RSS

Tag Archives: Free Range

Roast pork, slow cooker style

Slow cooked roast pork

Everyone has made roasts in slow cookers. It’s a fabulous way to make a delicious meal when you have a busy day ahead. And it’s so easy. After all, it’s just prepping the meat and veggies and dropping them into the slow cooker and letting the slow cooker do the work while you go off for the day. Easy peasy, right?

Today I wanted to share something simple with you. Brittany likes crispy potatoes. Who doesn’t? Problem is, the slow cooker doesn’t brown the vegetables. So here is what I did. I cut the soft crackling off the pork and allowed the pork to rest covered with aluminium foil. In a sauté pan, I rendered off the pork skin, making some crispy crackling.

What is a pork roast with out the crackling?

After I removed the crackling, I threw the potatoes in the pan and used the pork fat to brown the potatoes and bring in that delicious crunch. After I crisped up the potatoes, I used the left over juices to make a rich gravy.

It’s a difficult but delicious trade-off. Yum!

Ethically, I’ve used the whole cut, even the fat and juices. For the health conscious consumer like diabetics, pork fat is high in saturated fats and is not the best choices. There are may scientific links between saturated fats and cardiovascular disease. The choice to consume or limit your intake is ultimately yours. Generally I avoid it, but today, I indulged.

 

Advertisements
 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sago, Coconut Cream and Banana

Sago

Oh sago… Where have you been all my life? Seriously a simple, delicious dessert that everyone will love. Sago is made from the starchy pulp of a specific type of palm tree. Yup, starch. That makes sago about 90% carbohydrates, so be careful, diabetics.

[ Serves: 4 | Time: 60 Minutes | Cost: $4 ]
[ Joes Rating: 4.5 / 5 | My Rating: 5 / 5 ]

Ingredients

100 g dry sago
400 ml coconut cream
½ teaspoon stevia or 2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons coconut, shredded and toasted
2 tablespoons almonds, chopped and toasted

Method

  1. Put the stevia, sago and coconut cream in a pot and cook over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, stirring continually.
  2. Remove from the heat and place in the fridge until chilled.
  3. Serve with toasted nuts and coconut.

Yum, give me extra nuts and coconut!

Observations

  • I adore sago. No, I mean I REALLY adore it. I could eat it all day long. It’s so easy and so delicious. Ahh sago……. *drool*
  • Diabetic Note: Banana is always bad for me. When it comes into the equation, my blood glucose levels get crazy. Having said that though, my bloods handled this dish exceptionally well.
  • Ethical Note: I want to do some research about sago. I am not sure how sustainable the crop is. Many south-east Asian rainforests are torn down to make way for crops such as palm sugar. For now, the jury is out until I can find the time to research this further.

 

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Chicken, Chickpea and Pumpkin Middle Eastern inspired Curry

I can’t lay claim to having created this dish, as the original came from the Women’s Day fame.

Chicken, Chickpea and Pumpkin Curry

[ Serves: 4 | Time: 60 Minutes | Cost: $8 ]
[ Brittanys Rating: 4.5 / 5 | My Rating: 4.5 / 5 ]

Ingredients

1 small chicken, broken down into pieces (about 1kg worth)
3 cups pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1 onion, diced
1 can tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
1½ teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
toasted almond slivers for garnish

Spices

Method

  1. In a large saute pan, fry the onions in a little oil until translucent. Add the spices and garlic and cook until fragrant – about 30 seconds or so.
  2. Add the tomatoes to the pan and mix well. Add the chicken and chick peas and ensure they are coated in the mixture. Cook over a moderate heat with the lid on until the chicken is tender; about 15 minutes.

    Submerge the chicken in the sauce.

  3. Add the pumpkin and stir to mix everything well. Cook with the lid on until the pumpkin and chicken are cooked through. This may take another 20 or so minutes.

    Adding the pumpkin

  4. Garnish with toasted almonds and serve hot, with or without rice.

Observations

  • I adored the bold flavours of this dish. I am so used to Asian style curries that every now and then I will try a middle eastern curry and be blown away. The pumpkin is a winner in this dish and I think it won over Brittany too!
  • Brittany and I both adored the crunch of the nuts in the garnish. So much so that we ended up including a lot more than is strictly required for a garnish.
  • The sauce thickened up too much for me on a few occasions and I added a splash of water to it to keep it at the right consistency.

    when the sauce has reduced too much, add some water.

  • I used a whole size 10 chicken in this recipe. I broke it down into pieces and removed the skin from the larger pieces. This reduces the fat content and makes it a healthier meal without losing on taste.
  • Diabetic Note: There are about 15 grams of carbohydrates in the pumpkin but the rice, as always is a killer. There are around 45 grams of carbohydrates per 150 grams (about half a cup) of cooked rice. Watch your serving sizes to stay out of trouble.
  • Ethical Note: I won this chicken in a raffle and instead of roasting it, I broke it down to use it in this meal. I reserved the bones to make my own chicken stock. Sustainability sometimes requires thinking outside the box.
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Turkey English Muffins for Breakfast

I never usually buy commercial bread products. Mine are so much tastier and a darn sight better for me! Nevertheless, I have succumbed and bought a packet of English Breakfast Muffins. The reason behind this is to understand the texture and taste of them because I think my sourdough adventures will lead to a tastier home-made version sometime soon.

