Creature Comforts

I’ve been a bit quiet on here lately. Not for any other reason they I just didn’t feel like I had anything important or worthwhile to say.

Brad and I have been out for breakfast a few times in the past few weeks and I have still been cooking up a storm in the kitchen, namely clean eating stuff but a few treats also.

My writers block got me thinking though…..why was I struggling so hard to write? Was I concerned about what others would think? Is what I want to put down on this blog important and worthy of others reading and enjoying/hating/not caring what was written and then it hit me…..I go through moments every now and then (and they are gradually getting less and less and don’t stick around for as much time) of “homesickness”

Now I have written homesick but really it’s just a craving for creature comforts I grew up with back in Wales. 5 years ago when I first came here I craved three things so badly!

  1. Hellmanns Mayonnaise
  2. Unsmoked bacon
  3. A proper good Indian curry

About 3 years ago, Brad and I drove out to see some friends for a lunchtime birthday party. We arrived and found out it was BYO so Brad shot off, like the dutiful husband and went and bought me a beautiful bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (Drift NZ) there was a Bi Lo in the complex where this bottle shop was and someone, a while before, had told us that they had seen Hellmans mayo in a Bi Lo. Brad decided to quickly pop into this shop and what did he find? Hellmanns mayonnaise! I was elated when he came back to the restaurant bearing to gifts, one of wine and one of mayo! Of course being imported from the UK we now paid a premium of nearly $7 per jar – but we have not bought any other mayonnaise since

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Next was the curry, Brad and I decided that we would venture out into Hamilton and find someone where to eat, midweek. We walked for a few moments down Beaumont Street when we stopped and looking into a shop front window, this is how we found, Indiana Raj.

From the outset it looked like someone’s living room, but we decided to give it a go and walked in to literally be greeted by the whole family. We were seated and ordered and oh my goodness did my taste buds do a little dance!!! This food was amazing and the experience didn’t stop there! After dinner, the music paused before following on with a loud bollywood track and the staff/family members encouraged all the patrons to get involved with a makeshift bollywood dancing class! Well, what fun I had, but I’m pretty pleased I’d had those 3 glasses of red wine prior!

And lastly my search for British, unsmoked bacon.

When Brad and I went back to the UK for our wedding, I had been in Australia 11 months. My mum asked me what I wanted in her flat food wise for when we were there. Hellmans and Bacon were on the top of the list.

Once Brad had his first taste of unsmoked British bacon there was no turning him back. He was a convert and walked miles every morning just to buy more bacon for us to have for breakfast.

We have not stopped searching for butchers in Australia who would leave this cut in it’s purest form and yet we constantly failed. I have been in Australia 4 years and 11 months and I had all but given up hope of ever achieving final tick on my list of three.

Last weekend I needed to go to a different shopping complex to pick up my engagement ring that had been in for a clean. I decided as I was there I would just do my weekly shop in the Coles. I was slowly pushing my trolley around as I had never been here before and I was concerned I would miss important food items, when a reduced sticker on a pack of pre-packaged bacon caught my eye!

Usually I get my bacon from the deli counter, but if there is a deal to be had I love getting them, so I walked over to the fridge and picked up this packet bacon to study it further. LOW.AND.BEHOLD the label read “Authentic British Bacon” Oh wow did my heart start racing, I checked the bacon itself and YES it was raw! There as a deal on the “not coming up to used by date” two packets for $10 so I through the reduced packet down and grabbed two fresh packets. How I couldn’t wait to get home and show hubby!

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We actually froze the two packets and had it for breakfast the following weekend and it was DELISH!

So there you have it! I have achieved everything on my tick list for things I really would like in my life here in Australia and less than 5 years have achieved them all. Yum yum yum! I just think it’s going to make me very poor buying $7 mayo and $10 for 500g of bacon!

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A few clean eating moments

Over the last week I have really tried hard to maintain a “clean eating” diet and it’s been received well by Bradley!

