I've obviously been inspired by Agnes' fab This Week in Brief series, which I really enjoy reading, but I haven't decided how regularly I'll be doing this. Every month? Every week? Every fortnight? I'm not working at the moment so I've got a bit of extra time to cook, take daytrips, visit cafes and restaurants, and blog. At the rate I'm going I could probably justify a weekly post! (If not a daily one, hehe!) But I'm sure the food adventures will slow down once I'm back to work, so I won't set myself any strict timeframes. I reckon I'll just be doing one of these posts whenever my phone starts looking a bit full and the mood strikes me!
And speaking of which... for today's post I'll be sharing foodie adventures from January! I've been pretty busy, food-wise, this month, so it's gonna be a long one! Grab a cup of tea and pull up a chair.
My January started, as I'm sure many of yours did, with a renewed enthusiasm for healthy eating. But of course, eating healthy around here doesn't mean a monotonous diet of rice cakes and sad little tins of tuna. Above all, I want my meals to be joyful. And when I want joyful, healthy food, my first stop is Ottolenghi!
|Clockwise from top left: Mushroom ragout with poached egg; multi-vegetable paella, marinated eggplant with tahini, soba with mango and eggplant|
"Salmon and soba" is a pretty standard combo for me when I want healthy, nourishing food. On the left we have Nigella's cold soba salad (Forever Summer), combined with her mirin-glazed salmon (Nigella Express). On the right, we have two recipes from Bill's Everyday Asian - miso eggplant, and glazed salmon - with plain soba. I have two comments on the Bill Granger thing: first, I am So Glad that he has started using apostrophes! Secondly, I generally have issues with following Asian recipes from non-Asian chefs (and don't get me started on the generic focus of the book, when "Asian" isn't actually a style of food, but a huge variety of cultures, people and food traditions, thank-you very much!) However, sweeping generalizations aside, both eggplant and salmon were delicious! I love that the miso eggplant is a super-easy homespun version of nasu dengaku.
A couple of weeks ago, we took a 2-day trip to the Yarra Valley, visiting restaurants, breweries and food producers. (Disclosure: it was a complimentary media trip to help promote the region). We had the best time, and I can't wait to blog about it - especially the deeply fabulous accommodation! - but right now I wanted to show these awesome veggies we bought at the Yarra Valley Gateway Estate.
...and also made a rather tasty eggplant and capsicum chutney. Both roast capsicums and the chutney made cute little gifts! (And the chutney is especially good with curries or with strong, bitey cheeses).
|Left: Sensory Lab|
My favourites are the Leibniz mini butter biscuits coated in chocolate. Some of them got a bit melted on the way over here, so some of the biscuits stuck together... to make awesome GIANT biscuits! Hehe.
Ding ding ding... jackpot!
The influx of flavour packets reminded me that I really should use up the packets I bought on my last trip to Germany, and I promptly made some Brathendl.