experiment. I've been meaning to do it for a while actually, but finally decided to actually take the plunge! Plus doing it with someone makes it a lot easier.

Now I don't know if the time I have chosen to do this is the most ideal. I have exams coming up, and finish on June 8th. On the one hand I have no time to make extravagant meals or do baking, so I won't be doing that. But on the other hand, I'll be wanting 'treats' after a hard day of revision, plus I won't be able to stock up on grass-fed meat from the farmer's market as often. So I've decided to not be ultra strict with myself, but rather just focus on my main goals which are to:

-Drastically reduce carbs
-Eat more raw and fermented foods
- Limit fibre
- Avoid huge meals

So the foods I will allow myself in unlimited amounts : grass-fed beef and lamb, lamb liver, hearts, beef marrow bones, raw eggs, raw milk (fermented)

However, I will also allow myself some vegetables, low sugar fruits (berries) and coconut oil, in order to maintain variety and improve taste.  If I absolutely can't resist, I will also allow myself limited quanitites of white rice (a pretty much benign starch), BUT only once or twice a week, after a workout, and only 50g carb worth.

Overall this will be a huge improvement on my dietary habits of late, and I'm hoping to see some benefits health wise. I'll do a weekly update, on what I've eaten and if I've noticed any changes. I'm looking forward to this!

Monday, 7 May 2012

And some people call them...PRIMITIVE

The other day I shared this picture on FB, which seemed to be slightly controversial with a friend of mine :P, who proceeded to list why this was misleading and untrue. I agree that  the picture was slightly oversimplified and idealistic, but i think it made some valid points and was a reminder that civilization and technology does not necessarily make us better off (and thus tribes/hunter gatherers are not 'backward' as the word 'primitive' implies).

Ok first, let's talk about stress. Do hunter gatherers constantly stress about where their next meal is coming from, and spend all their time hunting and foraging? I doubt it. Not all anyway. There seems to be evidence to suggest that  hunter-gatherer tribes in the past actually had an abundance of food, as do many tribes currently living their traditional ways. Food abundance was probably more common in the past - until overpopulation and exhaustion of resources led to agriculture ( it has been proposed that agriculture was borne out of desperation ). Granted, modern day hunter gatherers are suffering at the hands of fucking Monsanto and greedy westerners who are destroying their land. But the !Kung have been observed to only hunt for 3 hours a day and the rest of the day they talk, play, relax, etc. Three hour work days! Doesn't sound so stressful to me..
        Sure they may experience stress when they are actively hunting their food, but this is acute stress. They do not suffer from the chronic stress that is endemic in today's world where people constantly worry/stress about work, deadlines, traffic, their boss, their social drama, etc etc. They also don't suffer the physiological stress most westerners suffer from late nights (disruption of the circadian rhythm) and a diet full of sugar and processed carbs. So I would say that actually tribes-people have MUCH less stress than many westerners.

So what about the bombs, prisons, crime, war? Yes violence in hunter gatherer societies is common. Yes the homicide rate millions of years ago was much higher than it is now (and in fact that rate probably contributed to their low life expectancy, so anyone who says we shouln't eat a high fat meat rich diet as our ancestors died at a young age...there ya go! )). They didn't have full scale war though as human density was pretty low.  But who's to say that was better or worse than todays war/genocide? It may happen less now than it did then, but it still happens. Some evidence suggests violence was an integral part of our evolution, and perhaps violence is just part of the human condition. Something not even 'civilisation' can eradicate.

- Junk food? What?! Sure, if you take some hunter gatherers and give them a bunch of burgers and fries when they're hungry they will probably eat it, as they don't know about trans fats, preservatives, refined sugar, wheat flour etc. They simply do not have junk food available to them. In the paleolithic area it didn't exist. Therefore they are way healthier than most westerners by the fact they eat natural REAL food humans are designed to eat. Simples.

- External debt? Yeah, tribes live within their own small communities and as a result don't worry about external debt. Or money. Pretty straightforward.

- No pollution. No argument there. Tribespeople live in remote clean untouched areas of the world (well some do anyway). Thousands of years ago, the entire Earth was pollution free. Humans now have destroyed most of it. But I'm sure most would agree a beautiful green clean earth would be a nicer place to live than a smoky polluted chemical filled, grey one, no?

-And finally poverty. Yes, it's hard to define poverty. The argument was that hunter gatherer tribes live a much harder life than the poorest person in a city. As I have stated earlier, I don't agree this is always the case. Furthermore, it has been shown (and it makes sense) that if one has enough food to eat, a shelter, and a strong supportive community, material wealth does not increase happiness. So tribes who have this would be much better off than some homeless inner city drug addict. Also, ever heard of journalists going to remote places in Africa where the kids are the happiest they've ever seen despite having much much less than the average westerner? And look at the west;  depression among adolescents is the highest it's ever been. Hmm, something to think about no?

