I love a good potter.
Especially about the kitchen whenever my family are out. It is my ultimate therapy.
As an introvert, those sleepy days where nothing much seems to happen, are gems in my week. Yes, I do love spending time with my family and friends but every now and then I have to take a day just for myself to recharge my batteries and relax throughly in my own company.
On these days I reliably get up at a nice time, which for me is 8:30am – anything after that and I do really feel pretty grim. After breakfast and a shower, both as prolonged as possible, the ‘need-done’ list gets ticked through and completed, to the best of what can be done on the laziest of lazy days.
Then, with a huge mug of tea, the daily pottering begins. Some people shop or get their nails done or take a long walk along a beach or even simply go and have a coffee somewhere with a good magazine. Me? Well, I flick through the library of cookery books which my family and I have grown over the years. They range from Delia Smith to The Belfast Cookery Book, and have over the years been stained with orange zest, flour and oils. The stains on the pages only enhance the experience for me: I know what is an old favourite from the state of the pages and can see where there could be potential in the clean and pure sheets.
Today is such a day.
Nothing has been really done that isn’t a result of pottering, tinkering and culinary chemistry. Lazy day preparation has been in ernest and has resulted with two very handy recipes for putting into tupperware and karting back to uni. They both are takes on recipes from Jamie Oliver (15 Minute Meals p240) and Nigella Lawson (Simply Nigella p6-8). ‘Takes’ because I just used whatever was in the cupboards. But they are divine and I urge you to try them.
Indian Daal Curry with Quinoa
What you will need
Put a heavy bottomed pan on the hob (high heat). Boil a kettle of water and bring out a food processor. Then take out all your ingredients:
- 1 onion, roughly quartered
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 heaped tsp of ground ginger
- 1/2 to 1 tsp flaked chilli
- 1 orange pepper, deseeded
- a pinch of salt and pepper each
- 2 tsp of dried coriander leaves
- 2tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric (or paprika)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp ground mustard powder
- 200g quinoa (dried)
- 400g light coconut milk (or just one tin)
- 700ml boiling water
- 2 good handfuls of spinach
Put all the ingredients numbered 1-8 in a food processor and blend to a rough paste. Then put the rapeseed oil in your hot pan along with numbers 10-13 and stir it until mix becomes a tight brown coloured paste. Place all the contents of the food processor into the pan and stir again, making sure that the paste is distributed equally throughout. Next add the water, quinoa and coconut milk to the pan and simmer, stirring often to make sure the mix doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan for about 10 minutes. When the daal is stewing away and reducing (like the above picture) take it off the high heat and onto a new hob at a lower heat and let it further reduce until it becomes a thick and ‘stew-esque’ in appearance.
Jamie recommends serving with naan bread and a tomato salad which sounds lovely, but I am going to put it into a bowl with 0% Fat Greek Yogurt and maybe have as an alternative to veg soup for lunch next week. It’s also only 4 WeightWatchers ProPoints per serving – bonus!
‘Broccamolie’,Veggie Bread and Egg
What you will need
Boil a kettle of water. Have a small pan at the ready on a low to medium heat. Also, have a food processor all set and ready to go.
- 1 medium egg
- 3-4 florets of broccoli
- 3 handfuls of kale
- 100ml rapeseed oil
- 30ml olive oil
- 1 avocado
- 2 spring onions (although one will do sometimes)
- 2 tsp dried coriander leaves (soak in a tiny bit of boiling water to bring out taste)
- 125-150ml of lime juice
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 handfuls of spinach
Put the boiled water into the pan along with the egg, broccoli and kale, with a pinch of salt. Boil these for 5-10 minutes. After this take it off the heat, drain and then rinse the greens and egg in cold water. Once cooled, leave the egg aside and place the broccoli and kale into the food processor along with the oils. Blend to a thick paste.
Cut the avocado and take out the seed. Scoop the ‘meat’ out into the blender along with the spring onions (roughly chopped), coriander leaves, lime juice, chilli flakes, spinach and a good pinch of salt. Wazz it all up until the mix is at a point just before smooth. Then pour out the green delight into a tub to keep in the fridge (Nigella says for 2 days at most).
For the veggie bread I used Asher’s own ‘vegetable bread’ (ashersbakingco.com). This is a real treat as I love Asher’s products as they are sometimes very unique. If you can’t get hold of some then wholewheat bread would be a good substitute.
Shell, slice and then place the boiled egg on top of the broccomolie spread on each slice of toast.
This recipe is also WeightWatcher friendly as it is really filling and 8 ProPoints, a lunch time winner!
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I hope you do try these as they are fab, easy recipes and perfect for pottering around the kitchen, when you have the odd day to yourself.