In January I decided to go vegetarian for a month to mainly explore eating more vegetables but also to see how it made me feel health wise. Initially I really enjoyed it and my tummy did too. I tried some great new vegetarian recipes out and generally ate more vegetables (I already eat a lot of fruit). After a few weeks I started to realise there were some challenges too. With wheat being one of my trigger foods I found eating out a real challenge. In restaurants I found that most vegetarian dishes contained wheat/gluten and sometimes there were hardly anything I could eat and I ended up eating something not very nutritious like nachos because that's all I could have. I found being a wheat/gluten free vegetarian required a lot of planning and in order to stay healthy. As a busy mum of two I didn't always have the time to plan meals as well as I probably should have in order to stay healthy. I have therefore decided to continue as a flexitarian :) I will aim to eat vegetarian food as much as possible but on some days and in some situations I will have meat if that's a better nutritional choice for me.
I'd be interested in hearing if anyone else's had a similar experience or how they've dealt with the transition or eating meat to becoming a vegetarian.
So, as I'm back on the meat....sometimes, I'm going from salads to these really moorish sticky chicken drumsticks :) . I've actually taken inspiration from Jamie Oliver as I saw his recipe and it just looked so good. I've made some minor adjustment to make it Tummy Friendly. Honey can be an irritant to sensitive tummies, so I've swapped the honey for maple syrup. I find Maple syrup is the best replacement for Honey in most cases. You can also use golden syrup or brown sugar as a replacement but if you need a runny consistency you'll have to mix the brown sugar with a bit of water.
For the best result leave the chicken to marinade over night for about 24 hours. It'll give the chicken time to soak up all the lovely flavours from the marinade.
They taste great grilled on the BBQ but as it's winter for many of you, it might not be an ideal time to get the BBQ out. Luckily they also taste great cooked in in a griddle pan or in the oven too.
500g free range chicken drumsticks
MAPLE AND GINGER MARINADE
5 spring onions , finely sliced
5 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamarin
1 red chilli , sliced
1-2 cm piece of ginger, grated
Some chives to sprinkle on top once grilled (optional)
1. Put all the marinade ingredients in a large re-sealable plastic bag. Close the bag and shake to combine all the ingredients.
2. Open the bag, drop in the chicken drumsticks in the bag. Close and shake the bag to coat evenly. Place in the fridge to marinate for 24 hours.
3. Heat your barbecue or griddle pan. When the grill is hot, place the chicken on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes per side, for 25-30 minutes until cooked through or until the chicken's turned dark and the juices run clear. You can also bake the chicken in a 190 degree C /375 degree F oven for 25-30 minutes minutes, or until cooked through.
4. Sprinkle some chopped up chives on top.