The boy is headed interstate for the next few days, so I felt it only fair to give him a proper send-off, gastronomically speaking.
The resulting dinner was an absolute feast for the senses. And I don't bandy that kind of terminology about willy-nilly. I also don't use language such as 'willy-nilly' unless the situation specifically calls for it.
To set the scene - the day leading up to the dinner:
I slept in til noon. I had a crazy stressful day yesterday, and a late night last night, and no particular reason to rise from my toasty bed until I really, REALLY felt like it. Noon it was.
Hopped on the scale, as always, and was greeted with another drop - I am officially 11kg lighter than I was at the beginning of the year! So I knew it was important to celebrate by eating a wonderful range of food to show off just how much I was 'suffering' to earn my fat-loss stats:
Breakfast (if you can call eating at 1pm 'breakfast'):
A mini version of The Usual, made in the tiniest of my new Raco cast iron frying pans. Each omelette is no longer than 4 inches. Cute but filling!
Lunch (though thanks to the lateness of 'breakfast', this was really just an afternoon snack) - a handful of almonds and a couple of pieces of 100% chocolate. Divine!
Now, onto the main event itself... These recipes produce 3-4 servings - two generous dinner portions with leftovers for lunch tomorrow!
Inspired by an email from Dr. Jonny Bowden, I created a sauce to accompany roast chicken that absolutely blew my mind! A surprising combination of primal ingredients resulted in a tangy-yet-nutty-yet-garlicky-yet-AWESOME sauce!
Organic free-range chicken (whole, breasts, drumsticks, whatever)
1 T coconut oil
1 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup water
1 T lemon juice
4 T almond butter
Optional - fresh herbs such as parsley, coriander, thyme, rosemary. (I was all out, sadly.)
1. Roast chicken (I like to rub mine in coconut oil, cumin powder, and dried herbs prior to roasting).
2. Heat oil in frying pan, and sauté onion and garlic until translucent and fragrant, respectively.
3. Add water and lemon juice, and bring to the boil. Remove from heat.
4. Add almond butter, and stir gently until almond butter melts and all ingredients are thoroughly combined. (Add any fresh herbs at this point.)
Serve chicken onto plates and top with sauce.
(You'll have to scroll to the end to see the photos - it'd be a giveaway to put a shot of the entire meal here!)
Thanks to Organic Angels, my fridge was overflowing with vegetables of every colour (a veritable cornucopia, if you will...). So I decided to make the most of it with one hot salad, one warm salad, and one cold (fresh) salad. Not as fiddly as it sounds, and the colourful spread presented each piece of produce in its most delicious form (in my own humble opinion, anyway).
First, a simple beetroot and tomato medley. As it takes a long time to cook beetroot, you'll want to put them on at the same time as you begin roasting the chicken.
1 large beetroot
1 large tomato
1. Steam beetroot for at least 45 minutes, until you can stick a fork into it easily.
2. Remove from steamer and place in cold water. This will allow you to remove the skin easily, so do so.
3. Dice beetroot and tomato. Serve while the beetroot is warm, topped with a little fresh basil if you like.
Tricky, huh? Cooked beetroot and fresh tomato play off each other so very well - I do hope this isn't merely an Australian taste; I do notice that 'Aussie' burgers usually involve the combination of these two ingredients (and sometimes add pineapple to the mix...)
Next, a delicious hot (and I'm not just talking about its temperature) fennel & carrot combo courtesy of Worker Bee #2 over at Mark's Daily Apple:
1 large carrot
1 large fennel bulb
2 T coconut oil
Dash of hot chili flakes
1. Using a vegetable peeler, reduce the carrot to long ribbons.
2. Chop the fennel into very fine slices.
3. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan, and add carrot, fennel and chili flakes. Toss gently until heated through.
4. Remove from heat and keep warm until ready to serve.
And finally, chop up some green capsicum (bell peppers) and toss with some baby spinach leaves.
A single photo cannot do this meal justice, so here's a spread of shots, including both plates - the boy likes his chicken breast, whereas I go for the legs! Enjoy!
And all up, I was in the kitchen for less than an hour - I put the chicken in the oven and the beets in the steamer, and then didn't need to start on the rest until 15 minutes before dinnertime. Success! Fresh, simple, delicious! I look forward to hearing how you go if you give it a shot, especially the sauce!