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25 November 2012

the food diary

so, i have some digestive issues. it's gotten to a point where i occasionally should really live in a bubble. until recently, the intolerances were ring fenced to lactose and fructose. now, i'm not the first person to order a soya latte, i know, but fructose is a whole nother level. mostly the intolerance here stretches to onion, paprika, leeks, green pepper and things like that. so, just remove them from your diet, right? wrong. onion powder is in just about everything mass or pre-produced. sauces? in it. pastes? in it. stir through flavouring? in it. i can't even over exaggerate this point enough. it's literally in everything.

so, a long time ago - like, when i first moved out of home, it was a long, trial-and-error journey of what i could cook and eat without any hassle. over the years i have refined a basic 'go-to' arsenal of recipes and meals that i can make easily, regularly, and without any dietary drama. while this makes life a bit easier, it can become a bit... boring and repetitive, but sadly when i try new things, it usually backfires (pun very much intended. too much info, i'm sorry).

welcome to my standard weekly food diary.

what sunday night is complete without a roast or a slow cooked plate of deliciousness? boyfriend is in charge of cooking on a sunday, because i simply don't 'do' roasts. i don't have the patience. plus he does some double-baked version of potatoes that i could never recreate. it's best to leave sunday dinners to him. 
my favourite: roast chicken. his favourite: he'd rather make neither.

a tomato-based pasta dish. i have a real issue with mince, so i prefer a chilli prawn or chicken based dish, and i like my pasta short. boyfriend's favourite pasta dish is spaghetti bolognese. it's a match made in culinary hell. probably once a month i spoil him and make him either a spag bol or a lasagne, to keep the love alive. or... something. i don't really mind a lasagne, and i usually make a side of garlic bread or homemade bruschetta to work the mince down. i have to make my own pasta sauce, so our cupboards are always full of tins of tomatoes, purees and both dried and fresh spices. because of the lactose issue, i can't have cheese or cream; so parmesan is usually out of the question, although sometimes i'm daring and live on the edge... by chucking in some mozzarella balls. mmm.
my favourite: penne chilli prawns with basil and mozzarella. his favourite: spag bol.

cottage or shepherds pie. so, we touched on my rampant dislike of mince meat, but occasionally i will allow it - providing it is hidden amongst lots of vegetables and crispy mash potatoes and tomato sauce. ta da! shepherds pie is a family favourite, and there's always plenty left over for lunches - win/win!
my favourite: shepherds pie. his favourite: mince meat.

fragrant thai curries are one of my absolute faaaaaves. red or green, i'm not bothered. i use pre-made pastes which - surprisingly contain zero onions! usually prawns or chicken, and loooooads of fresh vegies, i mix the paste with coconut milk and basmati rice on the side, and BOSH. plenty for lunch and all.
my favourite: green curry. his favourite: tikka masala (i think he's missed the point here).

risotto - this one is a bit of a new addition, but it's been a welcomed changed of pace. fairly easy to make, chuck it all in a big pot and walk away. usually chicken, peas and mushrooms, i once added fetta to the final product, and that was amazing. occasionally, the vegetable stock - depending on the brand, contains onion powder. sadly, onion powder is not always listed in the ingredients - quite often it appears as 'vegetable extract'... which, doesn't help me figure out if it's in there until it's too late. thankfully i have no problems with fetta - which makes up for it! another dish that is worth feeling a little rubbish for.
my favourite: chicken, peas and fetta. his favourite: what she said, but no crumby cheese.

home cooked fish. usually with a side salad or rice salad (for me) and chips (for him). i love fish, and it's so easy to prepare and i guess kinda semi healthy (minus all that bubbling batter). an easy meal to throw together on a lazy saturday night in. 
my favourite: greek salad and new potatoes. his favourite: chips. with everything.

cous cous! i luuuuuurve cous cous. always grill up some peppers and mushrooms and mix it in with some fresh mint or thyme. yum! i usually have a fresh rocket salad and a greek cheese as well, with a grilled and seasoned chicken or steak on top. boyfriend just has meat and cous cous, and i think he's missing out. my salads are always really filling, and all the flavours just add something different to the taste. i love either a mango and chilli salad dressing or natural greek yoghurt over the top. YUM!
my favourite: steak, greek salad and cous cous. his favourite: meat.

usually i try and make enough dinner for us that there will be plenty of left overs for lunch. probably once a month i whip up a big batch of soup for weekday lunches, just in case. normally a butternut squash or potato and leek (sometimes i get lucky and the leek doesn't bother me). these are nice and easy dinners as well for those nights i can't be bothered cooking up a feast, and means my fancy new food processor gets a good work out every now and then!

so, that's my standard menu. have you got something that i can try that has no onions or dairy that i can try?