Spring Fever

The daffodils and crocuses are blooming.

Peoples’ arms have crept out, virgin white and raw from beneath their winter coats.

The parks are full of children and couples and families and old people taking strolls.

I have adamantly banished my own winter coat to the back of my wardrobe in favour of my pea-green, collared, A-line jacket, which does not keep me warm and is purely a fashion item. Which is what you’re supposed to wear in Spring.

It is officially too hot to run in leggings. Bring on the shorts. Bring on my pasty legs. If they had eyes, they would have been squinting like newborn kittens when I got them out today.

I have a constant urge to drape myself across our front steps with a flamboyant cocktail and throw my head back to the sun (if we had a garden I would do this in it, instead of on our front door step).

The sun makes everything better. Music sounds better. Food and drink tastes better. Everything looks more appealing in the sun.

Since when did it become freakin’ March ?!

Last week I downloaded the calorie counter app for my phone again, after forcing myself to get rid of it last Christmas. Two days ago I deleted it for the second time. It’s like I’m on the end of a piece of elastic bouncing between two poles; sometimes I am stretched towards self-assurance and calm, unhindered normality, but am ultimately pulled back to obsessive eating and exercise patterns on which I dwell for a period of time before becoming angry and frustrated. Sick of calorie counting, I resolve to be more relaxed about eating, and I carry this out for a week or so before feeling so overwhelmed by the thought of how much I must have consumed during this period of “guilt-free” living that I am flung straight back to disorder.

When I wrote my last post I was feeling good. Normal. I feel good about it now, sort of. The calorie counter has gone but I still feel its hold on my mind. Just let yourself go, I say. Between then and now I have been to freak-out territory and back, in the space of two weeks. It can be somewhat exhausting. I don’t really have much more to say except that I am truly growing sick of myself.

Anyway here’s what I made for dinner tonight. I combined a few similar recipes, one of which I followed when I made it for the first time last night, which called for natural yoghurt which did not work. So I ditched the yoghurt in favour of some chopped tomatoes which gave the dish a bit more substance, and a bit less curdled yoghurt.

The first recipe I tried was a curry. I do not make curry often, and I do not like spicy foods. They make me sweat. I know, it’s awful for a foodie but what I really love is a good, mild, anglicised curry. I used about half a teaspoon of cumin and curry powder at first but even for me it was too bland, so what with the yoghurt-y disaster and all I gave up on curry because I don’t think it’s my thing. So here’s a recipe for casserole instead, which I’m much better at. And it tasted really yummy ! The cinnamon is truly an awesome addition, although next time I might stir through a bit of cumin or cayenne pepper to add a spicy edge to the sweetness.

Aubergine and Chickpea Casserole 

Serves 4

You need:
1 aubergine
1 onion
1 can of cooked chickpeas, drained
1 carton chopped tomatoes
2 tbsps tomato puree
Olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
Cinnamon
Basil
Sugar
Salt

Method:
Preheat the oven to 230 degrees C. Cut the aubergine into thin slices and place on a foiled and oiled baking tray. Sprinkle the aubergine with salt and brush top with oil, then bake it for 15 minutes until lightly browned. When you take it out of the oven, fold the foil over the aubergine and crimp the edges and leave aside in the foil.

Heat oil in a pan and add the onion, finely chopped. Cook for a few minutes before adding the garlic and a pinch of salt. Then add the tomatoes and the tomato puree, cinnamon, sugar and another pinch of salt.

Simmer uncovered, stirring often, for 20-25 minutes. Add the chickpeas.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Brush a baking dish with oil and layer the bottom with the tomato sauce.

Layer over the aubergine. Repeat until everything is in the dish !

Bake for 30 minutes.

Eat with some tasty rice or bread !

Amy x

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About AmySquirrell

Musician Food-lover Student

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