5pm: come in from grocery shopping. Raining and dark. Giant helping of Apple Oat Bread-Cake with peanut butter and jam to soothe my chills, washed down with a milky coffee.
Feel insanely full for about 4 hours. Just did NOT feel like cooking, or even a little bit hungry. Laze around in bed until 8 o’clock.
9:30pm: FINALLY sit down to eat. Me and my man-friend made the apple cheddar mash.
And, lo ! It was fantastic. But I didn’t take any photos because timings were just TOO COMPLICATED, what with the potatoes having to simmer for 20 minutes then baked for 15, Gaz’s chicken taking 30 minutes, my cod baking for 20 AND THEN steaming sprouts, okay so it’s not really that complicated but it WOULD have been if I had attempted to introduce Tommy’s fancy high-tech camera into the middle of it all…
The link above is Cinnamon Girl’s recipe from which I took the inspiration for this dish (as well as my forever-continuing apple-glut. I only have 3 left now!). Here’s what I did, and it amounted to about 3 servings, which means leftover party for lunch tomorrow !
SWEET AS A NUT, MATE.
Or… a potato.
I feel like I should mention that I’ve been using cheese in a fair amount of dishes lately, whether I’ve been posting them or not. I never used to buy cheese, I mean never. Too expensive and too fattening, I thought. On absent-mindedly mentioning this to my mother two weeks ago – “Cheese is a luxury I cannot afford and besides, I don’t want to get fat” – she immediately went out and bought me a hunk of mature cheddar so big that even a normal person would reel back in slight terror on seeing it. (This is her natural reaction, I assume, to hearing somebody voice their disdain for something – rushing out and buying the biggest version of it that she can find.) She quickly adopted this mantra: “You need it, being a vegetarian.”
Now, I have been reluctant to subscribe to this. It annoys me when the vegetarian option offered anywhere is exactly the same as the carnivorous one, with the meat simply substituted with cheese. I’m not going to lie, cheese is NOT the best source of protein ! Mainly because it is high in fat and often salt.
Do not be afraid of our yellow friend! I have come to realise this now. My mum is right, you do need cheese. Like all dairy products that for some reason don’t have the same weight-stigma that cheese carries, for example yoghurt and milk, cheese contains calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth.
And this is the freaky cool part: apparently calcium-rich foods “reduce fat-producing enzymes and increase fat breakdown,” (Michael B. Zemel, Ph.D. Nutrition Institute, University of Tennessee, Knoxville). So eating cheese is like exercise…? Okay so this may not be true. But I’m just putting it out there.
Cheese is, while fatty, still all in all another source of protein. It’s true. Mama knows best. I only ever put about 20g of cheddar on my pasta or whatever I’m putting cheese on, just put something else like lettuce or tomato in your sandwich to fill it out if 20g is not enough. If you get extra mature this is all you need, and it only contains 80 calories, 6.6g of fat and 4.2g saturated fat. That’s not the end of the world, now, is it ?
So for the past two weeks I’ve been slowly but surely munching my way through this whopping block of cheese. I still haven’t finished it. But hear this, those who may be wary of trying recipes that involve a substantial amount of cheese, like I have spent the past few years doing. These past two weeks I have been forced to put it on nearly all my meals (I can’t throw it away, I HATE wasting food), and apart from enhancing the flavour in a way that I had forgotten through my cheese-deprivation period that it ever could, I have not gained one single ounce of weight. I know, I checked.
So, in short. Eat cheese. It’s tasty and doesn’t make you fat.
Love Amy x
Apple Cheddar Mash (serves 2 – 3)
Cube 2 medium size baking potatoes (because this is what I had in the cupboard)
Place in pan with 1 clove of crushed garlic and a pinch or two of salt
Cover with water
Bring to the boil
Simmer for 20 minutes
Mash with milk (obvs I used soy) and butter (I used olive spread)
Season (I used oregano, salt and pepper)
Mix in 2 small finely chopped apples (this was LOADS of apples) and 1-2 cups of grated mature cheddar
Spread into a baking dish and cover with some more grated cheese and black pepper if you wish
Bake in oven for about 15 mins at 190 degrees
1 generous serving (half of this whole yield) contains about 428 calories, 16g of fat, of which saturates 6g. So probably have this with some lean protein and a salad. (I had cod fillet and rocket. Don’t worry, you will be totally satisfied; I only had about a third of the entirety of the dish and was still full.)