I can't believe I have yet again managed to sit down and write another blog post. As it turns out, I wasn't lying when I said I was 'back for good!'
Last week was challenging for me; unfortunately I had a few situations at work that put me in the worst mood, particularly at the end of the week. I thought I would try not think about it too much over the weekend, and for some reason, cooking and taking photographs of my meals is how I coped with the frustration of the last few days. I'm not complaining though, I love to cook, but I would be lying if I said last week has been an easy week. But I was determined to put it all behind me.
How did I do it? I'm glad you ask.
Initially I let myself have a good cry about the situation (nothing wrong with crying). Then, I reset my brain, listened to motivational podcasts, got my head back in the game and I feel a million times better! I know this is easier said than done, but trust me...if you stick with it, you will see how easy it gets after a while.
But let's get back to business: lately, the weather in the UK has had its mind set in letting us know summer is coming to an end. The few sunny days we had are over and the weather took a turn for the worst the past few days. The sun seems to have given way to rain, wind and cloudy skies, and we all know how much I secretly love those, as long as I am indoors with a blanket and a cup of tea or coffee.
I have been craving a lot of salads for the majority of August, but for the last few weeks, those cravings are starting to change and I'm wanting to cook more hearty, comfort foods that make me feel warm and cosy.
On the last day of what I would call Summer in the UK (...queue granny's voice It's been seventy nine days since I last saw the sun...), I decided to made a cold and warm salad, featuring quinoa with dried cranberries, padrón peppers, some romaine lettuce, shredded carrots and Moroccan vegbabs by Sainsbury's. This whole plate of food was packed with fibre and protein and it was delicious!
Once I got the 'last salad of the Summer' out of the way, I started craving comfort foods as the weather started changing. Soups, curry, warm salads, you name it! I am over Summer and ready for the cold weather. If you have been following me for a while, you will know that Autumn is my favourite season, unless it snows in the Winter. Nothing beats a good snowfall, I'm sorry.
Every year I look forward to the falling leaves, boots and scarves, and especially...say it with me...CANDLES! Oh, and pumpkin spice...because, duh!
Today has been one of those days when the weather is absolutely horrible and it hasn't stopped raining since 7am, so, naturally, I decided to make some yummy meals.
Now, hear me out...I am not a fan of lentils. Actually, I probably simply haven't decided yet. I guess what I'm trying to say is I haven't cooked with lentils enough to form an opinion about them. Can one even say that? I guess that's what I'm going for anyway.
I normally don't tend to do a lot of research before creating my meals, unless I don't know much about the ingredient/vegetable. And I'll admit it, I'm a bit clueless when it comes to lentils, and I find them...flavourless. But once you research which type of lentils goes with what flavours, and which spices to season everything with, etc, you can actually create some very tasty meals!
For this one, I made a vegan red lentil dahl using tinned tomatoes, lots of onions and garlic (of course!), fresh green chilli and a lot of spices for flavour. I have to say I was pretty impressed with the result and especially how quickly this was to make. I served it with rice and a lemon slice and it was very delicious and nutritious.
For the days when junk comfort-food speaks louder, I have recently tried the Linda Mccartney vegetarian (and vegan) country pies, and these did not disappoint. Sure, maybe they are not the healthiest option, but sometimes all you want is a shortcrust pastry treat, filled with gravy and onions...and that's okay!
The rain keeps pouring down outside, and as I sit down to write this blog post, all I want is to light my candle, get a blanket and a cup of tea and listen to the rain while looking out the window in the comfort of my home.
In less than a month we will enter my favourite season. I can't wait for all the photos I will once again take of all the pretty colours of Autumn around me. Stay tuned.