I started my day with a large pot of strong Assam tea to get over the shock of having been woken up by the little fella at 5:30 am. He was keen to get on with his day and start playing with Lucas. The amount of
shouting negotiating it took to get him back to bed left me completely awake.
One pot of tea and some interesting blog reading later I felt ready for my day. Porridge! I wanted porridge today with some fresh mango and a Turkish fig.
50 g of Jumbo oats, 140 ml unsweetened almond milk. 1 tsp Chia seeds, 1 tbsp clementine cashew nut butter, half a fresh mango and one Turkish fig. What a fantastic combination of flavours and textures. Every mouthful was a pleasure.
When I am tired it is tempting to consume lots of caffeine in an attempt to stay awake, especially on a day like to day when I have a million things to do. But caffeine highs are followed by post-caffeine slumps which make you feel worse than you did before so instead I drank green tea which I enjoy very much. Green tea does have some caffeine but less than coffee or black tea. It has a light and refreshing flavour and I particularly like the Dragonfly teas.
Lunch was the other half of the aubergine parmagiani left over from last night. I did not rave about it enough on yesterday’s blog. It was AMAZING and you should all eat it. Unless you are allergic to aubergines or tomatoes or cheese. It was delicious. If you don’t have ‘Veg everyday!’ I am sure you have the recipe in one of your other books or can Google it. I did learn that it is an Italian dish called “Melanzane Parmagiana” which is similar to lasagne in its construction, using aubergine instead of pasta (thank you Mirella) so you could also search for that.
It is hard to believe that so few ingredients could combine to taste so fantastic. It reheats beautifully, was as good if not better than yesterday and is currently my favourite vegetable dish. I ate it with a mountain of salad leaves, rocket and spinach I picked in the garden. Wow, it was good.
I was also going to have it with some homegrown carrots but as soon as I scrubbed one, Harvey or I ate it! Some were very small 🙂 But they were perfectly formed and tasted really good. I planted them very late so they haven’t had much time to get going. Many were much larger than this little one but I also have plenty this size or even smaller!
We decided to treat the dogs to a huge bone each. Our local butchers in Cranbrook gives away their bones as I suspect all butchers do. It saves them desposing of them. It’s a bit like recycling really. The dogs were delighted and have not been seen or heard from much since.
Supper tonight was risotto to use up the left over chicken stock I made earlier in the week. I am using an old favourite cookbook which I have not used for ages; Nigel Slater’s Real Food. It is well thumbed with stained pages from endless use but has lain unread at the back of the book shelf for a few years. So tonight I am making pancetta and blue cheese risotto, with lean smoked back bacon instead of pancetta to reduce the fat content but hopefully not the flavour.
Oh yes, and without the blue cheese either. After yesterday’s cheesefest I need to keep away from cheese for a bit and there was cheese in my lunch so I really must not add any more, even though it would have been lovely. So supper tonight was pancetta and blue cheese risotto without the pancetta or blue cheese :-).
It did have chicken in it too, the bits of chicken I picked off the carcass after I made the stock. So really it was chicken and bacon risotto.
Served with leeks and kale, lightly sautéed in a tbsp oil and drizzled with maple syrup. I struggle with kale but keep trying different ways of cooking it as it is so nutritious. It is a good source of fibre, vitamins A, C and K plus many minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.
According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website, kale also has properties which can help reduce cholesterol, reduce the risk of some cancers, support detoxification, and provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
So it is without doubt a super healthy vegetable but I have never been keen on it. However, tonight’s flash of inspiration may have solved the problem. I chopped up a leek and a mountain of kale. I fried the leek in 1 tbsp groundnut oil which is virtually flavourless. I then added the kale and a little water so the kale steamed in the frying pan with the leek. When the water was nearly gone I drizzled 2 tbsp maple syrup over the leek and kale and cooked it for about another 2 minutes until the water was virtually gone.
The end result was a mild maple syrup flavour on the vegetables which distracted from the strong kale flavour. It had been sufficiently well steamed too so it was soft rather than tough and fibrousy. The maple syrup flavour worked very well with the salty bacon in the risotto. A success ! I think I have found a way with kale so I will actually look forward to it next time.