August Whole30

I’ll admit it. Clean June was not 100% successful, but it wasn’t far off and I learned a lot. Firstly I hadn’t factored in how lazy I really am and secondly, unlike me, I really hadn’t planned enough. Fail to plan…… etc.

As I appear to have nowt better to do with my time, I’m taking on a Whole30 for August and I’m taking my long-suffering hubby with me.

“It’s only 30 Days. I can do anything for 30 Days.”

In simple terms, Whole30 is an ultra-strict version of Paleo which cuts out many of the foods known to produce blood sugar spikes, cause systemic inflammation, or otherwise have a negative impact on health . The basic structure is the same, just 100% compliant, not “80:20”.  After the 30 days of “elimination diet” certain foods can be reintroduced to check how they effect you, if at all. Fingers crossed dairy and white potatoes have zero impact on me and I can continue to enjoy both. Occasionally, in moderation of course 🙂

Yes, I’m aware that some people might say “What’s the harm in one glass of wine?” “I’ve eaten cheese/ bread/ sugar cubes for years and I’m fine!”Life is too short to deprive yourself by restricted eating”. But we are not talking about Life. We are talking about 30 days.

What stays the same:

  • Eat meat, seafood and eggs
  • Lots of veggies
  • Some fruit
  • Plenty of good fats
  • No processed foods
  • No SWYPO, Paleo-ized foods e.g. fake pizza, fake cake etc.
  • No grains or legumes
  • No added sugar
  • No vegetable oils, inc. corn, safflower, sunflower etc.

What changes, for us:

  • No dairy
  • No alcohol (sob…)
  • No sugar of any kind, including honey
  • No soy (we’re quite minimal on this already – but coconut aminos is ridiculously expensive)
  • White potatoes (currently subject of hot debate in the Paleo community, but we’ll omit it to avoid temptation in the form of the chip)

Things I need to do:

  1. Write up meal plan for 2 weeks
  2. Make a plan for days 4-7 which, I’ve read, is the period I will want to KILL ALL THE THINGS!
  3. Create shopping list
  4. Go shopping
  5. Schedule a prep day Saturday or Sunday to get as much as possible ready

We’ll officially start Saturday 2nd and end Sunday 31st August 🙂

Easy Summer dinner

Super-chuffed with this picture 🙂 ]

Too hot to cook last night, but had nothing prepped in the fridge so went for minimal effort.

Crispy skinned, oregano chicken with a rocket and pecorino salad spritzed with fresh lemon to serve. Lush 🙂

 

This week’s menu – 25 July 2014

Just when things start getting back to normal, it’s time for a week of Meals for One 🙁

  • Pork scaloppini with agro dolce sauce, green beans and cauliflower
  • Chicken paillard with rocket and parmesan salad
  • Maple chilli pork with zoodles for One
  • Discovery Chicken with broccoli for One
  • Pina Colada Chicken for One
  • Leftovers potluck

Aioli

Aioli, or allioli, was the staple food during my short trip to Ibiza. I like to think the garlic content off-set the effects of too much sun and gin, as well as deterring the mozzies. It’s a little hard to get hold of in the UK; Morrisons is supposed to stock ‘Chovi’ Allioli but I’ve yet to find it in my local stores. Most supermarkets’ versions are actually mayonnaise with garlic added. Not the same and no where near as punchy as the Catalan version which just combines crushed garlic, salt and olive oil.  The Provençal version also includes egg yolk to give a slightly thicker texture, but still it’s garlic in the lead role.

 

This is my current favourite version to make:

3 cloves garlic, crushed to a smooth paste with a pinch of flaked salt. Add an egg yolk and a splash of cold water, stirring to combine. Now slowly trickle in up to 200ml olive oil until a nice thick consistency is achieved. Check for seasoning and add more salt to taste. Voila!

This week’s menu – 20 July 2014

Back from hols and business trips, so both in need of a clean up.  No junk, no boozing and no passive smoking.

  • Pork shoulder chops, coleslaw and aïoli dressed salad
  • Fish curry with roast cauliflower
  • Pesto chicken with greens
  • Braai chicken w/ mixed bean pesto salad and baked sweet potato

‘Nduja Uova in Purgatorio

One of my best finds on our recent food market-crawl of London was a chunk of ‘nduja sausage made by British Artisan Charcuterie makers Cannon & Cannon.

The salamis we bought at the same time were consumed over a few days of VERY restrained pre-dinner nibbles, but this had a higher calling.

‘Nduja is a spicy, spreadable pork sausage normally from Calabria, Italy rather than Dorset, GB 🙂  It can be eaten as-is but when cooked it melts down and melds with the other ingredients, releasing its spicy oils. In the past I’ve had it on pizza (long time ago) and seen it in pasta recipes or simply spread on bread, but I wanted to be able to enjoy it without suffering with a carb-hangover for days later so a LCHF incarnation was required.

We went through a faze of having Chachouka on a regular basis, and hubby got sick of it,  so to re-introduce that kind of supper I bastardised a recipe for Uova in Purgatorio – translates as “Eggs in Purgatory” but I prefer to think “Egg in Mild-Peril” 🙂

To compliment the fennel seed and spicy, red pepper flavour in the sausage I made a rich tomato sauce with fennel. The crumbled sausage was mixed in and the hot ragù topped with eggs.

London Food Marathon – Part 1

One week on and I’ve just about recovered from last weekend. As a surprise for our wedding anniversary, my wonderful husband had planned a trip around London to take in all the foodie spots I’ve been banging on about. See – he does listen! 🙂  Perfect timing as I’d been in a quandary about whether or not to attend a rather expensive food festival last month.

Over 100 photos later, here’s the summary:

Monmouth Coffee Company @ Borough Market – As is now tradition, we queued at Monmouth for their divine pour-over coffee and a free glass of Thames’ finest before heading into Borough Market. This is MY Disneyland 🙂 If we lived in London this place would ruin us. Bought some British charcuterie; a very soft ‘nduja, a red wine and rosemary salami and a goat salami from Cannon & Cannon (not much left now….) and some lovely grapes and apricots from one of the fruit vendors to munch on our treck.   Had a nose around Neal’s Yard Dairy shop – delightfully cool in there, with just the lightest whiff of cheese.

Paused at The Old Thameside Inn for an elevenses-half. Not the best pub in London, but certainly has a good spot for taking in the view. 

 

T-3

Yay! Only 3 days until I go off on hols !!!

To get in the mood I made another Spanish/ Catalan themed dinner, served with a rather nice Pinot Noir:

Suspect my actual holiday-eats will be NOTHING  like this 😉