Recipe #01 Chicken Fajitas

Fajitas are a simple, easy meal but many of the shop bought packs are full of unnecessary salt.  This adaptation removes the salt and gives you control over the heat too – if you prefer something a bit milder, just reduce the chili powder; or crank it up if you like thinks spicy!

11 Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 2 mixed peppers, sliced (I go for red and yellow as they are sweeter)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 small flour tortillas

Method

  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees Celsius
  2. Make fajita seasoning: Combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast-iron grill pan or frying pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Fry the onion and pepper slices until they start to soften
  5. Add in the chicken slices, combining with the onion and peppers for 5 to 8 minutes
  6. Sprinkle  in the fajita seasoning. Mix together and cook for a further 5 to 6 minutes, or until browned.
  7. While your veggies and meat are cooking, wrap tortillas in tin foil and warm in oven for a couple of minutes.
  8. Bring it all togetgher – fill the warmed tortillas with chicken, peppers, and onions. Top with optional extras – sour cream and smashed avocado are my favorites.

First step to donation

Today I had my initial assessment for donation. It involved a urine sample; 12 vials of blood for various tests; height, weight, blood pressure measurements and a good long chat with the transplant nurse. I also managed to pour hot chocolate into my bag, but hopefully that won’t go against me.

The frustrating bit now is waiting for the initial results and hoping they don’t show up anything that will prevent me donating, or uncover any health conditions I wasn’t aware of. The nurse told me 25% of potential donors don’t make it passed this stage so fingers crossed I’m in the majority.

She also said that in the next round of tests they will be looking for my kidney function to be 90+ so it’s weird to have that kind of pressure to pass a test that I have no control over.

Talking through the donation process (assuming all goes well) was also useful and answered lots of questions and put my mind at ease just in relation to how much care goes into this from so many people.

We are some way off being accepted for the kidney sharing scheme yet but I feel positive. My blood pressure is good and I’m taking that as a good sign my kidneys are in good condition too. Time will tell….

A brief history of recent times

Kidneys.  Not the most glamorous of organs.  They are not the biggest, they don’t quite have the high profile of say the heart or lungs;  they don’t have super regenerative powers like the liver and the most that anyone probably thinks about them is when they are a bit achy after a big night out on the booze.

That’s how I felt about them until my Boyfriend (who we will call C) had some tests done about seven years ago and was diagnosed with the very hard to say  IgA nephropathy (nuh-FROP-uh-thee) also know as Berger’s  Disease. I’ll refer to it as IGAN because it is much easier to spell.  Even when we first got the  diagnosis and learned about the potential long term implications, we didn’t think much more about it and the impact on our lives (other than C’s daily meds to control blood pressure) was minimal.

Then, over the years C’s kidney function – measured as glomerular filtration rate (GFR) – began to drop. Phrases such as “Chronic Kidney Disease” started to feature in our life alongside increased blood tests and a rising sense of this being something more that a distant potential threat.

The progression from Stage 3 to Stage 4 was rapid and happened over just a couple of months during the 2017/2018 Winter. We started then to join the dots between unrelated minor symptoms that became the sinister herald of more to come.  His itchy, restless legs; a constant tiredness and creeping lethargy; the bone deep cold that would not shift no matter how high we put the heating up, or how ever many layers C bundled himself up in.

Finding out C’s CFR had fallen to 19% was the trigger for conversations with his renal specialist to start to include words like Transplant and Dialysis – life changing concepts that drove me to sit up and really start taking notice to something that really was not going to go away.  I started to attend appointments with him and requested to be  considered for becoming a living donor. This far of distant danger was now sitting front and centre in the middle of my living room; putting its muddy feet on my sofa and showing no sign of going away.

And here we are now – about to face some serious, big scary stuff that I have no idea how to handle.  I’m hoping I can use this blog as a place to record our experiences; keep a track of useful things and start to share some of that with others. Because this is a terrifying place to be in, and no one should be here alone.

I don’t know what the future holds, just that it is coming whether we want it to or not – so I’m going to make sure I’m ready for it.