Hi everyone, hope you are having a very pleasant Sunday! I’ve barely left the house all weekend which has suited me fine, especially as we have had a couple of rain storms! We’ve just had an HD box installed so today we have enjoyed watching the London Marathon and the Bahrain Grand Prix in high definition. Its been a great weekend of sport!

Photo 22-04-2012 11 00 36One of my apple and cinnamon hot cross buns toasted with vegan spread and cherry jam plus Earl Grey tea enjoyed while watching the London Marathon

Luckily, I got my run in yesterday morning when the weather was quite pleasant. I did my old 10k route without the garmin again and it was brilliant! I know I was very slow in comparison to how I was, but I just want to enjoy my running and not worry about that this time round. After my run I made a big tutti fruity smoothie with added spinach and some raw tamari ‘roasted’ almonds, goji berries and maple syrup on top:

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Delish! I’ve also enjoyed some tempeh a couple of times this weekend, the more I have it the more I love it! I baked some on Friday night and had half with some stir fried pak choi, carrot and purple sprouting broccoli in a rich almond butter miso sauce:

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Then yesterday I had the rest of it in a salad with a great dressing made from sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil:

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Its a shame its so hard to get hold of, I’m going to have to stock up when I’m next at the health food shop. Today I had a serious craving for tahini and raisins so made some raw wraps with carrot wrapped in spring green leaves:

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I haven’t had raw wraps in far too long, I love how fresh they taste!

This morning I decided to open my carton of Alpro Hazelnut milk and had some with a chopped apple and my favourite Dorset Cereals Simply Muesli:

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It tasted good, I had been expecting it to be sweeter than it was and I’m glad it was more mellow. I guess it tastes a bit like the Almond and Hazelnut Rice milk which is good in my book!

Snacks wise, I’ve been enjoying the usual weekend green juices with some pak choi added to the cucumber, celery and ginger base as well as rice cakes topped with sunflower seed butter and bee pollen, apples and dark chocolate left over from Easter:

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I made up some peanut flour into a dip for the dark chocolate, heaven!

When I found some aubergine in the reduced bin last week I immediately thought of a recipe I’ve had on my list to try for a while now. Caponata is a Sicilian vegetable side dish traditionally made with aubergine, tomatoes and vinegar. I had saved a recipe for a version of a caponata a while back which included celery, pine nuts and currants in the ingredients and I thought it sounded delicious! I decided to put my own twist on the dish, reducing the oil, using a sugar alternative and bulking it up with some green lentils for added protein to make it more suitable as a main meal:

caponata with lentils

Caponata with Lentils (vegan, makes 2 very generous servings)

  • 1/2 cup of green lentils, cooked (or 1 tin drained)
  • 1 tin or carton of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion (I used a whole one cause I love onions!)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 medium aubergine
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 8 olives (I used kalamata)
  • 6 dried prunes (or you could use another type of dried fruit)
  • 2 tbsp capers (optional)
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tbsp of sugar / agave etc – I used sweet freedom
  • Fresh basil to serve

Begin by toasting the pine nuts in a large pan or wok over a medium high heat. Once they have browned set aside. Dice the aubergine and using the same pan, add some oil and fry until browned then set aside. Chop your onion, mince the garlic and finely slice the celery. Add some more oil to the pan and fry the onions and garlic along with a little bit of salt to prevent burning. When they have softened add the celery and continue to fry for a few minutes. When that has softened add the aubergine back into the pan along with the chopped tomatoes and lentils. Chop the prunes and olives and add to the pan along with the capers, vinegar, Italian seasoning and sweetener. Simmer for a further 5 to 10 minutes then serve topped with the toasted pine nuts and fresh basil:

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I served mine with brown rice and roasted cauliflower and broccoli but it would be just as tasty served with some crunchy brown bread. Its a unique mix of ingredients and flavours which I loved. I’d never had capers before and only used them because I had some in the cupboard but I think this would taste fine without them. Its the syrupy tomato sauce, sweet prunes and salty olives that make this dish for me. Absolutely delicious!

As well as watching TV I have actually been semi productive ;-) I’ve recipe tested some easy cookies and microwave cakes for my next healthy eating workshop with young people. I loved them and they passed the James approval test so we should be good to go! I also went and bought the ingredients I needed plus baking trays, measuring cups and spoons. I’ve also made a fantastic and unusual recipe with some of this Burgen Sunflower and Chia Seed Bread I’d been sent to try:

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Watch this space!

How has your weekend been? Do you enjoy watching sport on TV? I guess we all better get used to it with the Olympics approaching! Have you ever eaten Caponata?