Pork and Pepper Stew ~ South Beach Diet

Happy Friday Eve!

As most of you know, I’m back on the wagon again with trying to eat properly and follow SBD.  I have a couple of the books including the original from when the diet first came out, along with a copy of the ‘Supercharged’ and the SBD Cookbook (orange cover).

I decided to get another of the cookbooks as I wanted to get some new recipes, so a couple of weeks ago, I ordered the SBD Super Quick Cookbook (gold cover).  I love it!  It’s got so many great recipes in it.  I’ve only had the book a little over a week and I’ve made eight recipes from it already!

On Tuesday, I made this Pork and Pepper Stew.  I prepped all the meat and veg early in the day to make my life easier when it came time to cook.  I used my heavy cast iron pot with a lid and it filled it about 3/4 full.  I also did a couple of substitutions because I either didn’t have an ingredient or chose to use the variation given in the recipe.  I also added mushrooms to bulk it up a bit more.  I also used Knorr pork cubes instead of chicken broth which gave it a bit of smokiness.  This had a delicious flavor and made the kitchen smell yummy!

I’ve noted my changes in the ingredient list.  It looks like a long list of ingredients, but not too bad.

PORK AND PEPPER STEW

4 tsp olive oil

1¼lbs/568g boneless pork loin chops, well trimmed and cut into 1 inch/2.5cm chunks

1 large green bell pepper (I used an orange one for color)

6 scallions/spring onions, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp whole wheat flour (I used gram/chick pea flour)

3 C/710ml chicken broth (I used pork flavored stock cubes)

1/2 C/8 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro/coriander (I used fresh chives)

1 small pickled jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (I happened to have a jar of these!)

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp salt

10oz/283g frozen green peas, thawed (I used black eyed peas/beans and nearly double the amount)

3-4 mushrooms, sliced (my addition so this is an optional ingredient)

1 Tbsp lime juice

4 Tbsp shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese (I just sprinkled on some Parmesan ~ don’t know if Monterey Jack is available here, but you could use reduced-fat cheddar)

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In a nonstick Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the pork in batches and saute just to color it, about 2 minutes total.  Transfer to a bowl.  Don’t put all the meat in at once or you’ll end up steaming the meat instead of browning it.

Add the bell pepper, scallions and garlic to the pan.  Stir until the pepper begins to soften, about 3-4 minutes.

Sprinkle the veggies evenly with the flour and stir to combine.  Gradually stir in the broth.

(recipe instructions) Add the cilantro, jalapeño, coriander and salt.  Return the pork to the pan.  Bring to a low boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the pork is cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Stir the peas and lime juice into the stew.  Divide the stew among 4 bowls and sprinkle each serving with 1 Tbsp of cheese.

(my instructions) Add the cilantro, jalapeño, coriander, salt, beans and mushrooms.  Return the pork to the pan.  Bring to a low boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat, cover and simmer about 60-90 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice.  Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan.

I prefer to cook a stew for a while to allow the flavors to meld together, but the choice is yours.

Pork & Pepper Stew

This is a Phase 2 recipe, but the variant reads that it can be changed into a Phase 1 recipe by substituting beans for the peas and leaving out the flour.

Hope you enjoy!

♥  Terri  ♥

Are you Ready for Christmas??

Christmas is a wonderful time of year for getting together with family and friends, enjoying great food, listening to favorite holiday tunes, decorating the house and exchanging gifts.  It’s also a terrible time for encountering stress along the way.

Even for the most experienced cook, hosting the family Christmas meal can seem a bit daunting.  With a bit of forward planning, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the festivities, and treat your guests to some really special food.  With only four weeks to go, hopefully you’re already on your way to planning the big meal.  Here’s some tips for your preparation…
Do a Kitchen Inventory ~

Make sure you’ve got enough cutlery and crockery for all of your guests.  Making the traditional turkey?  Make sure you’ve got a roasting tin big enough to hold it.  Stock up on turkey foil and greaseproof paper.  Don’t forget napkins, wine glasses and candles.

Confirm your Guest List ~

Get a proper count of the number of people you’ll be feeding.  Does anyone have any special dietary needs?  Any vegetarians?  Your guests will appreciate your concern and everyone will be happy.

Plan your Menu ~

Once you know who you’re cooking for, you can start to plan your menu for the day.  Start making a shopping list of everything you’ll need.  Go through all your recipes and make sure you’ve got everything, including any special pans you may need.  Put your order in to the butcher for your turkey or other meat such as a beef roast, ham or in our case, a duck!

Start your Cooking Early ~

Anything that can be made ahead of time is worth doing, be it a Christmas Pudding or Cake, mince pies or cookie dough.  These can all be made ahead and stored in the freezer until needed.

