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 🙂
It has been a bit mad here the last couple of weeks.
I have started my French business, Desri’s Kitchen and been number crunching and trying to make that work on paper (in the French system – that is hard!). I am adding in teaching raw cuisine as well as healthy ways to tweak your cooking (including gluten free, dairy free, grain free etc).
Also we have been running ahead of electricians putting wall frames and ceiling frames in the Little House which means that is really taking shape! Nothing like deadlines to make Robin and I make something happen. Talking of which we also had a photo shoot for Oliver’s Travels which meant we had to strip ourselves out of our house – every room had to be made neutral, which for a hoarder and we who attatch emotion and history to almost everything we have gathered was a tough ask, to say the least.
We did it though and the photographer was a great guy who, it happened had recently, along with his girlfriend started eating a raw vegan diet! We talked for ages as there was lots in common with Robin and me resulting in the shoot running late and giving me an excuse to ask him to stay for lunch. I whipped up creamy noodles, avocado and courgette tartar and a green salad all with crunch seed sprinkles.
It is really important when changing your diet to cover as many tastes and textures as you can. Food doesn’t only nourish us physically but emotionally too. I hear lots of you say to me “But I so want something creamy like Italian cabonara or a creamy spicy curry” or “I need a rich, sticky, sweet and sour Chinese meal”. So have it – make your healthy food taste spicy and creamy, rich, sweet and sticky, crunchy and pungent, salty and sour.
A few easy recipes which can be used as dressings for noodles; you could use spirilized or peeled carrot, courgette or squash noodles or some healthy alternative pasta type noodles like quinoa or, as I did, kelp noodles.
The same recipes could be used as spreads or dips for crudites. If you tolerate and want to eat bread you could dip that in or spread it over.
How to make your healthy food taste delicious:
Create creamy textures
1 avocado whipped up with a 1 TBS of sweet miso (I like sweet miso a lot at the moment but if you don’t have it use 1/2 TBS darker types), 1 TBS chopped onion, 1 TBS nutritional yeast (or more to taste, check at the end), 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp agave/honey/maple syrup (one of them, not of all of them!), 1/4 tsp salt, pepper. Optional some crushed garlic.
Make it sweet ‘n’ spicy
2 TBS olive oil, , 2 TBS lime juice, 1 TBS maple syrup, 1 clove garlic crushed, 1 crumbled dried chilli (the little red ones), salt and pepper to taste. Whisk or shake in a jar with the lid on (I know, its obvious, humour me;).
Use Italian tomatoes
Soak 3 sun dried tomatoes and 1 big or 2 small dates in warm water until soft (this can take an hour or so), chop. Blend with 2 chopped fresh tomatoes, 1TBS chopped onion, 1/2 TBS white wine vinegar (I am liking chardonnay vinegar right now), 1/2 clove garlic (or more, your choice), pinch chilli flakes or 1/2 – 1 small dried chilli crumbled, a good pinch of salt and lots black pepper. Sprinkle whatever you make with it with ripped fresh basil or use 1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs.
Use delicious oils and high-quality seasonings
And lets not forget good old olive oil and balsamic – use the best olive oil, old syrupy balsamic, flakes of fleur de sel or Malvern salt or similar and a few turns of good black pepper. I’d go with about 5-1 oil to balsamic, in a bowl sprinkle the salt and pepper over and use like that or whisk or shake and use as a dressing. Such a treat!Learn More
Just checking in here, it’s been a week of readjustment and joy.
Sometimes news knocks us off balance, not because we are not happy about it, just because it means we need to change course a bit, reballance, reappraise, realign.
That is a good thing because it actually encompasses way more than the instigating factor, we rebalance everything as we adjust.
Often, most times, we don’t realise how stuck and repetitive we have become and this can (come on, usually right?!) be in negative patterns or in things that aren’t the best for us.
