After a spell in hospital last year and six months on high doses of steroids I was feeling lousy and very fat. Determined to find a sustainable way to lose some weight and regain a sense of health and well-being I gave up gluten and dairy, following advice from several friends who had done so and never looked back. Ten months on it has been the best decision I have made in a long time (along with giving up full-time work and getting a dog!) I am 3 stone lighter, much fitter and not really missing much of what I used to eat (when I get the urge for a cheese sandwich some egg mayo on a gluten-free oatcake seems to do the trick!)
I'm not fanatical about it. I don't think I am truly allergic to those substances - though probably intolerant. However, if someone gives me a cup of tea with ordinary milk I drink it - and I eat the bread in communion services! Generally though, I avoid gluten and dairy where I can.
Tonight my daughter asked for Spaghetti Carbonara - one of her favourite dishes. Yes, we did have a sachet of Dolmio Carbonara Sauce in the cupboard - but I wanted to keep that for a work-day when I send her round to the neighbour's with her supper in hand. I don't like cooking two separate meals and I try to eat together as a family where we can. So I created a version that we could both eat happily and share it with you to tickle your tastebuds if that's your thing:
Cut 4 slices bacon into strips and fry until crispy. Set aside.
Cook 2 servings of gluten-free spaghetti (I used Morrisons). Add a handful of frozen peas a few minutes before the end of cooking time (my concession to 5 a day).
Meanwhile, put 2 fresh egg yolks in a large bowl with 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard. The mustard flavour goes some way to replacing the cheesiness of parmesan. Add 75mls soya cream (Alpro soy is the best) and about 2 tbsp soya milk. Try to use unsweetened cream and milk - the cream I used today was sweeter than I would have liked and I will try it with Alpro next time). Whisk this all together with some seasoning. Go easy on the salt as the bacon is salty - but lots of pepper is good!
Grate some parmesan cheese for anyone who is eating dairy. Chop some chives.
When the pasta is cooked, drain and immediately stir into the sauce, leaving for a few minutes for the hot pasta to 'cook' the sauce. Add in the bacon and chives and put the cheese on the table for anyone who wants it.
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