So my experiments begin. I must seek awesome ways of eating this delightful muffin. Is this awesome cleverly disguised as a breakfast dish? Id say so, but I may be biased.

Turkey English Muffins for Breakfast

[ Serves: 2 | Time: 15 Minutes | Cost: $5 ]
[ Joes Rating: 5 / 5 | My Rating: 4.5 / 5 ]

Ingredients

2 English muffins
100g turkey breast
2 organic free ranged eggs
1 tomato, sliced
2 cheese slices
handful baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cranberry jelly
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Slice all the ingredients ready for construction while the muffin is hot.
  2. Split the muffins in half at the join line and toast lightly.
  3. While the muffin is toasting, lightly scramble one egg in a bowl and pop it in the microwave oven for 30 – 40 seconds until cooked. 

    Quick method for light fluffy eggs

  4. Once the muffin has been toasted, spread mayonnaise on one half and cranberry jelly on the other. On the mayonnaise side, add the baby spinach, tomato, salt and pepper, turkey, cheese, egg and more salt and pepper. 

    Construction of a master piece.

  5. Devour immediately.

So yummy

Observations

  • This was so tasty and filling. Much happiness comes from such a complete breakfast!
  • A note about seasoning. If you noticed, I seasoned the muffin twice; on the tomatoes and on the eggs. I believe both require adequate seasoning to enhance their flavours. Do a blind taste test on a piece of tomato and a bit of egg both seasoned and unseasoned and you will understand my rationale behind this.
  • I’ve heard and read a lot of things both for and against microwaved proteins. I hardly ever use my microwave, but this 30 – 40 second zap for one egg produces light, fluffy eggs that are otherwise time-consuming and require a lot of clean up. My only word of caution is to not over cook the eggs in the microwave, unless you want rubber fighting weapons for comic skits.
  • Want a vegetarian version? Just leave the turkey off and perhaps substitute a lentil patty!
  • Diabetic Note: One of these muffins is within my carbohydrate budget. The protein from the turkey, cheese and egg (particularly the egg) keeps me full for hours. While you may be pushing the fats friendship from the egg content and cheese, all in all this is a pretty balanced and awesome breakfast!
  • Ethical Note: I used tomatoes from my garden. YAY! And with any luck, next time I write to you about English Muffins, it will be about my own home made sourdough version. Fingers crossed!
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Banana and Coconut Cream Custard

I stumbled across this wonderful recipe by Real Food Forager and was very eager to try something similar. I don’t know why I waited so long, to be honest. It should now be a part of our regular diet – it was just that good!

Silky, creamy and smooth – a perfect dessert.

[ Serves: 4 – 6 | Time: 30 Minutes | Cost: $4 ]
[ Joes Rating: 4.5 / 5 | My Rating: 5 / 5 ]

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas – puréed
1 can coconut cream – well incorporated ¹
4 free ranged eggs
2 tablespoons agave ²
2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon stevia

Method

  1. Mash and purée the banana in a blender until it is smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well aerated.
  3. Pour the mixture into a tart tray and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve hot or cold ³.

Creamy and delicious.

Observations

  • Note 1: The original recipe called for coconut milk and gave instructions on how to convert coconut cream into coconut milk. I opted to just use a tin of coconut cream and the results were delicious. If your coconut cream is solid in the tin, warm it until it melts and becomes incorporated.
  • Note 2: The original recipe uses four tablespoons of honey, however, I was concerned about the glucose content. I’ve altered it to be half agave and a little stevia to make up the sweetness required. The dish didn’t suffer for the substitutes. If you don’t have agave, you can use sugar, honey or just stevia as desired.
  • Note 3: The original recommended refrigerating the custard and serving it cold. We had some hot to taste test it (for research, I assure you!) and found it was moist and not all that appealing. When we set it in the fridge, the moisture seems to disappear and the texture and taste strengthens. Although it can be eaten hot, it is our opinion that served chilled is the only way to enjoy it.
  • Diabetic Note: There is always something about bananas that sets my blood glucose levels screaming. This dish, however, even when served with some low GI ice cream (Bulla lite brand) was ok. Watch the fat content of your coconut cream (I use a lite variety), the sugars (see note 2) and serving size as there is plenty of sugar in the bananas.
  • Ethical Note: These bananas were well past their prime and were due for the compost heap. Even so, they were perfect in this dish.

Served chilled with low Gi Ice Cream – a diabetics dreams come true.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stuffed Chicken Thigh

Every now and then, Joe cooks dinner. I always enjoy a night off and I adore the amount of effort he puts into his cooking. He spends days (yes, days) researching what he wants to make, watches a dozen or two youtube videos on the techniques used and makes a deal out of shopping for his ingredients. It’s like a dinner AND a show when Joe cooks.