The first thing I made last week were my clean eating mini quiches! Brad actually asked “where did you get these from?” when I fed them to him whilst he polished my car. Needless to say I was pretty chuffed with that reaction! Considering they are made from mountain bread wraps, egg and whatever you would like to put into them, they turned out amazing and you can keep them in the fridge for 4-5 days! You can get that recipe here.

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The next dish I wanted to try was a twist on the good old comfort food of meatballs. Well, the only twist is using the super lean meat of kangaroo! These were absolutely amazing (or as the in crowd now say Amazeballs!) The gameyness of the kangaroo went so well with a beautiful rich tomato sauce and was complemented by the selection of herbs. I was going o make spaghetti for Brad and I was just going to have some steamed veggies but I’m pretty hooked on quinoa at the minute so made a little batch of that to go with them. Again, this was a dish that brad enjoyed and even had enough for work the next day! You can check out my kangaroo meatball recipe under the red meat tab!

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The last recipe for this update was a dish that a work colleague got me onto. Chicken with lentils. Of course, me being me, had to adapt the recipe and it turned out amazing. When I told my colleague about the almond meal crust she was adamant that she would use this recipe next time! I’m so please she put me onto this recipe as not only is it clean it’s SUPER fresh and yummy and perfect for a hot summer or warm spring afternoon dinner! This recipe is under my chicken tab.

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I hope you enjoy this first clean eating segment of my blog. There is much more to come like my Parsnip fries for example! Delish!

Clean Quiches Recipe

Clean Kangaroo Meatballs Recipe

Clean Chicken and Lentils Recipe

Men and Meat

The first time I attempted a risotto I chose to keep it easy. As my husband kept saying, “isn’t this the dish that everyone is petrified by on those cooking shows you love?” He had a point, no-one has ever said they “love making a risotto” and no-one on my beloved cooking shows has ever come close to perfection! So it was a big challenge but I felt positive that I could pull it off.

I got everything set up and prepared and gradually added my stock to the rice. One word of advice on this……don’t think about cooking a risotto if you are hungry…..it takes a while!

When I finally got the rice perfect and all my stock had been absorbed, I ladled the risotto into my warmed bowls and served it to Brad. I watched as my husband picked his fork up and progressed to moving the risotto around his plate. After about two minutes I piped up and asked if everything was OK? to which Brad replied “where is the meat?”

Now this leads me into the real aspect of this post. What is it with men and meat? Why are vegetables to foreign to men? Why are vegetarian men deemed weaker then meat eating men?

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I did some research on the cavemen diet. The paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet) is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets. In common usage, such terms as “paleolithic diet” also refer to the actual ancestral human diet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_diet

So what is with this great need for meat with every meal? Even breakfast! Go to McDonalds and your breakfast muffins are egg with bacon or egg with sausage! What about just egg?? Yes, I know you can request it, or even opt for the pancakes and maple syrup but still, when did every meal of the day have to contain meat?

I understand those of you who are going to talk to me about the protein in meat, but I get loads of protein from a hard boiled egg after a work out, I do not need to chow down on a steak!

On the flip side of the coin I am concious that I could not make that decision to become vegetarian, nor could I sustain on just fish. I do love a well cooked T-bone, a succulent plump chicken breast, even that naughty pork roast with all the trimming and the best pork, crackling! I wouldn’t say I crave meat, but I sure do enjoy it when it is popped on my plate, or more likely that I have cooked it up and served it!

If cavemen survived on meat and plants around them, why did it become so horrendous to eat vegetables? Plants that are so good for your health have been branded with a taboo of being disgusting? Why? Why are the good things for us so bad? And why do we have this addiction, this need and reliance on eating meat all the time?

My husband does eat my broccoli and blue cheese soup without mentioning at all the word meat, but then I wonder, “is that because it’s a liquid and therefore his brain isn’t registering that this delicious, satisfying dish contains not one ounce of meat?”

I guess we will never get an answer to this (unless there is some scientific research that I have failed to uncover whilst thinking about writing this post!) So enjoy you meat and three veg, your juicy steak and plump chicken breasts. But remember, vegetable are not the enemy, you just think they are!!

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