Indian butter chicken 12wbt style….O.M.Ghee!

If you are anything like me, after having a baby the kitchen tends to be the central point of the entire house. I would like to bullshit you into thinking that it is for the purpose of cooking and creating wonderful healthy treats for the family. It’s not. It’s soul purpose is to make bottles, wash bottles, sterilise bottles, wash, rinse, repeat.

The second most popular reason for me to use the kitchen was to discard the take away food packaging as this was pretty much what I was surviving on for the first few months. Husband was a typical enabler and he could get away with it. He lost so much weight when he had cancer that it was his primary mission in life to pack some back on just in case he had to have chemotherapy. We did not want him to start chemo while he was so underweight. If he had of gotten too sick to eat, which is pretty much a given so I am told, he would have had nothing in reserve and it would have ended up with more hospital stays which neither of us wanted.

Luckily, no chemo, the weight came back on and then some! Now I am back in the kitchen but this time it is for all the right reasons. I am glad that the kitchen is a place I feel relatively comfortable in but I can understand how some first time 12wbt’ers and kitchen virgins might break out in a cold sweat when they realise how much cooking is involved in the program.

Fear not friends, it really is quite simple as long as you follow the recipe, stay calm and have some patience. And if you mess up a recipe, have some ore frozen meals in the freezer so you don’t have to go for the dominos menu. Trust me, we all will mess up on occasion , it’s a right of passage.

There are a few kitchen staples I can’t live without these days. My stone wear pans are amazing…..the tv shopping ads are totally on the money, you don’t need to use oil if you don’t want to, nothing sticks and they never let you down…..ever! Don’t be fooled into paying big dollars for the stonedine brand either. They are obscenely expensive and no better than the stone pans you can buy at big w.

Get a slow cooker. Now! Immediately go out and buy one if you don’t already have one. They are awesome, especially in winter. Warm stews and curry that fill the house with heir awesome deliciousness are a must at this time of year. Mine is a cheapy from k-mart. I think I paid $25 for it. It has never let me down and I have out it to work for three years now. You would be amazing how many healthy casseroles you can whip up in those baby’s!

Obviously kitchen scales are a must for measuring portions. Do yourself a favour and get digital ones. It Is just the lazy side of me coming out I guess but they are so much easier. And my new love is my mandolin silver that I bought from big w for $10. It makes short work of slicing, especially julienne and getting even slices which is something I suck at. Just pay attention when slicing, get too low down and off comes the tip of your finger….ouchie, speaking from personal experience.

Tonight I made I can’t believe it’s not butter chicken from the 12wbt recipes. I love this one, it tastes authentic enough and it doesn’t make me feel queasy from all the butter like the original version. Here are my tips for success with this recipe….

Be patient, no good can come of rushing Indian food. It needs time for the flavours to cook into the meat. When the recipe says five minutes for the onion, really give it five minutes and at least 25 minutes to simmer all together. Your taste buds will thank you.

Tip number 2: if you have some calories to spare, try using a small amount of ghee to sautéed your onion instead of oil. Ghee is an Indian food staple ingredient and is clarified butter. Basically butter that has all of the milk solids refined out. It is usually well tolerated by lactose intolerant people, myself included and adds a nice, rich authentic flavour. Make sure you count the calories though! It is used a lot in paleo cooking so I felt totally righteous when using it tonight 😉

Tip number 3: if you are lactose intolerant, use Paul’s Zymill lactose free light cream. Tastes amazingly creamy and won’t upset your tummy.

Seriously consider trying this recipe if you haven’t yet, it is so comforting and yummy in the cooler weather. If you have extra calories to spare or are making a larger serve for someone, pure basmati rice is a great partner to this curry, as pictured.

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Call me crazy….12wbt here I come.

So I blog a lot about the things that randomly pass through my sieve like brain but I tend not to let on too much with personal information. It’s not that I am afraid of someone stealing my identity or anything. Actually some days I would gladly accept an identity swap as long as the person I swapped with was getting about 12 hours of sleep a night. It is more just because I don’t think I am really that interesting.

Buuuut…for the purpose of this blog I am going to have to disclose a bit of info. My husband and I own our own business. We work together every day in our jewellery manufacturing business. Things are pretty hectic at our shop as there aren’t too many actual qualified jewellers out there anymore , the ones of us that are left are far outnumbered by the huge influx of “supermarket jewellery stores” by a ratio of about a million to one and he also happens to be damn good at what he does.

We love our shop but I am a grass is greener kind of gal and I am always in need of something big to plan for and organise. After husband got sick last year and after I had the baby the only “big” thing I could plan for was brushing my teeth every day…if I was lucky. Even though it did get kind of scary for a while there, we bounced back and before long it was business as usual and what do you know, I got bored and wanted something to plan for once again.

We decided to open a second store, this one a little bit different. A beautiful little retail boutique in the picturesque town of Daylesford. All of a sudden I was thrust back into list writing, organising heaven. Let me tell you opening a business is ALOT of work even without already having a business to run and two small children demanding most of your attention. It is coming along nicely and with about another month of sleepless nights we should be ready to open.

The new store is about an hours drive from home so I will commuting every day which brought about a roadblock….we only had one car. I conquered that problem, I bought a new car. A little zippy Ford Fiesta just for me. It is small, efficient and quick and most of all insanely easy to park.

Roadblock number two reared its ugly head the other day. I realised that my wardrobe might need a revamp as I have been living in two year old yoga pants and underwear with no elastic left in them. Then I realised I had out a lot of weight back on with the last baby. And I mean a lot! I am now exactly 30 kilos heavier than when I first met my husband. Can you say Mortified?

I absolutely refuse to buy size 18 clothes. I just won’t do it, for me it feels like admitting defeat and telling myself it is ok to have let things go so far. So I took action and signed up for the June round of Michelle bridges 12wbt.

It will be a challenge and the whole organise and diarise thing is going to apply to me big time with the baby and soon to be school goer as well as the businesses. I am going to do this round gluten free and avoid other grains as much as is practical. I guess I am slightly paleofying it a bit.

No, I am not a super mum to juggle so many things, I am just a glutton for punishment hahaha. Truth is any body with children knows what it is like to have to juggle work and home and kids and it leaves very little time for oneself . I had good results with 12wbt in the past and the food was Delish! But I also loved the forums and community feel. It is so nice to have other adults to talk to about things other than baby poo and work.

All this week I am making 12wbt recipes for dinner but I am doubling the serves and freezing the left overs. This way I hope to build up a little stockpile of frozen meals for those days when I am utterly exhausted of which I predict there will be many.

Last night was my fave , chicken laksa. I always save a few calories up so I can add vermicelli that way it is nice and filling. I also refused to pay Safeway $4 for a wilted tiny bunch of broccolini so I used normal broccoli which was just as good if not better. Also, added red chilli flakes for a bit of extra bite. YUM!

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