Hi health lovers
I hope you're all doing well and enjoying the run up to Christmas. I don’t mean to boast but I've done all my Christmas shopping - whop whoop, but that unfortunately includes buying and tucking in, well actually not tucking in more like demolishing the massive Celebrations and Roses tins (it was 2 for £10 and I love a bargain!) So no more will be bought, I'm still working on the willpower you see if I start eating the sugar laden little blocks of sweetness I usually finish them, Sugar is a drug and it makes us want more. When was the last time you saw a half-eaten packet of biscuits?
Anyway this week I'm delighted to share with you part one of THE STORECUPBOARD CHALLENGE. If you missed it on a past blog then one of you guys got in touch with me to say that you love how I'm always recommending stuff, spices, dried herbs, flavoured oils, rices, quinoa etc to have in the kitchen because with these staples you can create wonderful dishes by adding them to fresh produce, but the challenge was could I make an entire meal just using my store cupboard. Well yes I can, as can you if you've started to invest in your store cupboard. I added the freezer, but not fridge, to the challenge and for part 1 I have come up with a delicious quinoa and bean salad. It has all the elements of a dish that I love to create, it’s not exact with the measurements so I only give you a guide, and if you don’t have what I'm putting in in then you just put what you have into your Quinoa salad. This not only is a delicious stand-alone dish you can have it with a bit of chicken and leaves in a salad, or add it as a side or starter to almost anything. Plus it travels really well, so those looking for packed lunch ideas look no further!
The Tuesday tip is not and has never been a recipe, it is tips on how to make you a more confident cook and better able to use the things you have in your home, as well as educating us as to how certain foods work with our bodies. I've given you lots of tips on how to cook specific items, what goes with what and the very basics of cooking including the most basic omelettes and boiled eggs which you seem to love (thanks for all the feedback guys! xx) As we come to the end of the year I hope that you will have gained the knowledge and confidence to start to pull this together yourself using the clean foods you have bought. So, on with the dish!
From the cupboard we have:
- 1 x espresso cup of wholegrain rice
- 2-3 handfuls of quinoa
- 1 x tin of organic mixed beans
- Organic olive oil - flavoured
- Dried mixed herbs / oregano
- Chia seeds
- Mixed seeds
- Organic unsweetened raisins
From the freezer:
- Soy beans - my new fav item
- Green beans
So I've just mentioned soy beans, well ladies and gents I totally love these - they’re also called edemame beans and I used to buy them fresh in the health food store for £4 for a tub until I met the lovely Geraldine Mc Cullagh at a massage course I attended. She was the tutor (Me Time Therapy I can’t recommend them enough, for those MC&L Edinburgh readers, you might want to check it out for courses and treatments, it’s right up our holistic health street!) Geraldine fed us her delicious home cooked food with the soy beans in one of the soups and then told me Tesco do them for £1.60 a bag! Hello £1.60 v's £4 I'm down with Tesco. Now as you know I love to buy local, but sometimes the saving has just got to come first and these little babies are jam packed with 40% protein and they contain all eight essential amino acids. That is why we see them in superfood salads at M&S, Pret and various other outlets. Guys you have got to get these in your freezer. They are now firmly on the list of MC&L recommended foods!!!
- Start the dish by running your quinoa and rice under the tap then placing them in a pot of boiling water, you can add a pinch of salt if you want, and cook according to the packet, for me it’s about 20-25 mins. My rice and quinoa take about the same time so that was good to put them in together. You'll know from previous blogs quinoa is ready when the little white circle around the end starts to come away and looks like a tail hanging off.
- Just before it was finished cooking I added the chopped green beans and then a few mins later the soy beans just to take the freezer out of them.
- Meanwhile in a small bowl add some organic garlic olive oil, lemon oil, and a big pinch each of mixed herbs and oregano.If you missed the blog on how to create your own flavoured oils then check it out here: http://missioncleanlean.com/blog/2013/11/20/homemade-flavoured-infused-oils
- I really recommend having them in your cupboard. Lemon oil is great over green veg especially if you grate a bit of lemon zest and add black pepper too yum! If you don’t have flavoured oils yet then normal olive oil will do, as long as you add a few herbs too.
- Then when the quinoa and rice has cooled just add everything together: the tinned beans, seeds, raisins, the frozen herbs and dressing. You can literally add this up as you go along; add any veg, seeds, nuts, dried unsweetened fruit, really anything you have in. You notice raisins aren't in the photo but after it was cooked I thought a little sweetness would be nice. Then there it is, a simple to make dish using what you have in. Mission accomplished!
I actually did cheat before I ate it as I'd a big bunch of fresh parsley; I finely chopped that and sprinkled it through the dish. It just made it that bit fresher for me. I didn’t cheat though I still made a meal using only my store cupboard! As always if you want to see a particular food item featured just let us know.
Love & light