Saturday, 7 January 2012

This week's cooking...

As it's a new year, I am of course attempting to get myself into an 'exercise and healthy eating' habit. I've signed up for the Reading half-marathon, which is on April 1st (shock horror - I'm doing an organised race! Hopefully this time I'll finally get over my bizarre tendency to do perfectly well in training before a spectacular crash-and-burn on the day itself...) so I need to start putting in the miles, and although I don't have many Christmas pounds to lose I would like to be a bit healthier after spending the entire festive period eating my bodyweight in cheese and drinking rather a lot of wine. A trip to the pub last night probably wasn't the best start, but never mind! This morning I went to Pilates, and on the way home I bought lots of healthy things.

Some of which I used to make this lovely nut roast:
I do love a nut roast! Bizarrely, though, this was my first attempt at making one - my mum makes an amazing pine nut, pepper and mushroom terrine thing that sort of resembles a nut roast, which I have for Christmas lunch every year instead of turkey, but it's not really a nut roast. This one was the real deal, with walnuts and sunflower seeds as well as carrots, mushrooms, onion and pepper. I didn't have any of the herbs the original recipe called for, so I decided to add some toasted cumin seeds and a bit of ground coriander, and it's absolutely gorgeous. As you can see, I had it with a lovely tomatoey sauce (I just cooked up a little tin of chopped tomatoes with plenty of salt and pepper and a bit of chilli) and some brown rice and a big pile of baby Brussels sprouts. I'm hoping it'll be good running fuel! The loaf makes easily enough for six, so I've popped the rest in the freezer in two-slice portions.

The healthiness doesn't stop there, though - on Thursday night I was stuck for something to make for supper when I stumbled across a recipe from Appetite for Reduction for soft broccoli polenta. I've had a massive bag of polenta in the cupboard for literally years - I bought it to make Jamie Oliver's pizza dough when I lived in the flat before this one - and it's only just gone past its best before date, so I thought it'd be a good idea to use some of it up. This polenta dish was ridiculously quick and easy to make, ridiculously filling and ridiculously low in calories - and of course anything containing broccoli is bound to be right up my street!
I made some garlic mushrooms to go with it and drizzled the whole thing with some balsamic glaze - yum!

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