Monthly Archives: November 2011

Sympathy Soup

I’m officially out of running for the next week. I keep on NOT running, and then racing straight away. So now I am voluntarily descending into depression because I can’t run, and swimming and cycling just don’t cut it at all. I’d rather do nothing (that’s a lie, but whilst my hamstring feels like it’s about to explode, I can’t really do any physical exertion).  I suspect it will only be a week out, but still. Anyway, in the mean time I am making myself boring meals like soup because I can’t have anything unhealthy or too carby because I’m doing no sport. Joy.

Anyway I’ve been craving mushroom soup because I love the smell of mushrooms and garlic and feel free to remove the garlic in the recipe (but why would you WANT to?). I wanted to make this without cream because it’s not needed in soups but many supermarkets and big brands tend to put cream in soups. I avoided this just by blending the soup in my food processor and it got a great smooth texture. How could you make this more filling? Well I read this on OhSheGlows, where she adds quinoa which I must say is a great idea but it might make it a bit bitty. Of course add pearl barley, but that means the cooking process is longer. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s quick, easy and tasty.

Sorry I’m in such a foul and boring mood. I have no appetite because I’m not running, therefore food no longer interests me.


-1x white onion-chopped

-3x cloves of garlic-chopped

-100g mushrooms chopped

-500ml of vegetable stock

-1 tsp mustard (optional).


-Fry the onion, garlic and mushrooms in some olive oil and salt until very soft.

-Add the stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling add the mustard and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes.

-Put in a food blender and blend until it has a creamy texture.


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Filed under Snacks and Starters, Store Cupboard, Vegan, Vegetarian

Sweet’n’Spicy Tabbouleh

MMM, tabouleh, eh? Who doesn’t love some Mediterranean freshness to pick them in the ridiculously foggy weather up here in Leeds, and whereever you are. I’m sure the weather is pretty much dismal everywhere. I don’t seem to be taking that much notice or even care because I am so happy to be finally healed (touch wood), after having been injured for the past 2 1/2 weeks in the run up to two races. My first 10k took place on Sunday 20th and it was incredible, I got 46:43 which I’m happy with seeing as I hadn’t done any proper training and it was my first 10k, and I hadn’t really been able to break past the 8 minute miling stage in the run up to the race. Anyway blah blah blah, I did it and pain free.

This tabbouleh is gorgeous because it has the spiciness of the raw red onions and jalapeños, which the tomatoes and sultanas cut through. Of course, feel free to make this ‘sweet’n’spicy’-less by ignoring the jalapeños and sultanas which are an addition of my own.

Ingredients (serves 1)

1/4 cup of bulgar wheat

-2 cups of water

-1 tsp vegetable stock

-2 tsp cayenne pepper

-1 tsp cajun spice(optional)

-2 tsp jalapeños

1/2 red onion

1 tomato

-1/2 tbsp of sultanas

3 tbsp of french dressing (method to follow)

4 tbsp oil

-3 tsbp white wine vinegar

-1 tsp whole grain mustard-SHAKE IT ALL UP.


Put the bulgar wheat, sultanas and water in a saucepan and bring to boil, once boiling lower to a medium heat adding the vegetable stock, cayenne and cajun spice. A little salt wouldn’t go amiss too. Cook the bulgar wheat to packet instructions, normally 15 minutes, or until it is soft. Drain it.

-Chop up tomatoes, onions and jalapeños finely. Add these to the bulgar wheat and sultanas, mix and fluff up with a fork.

-Pour over French dressing and mix well.

