11 November 2011

Kebabs to Pork Loin - the menu plan

Last week's menu plan finished in style.

The pot-roast gammon was, as always, succulent, juicy and totally delicious.  In fact, we ate almost all of it in the one meal - that's how good it was.  I enjoyed it alongside the Baked Gnocchi and thought it made a very nice Sunday dinner.  Made a pleasant change to have a Sunday Dinner that didn't leave me feeling like a limp rag once I'd cooked it!

I poached the gammon in a stock that included onion, garlic, carrot, parsley, celery, apple and some mustard seeds.  The piece we had weighed around 1kg and I poached it for around 2 hours or so, taking it out to rest for 20 minutes prior to carving.  The meat just fell apart and melted on the tongue.

I made use of the remains of the meat for breakfast the next day, pairing it up with a lovely egg and some sauteed mushrooms.  Glorious, but not good at being anti-inflammatory, unfortunately.

The following day, we had pork steaks that I was trying the butcher's BBQ Glaze with.  It was a bit underwhelming in colour and impression, but had good flavour once cooked and I think we might try that again.  I served the pork with beautiful baked sweet potatoes with chilli cream - which is always so good, plus a few green peas for colour and interest.  Far better for being anti-inflammatory, racking up a very positive value of 478 per person.

For some reason - probably trying to keep within the guidelines for anti-inflammatory food - trying to put together a menu plan for this week was "twisting my melon, man!".  I must have changed the list a good three or four times and still couldn't think of anything to have on Tuesday evening.  It's ridiculous, really, as Tuesday is supposed to be the day when hubby and I are free to have whatever we want, as son & heir is happily occupied with a pizza.

However, between the astronomical price of fish and trying to stay anti-inflammatory, it all got terribly complicated and we wound up having a Doner Kebab!  Well, it could have been worse from an inflammation point of view, plus I did have salad with it and left the pitta bread, but the fat content was probably astronomical.  Still, it was nice - and provided hubby with a naughty lunch for the following day.

So here's how this week is looking :

Tues : Pizza/Doner Kebab
Weds : Kate & Wills' Wedding Pie (Jamie Oliver) with carrots, peas & tenderstem broccoli
Thurs : Sausage, creamy lentils & rice
Fri : Bipins Chicken Machi Masala curry with rice & minty raita
Sat : Chicken Supreme with rice & roasted butternut squash
Sun : Roast Loin of Pork, roast parsnips, sweetcorn, green beans, brussels sprouts
& apple sauce
Mon : Fish in batter with hash browns (baked sweet potato for me), baked beans & peas.

Wednesday's Kate & Wills' Wedding Pie came about through Jamie Oliver's PR peeps getting in touch and asking whether I'd be interested in joining in the "Snap and Share" promotion they had going over on their "Jamie's Great Britain" Facebook page.  It basically meant cooking one of the recipes from the show and posting up a photograph of same to the page.

I liked the look of the Pie because it involved the use of beef shin and sounded like it could be a lovely rich pie.  Perfect autumnal food!

Thursday's Sausage with creamy lentils is a recipe that I have done before and blogged about.  Although there were some doubts amongst the audience that lentils would ever be nice involved in any dish, I reminded them that they had liked it the first time around.  In fact, they had given it a 9 out of 10 and demanded it be done again.  As it helped to reduce the chipolata mountain that we find ourselves with (they really are nice chipolatas!), it was worth doing just for that.  Hubby wasn't mad about it, but enjoyed it all the same.  Son & heir absolutely raved about it and declared it "the one lentil dish that you've ever come up with, that I absolutely adore".  Wow!  Praise indeed!

The inflammation factor in this dish is one of those balancing acts between the positive values of the onion, garlic, carrots & celery -v- the negative values of the sausage, lentils & cream.  Ultimately, it would seem as though it comes out in favour of the positive - which was a relief, even if it did mean I had to leave 90% of my rice on the plate, uneaten!

Bipin's Machi Tikka - yum!
Friday's Chicken Curry is just an anti-inflammation fest.  There's absolutely no doubt that (even with the rice & chicken) this will come up on the positive side.  Bipin's Masala paste contains three types of chilli, one of which is Serrano - which carries a positive score of +3019 for a half a cupful.
I'm a bit leery of how hot the Masala paste will turn out to be (leery in a good way, you understand!), so am planning on making a minty raita to accompany it - just in case!

Now then!  Excitement!  I've just come back from shopping for the weekend and lo and behold, after all my whining about not being able to buy Celery Soup - what did we find?  Campbells have brought back a Condensed Cream of Celery Soup!  Am I a trendsetter, or what?

I am now torn as to whether to use the Celery soup in the Chicken Supreme on Saturday, or stick with the traditional Mushroom.  If I use the Mushroom, then we could have the Celery for lunch one day - but would it be as nice as my home-made, or disappointing?  Oooh, the indecision!

Yes, I know I said I wasn't going to do roast dinners again on Sunday - yet what do we have on the menu plan for Sunday?  Roast Pork Loin.  Well, I was press-ganged into it by a special offer in Asda - plus they looked so yummy, I had visions of pork & apple sauce floating past my eyes.  So sue me for breach of promise, but another roast dinner is hoving into view.  I've tried to make this one as simple as possible, so fingers crossed I won't suffer too greatly.  Yeah, right.

You remember my saying what a problem I had putting this week's menu list together?  Well Monday's dinner is a product of that difficulty.  If all else fails, fall back on crunchy fish or cornish pasties.  In the hope that I'll be able to shuck the fish from its batter coating, I went for fish.  The boys will be happy with their battered fish, hash browns & baked beans, while hopefully the fish, a baked sweet potato and some peas will do the job for me, without inflicting too much damage.

This "eating for a reduction in inflammation" malarky is requiring a fair amount of forethought, but appears (trying not to speak too soon) to be having a positive effect.  Yes, I still get the intense, sharp pain of arthitis in my knees (particularly when rising from being seated plus in the evenings), however, I have noticed a lessening in the grinding, low-down, nagging, dull aching pain from the arthritis - which is a total blessing.

Where the Polymyalgia Rheumatica is concerned, again, if I were to do a task that requires repeated actions (such as brushing my hair, or hanging out washing), then I would experience the muscle burn that PMR brings.  However, driving the car has become more comfortable (traffic queues used to become excruciating), plus I don't ache so much from sitting at the computer here.

It's all good - and very worth persevering.  If this is what happens after nearly two weeks, it will be interesting to see how I'm feeling after a month!


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