This week I began a 21 day no bread, no sugar challenge in the hopes of changing my eating lifestyle for the better- one that is more balanced. The reason I took on the challenge though, was to give my body a chance to see that it can do without loads of sugar and gluten ( I don’t plan on giving up them up entirely when I’m done with the challenge, only enough to not be ‘addicted’ )
To say the challenge is hard, would be an understatement. But not for the reasons I thought it would be, yes I crave sugar, yes I miss bread terribly, but more than that I have found that it’s soo difficult to eat healthy when EVERYTHING is full of sugar.
Supper request by the kids was Nandos styled strips and rice. Whew! Easy one I thought, a meal I could eat together with them, as rice is allowed, and I only use the Lalqilla low GI rice in any case.
So, I got my rice done. Sliced my fillet. Marinated my fillet. Then it hit.. Nandos sauces, which I use in the final stage of cooking, is full of sugar- I checked the labels.. I was right..
Well, a plan was needed and that’s when I realized just how challenged and determined I’ve become, so much so that I have had to be doubly creative in what I do in the kitchen and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the new found creativeness which I thought I’d lost when Pinterest and Google became the norm for all ideas.
Saucy Strips & Rice, the sauceless way
2 cups of rice, boiled with mixed vegetables, salt and turmeric for colour.
Strain and set aside.
In a small pan, lightly braise some sliced robot peppers in coconut oil, 1 heaped tsp of spice for rice and a good dash of garlic paste. Throw into the rice and mix. Steam rice to heat before serving.
1/2 kg chicken fillet washed and sliced into strips.
Marinate the strips in the following:
Salt and aromat to taste
1 tsp fine red chilli powder
1 tsp crushed jeeru
1 tsp red chilli paste ( I used the one from Gorimas spice store )
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp ginger garlic masala
2 – 3 tsp Mochachos spice ( or any chicken spice)
2 -3 tbls fried onions
1 tbls lemon juice
In a pot, heat up a good splash of olive oil or coconut oil, throw in your strips and stir fry. Lower heat and add a full sachet of tomato paste, more red chilli paste and a little more garlic and lemon juice. Braise. Then add some water. Cook till done, which won’t be too long, you should find a thick sauce that has formed. Add 1/4 cup of cream. Simmer for 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning / chilli before serving with the rice.
Verdict: beautifully saucy and spicy. Not an exact Nandos flavour, but close enough
UPDATE: The kids didn’t even realize that it wasn’t made with store bought sauces and thoroughly enjoyed it!.