Saturday, 4 August 2012

Roasted veg vindaloo with golden gnarly chicken skewers and Romanian Charity

Hello dear blog friends,

Yesterday was Friday and the 7th recipe of the week. I can have the weekend off now! I must say, I feel completely satisfied with all this delicious food I cooked and I don't think I could eat anything today but I managed to have a couple of crumpets and a coffee by lunchtime.

I noticed, when you eat freshly cooked, richly spiced, made with good quality ingredients food, you eat less, you eat better and you feel fuller.

It is when you eat rubbish food that you strive for quantity. I think that the body needs nutrition from many different foods and when the body doesn't get the nutrition it needs, it sends messages to the brain that it isn't satisfied. You then think you need to eat more but in fact you need to eat more variety of food and not to increase the quantity of it.

That's why I firmly believe the only diet that works is the 'eating well diet', eat food from various categories in the food pyramid. It is not about sending starvation messages to the brain but satisfaction messages to the brain. We all live to feel happy and fulfilled and not to suffer. That's why starvation diets just don't work. Another reason is, a body set in starvation mode will learn to live with less and will adapt the calorie burn to the calorie intake. for example, of you give your body 600 calories, it will learn to adapt the burning to 600 calories, and you will stop loosing weight at a point. The body is clever at surviving and the key secret is to keep your metabolism high, so eating varied, little and often. Here is my advice. If you can't sacrifice, accept your body and be happy with it. Nobody likes miserable people around, not even if they are thin.

Going back to the cooking, yesterday it was an indian inspired recipe, very rich in spices, aromas, with lots of vegetables and grains, spicy but not hot.

The marinade had so much garlic in it it made me cry but it gave the beautiful aroma to the chicken and the vegetables. Half of the marinade was used in the vegetable dish and half to marinade the chicken skewers. The vegetable dish had cauliflower, chick peas, corn, peas, spinach, onions, lovely rich greek yoghurt to top it up and some fresh chopped chili. Yummy.

The sauce also contained 1 kilo (or over 2 pounds) of fresh ripe tomatoes.

The marinade had 1 whole head of garlic, red onion, lots of spices, dried red chili, etc, etc, etc... If you want to know more, follow the recipe.

All of it was accompanied by white boiled rice.

I invited over our priest, Nicholas, who has been running charities in Romania for the past 30 years. As you must know Romania was a communist country that has recently come, kicking and screaming, to the capitalist world (for better and for worse).

In the 1980's a madman and dictator called Ceaucescu (I like joking and saying CIAO Cescu!) thought, amongst other brilliant ideas, that he should create a super race, probably inspired by his master Hitler and decided to give young children, blood transfusions. Unfortunately, the blood he obtained was contaminated with HIV virus, and he created a whole generation of sick children.

Some parents abandoned their children because of fear and ignorance and the western world tried to help by creating charities to look after those children. I was involved in this, when I was a student in Paris I was an au pair for a rich family that had just adopted a Romanian boy and I had to look after him in his near death state. This is an experience none could forget, but I won't tell you now, it is another long story.

Cutting a long story short, our priest helps now a charity that looks after 50 women from the streets, some on drugs, some stealing, some pregnant, this charity takes care of them from the age of 16 to 24 and tries to give them some dignity, teach them skills so they can find a job and have a life back.

They need £5,000.00 a month to run the charity and they are always struggling for funds. I then, decided to set myself 2 challenges. One is to cook the whole of Jamie Oliver Great Britain cookbook and the other is to raise money for this charity by inviting people over to share the meal with us and then donate to charity.

This week was a pilot testing week but I intend to start asap, maybe from next week, to get regular bookings and donations.

If you would like to read more about the charity here is the link:

Please, take some time to do it, as you will be amazed by what they have achieved.

Pictures of the charity

Now pictures of the amazing Friday food. Thank you again Jamie!

Skewers ready to go

Vindaloo boiling away

Getting the griddle pan flaming hot

Frying and spitting

Getting ready to go

Finalised Vindaloo with spinach, yoghourt and chopped chili on top

Skewers all goldelicious

On the table with a lovely bottle of Australian red

Our last night's guests Nicholas and Sue with my husband David

I always cook with my lovely Le Creuset pans but also with Jamie Oliver pan (I only have one unfortunately) which is great, non stick and it spread the heat really well. The downside of these Le Creuset pans is that they are super heavy and it takes a strong person to lift them especially when they are full to the top.

This recipe is meant to be for 8 people, I think the vindaloo is right for 8 people but I would personally double the quantity of chicken because everyone had 2 skewers and there was nothing left.

Have a great cooking and hope you will join my table to have a lovely evening and help Romania.

See you soon,



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