Shop now to Save Money ~

If you plan your menu early, you’ll have plenty of time to hunt down money-saving deals on everything you’ll need. Shop around now for a well-priced turkey, and make the most of bulk-buy deals on wine, beer and spirits.  And save yourself some more stress….leave the kids home with your spouse or the grandparents while you go do the shopping.

These are just a few things to get you started if you haven’t already.

These ideas pertain mainly to the food, but what other things do you do to plan ahead?

Can you add to this list? How do you stay stress-free for the holidays?  Please share your thoughts!

♥♥Terri ♥♥

Wake up Sleepyhead ~ Time for Breakfast!

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day!

Yes, we’ve all heard it before.  Everything you read about the morning meal always states this; it has been pounded into our brains over and over again.

But do we all take heed?

I’m sure that most of us do and hopefully what we eat is healthy and hearty enough to get us through the mid-morning slope to lunch.  There are those who think that not eating breakfast will be better for them in helping to lose weight.  There couldn’t be anything further from the truth!

If you are one of those people who choose to neglect eating breakfast, you’re in for a downward spiral every morning because studies have shown that later on in the morning, you’re likely to crave and most likely eat, high glycemic foods throughout the day which will send you on that glycemic rollercoaster and cause you to actually gain weight!

Research has shown that eating foods that are low on the Glycemic Index are better for you because they take longer to digest (therefore prolonging satiety) and they will also maintain blood glucose levels at a relatively constant state. Foods with a high glycemic index not only digest quickly, they can cause your blood sugar levels to drop, which makes you want to consume more high GI foods.

You say you eat breakfast?  What are you having?  A Triple Caramel Cream Espresso Latte with a doughnut or croissant does not constitute breakfast in my book.  Do you have any idea what is in those luxury coffees you get at those chain coffee houses, not to mention that doughnut you’re shoving into your mouth?  Take a gander at this.  According to the nutrition facts on this particular beverage, 44% of its calories comes from FAT! 44%!!!!!!!  And on the GI portion, there’s 52g of sugar.  in addition, the caffeine in the coffee doesn’t help with your blood sugar levels either.  The combination of sugar and caffeine are the two worst things to ingest together.

The effects of combining sugar and caffeine are devastating on the body. The blood glucose levels soar and then crash shortly thereafter, and when combined with caffeine, the enormous surge of energy from the sugar and the stimulant in caffeine lead to a crash of blood sugar within hours. The body then resorts to a vicious cycle of cravings. The swings that the two together cause create a desire for more carbohydrates than are actually needed. Over time, the craving results in an enormous imbalance in blood glucose levels.  As one who has hypoglycemia, I’m well aware of this and have paid dearly for my mistakes on various occasions, although less frequent, if at all nowadays.

So what should you be eating for breakfast?

♣ Unsweetened, natural yogurt mixed with fresh fruit and no-sugar-added muesli

♣ Smoothies made with yogurt, fruits, nuts, tofu or soya milk

♣ Rolled oat porridge cooked with dried fruit, nuts and seeds and sweetened with agave nectar or artificial sweetener, if desired (this was my breakfast today!)

♣ Whole-grain toast lightly buttered with a poached egg, fresh fruit

♣ Omelette stuffed with cooked fresh veggies and low fat cheese

♣ 1/2 of a whole wheat bagel covered with a light coating of low fat cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomato, cucumber, red onion, capers and dill

♣ Whole wheat pita stuffed with scrambled eggs, berries

♣ All-bran muffin with nut butter spread, fresh fruit

♣ Fat-free Greek yogurt with frozen berries, sunflower seeds and nuts, artificial sweetener or agave nectar, if desired

♣ Wholegrain toast with salmon and avocado, fresh fruit

♣ Buckwheat or wholewheat pancakes topped with lightly stewed fruit or unsweetened apple sauce

♣ Wholegrain toast topped with low fat deli ham and low fat cheese, melted, fresh fruit

♣ Rye toast topped with light cream cheese and fruit

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These are a few suggestions.  Can you come up with any other ideas?

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And as a reminder, here’s what you should not eat…

◊ Processed, high GI breakfast cereals, which is pretty much most of them!

◊ White bread, croissants, crumpets and pancakes

◊ Sugar laden jams, spreads and marmalades

◊ Full fat dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurts

◊ Fat laden meats such as bacon and sausage

◊ Sweetened, processed fruit juices

◊ Sugar added to tea, coffee or on cereals

So start your day with lasting energy!  You’ll feel great, think more clearly and feel fuller longer so you won’t be tempted to grab a doughnut from that box someone brought in to the office and have a piece of chocolate cake from someone’s birthday.

If you do start to feel hungry, then have an apple with some peanut butter or low fat cheese.  If you’re just starting out with a low GI diet or just learning about it, at least try to ensure that you start your day right with a delicious low GI breakfast.

