I’ve been going through my cookbooks again – don’t worry, I’ve not forgotten about the magazine clippings – and have bookmarked a few healthier recipes that I’d like to try. When I say healthier, I might mean less carb-heavy, or I might mean highlighting vegetables and healthier options (e.g. brown rice).
Like I mentioned in my last post, I don’t want to slip back into old habits of eating chocolate all the time (it’s an addiction) and not getting much exercise. I realise the irony of that as I sit here, at my computer, having done minimal exercise today (just walking around school). But, it’s all about little steps. And food is a big problem of mine. I love it so much, and I struggle to know when to stop – or when not to have something sweet. So, I’m trying.
I feel that if I work on healthier recipes, and get myself on the right track, I’ll make sure that I am a better version of myself – and without the risk of diabetes or any other fat-related health concerns. I do get very defensive when people try to give me unsolicited advice. I am very much the kind of person who has to do things my own way when it comes to healthier eating. I know where my issues are, I know what I need to work on. But I need to do it. I know people try to give suggestions without any malice, but I don’t take it well. The main reason? I have, honestly, tried it all. I’ve tried only having one small square of chocolate, but I can’t handle only having one square. I’ve tried swapping chocolate for strawberries or wine. I tried hynotherapy once too – granted, that was only once but I did not like the therapist. I do have the motivation and the will-power to do it, but it has to come from me.
I will get there. I’m working towards it already, but I just need to find my own groove that allows me to enjoy the food I love and not feel like I’m restricting myself, but at the same time not over-doing it.
Anyway… back to today’s recipe. I’ve looked this recipe up online, and to be honest, a lot of people had the same problem I did. There was too much liquid in the dish for it to evaporate, while covered, in the oven. So I altered it to work for a) those of us who do not have casserole dishes that can move from hob to oven, and b) for those of us who may just want to use a hob instead of the oven.
4 mixed-colour peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 heaped teaspoon allspice
600 grams beef cubes (or stewing beef)
10 fresh bay leaves
8 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- If using the oven, preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Place a large, shallow pan on a high heat. I used a large frying pan, and then transferred it to an oven-safe dish later. If you have a casserole dish, use it! If you’re not using an oven, use your biggest pan.
- Deseed the peppers and chop into 1cm slices, then put in the pan with the olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the allspice.
- Chop the beef if it’s not in cubes already, and add to the pan with the bay leaves.
- Using a garlic crusher, crush the unpeeled garlic into the pan.
- Fry for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- If you are transferring to an oven-friendly dish, do so now. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
- Add the red wine vinegar and water to the pan. Cover and cook for 1 hour.*
- After 1 hour, transfer it back to the hob (or to the hob-safe pan) and cook, uncovered, on high until all of the liquid has evaporated – about 15 minutes. The pan should be dark and sticky.
- Season with salt and pepper and divide onto 4 plates.
*If you are not using an oven, turn the hob down to low, and allow the water to simmer slowly and evaporate. This will take less than an hour, so keep an eye on it. If you don’t want to transfer back to a pan after the oven, use about 150 ml of water instead, and cook it for an hour, then take the lid off and keep an eye on it for the next 20 minutes – until all of the water evaporates.