Here's a dinner recipe that will hopefully float your boat. I'm constantly thinking about recipes for you guys, searching for perfect, nourishing, simple gems that require little cooking time and little clean up. I also want ones that use whole foods and are made from scratch where possible. It's hard to find the perfect balance! This one, though perhaps requiring a bit more cooking time than I'd fancy, is one of my recent favourites. It's a rich lentil ragu that will hopefully satisfy those who are used to having meat sauce with their pasta.
I've not got a lot of time to write this, so I'll skip the intro. My mother-in-law is here looking after Joan but bubba is going through a stage where she thinks my lovely MIL is going to steal her or something, and barely lets me leave the room to get work done.
Anyway, this is a dish I make often - variations of rice with chickpeas (and usually a fried egg), but this one was particularly delicious so I wanted to write it up. When feeling like you cannot be bothered to cook and takeout is looking appealing, I find this hits the spot of being simple + tasty + nourishing.
I am all for one-pot meals. Less dishes to wash? Yes, please! And if it gives me leftovers, even better. This chicken with rice dish follows along with my love of cooking rice with spices and broth. I grew up eating rice boiled in water, which is delicious and perfect for dahl, but there's something incredibly scrumptious about rice cooked in chicken stock. I make my own broth every couple of months as needed (more often in the winter months) and use that, but you can use a store-bought too (see notes below). Though it appears fancy, making your own broth is actually more economical in the long run, as well as being healthier and tastier. It's just that time commitment of throwing stuff in the pot and letting it cook for hours.
I am constantly going on about oily fish and their fabulous, healthy properties, namely their omega-3 fatty goodness. These fats are SO great for us, they are anti-inflammatory and incredibly anti-disease, and in our culture, we just don't get enough of them. We get too many other, less healthy fats, too much sugar and not enough fibre. And so, I am always jumping at the opportunity to increase our intake of omega-3 fats.
All the hip "health foodie" kids were doing it, so I did it too. I peeled then sliced a sweet potato half a cm (ish) thick and popped it in the toaster. Why be so crazy, you might ask? Fair question. You all know I love bread, specifically sourdough, but sometimes I don't feel like bread. Vegetables are my main power food and often I crave them instead of toast. Also, for diet diversity I don't like to have bread at breakfast AND lunch. It's too much bread for me, personally, and it's important to get a range of nutrients from different foods. So, sweet potato "toast" has its merits.
Last week I whipped up a gorgeous green sauce for dinner and after a quick taste, I snapped a picture and wrote down what I did, as I knew I wanted to share it with you. Call it salsa verde, chimichurri or green sauce, either way it's a mix of herbs with oil and vinegar and a few other things that transforms grilled meat and veggies (grilled zucchini, boiled potatoes, mashed parsnip...) into something even more delicious. It is also PACKED full of flavour and nutrients. I am now rather obsessed and am intent on making this as often as possible to keep things interesting.
This is for all you ladies who cannot tolerate dairy or who just have a penchant for dairy-free products (I hear ya!). It is also for breastfeeding mummas whose babies cannot tolerate dairy. As a preference, I enjoy the flavour of full-cream milk in my smoothies. I also like adding a spoonful of tart natural or greek yoghurt to cut the sweetness of the other ingredients I tend to add (dates, bananas...). So coming up with this smoothie was a bit of a challenge. Dairy-free milks are thinner and sweeter than full-cream milk, and I found I was always ending up with something that left me unsatisfied. But I persevered (tough gig) and at last, I found my perfect dairy-free smoothie - perfect to my personal tastes and perfectly satisfying. I hope you also enjoy it too. Feel free to alter ingredients as you wish.
Lately I've found myself reaching for the Pana Chocolate a little too regularly in the afternoons. I did some work for them a couple of months ago, and was gifted a large quantity to bake with, the leftovers of which I have been eating, saying "oh, just one more square" ... Pana chocolate great, it's pretty wholesome, to be honest, but it's not the best snack to give me the lasting energy I am craving to get through the afternoon.