Over the yard arm drink, watching that boxed set again, beans on toast again, yet another sleepless night…
Whatever, they are not terrible in their own right although you might agree none of them are the best thing for you on a loop!
Maybe worth having a think and a look at your loops.
This week I have been doing a lot of dancing, yoga, guided relaxations, walking, it’s been gorgiously warm and sunny and lovely to walk in the autumn colours with the sun on your face. It is so good to move! I can’t stress it enough. It raises your metabolism, releases your happy hormones, lightens you and if you are trying to follow a routine it is quite meditative and takes you out of your loop because you are concentrating on something else. You don’t have to be a super duper dancer, just do what feels good to you. Move more than you did even if that means walking at a snails pace. Sometimes we need to push ourselves, a bit of firm and kind encouragment never goes amiss.
And so, a couple of easy, nutritious, non-inflammatory and satisfying recipes for you.
I have given ingredient ideas, it is not rocket science, be easy, a bit more or less will be fine, adjust to what you have, it is all good!
I actually made mine with a 6 inch piece of squash, organic so I washed but didn’t bother peeling it, half a left over parsnip, 1 leek 1 miso stock cube, a pinch of cayenne, lots of pepper.
1 Butternut, or almost any squash. Depending on size use a whole one or part – you can judge!
1 onion and/or leek
1 parsnip (or turnip, swede, carrot)
1 miso stock cube
pinch cayenne or another chilli of you fancy some heat.
Chop it all up, put in pan and stir a bit over heat with a splash of olive oil. Cover with water, add stock cube and seasoning. Cook until all tender and whiz it up. I used a stick blender so I didn’t have to wash a whole blender.
Throw in a handful of frozen peas. By the time you serve and eat they will have defrosted and make lovely fresh little pops in your mouth.
Stir in a handful of baby spinach, by the tie its is on the bowls this will have wilted and be a great contrast to the silkyness of the soup.
A chunk of goat’s cheese in the bottom of the bowl (Robin loves this) goes deliciously melty.
A great dollop of yogurt (I use live sheep’s, I find goats too tangy generally but it could be a nice contrat for the sweet squash) plopped on top, especially if you used chilli in it.
Sprinkle with diced avocado, tomatoes, red onions and fresh herbs.
Drizzle with herb oil or a good plain olive oil.
Wrap and roll
Take a wrap, any wrap – Robin had flour tortillas, I had dehydrated flax and courgette wraps. You could make or buy coconut wraps, use corn wraps, Nori sheets or rice (spring roll wrapper) sheets, even make socca pancake wraps (lots of recipes online). Lets face it if you are eating bread you could simply make it into an over stuffed sandwich!
Pile on some greens – I used water cress
Layer up with coleslaw – I made a big bowl the day before using sliced white and red cabbage, cucumber, onion, red pepper, cellery and grated carrot with home made mayonaise
Add sprouted beans I used mung beans (instructions below – they are EASY, CHEAP, NOURISHING and go with anything!!)
Wrap it up and eat.
Sprinkle of spices, chilli, salt and pepper.
Scatter lots of chopped fresh herbs – mint, coriander, chives, basil, lemony sorrel…
Goats cheese (or feta would be good) rounded Robins out.
Boost the benefits with some fresh garlic in the cl-oleslaw or runn–bbed over the wrap.
Spread some humus, recipe here Tweak… and twerking would help too!
Sprouting mung beans
2 TBS mung beans (they expand a lot!) rinsed and checked for any little stones
Soak in a bowl of water (start with warm water for sweeter sprouts) for about 8 hours or over night
Drain in seive, rinse and replace in bowl.
You could put them in a jar with some mesh over the top. It’s supposed to makes it easier (so the perveyers of jars with mesh lids say) but I always end up doing it using a bowl and seive these days -so I suppose I have found that easier!
Rinse twice a day until the little tails are the same size as the bean. You can go longer but use before they grow a leave, you just want the tail.