In summary, I believe that a traditional hunter gatherer lifestyle and a modern day western lifestyle both have their benefits and drawbacks. Sure I appreciate technology and the fact I am much less likely to be killed today than millions of years ago, as well as the fact if I got a nasty infection or I accidentally cut off my hand, I'm more likely to survive than die. But our bodies have not evolved as fast as civilization. Some modern tribes and our hunter gatherer ancestors enjoy(ed) fresh air, the outdoors, a healthy diet and less chronic stress. So yes, in some ways they are luckier than us. I try to live my life taking advantage of modern inventions (due to necessity or preference) while appreciating the need to enjoy nature, sleep well, take time to relax and enjoy things I like, and eat a "human appropriate" natural diet. Perhaps embracing the 'best of both worlds' instead of completely lambasting one or the other, would do many of us good..

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Roast potatoes and greens from the farm

 So the other day me and my mum went to this farm we frequently visit - Plaw Hatch. They are a raw dairy farm (they produce and sell unpasteurised milk, cream, cheeses as well as pasteurised products like yoghurts). They also grow plenty of vegetables, have chickens for eggs, and sell meat from their sister farm. So our day trips consist of admiring the beautiful countryside, grabbing a coffee somewhere, and buying loads of good local food (also, did i mentioned they are BIODYNAMIC?! :D). 

Today, I used some of their produce to create this simple but tasty dish. I halved some potatoes and roasted them in the oven with ghee, then topped with some black pepper cheese, swiss chard and wild garlic sauteed in ghee, and chopped chives and parsley. Add some seasoning and viola! Good eatin' ;). All ingredients in this dish were from the farm (apart from the butter which was from a farm nearby).

We were admiring their baby strawberry plants, and they were kind enough to give us two for free! The start of my summer fruit/veg garden :)

This beautiful vibrant flower was shot at the garden centre where we had our coffee.

Have a wonderful day :)

I'm submitting this to Real Food Wednesdays and Fight Back Fridays

Saturday, 10 March 2012

It's 5am and I got some deep stuff to talk about.

I went through a bit of a health scare yesterday/today. Ok maybe that's a bit dramatic. But it's been painful and uncomfortable and annoying. I had bad cramps which developed into lower left back pain that was similar to these bouts I had a couple of years back. I was never really diagnosed though my primary doc thought it might have been small kidney stones that resolved on their own. I was eating zero carb at the time and not drinking enough water, and eating too much dairy, so after eating some more carbs, drinking more water and sticking to high fat dairy only, it never happened again. (until POSSIBLY now, though  i don't know for sure). Anyway, during my worst pain, I started thinking..."wow we so take our health for granted when we're healthy"....or at least I do. I looked back on some things that happened recently that stressed me out, and thought...everything passes, everything changes. Some things are just not worth fretting over. One needs to focus on the important things :health, happiness, love, friends/family...
And as one who truly believes psychological stress/pain can manifest as physical health problems, avoiding negative emotions and stress is very important.

Anyway I'm still in a little pain. It's 4:30am in London town and I'm sitting at my computer desk listening to soul and typing away as quietly as I can, with a hot water bottle tucked between my back and the chair. But I'm feeling really happy. In a weird "I'm still a bit uncomfortable and I wish I was asleep, but am also feeling pretty amazing" kinda way.

I've vowed to never take my health for granted, and to be grateful each and every day that i am alive, and healthy. I have been a bit slack with my diet lately (overeating, especially on treats that although may be much healthier for you, are probably not good on a regular basis), and i haven't been meditating or spending time in nature etc as much as i want. I'm going to start focusing on living a much cleaner life now. I hope this feeling I'm feeling right now can be maintained. I'm sure I'll slip up sometimes. I'm only human. But I'll try, baby, oh yes I will. Because the pain of discipline is much better than suffering the pain of regret. (ofcourse this phrase doesn't apply to absolutely everything in life ;) )

And even if you are not fully healthy, you are alive. And living. You're able to read this post right now. Things could be so much worse. Negative thinking never got anyone anywhere, and it's a total waste of time. Sometimes we focus so much on what may be wrong or what we don't like, realizing life is all about balance. There are tons of  good things to focus on, we just need to find them! All of us have something to be grateful for, whether it's that we feel no pain in this very moment, that we can see and appreciate the lovely yellow daffodils that are springing up everywhere, that we have people in our lives we can count on, that we have a roof over our head and food to eat, etc etc..

