Eating my way through November…

Well, I eat my way through every month. Because, well, I like being alive and I’m really lucky to have access to all sorts of excellent food. But it’s been a particularly foodie month because:

  • I’m watching ludicrous amounts of food TV in the two hours a day I’m not working, cooking and / or spending time with Ramona
  • I’ve been re-reading the astonishing¬†Health at Every Size for the fourth time, and this time actually following some of the recommendations
  • I’ve started an organic box delivery which is forcing me to consider cooking things I haven’t done before
  • I got free tickets for the BBC Good Food Show and had a lovely morning there trying all sorts of nibbly bits, including my first ever taste of black pudding, which is amaze.

Now, not to worry. I’m not going to suddenly go evangelically vegan or anything (obviously; I just ate pig blood and liked it), or stop eating cake, but I am enjoying making sure I’m getting my veggies, and having more vegetarian or veg-heavy meals. There’s still plenty of olive oil and cheese in there. Mmmm… cheese.

Also occasionally bacon.

Anyway, here are some things wot I ate.

Bircher Muesli

I used a variation* on Hugh Footely-Pootely’s** recipe for this.

Mine, as you can see, was considerably runnier. I think the lack of wheat flakes wasn’t quite balanced out by extra oats, and therefore the apple added more moisture. That in turn meant some of the orange juice wasn’t absorbed. Don’t get me wrong – it was / is delicious. But you will need to judge the liquid content and do some experimentation if you don’t want to have to strain it before eating or just put up with slightly watery yogurt. Best made the night before.

*No wheat flakes as I didn’t have any (added extra oats), walnuts and almonds for the nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, dried dates, Tesco value porridge oats. Yeo Valley fat free yogurt is gorgeous.

**That’s what he’s known as in our house, so thus he shall remain.

Beetroot, Apple, Feta and Walnut Salad

We got three raw beetroots in our veg box, and, lacking a mandolin and the will to clean up spattered oil, crisps were out. I could have shreddded them raw, but I wanted something a bit more wintery.

I roasted them using these instructions for about an hour, along with three large garlic cloves and a generous slosh of olive oil, and then peeled them while they were far too hot like an idiot let them cool a bit before donning Marigolds and peeling / slicing. I then layered them up with slices from about half a medium sized apple, some chopped walnuts left over from the muesli and about half a small pack of feta crumbled over the top. Ash thought it needed more cheese, I thought it needed a whole apple. For the dressing, I used the oil from the roasting with the innards of the baked garlic squeezed out into it (I discarded the remaining bits) plus a glug of balsamic. I could have done with a bit more oil, so I’ll be more generous next time.

I also baked some wholemeal bread to go with it which I didn’t knead properly so it ended up like a doughy brick with a wonderfully crunchy crust. I turns out Ash likes bread dough and I like crusts, so with some butter that worked out… but I might be a little more careful about the actual recipe next time.