One of the few meals that really excited me while I was working away was a vegetable risotto with chickpeas. Perhaps it was partly because I was very tired that day, and therefore any food would have tasted heavenly, but I was completely smitten by the concept and determined to replicate the recipe as soon as possible.
That turned out to be tonight! Although I did buy a large bag of dried chickpeas from my new favourite shop, I decided to use the tinned chickpeas I got in the supermarket since I’d forgotten to soak any in advance (that’s the downside of dried pulses – I either soak them too early, and they go off, or I forget to soak them at all). The end result was delicious, although I would have liked to have added more vegetables. Perhaps something red, for a full traffic-light effect!
In anticipation of my fruit and veg box arriving on Friday, I’ve held off from buying any vegetables this week, so I simply used my usual standbys of frozen peas and mushrooms. To add flavour I cooked the rice in a vegetable stock made from Bouillon powder, and fried it in a little butter and some olive oil.
Although I’ve not bought vegetables, I did buy some fruit: a bunch of bananas with which to make vegan ice cream (frozen bananas apparently acquire the exact texture of ice cream, to which you can add any flavouring you like for a dairy-free, sugar-free treat. Sounds perfect!) and a chocolate protein smoothie tor drink after my run tonight. I used a generous dollop of peanut butter, a tablespoon of ground almonds, a tablespoon of hot chocolate powder (cocoa powder and sugar, since I didn’t have any without the sugar) and a banana in around 250ml of milk. It was delicious, but I’m going to try and reduce the sugar content by buying proper cocoa powder when this hot chocolate is used up, and sugar-free peanut butter. No photos I’m afraid, I was too thirsty after my run to wait before I drank it.
It could be partly psychological but I’m feeling quite healthy today. I’m starting to recognise a different form of feeling full after meals. When I’ve eaten a healthy, vegetable-based meal I feel sated but not weighed down. Overloading with carbs or processed sugars makes me feel sluggish and stuffed, which is the sensation I’m so used to that I sometimes mistake its absence for hunger. But I’m not hungry – I’m just not bloated.
I’m not fully converted to healthy eating yet, by any means; I found it hard to resist the temptation of cakes, biscuits, chocolate bars and ice creams in the supermarket as I bought my bananas and some raisins for porridge, but I did resist. I reminded myself of my plans for banana ice cream and of how ill processed sugar can make me, and succeeded. Once I’ve made the ice cream I’ll share the recipe and let you in on how it tastes.