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Went out last night. Had a great night.

Suffering a little for it today.

However, it’s the perfect excuse to rustle up something comforting and filling; just what you need to soak up the stale booze floating round the blood stream. Ugh.

This recipe is great, as it not only uses up lots of things that you tend to have floating around in store cupboards, fridges etc, but it is also very very cheap to make. Plus it’s super-filling to boot.

‘Chicken-Style’ Butter Bean Pie

You will need:

1) vegetable oil

2) half a pack of chicken pieces (meat fans can easily substitute for real chicken!)

3) 1 red onion, finely chopped

4) About 4-6 potatoes (depending on size) peeled and finely sliced into discs.

5) 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

6) 1 tsp oregano

7) A good dollop of tomato puree

8) 2 tins of butter beans (other beans, such as kidney beans, cannollini beans etc also work well)

9) 100 ml of White wine

10) 1 tin chopped tomatoes (I’m also using chopped cherry tomatoes as they need using up)

11) a sprinkle of sugar

12) a handful of Parmesan cheese, grated.

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How to make it:

1) preheat the oven to 200c. Heat a couple of tbsp of vegetable oil in a large, deep frying pan and gently fry the onions and garlic, allowing them to soften up before adding the chicken pieces.

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2) When the chicken pieces are all browned off, add the oregano. (then find out you’ve run out, like me. Arse!) Also add the wine, tomatoes, tomato puree and beans. Simmer the whole lot for around 20 or so mins. Add the sugar after about ten or so mins, plus any salt and pepper you might fancy (I leave it out, but it’s up to you!)

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3) Whilst the beans and chicken are simmering away, start peeling and slicing the potatoes, and put to one side.

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4) After about 20 mins of simmering, your beans and chicken dish should look a little like this:

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You want to see a nice, thick sauce forming around the chicken. If you’ve got that, then its done. Take them off the heat and pour into a large oven proof dish/ casserole pot type thing.

5) Layer the potatoes on top, then add the grated Parmesan.

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6) Pop in the oven until the topping looks golden and crispy (15-20 mins approx.)

7) Remove from the oven and serve!

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Total Cost: Around £5.00, so around £1.25 per person.

The Verdict? This meal was a complete winner. The boys both really liked it, though the butter beans were shunned a bit. OH said it was delicious and I am in definite agreement; the thickened tomato sauce has such a lovely flavour and the crunchy Parmesan potatoes really complement it nicely. Mmm!

We’ve now been eating pretty much nothing but whole food for two weeks now. But have we noticed any major improvements?

I’ve picked up on the following things:

1) DB1 seems more energetic. I was really worried about him a while back, he always seemed to get tired so quickly. It’s early days, but I think he’s really shown way more energy and seems to have a bit more colour to his cheeks too (he’s normally so pale, bless him!)

2) OH said he’s been feeling way less sleepy in the afternoons, and thinks it’s because we’re eating way less bread at lunch. He could be right. He looks less drawn and knackered I think (though today, after several beers last night, is the definite exception, ho ho.)

3) The boy’s attitudes to foods have COMPLETELY changed. Again, it’s early days, but already, after only a fortnight, they are so much more receptive to new things. It’s amazing. I hope it continues.

4) I’ve felt less bloated, definitely. And I’ve just felt ‘healthier’, less weighted down with fatty foods. It’s definitely changing my attitudes to foods in general as well, making me way more aware of what exactly I’m popping in my mouth!

However, we shall see where we’re all at a few weeks down the line!

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