…can sometimes be a silent killer. I thought I was eating relatively healthy, but then I had some test done before we traveled for Xmas last year, guess what: my cholesterol & blood sugar levels were a *bit high* (she said with a smile, my Doc, God bless her, for without her I wouldnt been here telling my story after what the UCH hospitals done to me).
I thought, right, no much of a chance to eat processed food in Trancoso, but I sinned terribly when I got to my mum's, and then in Rio…..so when back, I started exchanging butter for olive oil (and lowering the quantities) white bread for the wholemeal one (and lowering quantities) and paying a bit more attention (and a lot more money) to the especialists brands and organic stuff. My luck is that my daughter had 3 years of her toddling ones in Trancoso, where she got to love fruit n' veg, and now she eats almost everything.
For me, though I would also eat almost anything, it has been a difficult road. I have never been too fond of porridge (or oats in general), and here I was having to face it….untill the Sainsbury's magazine (or was that the sunday Guardian?) had some lady moaning about how easy it was for people who would eat microwave foods,as a new product in the market supplies now 2 minutes porridge, topped with bananas and brown sugar ooozing, golden, glorious….. The moan was coz apparently she was unable (maybe a new religion?) to cook porridge other than in some iron pan, endlessing stirring with some special wooden spoon and just out of the cow's milk. As I have no religion (or maniac rules in the kitchen), decided to try out in my teflon old lil pan, with a plastic spoon, then pour it into non plastic bowls, sliced bananas on top, demerara sugar (very little, we have discovered by experience) and under the grill. (very little time here too, unless you like the taste of something resembling burnt rubber) Gorgeous, so much that there is never any left for the pictures. Also don't forget (if you are on the healthy wagon like me) the milk should be semi skimmed, and try not to eat more than what looks like a hand full of oats before cooked…. I've discovered that porridge (as releases energy slowly into the body) keeps you away from hunger (therefore snacking) longer than any other cereal…… (I do, though, miss the ocassional English fry up……)
Another success we had last couple of weeks were made with ready touse pastry (as I'm useless with the rolling pin). Sainsbury's offers a healthy option on short crust, with apparently half of the calories of the normal one, and tasting as good. The first pie (or tart, I'm never sure about denominations) was a spinach one.
- Take pastry out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking
- chopp 2/3 garlic cloves (I do more, but that's us…)
- chopp an onion
- heat a table spoon of olive oil in a wok or big frying pan
- add garlic and onion, fry until golden
- rinse and take all water out of a 500g defrosted spinach pack.
- add spinach (I use defrosted packet, but if you go for fresh,boil it 3 minutes)
- salt n' pepper
- heat a pint of semiskimmed milk in a small sauce pan
- add a tea spoon of butter (or any substitute, but I ve found the taste better and being so little wont hurt…)
- add a pinch of grated nutmeg to the milk
- in a mug, blend 4 tbspoons of cornflour with half mug of cold water till completely liquid
- When starting to thicken,add the result (which is a bechamel or white sauce, maybe I should've simplify…) to the spinach and mix well.
- Line a baking tray with parchment or greaseprooff paper, lay the pastry.
- Pour the spinach mixture
- Work some art if you have some pastry left (or cover it…)
- Brush all pastry you can see with a bitten egg
- Stick it in the oven 'till golden.
The second one we made was more or less the same, but instead of spinach we used a 500g pack of frozen mixed veggies (lil carrots, peas, sweetcorn,broccoli florets), microwaved for 4 minutes, and instead of shortcrust, we used puff pastry…..
I know it isnt of the healthier options as it has milk n' butter n' pastry… but if you are being good all week (or have a kid who wont eat the same stuff for lunch and dinner and need an active imagination for menus…) this, I reckon, fits well for weekends… 🙂
I also know I'm not the best at writing recipies, but bear with me, English isnt the main of the few languages I can deal with, and I'm also getting old, heavily medicated, not geek enufff….ya know…. 🙂