Chocolate’s all gone.

It truly is a sad time. The last of my beloved Belgian dark chocolate is no more.DSC03814

That was all that was left when I dove into my food stash post-dinner. Sad smileDSC03815

Alas, now it is no more. Crying face What is a girl to do?

Answer: find a good recipe to bake tomorrow! Smile You’ll see tomorrow evening hopefully!

Breakfast was a lovely bowl of creamy oatmeal topped with raisins:DSC03807

And this was the star of lunch (a big salad monster)- the mother of all beans:DSC03813

I could quite easily write a love poem about the kidney bean. Red heart

Dinner was one of my favourites- Chana masala.

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I sadly cannot take the credit here- my mum is Indian and does all the Indian cooking around here! Smile with tongue out Really delicious; chickpeas are ALMOST as good as kidney beans to me, and trust me when I say that is very  high praise indeed! Open-mouthed smile

And before dinner, I embarked on a speedy 3 miler (avg pace 8.28) in the cold and dark:DSC03701

Such a cool look! Enjoyed it, despite the weather! Off to do a bit of yoga before bed. I WILL be able to do the Pose of a Crow someday! Smile

Brief post tonight, but expect a long recipe one tomorrow, I’m warning ya! Smile with tongue out

Favourite dinners? Chana Masala is definitely on my list Smile

Spicy tomato, chickpea and vegetable stew

A quick post today, as I’m actually going out to a fancy dress party tonight! I’m very excited, as I haven’t been to a fancy dress in years.

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This was me at a party, dressed as a fairy, aged 6. See the embarrassing thing here was that this wasn’t a fancy dress party! I just liked my fairy outfit a lot! Smile with tongue out But this year I’m not going as a fairy (the birthday girl has dibs on that one!) but as a Soldier Girl. I’m borrowing my brother’s Army uniform, (he’s in the Cadets) and will just go as that. I haven’t tried it on yet though…lets hope it fits! Not very exciting I know, but it was all a bit late notice to come up with anything more creative! Photos possibly to come tomorrow!

Anyway, for breakfast, I had my current favourite (it changes- a lot!): a huge bowlful of pumpkin oatmeal!DSC02877

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Oatmeal really does fill you up and hold you over like no other breakfast, in my opinion! Although I did have some raisins and a rice cake to munch on while I worked before lunch, and then figured out what to have. I was thinking some kind of soup/stew because it’s so cold where I am today (10C!), and I had a major craving for chickpeas, because I love them, and spiciness to warm me up! That’s when the brainwave hit me: Spicy tomato, chickpea and vegetable stew Smile

Spicy tomato, chickpea and vegetable stew

Assemble your veggies of choice. I had a courgette (zucchini, if you’re from across the pond!) and an onion to use up. I would have added a diced carrot and/or some celery to add to the texture, but we were out, and it tasted great nonetheless.

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Dice them up and sauté them in 1 tbsp olive oil (or olive oil spray) for a few minutes until softened.DSC02889

Then add 2-3 tbsp of this amazing stuff, depending on how spicy you like it…DSC02891

…and a tsp of ground cumin to the veggies and stir happily away. I like it spicy, so 3 tbsp gave it quite a kick Winking smileDSC02892

Then make up 500 ml of vegetable stock…

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…and add to the pan, along with a can of chopped tomatoes, a drained can of chickpeas (400g) and 2 tbsp tomato puree. Then stir, and admire the beauty of it all:

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Oh yes. Then cover and leave to simmer for half an hour. And make sure your brother doesn’t take your camera and take a super-unflattering photo of you glaring at him:

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After 30 minutes, you can stir in 2 tbsp of couscous, to add some more fibre and deliciousness to your stew, and leave for a further 5 mins. And then serve and enjoy!DSC02910

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I served mine with a whole-wheat tortilla and some vine-ripened tomatoes. Delicious, and so filling! I could barely finish it!

The stew packs quite the nutritional punch too: approx. 186 calories, protein 7.9g, fat 6.6 g, fibre 6g per serving Smile

Serves 4 people

  • 1 tbsp olive oil/cooking spray
  • 1 large onion , chopped
  • vegetables of choice (I used 1 medium/large courgette), diced
  • 2-3 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 (drained) can chickpeas  (400g)
  • 2 tbsp couscous (optional)

Heat the oil in a pan, then add the vegetables. After a few minutes, they should have softened. Stir in the harissa paste and cumin. Then add all the other ingredients except the couscous, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the couscous and leave for a further 5 minutes, then stir and serve.

For me, soups and stews are one of the ultimate cold-weather foods, so this warmed me up nicely Smile

Question: What are your favourite foods to have when the cold weather hits?

Have a great evening! Open-mouthed smile