♥  Terri  ♥♥


You’ll Never Know who You’ll Find in There!

Good Day Dear Readers!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend as we had a four-day weekend as Chef P took off on Friday and also yesterday.  We did the rounds of Thanet on Friday:  Cliftonville for the kitty food and litter, Ramsgate to the Asian store for noodles, the Green grocer for garlic and chili peppers and  Lidl for fresh veg, then to the farm shop for potatoes and cherries (for mum) and then to Tesco for the bulk of the shopping.

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We picked up our usual 12.5kg/27.5lb bag of potatoes (for a whopping £1.50/$2.27).  Chef P made shepherd’s pie on Sunday and as he was pulling potatoes out of the bag, look who was hiding inside…

It’s a Jimmy Durante Mr. Potato Head!

For you youngsters who don’t know who Mr. Durante is, here’s his picture…

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Hey, I’ve just recently joined Pinterest, so please click on my button over on the right to follow me!

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Chef P took the day off yesterday, so we headed over to Canterbury again.  This is the third time in about as many months.  We stopped for lunch at the Forge Restaurant in Nason’s Department Store and had quite a healthy lunch, although I didn’t take any pictures.  I had an open-faced sandwich of turkey, apple slices and cole slaw on whole wheat bread with a nice little side salad of lettuce, tomato and cucumber and a cup of green tea.

We also stopped in Whittard’s of Chelsea which are the purveyors of fine teas since around 1836 and got myself a box of Gunpowder Green Tea Leaves.

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And here’s a lovely shot of my beautiful lillies that I have out in the front of the house.  I’ve been quite lucky this year that the lily beetles didn’t get to them as badly as they have in the past.  I managed to squash a good many of them this year and I think all the rain kept them away too.

Lovely Lilies

Just a quiet day here at Terri’s Kitchen, so until next time…

♥ Terri  ♥♥

Italian Garlic Chicken w/ Veggies and Potatoes

I was busy this morning with my mixer making bread, pizza dough and biscotti. I hadn’t made bread in a couple of weeks and tonight is pizza night and the biscotti I made because…well, just because. 🙂

I’m not giving you any pictures or recipes for any of the above right now…sorry.  However, I am going to give you a simple recipe for chicken that not only tastes great, but also has an easy clean-up.  I’m not going to give any measurements because it’s just one of those types of dishes where you pretty much throw everything together, stick it in the oven and let it cook.

It contains three of my favorite ingredients…olive oil, garlic and herbs.  Three great flavors that taste great together and go with just about anything.  Here they are combined with chicken, veggies and potatoes.

I use drumsticks and thighs (2 per person) but feel free to use breasts also.  Leave the skin on or off, it’s up to you.  Use any combination of veggies you want.  I like to use veggies that roast well such as eggplant/aubergine, celery, peppers, carrots, mushrooms and onions.  You can also throw in some cherry tomatoes or even some spring onions/scallions.  Use as much garlic as you want.  I used about 6 cloves, peeled and left whole.  For the potatoes, peel or don’t and use fresh herbs if you have them.  This can also be prepared ahead of time and covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to cook.

This is what I used the other night, but remember, the measurements really don’t matter.  I used six pieces of chicken; two pieces for each of us for dinner and two more for Chef P’s lunch the next day.  This may look like a hefty amount of veggies, but remember they cook down and this was for three meals.  We only had about a half cup of leftovers.

~~Italian Garlic Chicken w/Veggies and Potatoes~~

Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.

1 eggplant, cubed

3 celery sticks, cut in bite-size pieces

1 pepper, cut up

3 carrots, cut up

4 mushroom, quartered

2 spring onions, sliced in 1 inch pieces

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

6 garlic cloves, peeled

fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary) or dried

extra virgin olive oil

salt & freshly ground black pepper

chicken legs, thighs or breasts (2 per person)

HERE’S WHAT TO DO…

Get your largest roasting pan and line it with foil and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all the cut up veggies including the garlic and herbs.  Add a good glug of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss everything around so all is coated with oil and herbs.  Pour out into foiled pan and spread evenly.

In the same bowl, add the chicken pieces and more herbs.  Add more oil and seasoning and toss around.  Lay the chicken pieces on top of veggies, skin side down.

Roast in oven for 25 minutes.  Remove pan from oven, flip chicken pieces over and return to oven for a further 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked and veggies are tender.

Serve and Enjoy!

♥ Terri  ♥♥

How do you Like your Eggs in the Morning?

I thought I would give you myself a break from all the ‘bad’ food I’ve been making.  Being one who has low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) I have to have breakfast, and a proper one at that.  I admit I sway from having a proper breakfast on occasion and I do pay for it later on in the day.  I can become irritable, get internal shakes, lose concentration, get a headache, break out into a cold sweat…the list goes on and none of it is pleasant.