Happiness is everything. What's life without it? I hope you, dear reader, can feel as blessed and grateful and wonderful as I am right now. Take care of yourself. Pass on the trans fat laden fries and sugar/wheat-bombs that is cake. You're better than that shit and you know it. Get away from that computer for a while. Go and appreciate the beauty of this world...the wonderful trees that try to keep our atmosphere clean, the colourful daffodils and roses and tulips and buttercups, the salt sea mist, the wide ocean, the wonderful animals and wildlife that coexist with us on this magnificent planet. Listen to your favourite music. Dance like no-one is watching, even if they are. Call your best friend/your sister/brother/mother/father and tell 'em how much you love them. Or better yet go hang out with them. Go study/work on that project you've been meaning to do instead of procrastinating, and reward yourself with a wholesome, happy thing/treat afterwards. Achieve your goals and dreams. Don't wait till tomorrow. Do it now. There ain't nothing you can't achieve. Quit makin' excuses. You can fucking do it. 

 Be healthy and happy and grateful, and realize that you are awesome. You ↓ and you ↑ and you → and you ← and you ↗ and you ↘ and you ↗ and even you!↙ 

It's past 5am, I'ma listen to this, then this and try and get some shut eye now.

Happy whatever-the-fuck-this-day-is, friends! :)

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The girl who silenced the world at the UN for 5 minutes

I cam across this video recently. This young girl speaks about the earth and the environment, sharing, poverty, and greed.. It's quite saddening as you realize what has become of the world, but also inspiring. It's a wonderful speech. If only there were more people like her. If only more people listened to her.

Treat the Earth well ; it was not given to you by your ancestors, it was loaned to you by your children" - Native American proverb.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


The other day I went to the farmers market to pick up  bunch of grassfed meat and veggies. At the veggie stall, as I hauled my load of onions, squash, brussels sprouts and parsley to the front to pay, the guy asked me if I wanted a bag, as he picked up a nice cloth tote bag with the words "wonderful and wise" and a picture of a rainbow of vegetables on it. "Is it free?" I asked (not wanted to spend money on a bag I didn't really need). "yes! It is! No-one believes us" he joked. So i took the bag and headed home with my yummy food.

Upon further inspection of the bag, I noticed it urged me to search the words "wonderful and wise", so i googled the term expecting some wholesome, crunchy company with good values and ethical concerns at heart.

How wrong was I.

Turns out "wonderful and wise" is an ad campaign by Lurpak for their new 'Lurpak lightest', a low-fat spread with the following ingredients. Butter (27%), water, vegetable oil (19%),  lactic culture, milk protein, salt (1%) , preservative (potassium sorbate).

Their advert  shows lots of fresh vegetables and real food, with the Lurpak lightest at the end. At first I was confused. How on earth are they linking fresh veggies with a fake processed food made with vegetable oil?! Vegetable oil being a highly processed item made by subjecting seeds to high heat and pressure, chemical solvents (including hexane), bleaching, deodorization, and other unnatural horrible processes that render the fat toxic and foreign to the human body. They are trying to equate this crap to food that is wholesome and healthy so people think that this spread is healthy. Such deception!! Real butter, full of vitamin A, E and K, carotenoids, healthy cholesterol, saturated fat, butyric acid, etc is healthy. Fake processed low fat spreads with only a tiny bit of butter? Far from it!

The second thing that outraged me (even more than the above since I know food companies lie all the time), is that Lurpak had the nerve to advertise their crap in my local farmer's market?!! It's insane. I go to farmer's markets to avoid greedy/selfish/lying food companies, advertising and mass produced food. Yet here, my market has sneakily been infiltrated by the very company farmer's markets are supposed to stand up against. 

I decided to email LFM (London Farmer's Markets, which many markets in London belong to), outlining my feelings on the matter, in the hope others will contact them too, and they can make a move to get rid of this type of product placement. I've copied my email here below.  I would urge anyone else in London to contact LFM and make your opinion heard!

I am emailing about a cloth tote bag I got for free at one of the london farmer's markets. The bags say "wonderful and wise" on them, with the instructions to search the words. So when i got home I googled "wonderful and wise" and was disappointed to see it was an ad campaign for Lurpak low fat spread. I think this flies completely against the face of what LFM stands for - local REAL food. I am very disappointed that you would allow such companies to infiltrate London's wholesome grassroots farmers markets, and I am sure many LFM customers would agree. Would you please look into removing this blatant product placement from your markets, so Londoners do not lose faith in the local/organic/ethical food movement. I avoid supermarkets to avoid being bombarbed with industrial, processed 'food', so please don't bring it to the farmers markets.

Thank you

UPDATE! - I received this reply:

Thank you for your email.
We didn't give Lurpak permission to give out their bags, the company
approached farms directly so the first we saw of it was when they
appeared at market at the weekend. It goes without saying that we will
be having words with whichever marketing company approached our stall
holders and we certainly don't  want to see them on stalls again,

(name omitted)
London Farmers' Markets

So it looks like it wasn't LFM that condoned this but some of the farms instead! That's even more worrying to be honest. Nevertheless, it looks like LFM are taking care of it! :D
(linked at kelly the kitchen kop)

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Super Duper Fat-bomb Ice-cream

Fat is where it's at.

