In our household, I do all the cooking, and Louis does all the cleaning. There is good reason for this. See the above? That used to be my favourite mixing bowl. I picked it up for next to nothing at a sample sale, and it came with cute matching measuring cups. It was the perfect shape and size, light, sturdy, and I really liked the colour. Then one day I asked Louis if he would help me make brownies. He nicely agreed, and after measuring out the butter and sugar, I asked him to beat them together. This is when I discovered a couple of things:
- There are people who know even less about cooking than I do.
- One should be very careful with one’s words when giving instructions to people who know even less about cooking than I do.
Louis’ interpretation of ‘beating the butter and sugar together’ was not exactly the traditional one, and before we knew it, there was a hole in the bottom of what used to be my favourite mixing bowl, and sugar all over the counter. Like I said, there is a reason I do all the cooking, and Louis does all the cleaning.
So, what does this have to do with why another food blog? As much as I love food, that isn’t reason enough for me to commit to what is a ridiculous amount of effort to set up and maintain a blog, especially for someone as lazy as myself. However the fact that I do all the cooking in our house, well, now we’re getting closer.
I met Louis around the same time that I was just learning how to cook. Our dating schedule was a whirlwind of restaurants (my choice) and movies (his choice). Louis was not a foodie, so I delighted in introducing him to favoured food haunts. Afterwards, he would often suggest that we go for a long walk – how romantic!
It was quite early on that Louis told me he had Type 1 diabetes. My understanding was limited (if not downright wrong), but I didn’t ask many questions. It can be hard to ‘see’ diabetes. If Louis’ blood glucose levels (BGLs) are good, you would have no idea that something (his pancreas) isn’t working as expected. So it has taken a long time for me to really understand the consequences of having diabetes. Seriously, it took a couple of years for me to realise precisely why he kept suggesting we go for walks after eating – I can be pretty dense at times. After moving in together, I would blithely serve up bacon laden carbonara and triple fudge chocolate cake. But after watching the constant BGL checking, seemingly never-ending series of insulin shots, the hypers, and the hypos, it started to ever so slowly sink in. I started to understand what diabetes is, and more importantly, I was starting to understand how food was intricately linked to how Louis managed his diabetes.
So began the second stage of my culinary journey: healthy cooking. It was easier than expected. A subscription to the Diabetic Living magazine helped immensely, as did online ‘diet’ recipes. Don’t get me wrong, I was still pumping out sweets and cookies, but the main meals were ‘healthy’, and generally had the right number of carbs in them.
Then just when I thought I was getting the hang of this diabetic cooking thing, Louis became a vegetarian. My family are Buddhist so it’s a pretty normal concept for me. In fact, I was vegetarian for two idealistic years in my twenties (this happened after watching the movie “Babe” twice – apparently I’m a sucker for talking pigs). However in my twenties, I dealt with being a vegetarian by replacing the meat lovers pizza with four cheese pizza (all home delivered), and also by eating an impressive amount of mud cake. Neither of these strategies was going to work very well on Louis.
So began the third stage of my culinary journey: vegetarian cooking. This one was tough. I’d had an aversion to vegetables since I was old enough pick the peas out of my fried rice. However those wonderful food bloggers out there on the internet, had some fantastic vegetarian recipes, and soon enough I was waxing lyrical about zucchinis and sweet, succulent cherry tomatoes.
Then came our first vegetarian Christmas. I go a little crazy during the festive season, and last year was no exception. No lamb? No problem, here’s a yummy nut roast. No pork crackling? Here, try these delightful veggie burgers. Honestly, I was like the cooking queen, I was on a roll, and killing it.
Except, I wasn’t really killing it. As the festive season tapered away, Louis found himself fighting a vicious battle to control his BGLs. I’d been complacent, I hadn’t properly thought about the ingredients which were going into the food I was cooking, and Louis found himself dealing with the consequences.
Now, Louis’ diabetes is just that – his, not mine. As such, the diabetes is his to manage. So sure, he can choose to eat less, but you watch me serve up three-cheese lasagne and then confine yourself to four bites. But is it four bites? Or six? Or ten? I had no idea how many carbohydrates were in the food I was serving, so how on earth could Louis? We’d made a deal when we moved in together, I did all the cooking and Louis did all the housework. And as I watched him guess what was in our meals, as I watched the increasing number of hypers and hypos, I slowly and quietly began to panic – my cooking was killing Louis.
Okay, so I’m being super melodramatic, but the average life expectancy of someone with Type 1 Diabetes is about 10 years shorter than yours. I’d given up smoking so that we could spend the rest of our lives together, and Louis wasn’t about to get out of this early just because I couldn’t tell him how many carbs were in his meal. And this isn’t just about longevity, it is also about quality of life. The consequences of failing to manage blood glucose levels over time include blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage and limb amputations. I am incredibly fond of Louis’ limbs – every single one of them. It was time to get serious.
So now we get the crux of the matter: why another food blog? I love food. I love good food that is not at all good for you. I love Louis, and I want him to be healthy and around for a long time. So I’m embarking on a journey to work out how these two loves can work together: food that I love, and food that is good for Louis. This blog is to keep me honest on this journey. I’m going to make mistakes, I’m hopefully going to learn a lot. And you’re hopefully going to come along for the ride, and share in (and maybe even contribute!) to my education. And now that you know why another food blog, it’s time for pizza!
Serves 2 (one pizza each)
Per serve: 2237 kJ, 536 Calories, 3.0 exchanges
So this whole blog thing has paid off already. This recipe was supposed to be a leek and potato pizza, adapted from the Pizza Bianca* on the SBS website. However once I properly calculated the carbs, it came in just a touch too high. So I’m looking at these leeks which I’d bought before thinking things through, when I remembered this wonderful White Pizza from A Couple Cooks. Then I thought: leek… spring onion… same same? I mean, a leek is really just a very fat spring onion isn’t it? So here we have it, my version of a White Pizza. Enjoy!
- 1 leek, thinly sliced and thoroughly cleaned and rinsed in water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Pittes
- Sea salt
- 110g baby bocconcini, each cut in half
- 20g Pecorino, finely grated
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- Preheat the oven to the highest temperature possible.
- In a non-stick pan, heat the oil over low heat. Add the leek, and cook until it is soft, about 10 minutes.
- Spread the cooked leek over each of the pittes.
- Scatter the bocconcini and then Pecorino over the pizzas.
- Sprinkle generously with sea salt flakes.
- Gently crack an egg in the centre of each pizza.
- Put in the oven, immediately turn the temperature down to 220 degrees Celsius (fan forced) and bake for 7 minutes. The whites should be just set, and the yolk runny. If the white is still uncooked, bake for a further 3 minutes – but watch carefully and pull out earlier if needed!
- Eat with gusto, pulling down the blinds so the neighbours can’t see you lick the plate clean.
- Direction variations:
- Use the food processor to slice the leeks. Seriously, it’s so quick, why wouldn’t you? (Unless you’re also the one doing the cleaning, in which case….)
- *I’ve removed the link to the Pizza Bianca on the SBS website, as it wasn’t working and I couldn’t find a new link for it.