There is a so much going on at the moment in the world, in the house, in my head.
I have spent a week working out heating wattages, where pipes can go on repointed walls, how things will work in the kitchen to leave space for a sofa in front of the fire.
How to keep character whilst losing the crumbly problem of limestone walls. How to bring in charm and warmth but not hide all the original house behind plaster board.
I have also been working on the website, well two actually, one is my new French/English one and, oh, lala lala, my French is another story.
It has been frustrating and mind boggling and I have spent way too long at the computer.
First world problems, I know.
I’m not going to talk about all the world stuff, it’s all around us, it can get depressing and I really don’t have much to say right now other than: Be kind! Think! Treat people the way you want to be treated! Help people! Don’t bitch! Don’t press that button!
This is a simple one. It’s all simple really if you want it to be (except the French!).
Like, keep the charm, don’t put a plasterboard wall up….
Lots of people are feeling skint after Christmas or generally and think it is expensive to get fit and look after yourself. Not true. Well, it doesn’t have to be anyway! Here are a few ideas.
Wake up in the morning and don’t worry about the cost of heating the water, have a cold shower, feel how your skin warms up afterwards, how you tingle from your hair to your toes – fantastic boost for your immune system and gorgeously toning for your skin.
Massage yourself with some oil, almond or coconut are good ones, maybe with a few drops of your favourite essential oils or use your favourite natural moisturiser, body balm or oil. Its good to look after yourself, it reminds you (or teaches you eventually 😉 that you are valuable, that you matter, that you can take care of yourself.
Wrap up and get outside, walk, splash in puddles, climb a few hills, skid about in the muddy fields, feel the rain sting your cheeks and the wind mess up your hair. Feel alive!
You could pick a pocket full of leaves whilst you are at it and make a wrap, a salad, a quiche, a stir fry or throw them in your bowl to pour hot soup over (check them out, I don’t mean any old leaves – there are lots of identification books around, oh, and a good soak in water and apple cider vinegar will help remove anything nasty).
Do some DIY. Ha, ha, ha.
Moving swiftly on to lunch.
On Sunday, when lots are thinking of roast this and that with Yorkshire puds and gravy (yes, I love that too!) I made this…
Deeply savoury, slightly sweet with lots of crunch and chewy bits it satisfied on all levels, really it did and there was no afternoon slump, no bloating, no “Oh, I wish i hadn’t had that extra serving” .
It is also made with all things in season and localy grown, apart from the sauce.
1/2 a black radish (Black Mooli)
1/2 red pepper
Blette stem (I used leaves as wraps see below) I think they are Chard in English.
1 spring onion
2 sundried tomatoes
A few chives
This is where a few forage leaves would come in handy too:)
1 small dried pepper
Cut Blette leaves into wraps. I’ve never seen Chard or Blette in England I don’t think! Lettuce, Romaine leaves or Savoy cabbage would all work.
Gently fry the dried pepper, mushrooms, sliced Chard stems and half the sliced red pepper, in ghee (or butter or oil) until slightly browning and caramelised.
Toss all the rest, saving half the herbs, in 1/2 TBS Coconut Teriyaki sauce (you could make your own, which is divine or use normal but the own-made or coconut are way better in all ways). That’s the most expensive and, if being pedantic, least healthy bit but you need so little!
So easy, now just lay the leaf wraps out, pile some raw and cooked mixture in, grind pepper over and sprinkle with the reserved herbs and roll up. I tied mine with chive leaves which kept them together well.
Serve with some Teriyaki in a bowl – or Tamari (or soy sauce) with a little drop of maple syrup or honey – to dip if needed.
Lastly, anytime, just …
put some music you love on, close the door, close the curtains, close your eyes and simply move the way you want to. Push it a bit, use all your body, stretch to the edges of your reach, move each side of your body, front, back, right and left. Bend, stretch, twist and turn. It doesn’t matter how it looks, it matters how it feels. Move high and move low, move fast and move slow. Roll up and down and lie on the floor and move like a baby. Roll over, push up, curl and extend. Use your fingers, your head, your hips, your ankles. Most of all, use your instinct.
If you allow yourself to include all your muscles you will begin to strengthen and relax your whole body.
And your mind will follow.
Have some chocolate. You know, raw chocs are actually very good for you 🙂
I believe that if you are going to eat meat, choose organically raised animals that have been treated well and lived outside in their most natural way.
Lots of people thrive better with meat, it is hard to make a vegan diet work long term without serious learning and dedication to balancing the nutrients we need, though (I have to say it) I believe a regime light in meat, dairy and processed grain and sugars is best and learning to eat well is worth it.