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Filed under Grains, Mediterranean, Quick, Vegan, Vegetarian

Best Basic Spaghetti Sauce

Eeek, so I have just done the first of two races after having a mild injury. I have been wearing those great heated back patches, oh they are SO GOOD. The week before the race had been the longest of my life, I woke up every morning preying that the first step I took wont leave this weird rushing sensation in my foot. The foot injury led a distinct tightness in my lower back, which I got loosened by the sports masseuse, and it felt amazing. The race was SO fun. I went to Edinburgh with my cross country club and we had such a laugh, the course was extremely muddy. I took it slightly easier for fear of hurting my foot, that was hard cos I just wanted to pelt myself down the hills, but had to hold back to make sure I didn’t put too much force up on my foot. I’ve got my first 10k on Sunday, it’s a shame cos I don’t think I’ll do the best time cos my training’s been crap and I expect my foot might still be twinging, but oh well.

Anyway, the reason for having this pasta recipe is because I always have pasta before a race. I’m not a fan of pasta, and it may be the inner dietress in me, or maybe it’s my aversion to boring foodstuff, but hey IT HAS TO BE DONE.

In order for me to enjoy eating this, I have to make it healthy. It has to be really full of flavour and anti-oxidants, and the pasta has to be wholegrain obviously. This meal is also good cos it’s easy. You can make the sauce in the time that your pasta is cooking, but to be honest the longer you leave it cooking the nice more time the flavours have to mature.

Ingredients-4 servings of pasta sauce

-Olive oil

-1 white onion, peeled and chopped

-1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped

-1 carrot, peel and chopped

-1 courgette grated

-1 tin of black eyed beans drained

-2tsp salt, herbs and spices

-3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

-1 tin chopped tomatoes


Heat the oil in saucepan, and added the carrot, onion and garlic. Add salt to stop the onions from sticking to the surface and cook on a medium heat until the onions are soft, stirring from time to time.

-Once soft, add the remaining ingredients and leave to cook for about half an hour. Stirring often, make sure it doesn’t boil too much.

-Serve with pasta, preferably wholegrain. EASY.

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Filed under Pulses, Quick, Rice and Pasta, Store Cupboard, Vegan, Vegetarian

Super Saver Roast Tomatoes

Hello, happy autumn from West Yorkshire, the home of the best landscape in the world (according to me, who hasn’t been to many places).  I haven’t written for a long time, and that’s for numerous reasons. I’ve been very busy whilst being back at University. Most of the time I’m either studying, socialising or, more often than not, training with cross country. This has resulted in me being very unadventurous with food, I always resort to courgette fritters or  my super food salad consisting of: roasted pepper, garlic and sweet potato, spinach, lettuce, grated carrot, raw red onion, jalapeños topped with feta, hummus and balsamic vinegar, with a brown bread roll. Why would I want to cook anything else? But I do branch out, don’t worry. I make pizza and squash, and pastry things.

I’ve been injured these past 3 days and I think I’m going insane without running, and I’ve been a bit of wreck because I have two races lined up. I’m taking it easy today with a 3-4 mile run and going to see how that turns out. I think it will be okay, if not I have a free sports massage woo-hoo.

Right here we have sweet roasted tomatoes. My friend’s dad made them for her, and when she invited me round for a cheese night I went crazy for these things. They’re absolutely delicious, and perfect with anything. Remember: tomatoes are healthier cooked!

1 pack of cherry tomatoes

-Olive oil. And lots of it.

-1 tbsp of dried herbs (Rosemary, thyme, basil and sage). I have a mixed pack for money’s sake, but obviously you use can use different quantities etc.

-1 dessert spoon of salt

-1 dessert spoon of sugar (I used demerera).

 Pre-heat oven to 180 c.

-Find a small baking tray, it should be small, otherwise you’ll be using lots of oil which is not necessary.

-Fill baking try with cherry tomatoes, make sure they’re not piled on top of each other, and pour in oil till it covers half of tomatoes. Cover with rest of ingredients, and use a spoon or whatever to make sure all the tomatoes covered with oil and herbs etc.

-Put in the oven for 4 hours, checking every hour or so to shake the oil ingredients about. There will be double amounts of liquid as tomatoes release their juices, don’t worry. The tomatoes are done when they are shrivelled up like so.

-Preserve in oil, and eat whenever!!


Filed under Mediterranean, Snacks and Starters, Vegan, Vegetarian