Snack on them as they are or sprinkles with some pink himalayan salt.
Great alternative to crisps splashed with a little oil, apple cider vinigar and salt.
Add to soups, wraps, salads, stir fries.
You could add to anything savoury really!
Happy weekend xxxLearn More
How are you feeling? Have you followed anything here, changed anything?
Simply put, nothing will change unless you change something.
I know I am repeating myself but please don’t hold back until ‘all the bad stuff has been used up’, ‘after the holiday’, ‘after Christmas’ and all the other delaying tactics our heads can use. This is not a punishment!
Just choose better, mostly, now.
Right now stop reading and go and drink a big glass of water…..
Easy, useful, healthful.
Have a piece of fruit. If you don’t like biting into a juicy apple (pear, carrot, celery) cut one up and just have it on a plate next to you. Before you know you will have eaten it.
It’s the weekend in autumn, does that mean a comforting, big Sunday lunch or Saturday night pizza? OK, just change it up a bit.
Here’s a recipe to replace your stodgy mashed potatoes –
Multiply as needed but depending on the size of the vegetables this should serve about 4 or two for one meal and put the rest in a veggie soup tomorrow.
Steam or boil (don’t swamp them with water, just enough to cover) with a lid on.
When tender, drain (drink the liquid or use it in your sauce or gravy) and put into a blender or bowl if you have a stick blender with
A piece of butter, about 2 teaspoons or splash of olive oil
Pinch salt and a few grinds of pepper to taste.
Blend it all up.
Add, roughly chopped:
2-3 leaves of kale, calvo nero, chopped savoy cabbage or any dark green leaves
Pulse into the mash and serve!
Replace your pizza base with slices of aubergine with a splash of love oil smeared over them and roast until tender. When ready top as you would pizza.
There are lots of recipes circulating for cauliflower pizza base, look one up.
Use a stronger tasting cheese and less of it.
Don’t use pizza sauce just put slices of real tomatoes, a smatter of salt and a sprinkle of herbs on as your tomatoe base.
Two things today –
If there is one piece of equipment that I believe would help you have healthier meals it is a blender. A high powered one.
I use Vitamix and Blendtec. I have never used a Nutri Bullet but have only ever heard good things about them and they could be ideal for a lower price point and if you are not going to go the whole hog of grinding nuts, seeds, making flours etc. They also sound great for taking with you (I have been very tempted to get one for travelling, much easier than humping my Vitamix around!).
I am sure if you look on EBay or local second hand sale sites you could find any of the above at a good price because more people than I can count have told me over the years that they have a juicer in the back of a cupboard they never use and I am sure the same can be said for blenders.
Whilst it is important to MOVE it is equally important to rest. If you are healing mentally or physically, recuperating, dealing with and overcoming autoimmune disease or any illness you need to push the toxins out and you need to rest to heal.
On the internet there are loads of guided relaxations, meditations, peaceful relaxing music. You need to look around and try to find what suits you, some really irritate me which is the opposite effect to the one we are looking for! It doesn’t mean they are all the same; Take the time and then use it regularly.
10-30 minutes of deep relaxation, especially regularly, will make you feel so much better.
If you are working and feel that fatigue or stress creeping in pop out for a breath of fresh air or to a quiet place (the loo even) and take a few minutes out to just stop thinking. It might help if you could put a short meditation on your phone and use headphones. Make it happen.
Listen to your body and trust it to tell you.
Have a fun weekend xLearn More
Doing this is your choice. Everything is your choice. Everything you eat, drink, think and do will effect how you feel mentally and physically. If you have an illness, an auto-immune problem, lack energy, have hormone imbalances, mood swings, lack of concentration, brain fog, constipation, acne – you fill in the words for you – you can change how you feel if you choose to.