People always say to me that eating raw vegan is so expensive and also eating organic meat or fruit and vegetables is so expensive – well yes it can be but so can eating a standard diet. It depends on what you choose. If you buy it all fresh and seasonal and choose well you can eat really well for less.
Last week I saw organic chickens for sale, buy one get one half price. I paid 12€ for both.
For the first time ever I boiled a chicken.
This is how I did it.
I simply put the whole chicken, 2 whole carrots, an onion cut in quarters, a stick of celery plus the leaves from a couple of other sticks in a big pan. I threw in a sprinkle of whole black peppercorns, ½ teaspoon of salt, some fresh thyme, rosemary and sage out of the garden – dried would be fine.
Water , about ¾ of the way up the chicken, if I had used a smaller pan with a more snug fit it could have covered it. Popped the lids on, brought to the boil then turned down to a simmer and left it for just over an hour.
When it was cooked I removed the chicken, which was messy as it all fell off the bone it was so tender. I pulled all the meat off and put the carcass back into the pan and left it, with the lid on to simmer all afternoon, about 4 or 5 hours altogether. Then I strained and put the stock into jars and when cooled into the fridge. At this point you could freeze the stock so that you could use it for a longer period of time.
I was amazed at how much chicken there was and how good it tasted.
The chicken was packed into a glass storage box into the fridge.
Meals from 1 chicken.
Chicken or mushrooms
Miso/lemon grass/garlic/ginger/seaweed/ coriander leaves – all or none, its optional
I chopped carrots into sticks, shredded bok choy and kale (any cabbage would work), about ¼ chopped red pepper. NB just use any veg!!
I heated some oil in a pan and gently fried sliced leek for a few minutes with some chopped lemon grass (not necessary but I had some) and a crumbled red chilli (I have a small tub in the cupboard, they keep for yonks!) then added the vegetables and stir fried 2-3 minutes. I added some stock (I wanted it like a soup so added enough for two of us – you know how much you need 😉 and a spoonful of miso and stirred as it heated. This went into bowls with some soba noodles for Robin which I had cooked and rinsed in cold water and a handful each of sprouted mung beans that I had sprouted myself. Shredded chicken on top.
You could add a boiled egg on top too if you need more.
I sprinkled seaweed over.
OK, I know all that looks a lot but if you have dried peppers and dried seaweed flakes in the cupboard, they are a bit pricy to buy but last for ages and you don’t need to use a lot. Miso same thing; and it makes a really good savoury drink any time. Lemon grass can be bought and chopped and kept in a freezer bag in the freezer. Ginger the same, just peel it (easy, scrape it with the back of a spoon) and pop it in the freezer then grate as and when you need it. If you don’t have home made stock use a cube, a Miso cube is lovely.
The whole think took me ten minutes.
Robin is putting insulation in the roof up a ladder, going up and down all day long and needs calories. He also does fine with bread so a few sandwiches made from good bread, packed with leaves and cucumber and chicken served him very well.
- Savoury Pancakes
Fresh herbs (I used coriander, sorrel and dill as I had them)
Leaves (I used spinach and water cress)
I made Socca pancakes (chickpea flour with same quantity water – ie 1 cup flour, 1 cup water OR as I did ½ cup chickpea flour and ½ cup coconut flour, you need a bit more water for this) heat one side in a pan that can go into the oven then pop in the oven for the top to cook.
I stuffed these with lots of leaves, chicken, fresh herbs, mungbeans, avocado slices and some homemade salsa I had in the fridge.
See how to sprout your own mung beans here Friday bits and bobs
Mixed fresh vegetables
My usual think I just threw in the veg I had (Squash, leeks, parsnips this time) added the stock and blended with a wand blender when cooked.
- Chicken n chips
Salad or coleslaw
I chopped sweet potatoes and beetroot into chips and shredded some sage leaves. Tossed all in olive oil, ground cumin and a pinch of salt and cooked in the oven. I served with the chicken and some salad with a lemony dressing on it; I have also served it with homemade coleslaw.
So that is 9 meals and there was still a bottle of stock left which I didn’t use in time and was too concerned to keep after a week so had to throw away, annoyingly.
Do you ever do that, think it is so precious you need to keep it and then it goes off. The mango I treat us to then save for the perfect moment and it is black inside….
Reminds me of a beautiful little outfit I had when Aimee was a baby and I kept it and kept it until it fit then she was to big for it in a couple of weeks.
I still do it /:
SO, 9 meals using the expensive chicken plus fresh veg and store cupboard items.
All flexible with ingredients and quantities.
All in all really nutricious, warming, tasty and inexpensive meals!Learn More