Monday, 6 January 2014

Happy Happy Chef + A recipe for Creamy Chicken, Carrot and Leak Soup (Grain Free)

It's my 9th day without sugar (hooray!) and I have had a busy morning cooking and baking. First, I made my own almond milk using nuts I had let soak overnight. This was because it is an ingredient in what I made next, Danielle Walker's Grain Free Sandwich Bread:

Oh, I really love this bread. It smells delicious while it is baking and I love the taste and texture of it, especially when I toast a slice. I'm perfectly happy to not be able to have normal grain bread when I can eat this! My favourite thing is to put some butter and jam on top. I use a really good quality jam or you can make your own. 

Next up, I had the desire to make a chicken and leak pie (recipe down the bottom), so called my sister who is an expert in pies for a recipe. I made it grain free by using quinoa flour and gelatin to thicken it instead of wheat flour. Gelatin is so good for you so I'm quite happy with it and it turned out really well. Okay, I couldn't be bothered to make the almound flour pastry so I made it into a soup instead. But now that I know how to make it, next time I will make a larger quantity and make it into a pie. 

Oh, and last night I whipped up some homemade pesto in a food processor, using almonds instead of pine nuts and adding in avocado as well, then I stirred this through cooked chicken with some cream. I had peeled a zucchini into strips and sliced it to the size of fettucine, and used this as my "pasta" which I then stirred through. This worked out well! You can't taste the difference between zucchini and pasta when it is in sauce. Next up I'd like to experiment making "fettucine" carbonara...stay tuned. 

I am so happy now because all the recipes turned out so well. Making so many delicious recipes more than makes up for the fact that I am not eating sugar. If I can eat all these great things I don't care if I never get to eat sugar again. And guess what, I have noticed my skin is clearer from not eating sugar as well. 

Yesterday realised that this isn’t something I am just doing for 21 days…this is the way I want to eat for life. I feel a lot more free from compulsive eating now that I’m out of sugar’s “grasp”, so to speak. I’m not anxious about what I can eat. I’m not really having any sweet cravings, and if I do they are easily alleviated by a small amount of fruit or by tea. My love for cooking and baking is still being indulged as I try new dishes and creations. And in the future I will bake sweet treats but they will be just that – TREATS – not something I eat every day! More like a once every 1 or 2 weeks kind of thing that I can share with friends. Good quality dark chocolate is going to taste so much nicer when I have it less often and can really savour the bittersweet flavour. I’m looking forward to trying 85% Lindt!! 

Creamy Chicken, Carrot and Leak Soup (serves 1)

- 1 chicken thigh fillet
- 1 carrot
- 1 leak
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ~ 2 cups vegetable stock 
- 1 tsp gelatin
- 1 tablespoon quinoa flour
- 1/4 cup thickened cream (I'm sure coconut cream would work too if you can't have dairy)
- Salt & Pepper

- Put the chicken thigh fillet into a small saucepan and pour in enough stock to cover it. Bring to the boil then cover and let simmer until cooked. This takes about 15 minutes altogether. 
- Remove the chicken and let cool on a plate. Save 1/4 cup of the stock.
- Meanwhile, dice up the carrots and steam them in a covered microwave proof dish with 1/2 cm of water on the bottom, in the microwave for 2 minutes. Let drain. 
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Thinly slice the leak and dice the garlic, then saute in the oil until softened.
- Add the quinoa flour and stir to combine.
- Slowly add the stock and the cream, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
- Stir in the gelatin, letting simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken up. 
- Slice up the chicken.
- Finally, add in the carrot and chicken and voila!