I have asked him to blog this himself, but he is a little shy. So, I’ll do it for him. I bring you, Joes Stuffed Chicken Thighs. (I mean, he stuffed the chicken thighs. Not that he has stuffed chicken thighs…)

Joes Stuffed Chicken Thighs

[ SERVES: 4 | TIME: 60 MINUTES | COST: $15 ]
[ JOES RATING: 5 / 5 | MY RATING: 5 / 5 | BRITTANYS RATING: 5 / 5 ]

 Ingredients

4 free ranged chicken thigh fillets
1 cup breadcrumbs 
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped coarse
1 cup dried cranberries
½ brie wheel
2 eggs
Butchers String

Method

  1. In a bowl, mix the nuts, cranberries and wedges of brie cheese.
  2. Lay the chicken fillet on a board with the smooth side down. Cut into the flesh with a sharp knife but do not cut all the way through. Push the cheese and nut mixture into the cut lines of the chicken thigh before rolling up and tying up tightly with butchers string.
  3. Beat the eggs in a bowl. In a large container, place your breadcrumbs. Egg wash the rolled fillets, ensuring it gets an even coat. Then place into the container with the breadcrumbs and shake the container gently to coat the fillet evenly. Repeat this process so the fillets are egg washed and crumbed twice.

    See how Joe has tied these thigh fillets with butchers string? This will stop them from falling apart during the cooking. Just be sure to warn your guests before they eat the string!

  4. Once they are crumbed, let them rest for 10 minutes before cooking. This allows the stuffing to bond firmly.

    Note the cracks in the crust? This is after one egg wash / crumbing. Allowing them to rest reveals the imperfections in the coating.

  5. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Arrange the fillets on the baking paper so they aren’t touching. Bake at 200°C for 40 – 50 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Perfectly cooked stuffed thigh fillet with char grilled vegetables. What’s not to love here?

Observations

  • More Joe, more… WE WANT MORE. Seriously though, it was delicious. Joe served it with some char grilled and steamed vegetables which were just delicious.
  • I know I’ve sung the praises of free ranged chicken a lot, but this is one meal that really enhances the delicate tastes of free range chicken.
  • Joe warns that the stuffing mixture was very sticky because of the brie. Work gently and carefully to ensure it ends up all throughout the thigh.
  • Don’t like the idea of dry baking these babies? Fry them in a little butter for a tastier alternative. Just add a splash of olive oil to stop the butter from burning.
  • Diabetic Note: This is pretty good from a diabetic angle as far as carbohydrates go. Fats may be a different story, though. There are a fair amount of fats in the cheese and of course if it’s fried in butter… The healthier option is to dry bake it.
  • Ethical Note: Free Ranged Chicken – enough said.

Joe is getting better and better in the kitchen. I’d best watch myself before I lose my family cook title.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Tomato and Capsicum Sauce

I’ve been craving a smooth tomato sauce with some bite for a while now. I have been tossing around some ideas until this one just sort of formed one afternoon for no particular reason. Its so easy that I’m embarrassed to post it, but nevertheless, here it is because it deserves to be shared!

Tomato and Capsicum Sauce

[ SERVES: 4  |  TIME: 60 MINUTES  |  COST: $2-3  ]
[  JOES RATING:  4  / 5  |  MY RATING:  5  / 5  |  BRITTANYS RATING:  4  / 5   ]

Ingredients

1 can tomatoes, crushed or diced
1 capsicum, quartered and de-seeded
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon chili flakes, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
splash of olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Method

  1.  In a saucepan, fry off the onion in a little olive oil until caramelised. Add the garlic and stir until cooked.
  2. Add the capsicum and tomatoes and allow to stew over a medium heat for several minutes. Add chilli, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Continue to stew until the sauce has reduced and the capsicum has started to break down ¹.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool before puréeing in a blender.
  5. May be served immediately hot or stored in the fridge for several days.

Observations

  • Note 1: If you stew it long enough over a low enough heat the capsicum will break down and release more flavour. It will also give the chilli time to incorporate well into the dish.
  • Note 2: For a silky sauce, push the sauce through a drum strainer. Although I blended it for several minutes, it was still quite textured.
  • I loved this very simple sauce. It was absolutely delicious without being over bearing. Id happily eat this forever as my new pasta sauce base. I can just imagine it drizzled over steamed vegetables…
  • Diabetic Note: I didn’t use much oil in this dish at all so its a perfect sauce for all diabetics. Almost no carbohydrates or fats in this dish means you can have a little more pasta, right?
  • Ethical Note: YAY! I have found the perfect sauce! This means I am no longer dependant on beef replacement products for certain pasta sauces. Healthier for me and the environment. I also have to admit that the capsicum I used was well past its peak so reduced landfill to boot!
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: