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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dairy free and sugar lite

My youngest brother gave up sugar a couple of years ago and I don't mean sugar in tea. He just literally gave up all sugar. No more sweets, no more chocolate, no commercially produced bread (yes bread contains sugar), no tomato sauce. The list goes on. He gave it up partly to control his weight and partly to stave off tooth decay.

He did continue to eat honey and fructose, so my Mum would make him 'special cakes' made with fruit sugar, but recently he's gone even more hardcore. Sugar substitutes are out now too. That means his diet is essentially savoury and unprocessed.

He's also recently given up dairy and is a committed vegetarian. I have to say his will power is stunning!

Now I like sugar. Not on my cereal or in tea, but I like sweets and cakes. A bit too much. Just before Christmas I realised sugary treats had ceased to become treats and were a daily addiction. I don't like that sort of feeling of powerlessness and my trousers were feeling tight. Sugar had to go. My resolve was increased when I did a life expectancy test (motivated by a programme on Radio 4). Given my lifestyle my expected life expenctancy was 98, but the feedback suggested I could do a bit better with a few small changes and limiting sugar was one of the changes I could easily make.

So I've gone sugar lite. I'm not as hardcore as my brother, and I like the occasional treat, but I firmly believe that's all it should be. I've also given up dairy - I used to be a vegan so this is no big deal.

The remarkable thing is that I am less hungry than I was. I think my blood sugar must have been in turmoil from the sugar highs and crashes.

Here's my sugar lite and dairy free menu for this week

Saturday - Pasta with slow cooked cabbage and pinenuts (this is much nicer than it sounds)
Sunday - Snitzel with mashed swede, roast potatoes and parsnips and broccoli.
Monday - Sausage casserole and sweet potato mash
Tuesday - Savoury roly poly with mashed swede, green beans and carrots
Wednesday - Sausage and chips
Thursday - S is cooking (he doesn't like me to plan his days too often)
Friday - Millet casserole.

I've just realised that everything except Friday's dinner begins with an 'S' - maybe I should change Friday's menu.

I should also add I made leek and potato soup for lunch on Sunday, which is sustaining me though lunches all this week. I grew the leeks so it's been a particularly cheap week of lunches. In fact Sunday is becoming decidely soupy in our house, but that's for another blog.

I thought you might like the recipe for the savoury roly poly as it was super nice.


Roly poly part
4 oz vegetable suet
8 oz of SR flour
pinch of salt
water to make a dough

2 medium onions
tsp of bullion powder
tsp of veggie gravy granules
3-4 tbs of veggie mince
splash of water

Mix the suet, flour and salt together and add enough water to make a dough. Put in the fridge to chill.

Cut the onions into slivers and fry off. I like to brown mine, but you could cook them more slowly.
Add the rest of the ingredients and heat the mice through.

Roll the pastry into a rectangle about 6 inches by 10 inches. Spread the filling over the pastry leaving the top quarter empty (so the filling doesn't all sqidge out).

Roll the pastry up like a swiss roll and tuck in the ends.Wrap loosely in foil if steaming or in greasproof paper if microwaving.

You can steam the package for 1.5-2 hours over a steamer if you like. I haven't got a steamer so I microwaved mine for 7-8 minutes.


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