cooking the books: baked chicken with chilli and lemongrass

We’ve always had this thing in our family where we sit down, the 3 of us, and eat our evening meal together. We catch up on our days, argue a little, laugh a little, talk a lot. It’s what we do. It’s what we’ve always done- even when Miss 14 was a baby.

I’ve never been one of those Mums who prepares multiple meals. Our daughter always ate pretty well what we did- without the chilli- which, these days, she loves. Thankfully she now has a well-rounded palate…and excellent table manners.

It does, however, cause problems when one member of the family can no longer eat some of the things we have all enjoyed together. And that would be me.

This newly discovered intolerance (or whatever it is) means that the evening meals now have to be prepared or planned (who am I kidding, hubby executes my culinary vision most weeknights) with extra care- so that we all have something tasty, a little bit special on our plates. Even in the face of my restricted eating. I won’t call it a diet- mainly because I don’t believe in them- most make you fat. This is just eating in a way that is kinder to my body.

So far, it hasn’t been too difficult. It seems that my bad habits and problem foods are consumed during the day. But then, it has only been 2 days…

Asian food is often a reliable and tasty healthy, yet quick meal to turn to. It’s naturally low in what it needs to be low in- although I have had to substitute gluten free tamari for soy sauce. The herbs and spices add fragrance and flavour.

I’m not yet sure how far this will go. Currently I’m excluding wheat- so that means no bread, no pasta (essentially). I’m hoping that the exclusion allows my tummy to play nicely again. If not, I will also have to look at gluten as a whole. I don’t think it will come to that. In my gut (no pun intended) I think I will be able to enjoy the occasional serve of (very) good bread…once the initial drama of this is over.

Anyways, all is not lost, there is a world of wonderful things out there to cook and some amazing ingredients to experiment with. ..and a whole couple of shelves of cookbooks to work through.

This week I’m cooking from my favourite book- Annabel Langbeins’ Free Range Cook.

Annabel is a Kiwi chef who I have been following for some time- and not just because I fell in love with the country around her Wanaka home (where the TV series was filmed). Her recipes are simple, flavoursome and both look and taste great.

Last night we had a mid week favourite- Baked Chicken with Chilli and Lemongrass. The link to the recipe is here. I serve it with simply stir fried green veg- last night it was mini asparagus, zucchini and broccoli.

Tonight will be a thai style beef salad.

All tasty, and nothing containing any gluten. Naturally. Everyone is happy… Diet food does not mean boring food.



6 comments on “cooking the books: baked chicken with chilli and lemongrass”
  1. Deborah says:

    Jo, I love Asian food but rarely cook it myself. I have a favourite Chinese place I go to and go there often! As a coeliac I have to have GF soy sauce, oyster sauce etc on hand. I would actually love to do a Thai or Chinese cooking course to learn heaps of new healthy recipes.


    1. jo says:

      It’s absolutely worth doing Deb- so tasty. I cook a lot from books from my favourite restaurant in Eumundi- Spirit House. They do cooking schools too, but are usually really quite full.

  2. Zohra says:

    Jo, the Thai beef sale looks great too! Can you please add a link to that recipe too? Thanks!

    1. jo says:

      I surely can, my dear!

    2. jo says:

      I’ve updated with the link….

  3. jo says:

    Reblogged this on and anyways… and commented:

    one from the archives…

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