I get lazy sometimes and just don’t feel like cutting up veggies or preparing other foods to eat; usually because I’m so busy doing other things and I almost feel like I can’t be bothered to eat, but I know I must.  So what happens?  I eat the wrong things.  I might have a couple of crackers with some butter or peanut butter or perhaps a banana.  I might even grab a slice or two of ham from the fridge or eat a handful of nuts.  Now granted, none of this is absolutely terrible, but it’s not really a proper meal, nor do I eat this all at one time.  It’s usually over a period of about 2-3 hours but it’s still not a good meal.  I’m much better when I have a good breakfast consisting of eggs and veggies and grains or a bowl of porridge with fruit and nuts.  Either of these meals will hold me for a good 3-4 hours, although I will have a mid-morning snack.  There are times when I will even have leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.

I just get tired of having eggs most mornings.

This morning I decided to see what I could find in my GI Recipes book.  Even though this has eggs, it sounded different and tasty.  This would suit Phase 2 on South Beach Diet…

~~SCRAMBLED EGGS w/HONEY-ROASTED TOMATOES~~

Serves 1 (easily increased for any number of servings)

2-3 small tomatoes

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp honey

1 Tbsp olive oil

salt & freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs

1-2 slices whole grain bread (wholewheat, granary, rye, etc.) (I used a wholewheat bagel)

Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F.

Halve the tomatoes and arrange in a baking dish, cut side up.  Sprinkle over the cinnamon and drizzle with honey.  Season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes.

When the tomatoes are nearly cooked, put the eggs in a bowl, season and beat.  Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan until sizzling.  Reduce the heat, pour in the eggs and cook gently, stirring constantly until thick and creamy.

Toast the bread and place on plate.  Spoon on the eggs and pile tomatoes on top.  Spoon over any juices from the tomatoes, sprinkle with black pepper and serve.

Enjoy!

♥ Terri  ♥♥

Save Money ~ Cook it Yourself!

As most of you know, Chef P and I are avid fans of getting things…on sale…cheap…for a bargain…in the reduced to clear section….well, you get the picture.

Most nights on his way home, Chef P stops at the store to get various items that I may request him to get which also gives him a chance to check out the reduced to clear section (RTC).  Usually by the time he gets there, the produce items have been lowered in price to a pretty good bargain.  He’s gotten packs of fresh herbs for 10p, a pack of chestnut mushrooms for 26p, leeks for 30p, etc.

It really makes me wonder why more people don’t shop this way; they could save money and still eat in a healthy way.  Yes, the items are on their last sale date, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used a day or two later.

I decided to make a chicken stir fry for dinner so pulled out a couple of chicken boobs from the freezer this morning.  Unfortunately, the chicken was not an RTC item, but it was still reasonably priced.  I checked the fridge to see what we had in the way of veggies and pulled out a few items: Chestnut Mushrooms, Fresh Coriander, Spring Onions, Chinese Leaf, Baby Cabbage and Choi Sum (a Chinese spinach).  With the exception of the spring onions, all of these items were purchased from RTC.  I decided to keep track of what it cost to make dinner for the two of us.

I cut up all the veggies and the chicken along with some garlic, fresh ginger (another RTC item) and a chili pepper.  I also made a sauce using a mixture of fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and sugar and corn flour to thicken.

The veggies cost a grand total of £1.32

The chicken cost a grand total of £2.00

I estimated the garlic/ginger/chili at a total of £0.12

The sauce ingredients and cornflour, again an estimate of about £0.30

This brings the total of dinner to £3.77, not including the rice, which I estimate at about 10p as we bought a 10kg/22lbs. bag on the RTC and that was only £5.45.

****NEWS FLASH****NEWS FLASH****NEWS FLASH****

We interrupt this regularly scheduled program to bring you this update…

Chef P has just arrived home with a bag of goodies from the RTC.  Let’s see what he got:

4 peaches @ .55p (originally £2.47)

2 mangoes @ .32p (originally £1.50)

2 bags sugar snap peas @ .25p ea. (originally £1.00)

1/2 swede (1kg!) @ .25p (originally £0.86)

1 container low fat lemon & coriander hummus @ .30p (originally £1.00)

So instead of paying £7.83, he paid £1.98…how could you possibly go wrong??

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program…..

So we’re eating a Chinese meal full of healthy veggies and chicken, no MSG and no added salt, other than what’s in the soy sauce, etc.  When you order a take away/take out, you have no idea what’s in there.  It’s probably loaded with MSG and salt and who knows what else.

So think twice before you pick up that phone to order out.

♥ Terri  ♥♥