This recipe used to be called Turkey Pot Pie but since then, I started eating chicken again.  I had a crazy aversion to chicken after a a couple of really bad food poisoning incidents.  It look a while but slowly but surely, I started eating chicken again.

This pie is the definition of comfort food and perfect for those cold winter nights.

Chicken Pot Pie with Almond Flour Crust

For the Filling

2 rashers of bacon, thinly sliced
1 onion chopped
1/2 tbs ghee
200 grams turkey thigh fillets, cut into chunks
1 carrot cut into cubes
1 cup button mushrooms sliced thinly
chicken stock (just enough to cover the turkey mixture)
2 tbs arrowroot (or cornflour)

  1. In a large pan with lid, melt the ghee and sautee the bacon and onion over medium heat.
  2. Add in the turkey thigh pieces, carrots, and mushrooms until cooked through.
  3. Add in just enough chicken stock to cover the turkey mixture.
  4. Make slurry with the arrowroot powder and a little bit of cold water.
  5. Add the slurry into the stock and turkey mixture.
  6. Lower heat and cook until the stock thickens.
  7. Remove from heat and distribute evenly to 2 remekins or small bowls.

For the Crust 

1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup water

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  3. Mix the egg and the water in a separate bowl.
  4. Combine the dry and the wet ingredients together.
  5. Spread the dough evenly on the ramekins filled with the turkey mixture.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden.

Makes 2 generous servings.

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I recently discovered swedes at my local green grocer. I believe they are called rutabagas in America, but I don’t recall ever seeing it there. They seem to be more commonly available in New Zealand and I can’t believe it took me this long to discover this vegetable. It looks like a cross between a beetroot and turnip with a slightly yellow creamy color with the slightest hint of a deep beetroot like color on the outside.

Compared to a potato, a swede is much lower in calories and carbohydrates making it my new favorite root vegetable. I’m generally not a huge fan of mashed potatoes but I loved the taste of this recipe.  I used macadamia oil which gives it a nutty taste but I’m sure it’ll be just as good with butter.

Creamy Mashed Swede

450 grams swede
1 tbs macadamia oil
1/2 tsp salt

  1. Peel and chop the swede into small cubes.
  2. Boil the cubed swede in water until tender.
  3. Drain.
  4. In a food processor, add in the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
  5. Serve warm.

Makes 4 rich servings.

It was a beautiful weekend but the weather has definitely gotten colder.  I can always tell the change in seasons from the produce at my local green grocer.  It’s the end of Summer and the start of Autumn and I’m seeing the ends of stone fruits as well as the first of the pumpkin and sweet potatoes.

I love roast pumpkin.  And I love ketchup. So why not combine the two?

You can see that I left the skin on the pumpkin.  It’s partly because I’m lazy and partly because I think the skin is delicious.  The Homemade Ketchup is easy peasy.  All you have to do is put everything in a jar and shake it up.

Homemade Ketchup

300 grams organic tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
5 drops stevia

  1. Put all ingredients in a jar and shake until mixed through.
  2. Will keep in the fridge for 1 month.

Pumpkin “Fries”

1/2 buttercup pumpkin
1 tbs coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 175° C.
  2. Cut pumpkin into 1 cm thick crescents.
  3. Melt coconut oil. (I use a cast iron skillet).
  4. Coat the pumpkin crescents with the melted dripping and sprinkle on the salt.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes until cooked through and crisp on the outside.

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ImageImageI’m currently planning my next vacation which is coming up in April.  This year, we’re going back to California to visit my family but also spending a week in New York City.  I can’t wait!  But I thought it would be fun to reflect on my big trip last year when I spent a month in Malaysia and Vietnam.  It was a pretty crazy trip.

I kept a diary and here is an excerpt from my second day in KL.

