Archive for July 12th, 2006

Re-living childhood

Many times the past few years when I close my eyes and try to sleep at night, all I can see is myself running in the planes of my village, Skiadas in Ipeiros, Greece. I am ending up tearfull while I am chasing my beloved hens, walk through my mother’s flowers in the yard, watch the goats and sheep coming down from the mountain in the afternoon, running through our vegetable garden, listen to the sound of the Aheron river from hundends of meters above, hunt for wild asparagus in the woods, climb that olive tree and hang upside-down from it and watch the sun slowly going away behind the Souli mountain. Basically, this is all as I was doing as a kid during the summer.

I wonder, do you get such flashbacks of your childhood before actually sleeping? I don’t know if I am getting miserable, homesick, lonely or all of them put together, or it’s just a natural phase kind of thing in my 30s.

Diet Recipe: Shepherd’s pie

The shepherd’s pie (one of the very few British dishes that are actually… eatable) is normally prepared with lamb minced meat, but as lamb is naturally very fat, we are going with veal here. As always, 200 calories worth of energy in this recipe. At the bottom of this recipe find a tip about a slightly modified version, a generic “oven bake” suggestion.

Ingredients (for 1)
* 65 grams of 97% fat free ground veal (65 calories)
* 2 tbspoons of low-cal mexican salsa dip tomato sauce (10 cals)
* 1 chopped small onion, 1 sliced garlic clove, a bit of basil (5 cals)
* 110 grams of peeled potato (100 cals)
* 50 ml fat-free milk (20 cals)
* Salt & pepper to taste

1. Boil the potato until cooked (make sure it still holds together well though). Drain and place it in a deep plate.
2. Add the milk, salt and pepper on top. Use the potato-masher hand-tool to mash everything together until smooth.
3. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
4. In a saucepan boil 1/3 cup of water with the veal, salsa, onion, garlic, basil and salt. Stir well many times and boil until meat is cooked through and sauce is thick.
5. In a personal-sized oven-proof pyrex pour the meat mix and spread evenly with a fork. Add on top the mashed potatoes and spread evenly too.
6. Oven-cook until the mash potato top gets brown-ish. Serve hot.

Tip 1: Fat-free turkey minced meat can also be used instead of veal.
Tip 2: For a generic “oven bake” recipe, you can remove the tomato salsa and replace the veal/turkey minced meat with white fish or already-roasted chicken/turkey breast pieces. If your diet allows it, you can sprinkle some fat-free cheese on top of the mash potatoes.