You only need to tweak really – tweak a salad for a pie haha, no, I am kidding! Well I am not but there are better ways; Tweak a good pie for a bad pie (suggestion in the last post), roast some sweet potatoes with cumin and smoked paprika in place of fried potatoes. Use Make almond milk instead of drinking pasteurised milk, homemade almond milk its cheaper, fresher and more natural than prepacked. Top some roast aubergine slices with onions, red peppers, mushrooms, garlic and some goats cheese instead of pepperoni pizza and so on. Lots more ideas will follow over the coming weeks.
As you tweak and add in good stuff, move more, sleep and look better you will be more inspired to do more of it.
Make it a habit to have a really fresh and juicy green salad with meals; if you don’t already love that you will start to. You just need a good dressing (recipes coming up over the next few posts) to make it just as you want it.
Be prepared for feeling a bit rubbish as you remove the bad. If you are used to drinking coffee and black tea all day, fluffy or stodgy white stuff (pasta, bread, pastry, cake, biscuits, pies you know what I am talking about) then as you remove them your body and head will probably complain a bit. Drink more water, rest if needed, move more to push the toxins through. Have warm salted baths to pull the rubbish out. You might be a bit bloated and windy (sorry) as you add more fibre to your diet – chew well, eat slowly, stop when full. Consider taking probiotics and digestive enzymes. You can find them in health food shops and online. They can help but you don’t have to. I take a course now and again and make my own probiotics which I eat and drink daily, more about that in another post.
Walk, run, jump up and down on the spot, go for a swim, walk or run up and down stairs, dance, do whatever it takes and whatever you can to move. You need to use those muscles. They support you and hold you up, keep all your bits together. Moving raises your heartbeat, increases your oxygen intake, moves your lymph and so removes some of the toxins. It helps digestion, increases metabolism and mood. That’s enough for now, trust me, MOVE!
Drain and rinse 1 tin or jar of red kidney beans or chickpeas, put in food processor. Peel and chop 1 big courgette and throw that in too.
Add 1 big TBS Tahini,
Juice of 1 lemon plus a grate or two of zest.
1 clove garlic.
1 tsp cumin.
Pinch salt (GOOD salt!).
Blend adding a few drops of very cold water until you reach the consistency you prefer.
Serve as it is or with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice (please don’t be afraid of good oils, they oil your joints, your skin, feed your cells – olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, avocados all GOOD).
Serve with chopped veggies, in wraps preferably made from coconut or cabbage/ lettuce leaves, in baked sweet potatoes etc.
Bits and bobs meal
Last night I served this humus with:
Raw courgette, flax seed, physilium husk, onion powder wraps
Fried courgette, red onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, cumin and ground coriander
Chopped avocado, tomatoe, fresh coriander leaves, lemon juice
A pile of roquette and coriander leaves
Non dairy cheesy sauce made by blending soaked cashews, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, dash umboshi vinegar or a stoned umboshi plum, pinch salt and ground pepper. Actually I confess I used a few other ingredients (hence the interesting colour!), which have to remain secret for now, but that recipe will get you an amazing cheesy sauce!
There is no way you could feel deprived eating that!
Our diary for the last two days:
Me: corn crackers with butter and jam (homemade). Dates, soaked and sprouted almonds.
Robin: meusli type cereal (bought) homemade almond milk.
Both: 1 coffee with breakfast
Smoothie: celery, dandelion leaves, parsley, bananas, cherries, maca, spirullina, chia
Robin: Banana, Magnum ice cream!! (note to self make some sweet snacks to be at the ready!)
Humus (recipe in this post) carrots sticks and cherry tomatoes
Raw seed based Falafels with cucumber, tomatoes, tahini sauce wrapped in cabbage leaves.
Piece very delicious, old, hard cheese (using it up!) with Quince paste (homemade).
Apple cidre vinegar in water X 2, 1 ½-2 litres filtered water, green and red tea.
Walked over 10,000 steps (through forest, speedy), swam ½ KM (again, speedy).
Breakfast; Me as above, Robin whole grain toast.
