Friday, 29 August 2008

Far too righteous...quick! hand me that chocolate.

Wow, that's purple! No, it's not blueberries, blackcurrants or blackberries. It's beetroot. Yes, you heard me right. Beetroot. Sounds crazy, but it's actually rather nice. I mixed it with pink grapefruit and lemon and got a citrusy earthy drink, and a very purple mouth! I wasn't sure if I'd like it when I started, but N had mentioned that he likes beetroot juice and we had a massive beet going soft in our veg bowl from last week's organic box. I know we won't eat it over the next couple of days, so why not juice it? It's supposed to be a super food too, so the benefits must be amazing (I'm sure I'll be feeling them any second...)

So in the juicer it went. I have drunk half of the drink and am going to have some later as an afternoon pick-me-up.

Another reason for juicing righteous things was because I needed the immediate sugar hit you get from fresh juice. All the hype is definitely right, I feel loads better for having drunk fresh juice these past few days. I usually get a real afternoon slump and feel like a nap, but the past few days I have pushed on through and been rather productive with my work.

Problem is, it's hard to tell whether it's the influence of the healthy natural detoxing hit of the juice, or the uber sugar hit from the amount of malteaser slab I've also been eating. Perhaps one is just cancelling out the other and the lack of nap is pure coincidence.

I got slightly sidetracked there as I was supposed to be telling you why I needed a sugar hit. Well, I needed it
because this morning I went on a cycle. I've been wanting to get out on the bike more, and generally improve my fitness, so I have decided that every other day I am going to go for a trip out on Oscar. I think he likes it too as sitting in the flat gathering dust must be rather depressing for him.

So this morning I headed off to attempt the cycle into Uni. I wasn't going to try the full route - I need to work up to those sorts of distances, plus I didn't want to miss too much of the cricket! - I just wanted to do a bit to see how I coped with the hills. I was so chuffed that I managed it. I made it, paused for rehydration, then turned round and cycled back. Apart from the stop for a drink and route consideration I did the whole journey without stopping. Evening managing the uphills which is something I live in fear off. According to google maps it's three miles each way.

A six mile cycle first thing in the morning, at least half of which is uphill. Not bad eh? Hence I needed the sugar hit to prevent my blood pressure plummeting so much that I couldn't stand up in the shower! (and boy did I need a shower!).

All this righteousness was far too much, exercise, detoxing juice and even spinach in my sandwich. I couldn't take that level of beng good. So I had a half a piece of malteaser slab as "dessert" to ready me for the afternoon. It's only fair I think.

Ah, if I keep up this cycling malarkey think how much cake I can eat. *smug giggling*

Before I go, I do want to leave you with one last thing. I am aware that I rarely post my savoury dishes.
Partly because I by the time we get round to eating them I am too hungry to pause to take photos, and partly because I am not nearly as adventurous as I wish I was in this department. I think because if I mess up a cake, then fair enough we don't have a treat to indulge in, whereas if I mess up our dinner, then that's it! Anyway, I am trying to get better at this, and once N's work calms down and our routine returns I will be able to time dinners and thus be more adventurous.

I started this last night. I bought figs from the fruit lady at the station and decided I would make a nice salad with them. This would be a simple and quick dish to put together so it wouldn't matter what time N made it home, it could be ready with very little prep. The adventurous part is that I have never eaten a fresh fig until last night! I don't know why, I think because they've never been on a menu I've been choosing from and it's not something that would usually catch my eye when grocery shopping. But the other day they looked so tempting at the fruit and veg stall that I couldn't resist. No time like the present to give them a try.

I read up about flavour pairing and decided to serve them on a simple bed of leaves, with a sheeps cheese and a balsamic reduction dressing. in the end I also decided to bulk this out a little bit with some sliced of raw mushroom (another revelation for me that means I can eat mushrooms again - I haven't eaten them for ages because the cooked texture has always put me off. Love the flavour, hate the slimeyness) and some red pepper. It was really nice.

recipe: Fig salad with balsamic reduction.

slice two ripe figs per person and lay over a bed of leaves. Add a handful of chopped sheeps cheese (like young Pecarino) and sliced raw mushrooms and chopped red pepper. To dress; reduce a god quality balsamic vinegar and some light muscovado sugar over a medium heat until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool thoroughly before pouring over salad. Use aprox 1 scant tsp sugar to 2tbsp vinegar.

So in the last two days I have discovered that I like beetroot as a juicing vegetable, I like fresh figs and I can cycle further uphil than I ever imagined. Not bad for a couple of days in August.

Now, where's that chocolate...?

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