Introducing my ‘Auboulleh’ experiments..

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Since first being introduced to chermoula by the fabulous Dinner Bank blog, I have pretty much fallen in love with it and made my version of it regularly. I say my version as I tend to use great piles of parsley and coriander in the sauce so my version is a lot more green :)

I’ve also therefore become aware that I have been consuming vast amounts of olive oil in the sauce and thought I might play around with it and reduce the oil content a bit whilst keeping all of the flavour.

So in my little blender I whizzed up…

1 bunch of fresh coriander
2 bunches of flat leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves
The juice of 2 lemons
Ground cumin
Paprika
Cayenne pepper
And a splash or two of olive oil

20140423-185740.jpgI then blended some of this with 2 roasted and mashed aubergines and it created a lovely, light dip, with almost a whipped texture.

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20140423-190121.jpgNext I added some tahini to the mix, which added some body to it; then I went the whole hog and added some chickpeas too which created that wonderful fullness of homous..

20140423-190435.jpgAnd so I introduce my ‘Auboulleh’experiments, a mix of aubergine and chermoula in varying mixes of loveliness :)

This weeks bowls of loveliness…

I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend, after all that fun, I am bringing some more big bowls of fabulous salads to this weeks Fiesta Friday, I hope they tempt your tastebuds..this week there’s more roasted butternut squash, lots of carrot, some roasted cauliflower, roasted mixed vegetables, tahini sauce, lots of green leaves and a few dollops of various dips plus my newly created dip…more about that another day…

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20140422-153345.jpgThis isn’t just salads….this is MY HUGE salads!!!! And I love it!!!

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20140422-153658.jpgYUM!!!!

News!!!!!!!

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I hope you are all enjoying your Easter weekend.

The eagle eyed among you, or just those of you not using the reader, will have noticed some new pages along the top of my blog…

I’m very excited to introduce the foodbod food range and food services. Woohoo!!!

Now I shall hold my breath and hope that people like it….this is my starting point and the birth if a new idea that has been forming for a while….now it’s out there…let’s see what happens!!

PS my apologies to those of you who aren’t local xx

Why I don’t eat sugar…

As lots of you already know, I don’t eat sweet things; that doesn’t mean that I don’t make them, I do, I just don’t eat them. I love seeing all of your wonderful cakes and pastries and sweet creations and I bookmark lots of them for my family, I’m sorry I do to eat them myself, I can assure you that this has not always been the case!

Up until a couple of years ago, I could work my way through as much chocolate as the next person, if not more! I never just ate one bar of chocolate, I mean, they’re so small!!! I used to buy boxes of chocolates in October, all ready for gifts and consumption at Christmas, eat them all by November and end up buying them all again…and eating them all again!!! I ate bags and bags of those little Lindt eggs at Easter. I ate chocolate cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner on my 18th birthday. I’ve stood with a spoon and a jar of Nutella and worked my way through it. I guess you get the picture, I absolutely DID eat chocolate…this post from Facebook in 2009 tells the story all on it’s own:

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And not just chocolate, sweets and cakes and pasties, all of those wonderful things :)

You get the picture I’m sure. I’ve eaten my share of chocolate and sweet foods and desserts and everything! And now, I eat none of them and I don’t miss it. But this wasn’t me jumping on the current anti sugar bandwagon, it wasn’t and isn’t some moral decision, I am not here to preach in any way, I live in a house full of boxes of chocolates and sweets that my husband and son eat (more my husband than my son!!), there was a completely different reason this has all occurred…

My darling deceased best friend Caroline also loved chocolate, I mean she LOVED chocolate, even more than me! When Caroline was diagnosed with cancer and about to start chemotherapy, she was scared, she didn’t know what to expect and I wanted to do something to show some support, make some sacrifice, something silly to make her laugh, so I gave up chocolate. I said I wouldn’t eat it again until she was well again, which she thought was mad, she told everyone, but she also loved the sentiment.

She never got well again.

I’ve never eaten chocolate again.

And I never will.

As time passes, I realise that this is just another gift that Caroline has given me; I could never actually eat chocolate and truly enjoy it as I was too busy attacking myself for eating it at all and now I no longer live that cycle of eating too much and berating myself for it; I now spread Nutella on Ben’s toast and don’t even want to lick the knife; I bake chocolate muffins without even licking my fingers; and my mind remains my friend. It’s such a freedom, I can’t fully put it into words. You have to understand my food past and the journey I’ve been through, it’s taken me a very long time to be able to fully enjoy my food without guilt. It’s such a gift to now be able to.

My life changed dramatically after Caroline died, I gained lots of perspective on many aspects of my life, and during that time I finally found my peace with food and as a part of that I removed more and more things from my diet that I really just didn’t want to eat any more, including anything sweet, I just lost the taste for it, and I finally found my current happiness with food and with myself and my body.

I can’t even eat a dried cranberry or a date now without wincing, they’re so sweet!! I’ve become a ‘savoury’ person, which I never ever thought I would be.

So, this is the story of why I don’t eat chocolate. And the reason I continue not to eat sugar at all, in any way, in anything except the odd bit of fruit, is because of everything I have now read about sugar and how it affects your body and controls your mind. I know how much it screws with MY brain and how it can affect every other food decision I make; Ben has done some cooking at school and nearly every recipe has been something sweet and of course, I’ve been a good Mum and tried all of his creations, and I’ve immediately felt the impact of the sugar; sugar literally removes my hard-worked-for peace of mind, and it has the ability to remove any sensible decisions about I might make about food, and I don’t want that.

This is why I do not eat sugar and it’s become my choice for my peace of mind and for the benefit of my body, and remains that way because my tastes have now completely changed, but it all began because my darling friend didn’t get better xx

Salad wrapped in salad..my idea of a perfect sub..

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You all know how much I like my great big bowls of salad well I’ve also been tucking into some great big salad wraps wrapped in lettuce leaves.

I’ve used romain lettuce as the bigger outside leaves are perfect to create a sub and hold lots of lovely filling..

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Pack out your salad wrap with whatever you fancy and enjoy your wonderful fresh crisp salad sub. I’ve added more salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, grated carrot, sliced peppers, cheese slices, tahini sauce, flaked almonds, whatever I’ve had to hand and created a handful of fresh loveliness. Alternatively, yesterday is used iceberg lettuce leaves and filled them with grated carrot and grated goats cheese…yum!!!
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This is how I like to eat :)

I’ve got a new toy…

I use a lot of lemon juice, nearly everything I make seems to have lemon juice in it, so I am forever squeezing lemons and forever getting squirted with lemon juice!!!

Last summer I watched a friend of ours get this gadget out of her cupboard and with one hand efficiently squeeze a lemon in a second! I’ve coveted that gadget ever since, I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to buy one..!

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Ben modelled actually using it and had great fun seeing such fast results :)

It’s really cool, very quick and simple to use and squeezes every last bit of juice out of the fruit, to such an extent I will have to keep an eye on how much goes into future recipes.

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Highly recommend it :)