Even though it feels like life ends when you have to start cutting all the bad things out of your diet (that taste oh so good) – it really doesn’t. Your social life doesn’t actually have to plummet into the ground with a deafening smash when you go everything free.
Quite the opposite actually.
Now instead of wasting money at restaurants you an invite your friends over for some good food. And while you’re at it, you can wow them with the new culinary skills you’ve had to learn in order to make healthy food taste nice. I know this, because in the last couple of weeks I have had to relearn how to cook – without all the crap I used to put into everything. And believe me (and my poor children), it’s been a bunch of hit and miss.
OK, you got me. Mostly miss.
The thing is, if it’s a flop, I obvs don’t bother trying to make it again. But if it’s a win, then I write that crap down and make sure that whenever I need to, I can whip it out and feel good about myself.
So, we had a small dinner with my brother and sister in law earlier this week and I think it all went down a treat, so I thought I’d share what I made (and how I made it) in case you were looking for some options.
On the menu:
Roast potato wedges
Bacon Stir-fried rice
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty here – how do you make it?
This is definitely the hardest one of all – it takes a lot of time, planning and skill. You need to be able to hop into your car and head to the shops – preferably kids free so that you can regain a sense of calm before your guests arrive. Take a leisurely stroll through your local Woolworths. Head over to their hot foods section and buy a couple of chickens. Gaze lovingly at all the chocolate on your way out the store. Pat yourself on the back for being awesome. Because like, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel here guys.
- 6 potatoes – washed
Cut your washed potatoes into wedges and place in an oven dish that has oil covering the bottom of the dish. Mix your potatoes around and make sure they are well coated in oil, then pop them into the oven at 180 degrees. After about 30 minutes, flip them over and salt. Wait until they are crispy and brown, then remove them from the oven. Serve hot.
GREEN SALAD WITH A TWIST
- Salad greens of your choice. In this case we used watercress, baby spinach and rocket.
- Green beans
- Green onions
- Raisins (can be substituted for cranberries or even strawberries. Just something a bit sweet for a kick)
- Cashew nuts (any nuts will do)
I used to hate salads. Like really. But I’ve found that the secret is to make everything small. So you’re getting lots of little bits of different flavours with every bite. It really helps.
BACON STIR FRIED RICE
This was easily the biggest winner and even caused my brother to declare it the best thing he’s eaten all month. This is huge guys. No one says that about things I make, so you know this is a real winner. Here’s how to do it:
- Basmati rice (brown or white)
- Sweet Peas
- Green onions
- Red Cabbage
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Sesame Oil
- Crushed garlic
- Salt & Pepper to taste
OK, first off you can literally use ANY left over veg in the fridge for this. Anything works, except maybe the veg of the squash variety – just make sure that all the veg is finely chopped, no big chunks. So, to get started you’re going to make a pot of rice – make sure you salt it well. I have used one cup of basmati and it’s actually enough to feed the whole family without the need for any additional sides. Then fry your diced bacon in a large pan. Once it’s nice and crispy, remove it and let the mushrooms cook in the bacon fat – add about a teaspoon of garlic. When the mushrooms have cooked, drain them (leaving the juices in the pan) and them remove this also.
Now you are going to put your hard veg in to soften – things like carrots, cabbage etc. Leave that to fry on a fairly high heat for 7-8 minutes. Then add the rest of your softer veg (beans, peppers, sweet peas). Leave this to fry for another 7-8 minutes – till the veg is of a suitable crunchiness and/or softness depending on your preference. Here you can add additional garlic if that’s as much of your thing as it is ours.
Add about a teaspoon and a half of sesame oil and mix into the veg thoroughly. Then add the rice and mix. Then add the bacon plus the mushrooms and mix. Place in a large serving dish and mix in a handful of pumpkin and sunflower seeds, diced green onions and finely chopped chives. Serve warm and enjoy!!
On the table we also had Banting mayonnaise – which has no sugar and is a nice addition to the meal. I have yet to try and attempt to make my own.
And because so many people have asked me about the serviettes when I shared this on Instagram, they are from H&M (in the decor section), plates or Woolworths and um, the knives and forks are from Loot.