Thursday, November 1, 2012

Healthy foods, Ottolenghi style

I haven't really been on much of a health kick recently, the exercise has really fallen by the wayside, mostly due to a case of bung legs. Turns out after a couple of expensive trips to the osteopath (including $120 parking fine - City of Perth better spend that well, wankers), it turns out my gluteal muscles aka arse muscles, are not firing {insert fart joke here}. This has caused all kinds of problems from achilles pain, tight and aching calves, and now my lower back is totally rooted. I went to school hopped up on codeine today, and let me tell you, my speech in front of the school about a sports carnival was just gushingly lovely, as was my health class afterwards. I talked. A lot. 

Anyway, without the exercise, I've turned into a bit of a apex predator - eating everything in sight with reckless abandon. This included bowling club priced booze and masses of cake at the Beaufort Bake and Bowls.

But all is not totally lost (the weight sure isn't anyway). I did cook SOME healthy things. I have more healthy things planned too. But not rabbit food, not look-how-alternative-I-can-be-with-my-weird-grains-that-taste-like-wet-cardboard kinda healthy.  

YUMMY healthy food.

Ottolenghi healthy. Plenty.

One night we had Mushroom Ragout with Yoghurt Flatbreads, which was fuggin amazing. Those flatbreads are soft, the dough is easy to make, even easier to work with and when cooked up, but the easiest thing is scooping up bits of tasty grilled mushroom and wine, with swirls of tangy yoghurt and fresh bursts of parsley. Leftover mushies were piled up on buttered toast in the morning and devoured - they kept me going all day (well, until about 10:30 when I went apex predator on some cake I forgot I had).

I also tried the herb stuffed tomatoes, which were Mediterranean in their flavours, salty olives, capers with a bite and surprisingly hearty from the breadcrumbs. I really enjoyed them, and would be great as a starter or as a side to something else - I used some local Gingin Beef mince and cooked it up very simply with basic seasoning and olives in the same pan I  made the stuffing in - it was gorgeous. The best mince I've ever had. 

The highlight though I think was the Quesadillas. These were awesome, and I am planning on making a bunch of these in advance when we go for a bbq, because once they're assembled, all you have to do is grill them. We added chicken to ours, but it's not really necessary. Next time I'm going to amp up the flavours in the beans, and maybe add a tangy, crunchy coleslaw for a bit of a tex mex vibe. Either way, we scoffed them. I made a toasty the next day with the leftovers, and they were still awesome.

You have to have a go at this book. If you're feeling like you're eating yourself outta house and home, the least you can do is eat healthier food. 

I will be eating more outta this book.