Juice: celery, kale, cucumber, lemon.
Me: Chia pudding with homemade almond milk, banana, spirullina and acai.
Robin : Cereal with homemade almond milk and fruit. Ice cream (NB he is doing masses of physical work and when they are gone they are gone 😉
Grain free wraps, cooked veggies with spices, humus, chunky guacamole, Coriander and roquette from the garden, tomatoes, cheesy (non dairy sauce) recipes in the post.
Plenty of water, red tea, ACV in water x 2. Filtered water, green and red tea.
Walked over 10,000 steps (through forest, speedy), Me danced 30 mins, Robin active work. Ten minute meditation.
Wednesday so far:
Smoothie using the large quantity of juice I made and stored yesterday with banana, mango, frozen cherries, pollen.
Boiled eggs (me 1 Robin 2).
Tonight I am not sure but probably heading for roasted veggies as I haven’t given it any thought and my hands are still covered in wax from renovating a floor!
Take it easy, be kind to yourself, keep hydrated and think about your left hand (see last post here Feel better!).Learn More
Do you ever have days when the thing you found so motivating and exciting yesterday is exhausting and overwelming today?
Welcome to my world!
I have been scared of heights for ever; I couldn’t go up the ladder to the first floor of the ‘little house’, the old tumble down house we are now renovating to move into so that the whole of the main house can be used for retreats, holidays and possibly B&B.
On Saturday, after months of attempts and a few days last week of “OK, Robin I am doing this, would you just turn the ladder that way then I will be OK?”….. I wasn’t. Then “OK, Robin would you put the scaffolding up under the hole and I can just climb up, easy!”….. It wasn’t, I didn’t.
So then he put a combination of ladder and scaffolding, then added planks, then stood on it all himself; no go.
So back to Saturday, I just decided and said to myself “I am a person who goes up ladders!” marched over, asked him to stand on the planks next to the ladder and walked straight up, hurrah!!!
Then I had to decide I was also a person who could climb down ladders. I did (eventually and with a few wimpers) and massive progress has been made.
All the bedrooms and bathrooms have been measured out and moved around until they worked. Of course all the windows and beams are not exactly where we thought, so I did a lot of moving around, toilets, basins, baths and showers juggled until there was enough room to get through a door and put a chair, a towel rail, a without going to the loo in full view of the garden etc.
It was fun and exciting.
Now it’s Thursday and Robin is still putting in the windows which don’t all fit (understatement) so have to be cut, filled, wedged and balanced to work inside and out on a crooked wall, a sloped sill, a wobbly lintel and two of us who think different things look best ha!
I have been putting more grass seed down on top of the seed that hasn’t sprouted – again. I am still wire wooling the floor in the main house, the electrician who has been promising to arrive for weeks didn’t turn up again (thats him out, enough is enough) and we are tired.
No amount of green juice, powdered or fresh wheatgrass or chia and aloe filled smoothies will help this mood – thank heavens for chocolate cake and juicy cherries! Raw, grain free, dairy free and energy boosting cake with cherries we picked and froze in the summer.
Sorry for the moan, better go and mow the weeds now while Robin calls the guy building the gate posts to ask where he is…..
Well I am little physically, 5′ 1 1/2″ to be precise.
I don’t like being called short but small, petite and little are fine.
That is not the issue. It is far more sensitive than that.
Yesterday I mentioned to someone how much I have always wanted a certain type of stove, the one that warms the heart of the house.
They said something along the lines of “your husband will have a fit at the running costs”.
I groaned just typing that.
Why, is it assumed that I would not have a fit at the running costs, pay the running costs, be responsible for the running costs, finance the running costs?
We had friends to stay a while ago and took them on a petit tour and passed the hotel de ville. The lady said “Our husbands should buy us a place like that”.
Our car has been called my husbands car and our house has been called my husbands house. Even my businesses have been called my husbands businesses on quite a few occasions!