28 March 2011

We’re up at 6AM or 11AM NZ time.  We shower and get dressed.  I’m famished and I want some food and more importantly, I want some coffee.  The guard at the hotel tells us to go down an alleyway to get some “Malay” food.  There is a small number of street food restaurants open but it’s not really Malay food.  We keep walking but soon realize that it’s just too early and nothing else is open.

We head back to the street food restaurant.  The lady has short spiky hair and eagerly takes our order.  D orders a black coffee and I order an iced coffee.  She shouts “Kopi-O” and “Ice Kopi” loudly to the kitchen.  I have a simple breakfast of steamed bread and a boiled egg.  D goes all out and orders Mi Goreng which is a noodle dish.  The lady also talks us into a Malay dish which is rice wrapped in banana leaves.  The coffee is surprisingly good and really strong.  But it’s sickly sweet.  I don’t know how D can stomach noodles so early in the morning.  But I do taste the Malay rice dish which is delicious.  

After breakfast, we keep walking.  Our goal is to walk to the twin towers as it’s a good way to see the city.  We get to the twin towers only to realize that they are shut on Mondays.  We walk back and catch the mono rail back to Bukit Bintang.

We find another street cafe and order an iced coffee and juice.  Free Wi-Fi is good.  I quickly check my e-mail and facebook updates.  I look up to see a guy sweeping the street.  I love people watching.  I can’t get over the fact that everyone manually sweeps the leaves off the street using an old school broom.

Lunch is at an Indian restaurant with a selection of meat and vegetable dishes.  This is the best Indian food that I have ever tasted.  The roti is flaky and warm.  I peer over and see the locals eating next to us using their hands.  No cutlery required.  They scoop up the curry and rice with their hands and skillfully into their mouth.

After checking out a few more shops, we head to Chinatown for dinner.  The markets are crazy and bustling.  I buy a cheap knock-off wallet to use for the trip.  Dinner is a steamboat with meat and veggies.

We find our way back on the monorail to the hotel.  I’m exhausted.  It’s been a long day.

I went to one of the Music in the Parks concert in Henderson over the weekend.  My favorite part of these concerts is people watching.

Check out this guy with the long dreads, socks and sandals, a basketball jersey and of course the Louis Vuitton man bag.  I love it!

I wish I was this cool when I was their age.

My friend Julia- always dressed to chill.

I’m 32 years old Today.  Birthdays are a great time to reflect, set new goals,and think about the years past and the years ahead.  Here are a few things that I’ve been thinking about lately:

  • Success.  I never thought that I’d be working in Finance but here I am having successfully worked in this industry for the last 6 years.  I’m both proud of my achievements for making it this far but also regret that I never pursued other things that I am more passionate about.
  • Smoking.  I’ve been a social smoker for over 10 years.  I always said that I’ll quit when I get older.  Well, guess what?  I am now older.
  • Family.  My parents are a constant source of inspiration as no matter how hard things get, they are always positive and persevering.  My Dad has recently turned his life around after turning 60. He told me yesterday that his first 30 years were all about him and his parents.  The next 30 years were about my mom and my sister and me.  He reflects on the last 60 years with some pride but feels that he didn’t live life as the best person that he can be.  I love this as it shows that it’s never too late to turn things around.

I’m looking forward to another year of laughter, tears, adventures.  I have a holiday planned for NYC which has always been a dream of mine.  I’m also looking forward to finding a new job and learning new skills.  I’m excited about what this blog will become as I continue to write and get inspired.

 

D had his eye surgery on Thursday of this week to correct his vision.  He’s been out of action since, sleeping in the spare room as his eyes hurt to keep it open.  As a result, I’ve been spending a lot of time by myself.  It’s a little bit weird as I know he’s still here but not really.

My weekends are usually full of to-do lists of things that I don’t get to do during the week.  I’m taking the opportunity of having some time to myself to relax.  No grocery lists, laundry, or even exercising.  I I spent an hour having coffee at a local cafe while reading the paper.  Bliss.

I’m taking cue from from my dog who has no issues sitting around doing nothing all day.  All she needs is a little spot of sunshine.