Tag Archives: autoimmune

Whole30 Day Twenty: Spicing Up a Cold Day

Breakfast: Lamb Chops and Spinach with Aioli

I had some left over chops from last night for breakfast which I paired with steamed spinach. Luckily I also had some roasted garlic lemony aioli left over as well which was fabulous over the spinach. What an amazing breakfast!

Lunch: Boiled Eggs and Butter, Strawberries

Strawberries have been an exorbitant price lately, as high as $8 a punnet. I don’t like spending more than $4 for a large punnet but luckily today I found two punnets for $6 at Coles. It is unfortunate that I am not a massive strawberry fan, as they are one of the lowest carb fruits. I’m not sure why I think they are over rated, perhaps it is because they are either under-ripe when you need them, or over-ripe with mouldy ones on the bottom which have tainted the entire punnet. Maybe it’s because people seem to get so ridiculously excited about them that brings out my inner Debbie Downer. On the other hand it could have something to do with my brief teenage sojourn as a strawberry picker, where I managed to consume more than I put into the buckets, from which I was fired after a particularly awesome strawberry fight (which I totally won!).

Dinner: Massaman Curry (Beef, Pumpkin and Cashew)

I normally eat a lot of curries and predominantly Thai curries. My love affair with chillies becomes a marriage made in heaven when paired with the sweet-and-sour-and-saltiness of Thai food. Surprisingly my first curry attempt for the Whole30 was not an eye watering, nose running, brow perspiring spicy choice. Once again the weather has influenced my menu, and it being a cold day, I decided to do a melt in your mouth massaman curry.

I liked the challenges this curry raised. Firstly the meal choice was a decision made on the fly and I was going to need to prepare it quickly if it was going have enough time to simmer slowly for dinner. It was therefore impossible to source all the ingredients in time to make my own paste. I was going to have to cheat. This meant a trip to the local Thai grocery where I needed to find a Whole30 compliant paste. My normal emergency go-to curry pastes (Maesri) unfortunately contain both sugar and soybean oil. In the end, only one brand (Mae Ploy) had neither and fitted the Whole30 rules. Luckily it was one that I have had success with in the past, although it definitely needs some help to reach its full potential.

Secondly, peanuts which are such an integral part to massaman are a delinquent legume known to masquerade as a nut. This was easily resolved by substituting cashew nuts.

Thirdly, potatoes although technically Whole30 complaint, are very high in carbs in a dish already pushing nutritional boundaries. Therefore I decided to substitute pumpkin.

Finally, massaman usually includes sweetness from palm sugar which of course tops the list of Whole30 no-nos. This I hoped could be remedied by the use of the pumpkin, which should bring a little sweetness to the curry. I also decided to use lime juice instead of the traditional tamarind paste as it would have a little less tartness needing to be counterbalanced.

The end result was spectacular.

Recipe: Massaman Curry (Beef, Pumpkin & Cashew)

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Whole30 Day Fifteen: Blessed Lamb

Breakfast: Boiled Eggs, Mayonnaise, Berries

Breakfast was on the run today, so I ate some pre-prepared boiled eggs with salt, pepper and a spoonful of mayonnaise. A handful of berries helped my lunch box look a little more exciting.

Lunch: Asparagus with a Poached Egg and Dijonnaise

I have been jonesing for the Dijonnaise I made last week as part of Veal Scaloppini Dijonnaise. As I didn’t get home to have lunch until 2pm I wanted something pretty quick and easy, especially considering I would be starting dinner preparation in an hour! Within 10 minutes I was eating a nutritious satisfying lunch, made perfect by the sprinkle of tarragon which I added to the Dijonnaise.

Dinner: Lamb & Eggplant Stew

Lamb & Eggplant Stew
Lamb & Eggplant Stew

Tonight I made an Israeli dish that I used to like to make back in the days when I thought low fat was good! I ‘would use lamb leg instead of shoulder because it was less fatty (and let’s be honest less tasty!). What I adore about this casserole is once it is on, you simply walk away. I can only imagine that it is a perfect Sabbath meal.

I used potatoes tonight, as they are allowed in moderation on Whole30. However, pumpkin can be substituted on a LCHF or Paleo diet although there is a slight change to the cooking method.

The end result is not the most pretty dish, but instead a bowl of meaty juicy umami goodness. The ultimate for a cold winter’s night.

