Thursday, 28 July 2011

Without The Curry Boiled Rice Can Be Very Dull

Happy Thursday!
Wow - This week has gone by extremely quickly for me. Probably on account of the fact that I am actually willing time to go slower at the moment – I cant believe I get married in 2 weeks – ahhhhhhhh! We have most stuff sorted in terms of the wedding party (caterer booked, booze sorted, sounds system ok etc). The main problems are related to the actual wedding business – we still don’t have rings, Louis doesn’t have his suit, Louis URGENTLY needs a haircut etc etc. If you think I’m kidding I’m most definitely not – somehow we’re hoping it will all pull together – what can I say – we like to live on the edge!

All of this timing means Louis is off for his stag weekend tonight. They are all going on some barge trip through the Norfolk broads. The first night is a boys night out in Norwich, which will consist of beer, more beer and probably Spearmint Rhinos at a guess… ;). The second night one of my best friends (who is a boy so gets dragged on the stag do, instead of my hen do) will be cooking them all a gourmet meal. Since they are all male I’m guessing this will consist of steak, butter, potatoes and more butter. No matter how much of a butter convert I am these days I will never be able to enjoy it as much as Louis. He once used a whole stick (that’s 250g) to make a welsh rarebit sandwich for him and ONE other person. The downside of this story is they both got so ill they couldn’t go to the party they were meant to and had to stay put on the sofa. I kid you not.

Its also my Hen Do this Saturday – yippee!! My friends are doing a surprise thing, so I’m not really sure what to expect. The one thing I know is that me and my bridesmaids (shown above!) are starting at an all day breakfast joint in central London so I can kick off the evening with Eggs Royale and a Bloody Mary. I told you I was obsessed. Eggs are actually seriously one of my favourite foods – the only thing that really compares is Pad Thai and Goats Cheese Pizza, but neither of those feel like a very elegant thing to kick off a night with. Besides, ever since I’ve started making my own Pad Thai, cheap restaurant stuff hardly ever compares (how’s that for a brag!?). I make it loads healthier by increasing the egg and vegetables and using cabbage in place of the nutrient dead noodles – I am going to have to share the recipe soon.
For now though, I'm keeping it simple. As much as I love him, I do sometimes look forward to the nights Louis goes out of town. I can relax, cook what I want, watch what I want on telly and refuse to give a flying cr*p about the state of my hair, or the fact that I'm not wearing any make up or that my face has gone neon red from taking way too many liberties with the hot sauce.
Oh, who am I kidding ... I do all that anyway (Louis is a very lucky boy!). But I normally draw the line at dripping curry all down my top and not bothering to slurp up bits off my scarf deal with it responsibly until after Ive finished dinner.
The interesting though is that, although my solo table manners haven't improved any, over the past year my idea of the ideal 'for one' meal has changed considerably. I used to treat Louis going out as massive opportunity to just eat a low fat muffin and a gin and tonic for dinner. It was such freedom to be able to do that and not have Louis hanging over me saying 'You cant just have a muffin for dinner'. Now though - I just cant imagine doing it! For starters I really dont get how I would EVER have been full enough to sleep. Seriously - how did I ever do it!?
Don't get me wrong - I dont do anything too fancy when Louis goes out, even now. I do still like to keep it really simple and comforting cooking wise - but I just make sure Im eating something proper and not just thinly disguised sugar. On the other hand I also make sure I treat myself to more than the standard default egg or sardines meal.
Today I also felt the urgent need to get both some protein and some vegetables in my comfort food. I wasnt really intending to confess this, but all I ate at work today was 2 giant Nana's cookies and 2 pints of full fat milk... I have literally been the worst nutritionist ever! In my defence I was in and out of meetings and the cookies were all I had on hand. I also drank the ton of milk to keep my blood sugar regulated, keep me full (most importantly!), give me lots of easily utilised calcium and keep my general calorific levels in the normal range. It's weird how filling milk is! Anyways stuff like that happens sometimes, and I'm definitely not going to lose sleep over it - but I was determined to have a balanced comforting dinner - not just another full on carb binge! I also wanted something quick. After wandering round the supermarket for about 20 minutes I eventually decided on one of my other default, indulgent dinner - Green Curry.
I don't know about you but I love Green Curry. I have also found it to work really well with my body - its another thing I just feel good after eating! The Weston Price Foundation is very big on coconut milk. Apparently, the medium chain saturated fats found in coconut are only available in coconut and human breast milk and are considered to have anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. The fats are also extremely easily assimilated by the body to be used as an energy source and are even considered by many to raise the bodies metabolism (in a similar way to how protein does!).
Now homemade curry is always best, but I couldnt quite face doing something that prescriptive or time consuming. I therefore picked up some of the sauce shown below and heated it up with a big bag of steamed broccoli florets and about 100g of cooked chicken. I added some chicken stock at the end, just to bulk it out a bit and served with some fresh parsley (I'm just starting to realise how amazingly healthy parsley is!), and a ton of hot sauce.
Above is a photo of the Lloyd Grossman sauce I used. The ingredients aren't the greatest in the world (too much sugar!) but at least they are pretty pure and by buying the chicken separately I got to make sure it was free range. I also got to add in more vegetables than I would have found in any pre-prepped soup. Now I didn't have any rice with this, since I was already pretty generous with the grainss today. (Having studied some stuff today about the oxolates in rice and the phyates in wheat inhibiting calcium absorption I decided maybe it was time to give myself a grain break with at least one meal today :) )
BUT I did use the whole jar, plus 100g of chicken and about 300g of vegetables - so the meal was not small by any standards. I cannot wait until I have my new phone so I can actually take pictures of this stuff! Suffice to say it filled 2 giant mugs and I am VERY full right now. Coconut milk is filling at the best of time and made into a mega serving soup it is really something! :) The only downside to all of this is I was going to have my own private dance party, with music I cant listen to when Louis is here... but I think I might need to stay put with a herbal tea and the telly for a while. At least I know I'll sleep well! :)
I feel a Sex and the City re-run session coming on....
Do any of you have default meals you go to when time is short? Have you got any that you find particularly comforting? And are you a green curry fan?

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