I once had a male printer who had made a complete hash of my brochure printing – they went from mainly blue through a few balanced coloured to mainly red and back again through thousands of brochures. It doesn’t matter what the brochures were showing really, bad printing is bad printing, but they were clothing so highly important that people saw correct colouring.
When I asked what he would do he said nothing, he didn’t need to see them and indicated I was making a big fuss and condescendingly suggested I had a little chat with my husband about it! Well, you can imagine.
Needless to say I (not my husband) did not pay him.
When I laughingly told my husband about yesterdays comment (it was by a lovely man who would probably be really embarrassed at how it sounded, or think I was ridiculous for taking it that way 😉 he asked me ‘Does it bother you from a significance or a sexual equality point of view?”.
Such a horribly and annoyingly reasonable question.
I do hate, after all these years in business, that being female can make you so insignificant in a business and financial world. I also dislike that I still care and need that significance.
I wish I could calmly rise above it and be content with my own knowledge of my achievements.
Or maybe I don’t. I want to be thought of as super woman, divine wife, perfect mother, great business woman and I want one of those oil guzzling stoves for ‘my’ kitchen.
Charlie Brown; “Some day we all will die”
Snoopy; “True, but on other days we will not ”
Let’s make the best of our days, our loves and our lives.
Some day we die, the other days we don’t and those days we need to enjoy the living not worrying about dying.
If you are struggling with that reach out to somebody, don’t suffer alone.
We’ve just been for a blustery walk around a loch and up a very steep and rugged hill, picked some blackberries and one very lonesome bilberry and a twig of pine to make tea from. Blown away the cobwebs, boosted our endorphins and foraged some Vitamin C and antioxidants… Robins now chomping his way through some Scottish fudge.
I’d better go and rescue him. (Yes, him, from it!).
Peaceful and beautiful Loch Fyne, loving it come rain or shine.
This is such a quick and satisfying meal, a bit like (a lot like actually) a creamy risotto.
I do adore risotto, full of butter and garlic, wine and parmesan. My favourite is with scallops and prawns. And that is a treat, occasionally.
This one is for any time, no guilt, delicious taste, lovely feel, satisfaction all round. And it is fast.
I made enough for two using 1/2 a medium sized cauliflower which I pulsed along with things I had in the fridge, these turned out to be (yes, that’s what it is like in our house 😉
hang on, the ‘I wasn’t expecting that’ song is on, about to have a weep, I need to turn it off….
…and I am back but I didn’t. There were not many tears but they were hot and heavy with sadness; sweet release of tears held in since the latest in a long line of parental rejection, even at my age it hurts and we learn – if we are lucky – to to put it in context rather than in a box waiting to burst open so that, for me these days, I only have a few hot fat tears rather than fountains from years gone by. We need to release!
Put a sad song on, let yourself go, weep it all away, it is not wallowing, it is cleansing -obviously it can be temporary if you don’t cleanse those emotions and back logs deeply but not everybody wants to or knows they can. But it is really, very beneficial. Just one song though otherwise it could turn into a wallow and who needs that? Not us. Then jump up, spin around, run up and down the stairs, think of something funny, change your posture, stand tall, smile, smile, smile and get on with your day.
Anyway, back we come – so I pulsed half a cauliflower with half a red pepper, a fat spring onion, a lone mushroom and a few sprigs of coriander.
I tipped it into a bowl and then (without washing the food processor bowl) I put in half an avocado, some cashew cream I had left over from something or other (yogurt would be good or the rest of the avocado), a drop (about 2 teaspoons) of cider vinegar and whizzed it up.
Then I stirred it into the grainy mix in the bowl and served!Learn More
I just neeeeeed something savoury. I am so distracted by it I couldn’t even decide on my title.
I don’t want juice or smoothies or chocolate or ice cream or anything other than something mouth-wateringly savoury!
So that is salty, deeply flavoured, oily, maybe a hint of sweet to push those flavours even deeper.
