Pregnancy cravings and creamy chicken goodness

It seems all I want to eat at the moment is creamy stuff….thank goodness for lactose free cream otherwise I’d be in a world of hurt. It is also a very good thing that the kids are only lactose intolerant as well and can have lactose free dairy because buggered if I’d be cooking 2 different meals every night just to appease this baby that is growing in my belly. It’s probably not so good for my waistline but already, at just 13 weeks, there is very little waistline to speak of so what does it matter…as long as my taste buds are happy right? And there’s always the gym after bubs arrives, besides, I’m getting to the gym about 3 times a week and plan to for as long as this baby allows.

So I can’t eat much meat these days, in fact I can’t eat much of anything unless it’s creamy or chocolatey, so I bulked this up with veggies and served it on rice (yes, another thing that goes down well) and picked out all the meat from my plate and gave it to the boys. I did try one little piece but it didn’t quite sit right. First time I made it I used chicken, second time lamb strips. Both were yum. You could even use beef or veal. Again, like a few of my dishes, I have used saffron. You could leave it out but it won’t taste as good. Don’t buy your saffron from Coles or Woolies, try your local Indian or Asian grocer, it is WAY cheaper…my favourite is the Spanish variety. Yes yes, I know I know, I should be supporting Aussie farmers but when I can get 5 times as much saffron for half the price………and I think it tastes better anyway :o)

1kg of chicken fillets cut into strips or chunks (lamb, beef or veal strips if you prefer)

2 tsp of salt

3 cloves crushed garlic

1 tbsp of maple syrup

2 tbsp of canola oil

good pinch of saffron

2 large carrots diced

1 large swede diced

1 leek sliced

extra oil for sauteeing

500ml of cream

In a non metallic bowl mix the oil, maple syrup, garlic salt and saffron. Add the meat and stir to coat well. Leave to marinate for about 30 minutes (it doesn’t matter if it’s more or less). Heat a large frying pan over high heat then brown the meat in batches (about 2 or 3) until only just brown but not cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. Heat the oil then toss in the veggies and sautee until just tender. Add the meat and cream and simmer for about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Bubbling away on the stove

Creamy Fog (creamy pea soup)

Last night was perfect weather for soup but I didn’t feel like any of the usual suspects, I wanted something different. You see, I’m bored with food lately and I  seem to be having a lot of trouble eating…bloody pregnancy hormones. I am also incredibly uninspired to cook for the family as a result. Whilst standing in the shower I had an epiphany……pea soup! I spent the rest of the day so excited about dinner and unlike the fish and chip fiasco a couple of weeks ago (where I was drooling all day about home made fish and chips, wrapped in paper and served in front of the Olympics but didn’t enjoy them one bit) I thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful and even went back for seconds, something I haven’t done in weeks. My oldest son said that my “creamy fog” was the third best soup he’s ever had, bless him. Oh, in case you’re wondering, my pumpkin soup is his favourite (I asked which version and he replied, “All of them”) second is Chinese chicken and sweet corn and then this was third….that’s a pretty big accolade!

2 celery stalks roughly chopped

1 large leek roughly chopped

2 medium potatoes peeled and roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic roughly chopped

3 cups of frozen peas

2 litres of chicken stock

100ml of cream (I use lactose free but you could leave it out altogether if you can’t have dairy or add it to individual bowls upon serving)

salt to taste

2 tbsp canola oil

Heat the oil in a large pot then toss in all the veggies except the peas. Sautee for a few minutes over medium heat until the leek is soft. Add the stock and peas, turn up the heat and bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer with lid on for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and blend until smooth. Add the cream and salt to taste and blend a few seconds more. For those who are less intolerant, add a grind of pepper before serving.