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In fact, I have been eating rather gloriously over the last few months. Alas, I am still without a camera, so I’ve been cooking but I have no proof of it. Although I can talk about it quite well, so if you’ll excuse the text-heavy entry for the mean time.

Some new things:

  • Chilli-Lime Chickpeas – absolute fail. I found this recipe on an online blog so I can’t take credit for it. It involves roasting the chickpeas in the oven and then drowning them in a delicious chilli and lime marinade which makes for awesome snacking. Unfortunately the chickpeas burnt in the 10 minutes I had my full attention on Facebook. Fortunately I bought another can of chickpeas so it’s on the cards to try again soon!
  • Salsa. First time I’ve ever made salsa and I’m definitely going to make it again, so easy but so full of flavour.
  • Ina Garten’s warm Cider Vinagrette Butternut Squash Salad. It was good, but not as amazing as I would have thought. I guess it came out far too sweet for what I wanted for dinner and I guess it’s my fault slightly because I did sub some ingredients (it seems to be my vice at times), for example, I used goats cheese instead of parmesan and used a mixed seed (sesame, flax, pumpkin, sunflower) rather than the recommended walnuts. I also didn’t have any rocket salad (arugula to you American’s) so I used baby spinach instead. Overall, okay, but not gonna rush off my feet to make it again.
  • Low-fat Banana Muffins. Here we go, yes, I made banana bread again. But this time I thought I’d change it a little bit – muffins instead of bread and a low-fat variety so it’s not so sugary. They turned out great. Again, I subbed some ingredients – I used half wholewheat/half self-raising flour, mainly because I didn’t have any baking powder and then I added two more tablespoons than the recommended amount of apple sauce.
  • Pumpkin Soup – I added the other half of the butternut squash so it’s a touch sweeter than normal. I followed a recipe from my new Vegetarian Living magazine and it came out perfect. I’m gonna top it with the pumpkin seeds I roasted in the oven. I say I roasted them, I should give my ma some credit as she did that part as I was hacking away at the pumpkin. I seriously love pumpkin and squash but the fact that it’s so hard to peel and chop always puts me off getting it, especially if I don’t have much time. Fortunately I do right now because I’m unemployed, so I had plenty of time to chop at this unforgiving pumpkin.
  • Tomato Sauce (for pasta). My dad always buys me those ready-made tortellini/ravioli, which are good, but always so bland on their own. I decided to make up my own sauce which took about 10 minutes to make.

That said, I long for a good knife set! Something also worth saving money for!

I have to admit that because of my recent eating and lack of exercise I have gained some weight, so I am now on a diet. I say diet, I’m just trying to be a better veggie and to stop snacking so much. Today, for example, I had two banana muffins with apple syrup/butter (it’s a Dutch thing) for breakfast [at 11am, oops] and then at 4pm I ate a couple of crackers with humous. Dinner is gonna be pumpkin soup with more crackers or a slice of brown bread. Healthy healthy!

Onto some recipes:

Salsa:

You need a good knife and chopping board, or if you have a food processor then use that. My lowly student brain forgot that my parents’ kitchen actually had one until I had chopped up all the ingredients.

6 tomatoes, finely or roughly chopped (depending on if using food processor)
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 garlic cloves, crushed
small handful of coriander, finely chopped
crushed chilli flakes
juice of 1 lime

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl or food processor. Let to sit in the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavours combine or eat straight away. It definitely tasted better the next day though.

We had ours with cheesey nachos, guacamole and sour cream. Nom!

Tomato Sauce:

1 carton/jar of tomato passata
1 onion, finely chopped
1 close of garlic, finely chopped
1 handful of baby spinach
1 hanful of good-quality black olives
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Any hard cheese, eg parmesan. (I used Old Dutch cheese as that’s what I had in my fridge)
Salt & pepper to taste

  1. In a pan, saute the onion and garlic on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until soft and starting to brown.
  2. Add in the baby spinach and let it whilt in the heat of the pan. Stir it in well.
  3. Pour in the tomato passata and heat through until almost simmering.
  4. Throw in your parsley and olives, salt & pepper.
  5. Serve over your choice of pasta and top with the grated cheese and more pepper if desired.

Anyway, I leave you with one picture. A chocolate orange cake with orange frosting, made during the World Cup Final.

Happy eating!

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