So it’s January, the month of purity, parsimony and prudence. I have unashamedly joined most of the country in jumping on the healthy living bandwagon directly after the debauchery of December. January is traditionally a time to purge the body of the sins of the Festive Season and to convince yourself that you are once again a decent, contributing member of society rather that a greedy wine fiend. WINE ah wine, my particular demon; far too much over Christmas along with a new found love of mince pies (where have they been all my life) and I’m ready for a bit of clean living. I have been clean and sober for 9 days now, no small feat for the girl who really enjoys a glass of vino with her latest creation (or just watching Desperate Housewives). I have not touched a drop since New Years eve and plan to stay clean and sober until the 28th of january when my family host its annual 'Flanagan Party' which is one of the highlights of our year, a chance when all my relatives on my mothers side get together for a good aul hooley.
Feeling clean, sober and productive, I have invested in a new cookbook (any excuse) and have relished (ahem) the challenge of attempting some new recipes that are delicious and also won’t send you into a spin of self-loathing. The book is called ‘The Last Diet; Cook Yourself Thin with Dr Eva’, Dr Eva being the dietician from the RTE programme ‘Operation Transformation’ which is also rolled out every January to encourage us newly resolute life changers. Dr Eva’s approach is simple; eat less and exercise more, if your calorie input is less that your energy output you will lose weight, eureka! I have been privy to this knowledge for quite some time and unfortunately that does not stop me going for the 3rd cracker with camembert and mango chutney! But now it is January, January and I feel the need to repent so repent I have, well in a way. Dr Eva’s recipes are actually very tasty even if she does in my opinion have a disturbing fetish towards turnip. Don’t get me wrong I like turnip just as much as the next person but for breakfast? Cooked and mixed with egg, spread and baked like it’s trying to be a hash brown? Too much!
Dr Eva’s way of adding flavour to bland diet food is to add spice which is low calorie and packs a punch, like her Green curry turnip (I know) soup with zesty lemon prawns. This approach is fine by me as I like my meals with the added zing! So far the book is proving value for money; I have made the soup, low calorie coleslaw, creamy salmon quiche and a Finnish style pasty called a Korvapuusti. Dinner tonight is Indian chicken with herbs and couscous and I have a pot of the curry soup bubbling on the hob as I type. This weight loss initiative will not be however measured in pounds or inches, I find I get disheartened if the scales do not show the change I was hoping for and I inevitably give up. No this diet, (no not diet, my healthy lifestyle) will be measured by my jeans and how snug they are, at the moment let’s just say they are reasonably secure with no danger of falling down, the only hazard perhaps is the risk of loss of blood flow to my legs!!
That being said, I do not want this blog to become a diet blog, it is a food blog and that is how it will stay. Yes I am trying to be a bit healthier to cleanse myself from the excess of December but life wouldn’t be worth living without the ability to enjoying oneself and for me that is to cook and to eat, all in moderation of course…(!) In other news, the brother is coming down tomorrow to make rabbit pies that he saw on the new Channel 4 food programme, ‘The Fabulous Baker Boys’, excited about that and will update the blog, another New Year initiative, update the blog more oh and yes find a great job as a food writer...ah January!
Smoked Salmon Quiche with wholegrain crust.