Saturday Lunch

Well I love eating healthy. For me it is not a hard thing to do. I do not force myself, I do not feel obliged to eat what I don’t like to eat. I see it like this: if I eat, might as well eat something good, nutritious, that respects my body.

So what this is an example of how one of my meals looks. I think it is tasty because I am used to eating like this and I appreciate rye bread, vegetables, spices. To those of you who eat processed food on a daily basis this meal looks bad. But we all have our own ways of seeing things.

So here are the recipes:

Guacamole (Jamie Oliver’s Recipe)

1-2 ripe avocados

1 lemon/lime

3-4 cherry tomatoes

salt& peppa’

Method:

You can do this by hand or using a food processor. Peel the avocado by hand. If the avocado is ripe the peel will come off without a peeler. Blend/crush the avocado until smooth then add the tomatoes and mix again until smooth. Now squeeze the lemon/lime, add salt and pepper and mix again. I think it tastes better with lemon but do try both and let me know what is your favourie one.

You can serve with crackers, oatcackes, rye bread, anything.

Brussel sprouts

Some people don’t like these as they sometimes taste bitter. Well brussel sprouts taste bitter if you overcook them. In which case it is your fault. Last semester, when I used to live in a university hall, one of the few times when I went to lunch I had brussel sprouts. I could see that they were overcooked as they were almost brown. No wonder people don’t enjoy brussel sprouts when they are served like this.

Method:

Wash the sprouts, remove any ill-looking leafs and cut them in half. Place them in the colander in the sink and pour hot water over them. They should be softer now. Set a wok over medium heat and add a glug of olive oil. When the pan is hot add the brussel sprouts and let covered for a few minutes. Taste them from time to time to check if they are done.

To serve:

I like adding green olives as they make a nice, tangy contrast to the mild tase of the brussel sprouts. Try adding potatoes, carrots, parsnips. Anything goes.

Serve with rye bread with guacamole and you have an entire lunch.

Enjoy!

 

Some kids hate Spinach

We all know the famous cartoons Popeye the Sailor Man and that they were invented so kids would want to eat the glorious spinach and get stronger. After all, Spinach is a Superfood.

Later on in life we learn that spinach is soo good for us: packed with nutrients, low in calories, green and available readily washed in bags. Although I do reccommend that you buy fresh spinach from the market as an alternative to the packed one. But this may be do-able in Romania, in the UK things are different. Check out some population health statistics.

Anyway, my grandma used to cook the hell out of spinach. I am sure no nutrients were left but it was good. She would boil it and chop it up and then add it in a pot with a bit of flour for thickness, milk for smoothness and garlic because it goes well with spinach. It was good though.

Then I grew up and listened to Jamie Oliver (yes, I have to mention his name in every post) saying that if cooked spinach looses its precious vitamins. Since then this is how I eat spinach:

It may not look good to you (I’m used to it), but it is good for you. You don’t have to eat it like this anyway: this mixture can be mixed with hoummous and served on oatcackes, you can mix it with ricotta as a filling for canelloni or vegetarian lasagna or whatever crosses your mind.

So, Ingredients:

Spinach, obviously. As much as you want

Garlic

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

Lemon

Method:

Wash the spinach, place it in a colander, in the sink and pour boiling water over it. If the spinach is a bit tougher you may want to place it in a metal/glass/wooden/ceramic (NOT PLASTIC) bowl and soak it in boiling water. Once it is softer, drain it really well and place it in a food processor. (If you do not have a food processor you can use a knife and chop the spinach until it becomes a like paste.)

Add salt, pepper, oilve oil and lemon to taste and blend again. Transfer into a bowl and it is ready. You can mix it with yoghurt for a creamier composition.

Usually at home, I get a different texture than the one I get here because spinach in the Old Country is better then the one in Scotland. hihihi

What to do when Tesco runs out of Houmous

If you live in St Andrews and you like houmous/hummus (that gorgeous chickpea paste), it may have happened to you more than once to be left without this student staple food. It is not an uncommon phenomenon for Tesco to run out of houmous. If you are really lucky, you may still be able to find canned chickpeas. If you are not that lucky well…come again another day or adventure yourself all the way to Aldi or Morrisons.

Or, there is one more option but it may be too much for your time and patience: a pack of dried chickpeas. You can leave these to soak in water over night and then boil them for 2 hours.

This is what to do in case you are lucky enough to get your posh hands on a can of chickpeas:

Homemade Houmous

(recipe inspired by Jamie Oliver and a few years experience in eating houmous)

Ingredients:

1 can of chickpeas/cooked chickpeas

juice of 1 lemon

1 full teaspoon tahini (sesame) paste (try Holland&Barret or to support the local shops try the Health Foods Store)

pinch of salt & peppa’

(The above mentioned ingredients are essential to make a real hoummous)

(The below mentioned ingredients are optional and you can try this version or experiment with the spices and things you like)

1 garlic clove, skinned

1 teaspoon olive oil

pinch of cumin

pinch of coriander

dried basil

paprika powder

Method:

If you are the happy owner of a blender/food processor then toss the drained chickpeas with some water (not too much) in the blender and blend until somooth. You can mash the chickpeas by hand. However I noticed that this is harder to do with Tesco chickpeas, as they are slightly harder. But maybe they will change the recipe :)

Now add the lemon juice and tahini paste and what you chose from the optional ingredients. Although I highly recommend that you add a teaspoon of olive oil no matter what…it makes the houmous much smoother.

I like to decorate the top with stripes of dried basil and paprika powder. 

Also feel free to try adding some cooked spinach, yoghurt, red chilli or whatever you think would be appropriate. Please send me any suggestions that you may have.

Enjoy!