I have mentioned before on the blog that I try to eat in a healthy fashion. Mostly! I say mostly because I am inordinately fond of cake; I also like to eat the occasional burger and fries with a dollop of added-sugar-horror aka tomato ketchup on the side; and I indulge in the odd ninety-nine ice cream cone.
Tag Archives: Food
Just in case you have been on planet Zog for the last little while and haven’t heard of the cronut furore, I will tell you that a cronut is a croissant-doughnut fusion. French pastry chef Dominique Ansel invented and perfected the hybrid breakfast pastry at his eponymous New York bakery.The cronut is also the latest food craze and that craze is spreading around the globe faster than the Starship Enterprise gobbles up light years.
Gosh, one month melds so rapidly into the next and before you know it the just-begun year is more than half over. Time does indeed fly: Easter now feels as distant as the outer reaches of the solar system yet was only three months ago. Now that summer has hit its stride Easter also seems like a different planet, one where the days were colder and central heating was needed as a talisman against the evening chill.
One perennial on my annual to-do list is to eat in a healthy fashion. It’s not that my diet is intrinsically unhealthy just that it is forever in need of a little tweaking. Eating in a healthy fashion is a rather nebulous notion so I have honed in on just a few things I would like to do. One is to drink more water, more wheat grass juice and more blueberry smoothies. When I say more I am going to aim for an achievable one litre of water per day, two to three shots of wheatgrass juice per week and the occasional blueberry smoothie. The other change I would like to make is to dissolve my enduring belief that foodstuffs are divided into the good and the bad. In other words so long as I don’t overdo it I am not going to beat myself up for indulging in the occasional not-so-uber-healthy treat.
Dieting apparently makes you fat and yes I mostly agree that it does. But, I also think the only sure-fire way to lose weight is to eat less. And lose some weight I must. It’s not that I am an uber-tubby heffalump, just that some of my winter clothes don’t fit me anymore – exhibit A is a much-loved black jacket that maddeningly I am no longer able to button up. I know that a horrid malign fairy hasn’t cast a malicious spell which caused my clothes to shrink. Rather I have eaten too much or I should say too much of the wrong sorts of food – exhibits B to Z are various slices of cake mostly of the coffee kind. So what I need to do is to change my eating habits to healthier ones and hopefully in the process lose a little weight.
The weather was glorious in south-west France during my short sojourn there. It was lovely to feast my eyes on azure blue skies part-filled with flossy white clouds, to feel the warmth of the sun on my back and to experience a succession of rain-free days. I was staying in Lisle-sur-Tarn a pretty medieval bastide (fortified) town between Toulouse and Albi. If the name Lisle-sur-Tarn sounds familiar perhaps you read Tracy Chevalier’s The Virgin Blue which was set in the town.
One evening during my recent stay at Cloona Health Retreat Centre Loretta, a psychotherapist, gave a talk on ‘Food and Feeling’. As I sat with my fellow guests, waiting for Loretta to arrive, I was feeling pretty smug as I knew I was an eating and body issue free zone. The loud thump mid way through her talk was the sound of me falling to earth as I realized that actually I do have issues.
My five-day detox in June (see here) left me feeling so energized that I decided to devote this week to another dose of healthy eating. The ideal was no wheat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, caffeine or meat. I have to confess that I racked up: one coffee, a few cups of tea with *whispers* milk, a delicious square of apricot sponge cooked by a friend and oh two glasses of wine this evening. Oops. I don’t feel too bad about my breakouts as in the main this week eats were über healthy. Tonight I made a dish that I have christened, roasted vegetable, goat’s cheese and chickpea bake. Here’s the recipe, which makes two/three portions.
One small onion finely chopped
400g can of chopped tomatoes
Two cloves of garlic very finely chopped
Handful of basil
Two medium courgettes cut into bite sized chunks
Two red peppers cut into bite sized chunks
70g goat’s cheese diced
Handful of chopped walnuts
Half the contents of a 410g can of chick peas drained and washed
2 handfuls of breadcrumbs (I used spelt bread)
Grated zest of one lemon
Handful of parsley
Salt and pepper
First pre heat the oven to 180°C. Saute the onion in a frying pan in some olive oil until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for a further two minutes (don’t be tempted to throw the garlic in at the start, as garlic burns easily). Add the tin of tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste and leave to simmer over a low heat for thirty minutes, towards the end of the thirty minutes throw in the handful of basil leaves. When the thirty minutes are up, take the pan off the hob and allow to cool for a few minutes before whizzing to a smooth sauce in a food processor. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary, if the sauce is too acidic you might like to add a teaspoon or so of sugar. While the sauce is simmering on the hob toss the chopped vegetables in olive oil and put them in a roasting tin and pop in the oven until the vegetables are soft (approx 30- 40 minutes). When the vegetables are cooked, mix in the diced goat’s cheese, chickpeas and chopped walnuts and gently fold in the tomatoe sauce. Make the topping by mixing the chopped parsley and lemon zest into the breadcrumbs. Transfer the vegetable, chickpea and goat’s cheese mix into a baking dish, top with the breadcrumb mix and place in the oven until heated through (approx 20 – 25 minutes).
Cornucopia is the answer; the question was where do you eat in Dublin when you are detoxing. I only discovered it a few years ago but Cornucopia has been around for a quarter of a century, starting off as a health food shop with a few tables to the back for eating at, then morphing into a café/restaurant. Cornucopia has expanded over the years and now occupies the ground floor space of two building on Wicklow Street and there are plans to open the first and second floors of the buildings, later this year, for dining, catering and arts events.