So I found this recipe over at Whole Intentions a while back and thought it looked too good to be true. Ice-cream made of just butter, eggs and coconut oil?! No way can that be legit. But it was. There's pictures and everything! And I'm sure you'll agree it looks marvelous.

One problem though.

When I finally got round to making it I failed abysmally. Okay well it wasn't exactly 'abysmal'. But it certainly didn't look as good as Paula's. It was grainy and clumpy and not smooth at all :(. It did taste good though.  The first time I made it, the fat probably got too cold too quick because it started to clump in the blender. The second time I mixed it manually and it still came out grainy. Not one to give up I just had to try it a third time. But with one change. Instead of using whole eggs I used just yolks (something I contemplated doing before I ever made it, as you can see from the comments). And it worked a whole lot better! A lot smoother and creamier.  Now don't be fooled, this isn't exactly like regular cream based icecream. But it's definitely a good substitute, especially if you're want something higher fat (keto icecream!) or are on a diet that restricts dairy proteins. I still want to have a few goes at the original recipe (maybe blend for longer?) as I really want to achieve Paula's results. But for now, this will do :)

Super duper fat-bomb ice-cream (don't you just love this name? :P)

3 T coconut oil
1.5 T butter
2 egg yolks
stevia to sweeten
fresh vanilla seeds
rice syrup (optional)

1. Melt butter and coconut oil. Let cool to room temperature (so as not to cook the eggs)
2. In a seperate bowl whisk the egg yolks then pour in the fat and mix till emulsified
3. Add stevia and vanilla, then freeze (I froze mine directly in the bowl) for a few hours
4. Let thaw slightly and enjoy (topped with syrup if you want)

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy new year and Fooooood

Happy new years! :D
Oh wow, has time flown. My two much appreciated weeks off for christmas are over, and I spent most of the time enjoying time with friends and family, cooking, eating and learning. Not a bad end of the year! ;)

Now I'm not one to make new years resolutions. The way I see it, if you want to make a change in your life, do it NOW, don't wait till the next year! On the other hand I suppose a new year sort of feels like a fresh a new period of time...where some people find it easier to forget about previous habits and start afresh. Plus since lot's of other people are making changes I guess it's easier to run with the crowd.

That said, December was a pretty 'let-myself-go' month, Diet-wise, fitnesss-wise, and productivity-wise.
So I'm back on the bandwagon this week..hoping to get stronger, burn some fat, get a little bit closer to my dreams and goals, do some more travelling, do more exciting stuff, meditate more, start yoga, get my knitting for charity project off the ground, paint more, get better at German, learn to drive...and...gosh that's a helluva lot right there! But yeah, I have a lot to achieve. There's no time limit, so I'm taking each day as it comes.

I'll start this year off by posting my Christmas dinner meal and  some treats I made during the last days of 2011. Treats that  I probably won't be indulging again for a while, but that were definitely worth it. :D

First.. Christmas dinner, which was a little different this year. I found a Jamie Oliver recipe for 'empire roast chicken' months ago which made my mouth water so much I had to save it to make for a special occasion. Here is the recipe used. Instead of a whole chicken I used chicken legs, a partridge and a pheasant! Paired with spicy 'bombay' potatoes and an indian style sweet and spicy gravy, it was the perfect feast for 8 hungry people.

During the holidays I also had another go at making a delicious Japanese fermented food. It involved culturing some rice with aspergillus oryzae bought from G.E.M cultures  to make koji. Then I used koji and some freshly boiled rice to make amazake, which is sweet and pudding like. The whole process seems long and complicated, but's pretty easy!

I used some of the amazake to make this 'quick' kheer which is an indian rice pudding flavoured with cardamom and saffron. My version uses rice couscous instead of regular rice (so ready in 5 mins!) and coconut milk instead of regular milk.
I simply boiled some homemade coconut milk (yes! By juicing fresh coconut in a champion juicer) with a few saffron threads and crushed cardamom, added a spoonful of amazake, some rice couscous, and boiled till soft. I finished if off by topping it with coconut cream that melted into the pudding. So good...

The other treat I made was a chocolate chestnut torte with my surplus of chestnuts. The original recipe calls for this to be baked, but I tried it uncooked (just putting it in the fridge to harden) and much preferred it this way..It was much more 'melt-in-the-mouth'.. No pics unfortunately as I was a greedy bastard and scoffed it for breakfast this morning..XD

50g dark chocolate (I used 82 %)
50g butter
50g whole chestnuts, boiled and mashed with a bit of water
1 small egg, seperated
1. Melt butter and chocolate together, and let cool
2. Add chestnut puree, sweetener and egg yolk and mix thoroughly
3. Beat egg white until stiff and fold through
4. Put in fridge for a few hours OR bake/steam for a warm cake.