Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Cakelaw was, for a long time, on the heavier side, and only lost weight about 4 years ago on her GP's advice to help her temperamental back. The back is still temperamental, despite my substantial maintained weight loss, but it is great to be able to have a choice when you buy clothes (which are one of my passions!).
In my on-again/off-again quest to lose weight, I tried Weight Watchers (unsuccessfully). However, one great thing that I got out of attending Weight Watchers was discovering Michelle Trute, who was our group leader before branching out on her own. Michelle subsequently has written newspaper cooking columns, appeared in regular TV cooking slots and produced a series of cookbooks based on her own weight loss and experience as a qualified chef.
One of my favourite "every day" recipes is in Michelle's first cookbook entitled "Cooking with Conscience". This recipe is for a saucy pork and apricot pastry. However, as filo pastry and I have always had a rather stormy relationship, particularly where you use a hot filling, I have ditched the pastry and just make the saucy pork, which I serve with rice or noodles. The pork is flavoured with curry, mustard and apricots, and is absolutely delicious (provided that you don't object to meat and fruit combinations).
My version of Michelle's recipe is as follows:
1 diced onion
1 tablespoon curry powder
500g diced pork
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
500g packet frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1 tablespoon of your favourite mustard
Brown the onion and curry powder in a spray-oiled pan. Roll the pork in the flour until it is coated, then add to the onions in the pan and cook until brown. Add the stock and vegetables and heat until the liquid is bubbling. Toss in the apricots and mustard, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper as desired, and serve with boiled rice or udon noodles.
This dish is a cinch to make, and has a mildly spicy flavour to tickle your tastebuds. If you object to meat and fruit in the same dish, you could leave out the apricots. However, I love the sweet tang that they bring to the dish. The added bonus is that this dish is (according to the cookbook) a low fat, low calorie, low GI dinner option.