Stews & Meaty Nourishing Broths

stew

Stews

I am not a trained cook; I grew up in a family of us all having to help in order for the day to be a success between school runs, swimming, sports and music commitments, and home-work. My brothers are skilled cooks also; there was no separation of tasks between boy and girl; everything was equal rights!

So we all learnt to cook in the traditional old-fashioned Protestant way. “Real food” in other words and no fear of fats; until in later years when this was wrongfully drilled into our parents and Flora and Stork margarine then appeared on the scene.

Foods back in the 80’s were more basic, food budgets tighter and the choice of vegetables and fruits more limited. We didn’t suffer for this; it just was what it was, more basic. We enjoyed meat, fish and poultry with vegetables and potatoes, stir-fries were a Saturday night bonding between my dad and I, mum made a spaghetti Bolognese to die for, pasta was rare, and we enjoyed some Irish curries 🙂 loaded with vegetables on rice on occasion.

My vegetarian stint was most likely a major inconvenience to my mother but she rose to the food challenge and we probably all benefitted from new food ideas and a bit more variety.

I now live in a busy house of two self-employed long-working hours persons. My boyfriend and I both train 6 to 7 days a week. We love food, we love home-cooking and we value and appreciate our bodies. You must nourish and fuel well to stay healthy, fit, and strong. It takes a continued and persistent effort to locate, buy and prepare good food and to not get caught out on busy days. As much as we love food, we don’t have time for fancy cooking and recipe book reviews so what gets prepped in this kitchen comes from the heart.

garron race. 6
My boy ready for European Championships Ironman 70.3 Zell am See, Austria

Why stews?

Our busy lives mean that we often enjoy a slow cooked stew; they bring warmth, comfort, nourishment, and multiple health benefits. They also pack up well for lunch and freeze well for a busy day’s meal. Stews are also a light and easily digestible meal and a super choice for weight management.

I am going to detail a few of the recent recipes in our house to hopefully inspire you to see that making a nice stew is quite easy and can be a very economical option.

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Quick pan sautéed vegetables in pesto

Quick pan sautéed vegetables in pesto

Quick veg - mushroom, spinach, onions and cream 3

This is a very quick and nutritious dish that will go well on the side of cooked meats, poultry or fish. If you need more carbs I suggest steamed summer potatoes or oven roasted roots like sweet potato, potato, or butternut squash topped with extra virgin olive oil and fresh chopped or dried herbs.

Ingredients:

Portobello mushrooms

  • Butter or coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion – peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic – smashed or mashed J
  • Several Portobello or large capped local mushrooms – chopped into thick slices
  • Small bunch Swiss chard (spinach or kale will also work) – washed and shredded
  • Pesto – I like the Superquinn variety but usually I make my own as I make it more concentrated in herbs and lower in oil and I omit the cheese. There are good versions of cheese and dairy free pesto available in specialist stores and I recommend these over the cheesy fatty pesto’s available in the supermarkets.
  • Optional dollop of cream or low-fat cheese
  • Seasoning: sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

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Thai green curry with mince beef/ chicken/ turkey

Thai green curry with mince beef/ chicken/ turkey 

BG3332_Rebrand_thai-chic_curry

This is a very lazy take on a Thai curry prepped between coming home from a morning swim, showering and getting to work. I use the timer in the oven so that the oven will turn itself off. The dish is fine in the oven until dinner time.

This is a more traditional “go the whole-hog” recipe should you like to make a more authentic curry: http://www.templeofthai.com/recipes/thai_green_curry.php with a lot of suggested recipes down the right hand side bar. Here is another helpful link to an article on the Guardian website about “How to make the perfect Thai green curry”; it really is worth a read if you are a foodie.

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