Jackie Parry – author


Eating Healthy for your body and wallet

My body has been hinting, quite heavily, at the kinds of food I should and should not be eating. I’ve decided to try and listen to what my tummy is telling me and eat less meat; certainly less red meat.

I have always wanted to adopt a healthier way of living and have managed to find excuses. Now, when I seem to be busier than ever, I’ve delved into cooking vegetarian (mostly) meals and I am amazed at the fantastic results.

So, after finding the wonderful farm/vegetable shop four kilometres up the road, I rubbed my hands together, googled vegetarian recipes and off I went – here’s the first week. (I spent 20 Euros on three huge bags of vegetables.)

Just a small part of my first shop.

Just a small part of my first shop.

First night: Ginger Veggie Stir Fry

I used the vegetables I had purchased that day and I used plain old flour instead of cornstarch. I never have all the correct ingredients. This worked a treat.

I cook great rice, even if I say so myself. I cover the rice by about an inch of water (maybe a fraction less), boil until the water goes milky, then put the lid on and turn off the heat. Ten to fifteen minutes later, perfect rice.

This meal fed Noel and I for two nights.



Second night: Left over Ginger Veggie Stir Fry.

Third night: Curried Lentil Pies Recipe

This is a fantastic recipe, so easy and so fulfilling.

I stirred in some Tandoori paste instead of ghee. I used olive oil instead of butter, I didn’t use mustard seeds or ground cumin and I used the vegetables I had purchased. Definitely use pumpkin and potato for the top – fabulous!

This fed us for three nights! And I have made it again since, I can’t get enough of this and it fills me up easily.

Curried Lentil Pie

Curried Lentil Pie – when dished out, add a spoon-full of natural yoghurt – delicious

Fourth & Fifth nights: Left over curried pie.

Sixth night: Chicken stew

Noel bought some chicken. I find it hard to completely cut meat out of our diet. I enjoy it, but I haven’t eaten red meat for a few months now and I certainly feel the benefits.

This was just plain old chicken stew, with all those great ‘in season’ veges, swedes, parsnips, carrots, also onions, leeks, and whatever you have to hand.

I braised the chicken separately first. In the big pot I used vege stock, cup of wine, a few herbs (whatever is to hand – basil, parsley), a bit of sweet chilli and soy sauce. A half a cup of French lentils is a good idea to help fill you up. Perfect!

So easy, tasty and filling.

So easy, tasty and filling.

Seventh & eighth night: Left over chicken stew

Healthy wallet

My 20 Euro shop lasted a week-and-a-half (and I still have a whole cabbage left). I did another shop this week, and that cost 13 Euros – for two enormous bags of veges. This week I tackled:

Spinach and blue cheese frittata – I didn’t have nuts or tomatoes, it was still yummy.

We'd worked hard that day - so I added pumpkin and potato mash and a delicious salad of spinnach, fresh parsley, carrot, zuchinni, onion - yum!

We’d worked hard that day – so I added pumpkin and potato mash and a delicious salad of spinnach, fresh parsley, carrot, zuchinni, peppers, onion – yum!

A treat! – Walnut and Coffee Cake

We were given some walnuts and did I have fun cracking them – then I made this wonderful, truly fantastic cake – with a healthy twist!

I didn’t want to use double cream and I had only ‘normal’ yoghurt. So I spooned out two pots of yoghurt (small pots) into coffee filters (one pot per filter), then, I stood the filters in a colander, and let all the liquid drain away. Voila! Thick (Greek style) yoghurt – thick enough to use as a cream substitute!

Draining the yoghurt - for 1-2 hours.

Draining the yoghurt – for 1-2 hours.

It worked perfecting – the icing is so sweet that the yoghurt balances out the sweetness and in all honestly, tasted just like cream!

Not as pretty as the recipe picture - but absolutely delicious!

Not as pretty as the recipe picture – but absolutely delicious!

I was so proud of my efforts - I had to include two pics!

I was so proud of my efforts – I had to include two pics!

Healthy living

I am loving the ‘zone-out’ time cooking is giving me. My body is enjoying the benefits and so is our bank balance! The big plus is finding recipes that are fulfilling, I am a big eater. Now, I can eat as much as I want and I’m not piling on the pounds!

I;d love to hear from anyone who has great recipes to share.


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Emotional seesaw – positive thoughts

My family went home yesterday and left me feeling quite sad. I miss them already. Actually, I missed them as soon as we parted at the train station.

The sadness is emotional, but also physical. Especially when Noel and I had to carry our food shopping back between just the two of us! 😉

Noel and I had 'evening medicine' after our au revoirs

Noel and I had ‘evening medicine’ after our au revoirs

My positive? Despite the melancholy feelings of a farewell, Noel and I have turned our attentions to the boat.

Our first two projects are:

  • Rigging a rain-catcher
  • Installing the solar panels

These are the types of projects I love; tasks that take us a step closer to self-sufficient living. I plan to tell you all about it – with lots of pictures.

Mum & dad - home now in the UK

Mum & dad – home now in the UK

Of course, thereafter we have much painting and re-fitting to do. So, yes, while I am a bit sad, I am excited at the next direction in our adventure.