No setting of the alarm clock. Snoozey lie in. Leisurely bath. Pot of tea. Relaxed read through my favourite blogs and a catch up of email. Reheat leftover oats baked with berries and bananas for breakfast (7 WW points). Lovely easy start to the day.
I had to pop to the shops and while there I treated myself to some Tea Pigs Chai. They are more expensive than other teas but really good. The tea bags are really pretty; made of a very sheer material so you can see through. They use the whole leaf rather than tiny fragments so you get a stronger brew. The blend of spices was perfect and I had it with milk and a little sugar.
James and I spent 2 months travelling round India on a budget and we did a lot of train travel. On every single journey you heard the chai-wallah calling out “chai” very regularly. I could have been back there the spicing in the tea was so good. But I was at home drinking out of a clean tea cup instead. I enjoyed it so much I immediately made another.
On a lazy Sunday we have a very late lunch. I needed a little snack to keep me going and I had 80g of Gouda and a deliciously sweet and juicy red pear (8 WW points).
I wasn’t completely lazy all day. Harvey and I took the dogs over the road in to the woods and we had a lovely walk in the winter sunshine. We did spend ages laughing at the dogs who were very confused by the frozen pond and kept trying to get the sticks and stones we were sliding across the ice. But the ice was so thin it broke every time they stepped on it which they did not like or understand. It was very funny and I wished I had my camera, which I nearly always carry with me but not today.
To accompany the roast pork (which James cooked, with fennel seeds) I turned to MORO The Cookbook and was inspired by a Turkish vegetable dish called ‘Turlu Turlu’. Turlu means many kinds of or diverse and this dish certainly has a good variety of vegetables in it. One of which is turnip which I do not think I have ever cooked before and can not remember eating.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 3 courgettes, cut in to 2 cm discs
- 1 aubergine, cut in half lengthwise, and then each half cut in to 4 lengthways
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thickly
- 2 green peppers, cored, deseeded and cut in to chunks
- 3 medium carrots, scrubbed, halved lengthways and each half cut in to 3 lengthways
- 2 turnips, peeled and cut in to 2 cm chunks
- 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut in to 2 cm chunks
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 3 tbsp cooked chickpeas
- 150 ml tomato passata
- 1 small bunch each of flat leaf parsley and coriander, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper
- Lay courgettes and aubergine on a large tray and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt.
- Leave for 20 minutes and then rinse under cold water.
- Preheat oven to 220 °C.
- Place aubergine, onion, garlic, green peppers, carrots, turnips and potatoes in a large bowl.
- Add oil, allspice and coriander seeds and mix well so all vegetables are covered in oil and spices.
- Tip in to a very large roasting tray so the vegetables are in a single layer. If they are piled on top of each other they will steam but you want them to roast and caramelise slightly.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, add the courgettes and roast for a further 15 minutes.
- During the final 15 minutes roasting time, heat the passata in a saucepan with the chick peas.
- When the vegetables are roasted, mix with the passata and chick peas, parsley and coriander and season to taste.
We served this with roast pork.
The 150 g of pork was 8 points and I had about a quarter of the Turlu which was 9 points. Gravy and redcurrant jelly was 3 points.The Turlu was good but not an ideal accompaniment to roast pork. The flavours did not really complement each other and we decided we would have prerred more traditional roast potatoes and steamed vegetables. I have decided I do not really like allspice either. At least not the one I am using as the cloves are too strong. I also do not like these spices in a savoury dish. To me, cinnamon is a sweet flavouring. I liked the Turlu and would make it again but not with the allspice.
I am going to use 9 WW points on half a bottle of delicious Bordeaux. My preferred everyday red wine is an Australian Cab. Sauv. but it is impossible to find one at a reasonable price these days. All the cheaper bottles are blended with Shiraz which I am not so keen on. Apparently the Australian wine industry is struggling due to unfavourable exchange rates, hence the proliferation of blended wines. So I reluctantly turned away from the New World wines to our neighbours in Europe and James and I are both enjoying this bottle of Bordeaux vey much.
I still have 16 points left. They are “activity” points i.e. extra points I have earned through exercise. What I don’t use up today gets lost forever because on Mondays my slate is wiped clean and tracking starts again for another week.
I have a lovely selection of fruit which is partially prepared and I have planned to eat some with Greek yogurt and honey a bit later. That is, if I can be bothered to get up off the sofa to get it. Where’s Carson when you need him?
Another lovely blog – thanks for keeping us all interested. A bit of food critique, a bit of wine critique, some humour, some travel inspiration, and a little splash of “relax and enjoy yourself”. Glad you had a lovely day….xxx
So pleased you find it interesting. I do try to not just drone on about my diet struggles so it is great to know it is read with interest 🙂
I’m not so keen on spices like that in savoury food either – all spice, cinammon, cloves etc all switch my ‘pudding’ brain on which is never a good thing. We’ve just eaten roast chicken prepared by your nephew who is quite the Heston these days. xx
Well done Harry 🙂 Not too Heston I hope as I don’t like my food mucked about with. Anxiety levels rose this weekend as James has come home with Heston’s Fat Duck cookbook. I now live in fear of some kind of horrendous food experiment trashing my kitchen to produce something inedible! Heston is just not my thing. But I am sure harry’s chicken was lovely.
We all need a little Carson from time to time. Especially on a Sunday evening. Well done on your points though. I bet you wouldn’t have done so well if Carson were there at your every beck + call.
Thank you VGUTR. I do wonder how those ladies managed to eat all that amazing food and have everything done for them and still remain so slim. How did they do it? If i could discover that secret I would be happy. Talk about having your Carson and eating it 🙂
What a fab blog as always. Those tea bags look amazing! I will have to try them when I am next home!! The story of the dogs made me laugh alot, I can picture it very clearly! The roast sounded lovely, I will miss a good roast. And loved the Carson comment. I need one up in Durham too! X.x.x
Sorry darling but a Carson is definitely not a student accessory :-). The chai tea is wonderful and I will happily make you one xx