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Cooking Challenge

Friday, March 22, 2019

One of my favourite Sparkers (POOKIE) usually has a cooking challenge for herself and I think that I would like to borrow the idea. My husband had a gout attack last October, and I think that it was largely because I was focusing on a high protein (animal)/ low carb diet. So I am struggling to learn to cook some healthy carbs for him while keeping my own carb count low.

To help me in my struggle and to help to get meal planning on track I am going to challenge myself to make one Japanese dish and one curry dish each week. If one of these is a vegetarian dish then fine, if not I will also need to make one vegetarian dish each week.

I do have several Indian cookbooks. Maybe seven or eight, and they are good. The only difficulty is that they are not very Sparky. When I entered the lamb korma recipe into the Spark recipe calculator it was a whooping 901 calories per serving. The lamb korma did not get made. So clearly, I'm going to have to challenge myself to make healthier, lower calorie curries. Also, although I do have a couple of lovely, organic curry powders I would like to make my own spice mixtures for the curry. So there's a challenge right there, because soy doesn't agree with hubby so that knocks a lot of dishes out of the ball park right away.

For the Japanese cooking, I'm not gonna lie it's gonna be a challenge. It has been many years since my Japanese cooking days and they were at the cottage and in Toronto where I had easy access to a Japanese market. My father's girlfriend was Japanese and she was the one who taught me to cook when I was in high school. My first ever experience in cooking was walking into her cottage to introduce myself and being handed a very large pair of Japanese cooking chopsticks and told not to let the bacon burn while she grabbed more firewood. The bacon burned. Luckily, hubby loves Japanese food and everyone loved Koo.
However, my Japanese cookbooks are very old and very traditional with English on one side, Japanese on the other and a list of ingredients that are hard to find in Ottawa today. Turns out Japanese burdock is different than ours and you can't substitute.

So my daughter tells me that there are two Japanese markets in Ottawa (well, apparently one is Korean but carries a lot of products). Also I ordered two, very pricey, Japanese cookbooks off Amazon that reportedly have Western substitutions for hard to get ingredients. Hence the Japanese part of the challenge.

Of course I also hope to lose weight. The last time I had a Japanese friend to dinner, she looked at me in horror and said that it would be better for me to eat with one chopstick for a very long time and not to stab anything. Let's face it, Japanese portions are not huge and this will be good for hubby and I.

Lastly, I will only be posting new recipes on the challenge, not any of our favourites.

So, let the challenge begin!!!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    772 days ago
  • -POOKIE-
    I'm glad you where inspired!
    778 days ago
    Thanks always looking for a way to spark up my meals . emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    778 days ago
    Oh cool there is a "Keto in Japan" blog and in our family we make "scattered sushi" which would be best done as a pot luck to have the most variety of ingredients... but if you substitute riced cauliflower so many of the toppings in the "rice" bowl would be keto friendly. Oh what a yummy thought! My eldest LOVES when we have scattered sushi and this might work!
    781 days ago
    You are in Ottawa now? That is so cool! You should come visit my friend. And I am excited about your recipes. I like making turkey spinach meatballs with ground almonds. That would be so delicious with Japanese sauce and vegetables. Wow. My mind is going like crazy about this. I don't really worry about calories doing Keto an is seems to be working well. My daughter though can't tolerate the fat bombs. I do up big plate of veggies (Brussels, broccoli, stir fry mix etc.) and a smaller portion of meat, mostly because I'm not crazy about meat. But I did find an amazing butter chicken keto recipe that I had with riced cauliflower and my fall back is chicken coated with parmesan cheese then fried... good hot or cold; or chicken marinated in high fat sour cream and tandoori spice and BBQ'd and also lovely sliced cold on a salad or with zucchini noodles. I look forward to meeting you one day! Justyna
    781 days ago
    Wow! Quite a challenge, Shirley! Good for you!
    782 days ago
    It sounds great! I look forward to seeing the recipes.
    782 days ago
    Good luck, you have so much adventure in your soul. I wish I lived close so you could try the cooking out on me.

    Hugs Mary
    782 days ago
    Wow! This sounds ambitious. I like curry dishes, but haven't mastered making them at home. I'll be watching for your ideas. Wishing you well, Lynn
    782 days ago
    Sounds like fun.
    I love Japanese food and curry, too, for that matter.
    Looking forward to the recipes.
    Been awhile since I made any, myself.
    782 days ago
  • TWEDEE777
    Good luck!!
    782 days ago

    Keep on Keeping on!

    Make today the greatest day of your life!
    Until tomorrow!

    How do I change? If I feel depressed I will sing. If I feel sad I will laugh. If I feel ill I will double my labor. If I feel fear I will plunge ahead. If I feel inferior I will wear new garments. If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice. If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come. If I feel incompetent I will think of past success. If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals. Today I will be the master of my emotions.
    Og Mandino

    782 days ago
    782 days ago
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