15th May 2011
I've been crewing on a terrific little Projection 762 called Hobbes for Kip Regatta and Scottish series, and for Kip I had to wheedle myself two separate B&B's to stay in since the tiny town fills up apparently considerably earlier than I thought to book accomodation.
Anyhoo, since I have no full-length mirrors in my flat (I hold them in the same regard as TV) I was horrified to discover as I caught sight of my reflection heading for my shower in the Langhoose, that I have mysteriously developed Man Boobs.
Time for a diet methinks.

See that Raw Food Diet? I invented that. They stole it from me.
Waaaay back in the 80s, before everyone and their daughter had jumped on the raw food bandwagon, I invented the raw food diet on the simple principles that:
  1. Cooked or processed food is effectively pre-digested. It must take more energy, and more time to digest raw food. The longer it takes to digest your food, the longer it will take to get fat on it. The more work you have to do to digest it, even raising it to body temperature (don't sneer) the less energy there is to make you fat.
  2. All the stuff I like to overindulge requires cooking.
    It's just not possible to overfill on potatoes, butter or even cream without the sausages, bread and cake to go with them. Honest. Thus eating only raw food also enforces a balance of diet.
and it really did work for me, the only downside being that it takes several weeks to see the effects.
To be fair though, that may have something to do with the fact that I also allowed myself as part of my temperature-controlled diet.

So normally, I'd be right back on the salads, but these boobs look like they might actually require exercise to eradicate, so since I'm taking the next two weeks off work to get in all my year's unused holidays before the rollover, I will be adopting a strict regimen of fruit juice, soup, exercise and NO BEER.
Expect bad-tempered posts to follow.

First, though, I need to use up all the goodies in my pantry, suffer one of Erin's incredibly filling barbecues, and finish up all the leftovers.

FYI - the regimen lasted for two weeks, and it was definitely working. Before I joined Erin's Gin tour of the Outer Hebrides.

Butternut Squash Soup
soup veg
I've given my idealised recipe here.
It's not quite what I actually made but I was just using up a bunch of leftovers, which is why I threw in quite a lot more celery, used red onion rather than white (though it came out fine). I only had beef stock (no chicken), and I had a pot of yoghurt to use up (but I would have gone with sour cream if I'd had any). The soup kept me going for days with a variety of toppings!
I added the lime on day 2.

Serves 6

Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil and honey and roast at Gas 6 for 1 hour until cooked. Add the head of garlic for the last 20 minutes until it is soft too.
Heat olive oil in a heavy pan and fry the cardamom and cassia with a grinding of mixed peppercorns until they release their aroma, then add a generous wad of butter and add the onions to soften, then the celery to soften, then the green chilli (if you like).
If you have any wine, add it now and reduce it a little before adding in the stock, the scooped out the flesh from the squash and the squeezed garlic cloves.
Add the juice and grated peel of the lime, some cream if you have it and mix it all together then blend it until smooth.
Reheat gently and serve with a dollop of yoghurt or sour cream and the topping of your choice.

You can whizz up some basil or chervil leaves with olive or nut oil to drizzle over, or grill and flake some smoked haddock - which goes nicely with butternut squash.
I think you could usefully leave out the chilli to be honest, and it might benefit from reducing a glass of white wine with the onions and some cream. Also, the flavour of mustard goes nicely.
But it's a tasty enough soup.

Oriental Chicken Salad
salad fowl
A simple salad with Chinese lettuce and chicken strips marinated in soy sauce and rice vinegar
We had one of yacht Erin's fabulous barbecues over the weekend, and because the high winds had blown away all the other boats who might have joined in, I ended up with quite a lot of chicken to use up. So I tried out this salad (apparently one of our Nation's Favourites) together with an extra couple of chopped tomatoes.

Serves 6

Cut the chicken into strips and mix with the honey, vinegar and soy sauce. Leave to marinate in a glass bowl for about 30 minutes.

Toast the sesame seeds for a few minutes in a dry frying pan until they just begin to colour.
Mix the vegetables, herbs, seeds, garlic, ginger in a large bowl.

Drain the chicken pieces from the marinade, heat the sesame oil in a wok or frying pan and fry the chicken over high heat for about 5 minutes until nicely glazed and cooked through. Keep the chicken moving. Set the chicken aside.
Add the remaining marinade and cook gently but thoroughly then add to the chicken.
Deglaze the pan with more soy sauce, rice vinegar and some chopped tomatoes (if you like), and add to the chicken.

Toss the warm chicken and remaining sauce with the vegetables and serve. You can also chill the chicken in its sauce to serve cold with the salad the next day.

Quite a tasty salad, surprisingly the raw ginger and garlic are fine in the salad, as long as you don't overdo them.

Banana 99s
dessert sweet veg
Barbecued bananas with a chocolate centre
These went down well on one of yacht Erin's barbecue-based sailing trips. The Camping Cookbook suggests wrapping them in tin foil, but that didn't seem to be necessary.

Serves 2 per banana

Throw the (unpeeled) banana on the barbecue, turning occasionally until the skin is charring and the flesh is going soft and squishy. This works best if the barbecue has died down a bit. Cut the banana in half at the middle, break the flake in half and shove the flake halves down into the banana flesh. Put the banana back on the barbecue for a few minutes just to melt the chocolate.
Serve with a teaspoon so the guests can eat them by scooping out the chocolate banana from the (mostly intact) skin.

Comments (2)

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