I’m thinking Indian takeaway, Cantonese sizzling beef with all those bits and sweet and sour prawns, BBQ spare ribs, full English breakfast…
So what do I do about that then? Not only do I not want to have those because I am being ‘good’ and even if I wasn’t I never feel good after eating any of those things so I rarely do. Also I am in the middle of very rural France and the nearest place to find anything near something on that list is not local (lucky for us and one of the reasons why it is the perfect place for a retreat, no temptation!).
After a fast fridge rummage here’s what I have done about it –
I sliced up a couple of mushrooms and tossed them around in a mixture of olive oil, coconut amos, smoked paprika and maple syrup with some finely chopped rosemary (not sure that will add anything or not, it was a token green leaf though).
I had one mushroom left, which isn’t much use alone, so sliced and tossed that with oil, balsamic vinegar and fleur de sel for a good old salt and vinegar crisp flavour with a grown up twist.
After a while of tossing and leaving and tossing again I put them all in the dehydrater (if you don’t have one it doesn’t matter, see below) which is where they are now. I did eat a few on the way and they are so what I needed. It is amazing what will cut through a craving.
The sucre/salé flavour (the first marinade) was so divine I made some more and am waiting for sliced aubergines to absorb some of it whilst I write. Lets face it, I am really writing to keep me occupied so I don’t keep pinching the warm mushrooms from the dehydrator!
I need to address something here. If you don’t have the ingredients or equipment that are used in a raw food recipe it is usually easy to adapt to what you do have. It is very different from making a cake which needs three eggs and you only have one, that wouldn’t work (I know, I’ve tried it).
Also, if you are wanting to be healthy and clean you do not have to be raw! No, you don’t. You can be and you can eat a lot of raw foods and you can eat things cooked or prepared in the best way you have available to you. I do not eat an all raw diet all the time by any means. I do have blips into all raw (and have spent a lot of time being all raw for reasons I’ll one day share). Mainly we eat a lot of raw foods, high vegetarian, little dairy (love cheese, you should see the cheese stall at our local market, drool) unprocessed and using the best ingredients I can find and afford to use.
Here are some tips on adaptation using the recipes above as an example:
If you don’t have coconut amos, it is the first time I have actually – I only discovered them last time I was in the UK, you could use Brags liquid amos, or light soy sauce, or plain old soy sauce.
No Maple syrup? Use Agave or date syrup or blend up some dates or dried figs would work. Really not a good idea to use general sugar or golden syrup obviously (I think that’s obvious given what we are doing here, if not let me know below ;). I think at a push you could blend some sweet fruit, I’ll give it a go and report back on that one.
Smoked paprika is quite yummy for giving that deeply savoury almost barbequed flavour. If you don’t have it try a bit of chili, mustard would probably give a good result, something a bit punchy. Garlic would be great.
And of course, the dehydrator… so yesterday was very hot and I put some soaked almonds and some fresh lemon balm out to dry in the sun. My Man has been promising for years to make me a hanging cage with shelves that I can dehydrate things in outside but he keeps having to do stuff like re-point the back wall, mow the field, design a product, help a client etc and so it continues to be on the list. The point being that you could dehydrate outside if the weather was being helpful. You could also put the oven on low and leave the door open though somehow, when ever I hear that theory, I just shudder at how expensive it is to leave your oven on and the door open.
Anyway the other option, and probably what I would do in real life, is just put them in the oven on low with the door shut. They would be ‘a bit’ cooked, yes, but they will still be very good nutritionaly, healthwise and taste amazing! You could just heat them until they have softened and warmed. There would be a difference in that the juices would run a bit which isn’t a problem, it is just a difference.
So remember if you don’t have something in one of my recipes, adapt. Then it is not a problem it is merely a difference and we all like to be different don’t we?
I can’t think of anything else useful to say, I am just going to check out those mushrooms in the dehydrator…