Recipe: Lamb & Eggplant Stew

Israeli Lamb & Eggplant Stew
Israeli Lamb & Eggplant Stew

Recipe: Jerusalem Lamb & Eggplant Stew

Jerusalem Lamb & Eggplant Stew
Jerusalem Lamb & Eggplant Stew

This is a traditional Israeli recipe which I have cooked many times, even substituting the lamb for pork, which I am sure is not very traditional!  What I adore about this casserole is once it is on, you can simply walk away and do whatever your heart desires for three hours. I can only imagine that this would be the perfect meal for the Sabbath.

I used potatoes in this instance, however pumpkin can be easily substituted to align with a LCHF or Paleo diet. However if you are using pumpkin there is a slight change to the cooking method.

This recipe amazes me because it has no liquids or oil added to it, yet at the end you have this amazing mess of falling apart lamb and collapsed vegetables bathing in their own juices.

Jerusalem Lamb & Eggplant Stew
Jerusalem Lamb & Eggplant Stew

The first time I made this dish I was convinced that everything was going to burn on the bottom of the pot, and weakly tried to console myself with the fact that eggplant is great when it’s charred! Because of the specific layering in the dish you will find that juices are quickly released to circumvent any danger to your meal or your cookware.

Ingredients

(6 servings)

  • 1 Kg boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed fatty bits, diced
  • 500 grams eggplant, sliced ​​thickness of 3 cm
  • 500 grams tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 500 grams red potatoes, peeled and diced medium (or pumpkin – see variation to method under Tips)
  • 6 large cloves of fresh garlic, sliced
  • 1 bunch of parsley, roots and tough stems removed, remaining stems and leaves cut into 5 cm pieces
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roots and tough stems removed, remaining stems and leaves cut into 5 cm pieces
  • 1 tbs mixed herbs
  • 2 tsp salt plus more to season to taste
  • Black pepper to season to taste

Method

  1. Arrange in layers – 1/3 of the amount of eggplant 1/3 of the tomatoes 1/3 of the potatoes in 1/3 of the herbs and the salt and 1/3 of the meat. Repeat two more times so that all the components are arranged in a pot.
  2. Cover and cook on the lowest heat for 3 hours. Do not open the lid or stir the pot.

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Jerusalem Lamb & Eggplant Stew
Jerusalem Lamb & Eggplant Stew
Lamb & Eggplant Stew
Lamb & Eggplant Stew

Tips

This is good to store in the fridge and can be reheated for 3 days. This freezes exceptionally well.

LCHF option – Use pumpkin instead of potato, but do not put in at the start. Instead add the pumpkin in the last half hour of cooking.

Nutritional information using potatoes can be found here

Nutritional information using pumpkin can be found here

Whole30 – Let the experiment begin

I’ve decided (bravely, naively, insanely?) to go onto the Whole30 program, in a effort to better understand if there are any foods that should be limited/eliminated from my diet increase overall well being. This is quite radical as unlike banting, it expressly forbids alcohol (and I am ashamed to admit it tobacco). Please expect my moods to fluctuate, or potentially deteriorate for the next 30 days!

I was going to start today, however I’ve decided to follow the book to the T as part of the experiment, and it recommends that one should begin with a 7 day meal plan, after which you can make it up as you go along providing you follow their basic Whole30 Program Rules. The 7 day meal plan requires some preparation the day before you start, hence the totally explainable delay tactics, honest! I’ve decided over the next 30 days to work on my general organisational skills, which the book seems to think is quite important for mental well being (de-cluttered mind). Thus, I have decided to embark on a new tact each week as I adjust to (survive) the program.

Week One: 7 day plan, follow the meal plan to a the lettter

This will include preparing food as suggested. I have to be honest I’ve never been one for following instructions, I prefer to wing it and when in doubt (usually at the point of trouble bordering on catastrophe) refer to instructions.

7 day meal plan

Week Two: Use Recipes from Whole30 and create own meal plan

Week Three: Create Own Recipes and Entertain

Week Four: Eat Out on Whole30

It is probably important to note that it is in fact a 30 day program, not a 4 week program. After the initial 30 days there are protocols about reintroducing the verboten foods and assessing how they impact on your body and whether you should continue to eat them, limit them, or restrict them from your diet all together.