WIAW – Guess what I ate!

Hello everybody!  Hope you’re having a great Wednesday!

Lil’ L was jumping up and down with excitement this morning when he realised that it was Wednesday.  Apparently, it’s the best school day ever! 🙂  It begins with a computer session in the morning; followed by pizza for lunch (with some vegetables on the side, he tells me 😉 ), and an afternoon of Wednesday Workshops.  This term he’s got table tennis, followed by my Buddhist meditation, story and art workshop.  Doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend a Wednesday does it?

Wednesdays are special for me too, as I get to spend the afternoon with an amazing group of children, doing something that I love doing 🙂

For this Wednesday’s WIAW party, I thought I would share what I ate yesterday.  It was quite an unusual day of eats, involving a plant that I’ve never eaten before in my life and cooking a dinner that I never actually got round to eating. 🙁  Before I begin, I’d like to send a big ‘thank  you’ to our lovely host, Jenn @ Peas&Crayons.  I can’t wait to see what she’s bringing to the party this week. 🙂

So, here’s what I ate yesterday…

Breakfast
Hot lemon and water gulped down quickly before the school run.
On my return home, I had a cup of nettle tea and a huge bowl of cocoa porridge made with Flahavan’s organic jumbo oats.  Into the porridge, I added some chopped brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, goji berries, ground linseed, a teaspoon of raw cocoa powder and some organic cherry & berry spread as a sweetener.  It was totally delish!  I am so loving cocoa porridge at the moment!

Lunch
For lunch today, I decided to make an Indian-style Bhajee… with a twist.  Guess what I decided to use as the main ingredient….

Here’s a clue…

Yep, it was stinging nettles from the garden!!  I’ve been meaning to try nettles for ages and yesterday I finally did it!  I loved the taste and texture of this dish.  After eating it, I felt like I was “zinging” with vitamins 🙂  I also found it incredibly filling.

Here’s how I made the Bhajee:

Ingredients
1 carrier bag of nettles (approx 300g)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 piece fresh or frozen root ginger, grated
spices – 2tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric
1  can chopped tomatoes
5 mushrooms, chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
handful each of almonds (lightly toasted) and hempseeds

Method

  1. Wearing rubber gloves, pull the nettle leaves off the main stalk.  Carefully remove any insects, rinse the leaves under the tap, then roughly chop.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions for 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic, ginger and spices and gently fry for a further 2 minutes.  Stir in the vegetable stock.  Add the tomatoes, mushrooms and nettle leaves.  Cover with a lid and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool slightly then stir in the hempseeds and toasted almonds.
  4. Serve with chapattis and/or rice.

I estimate that this recipe would serve 3-4 people.  I don’t think this Bhajee is going to appeal to Lil’ L so I might experiment with half the batch and see if I can turn it into a nettle soup that’s super delicious.   I’ll keep you posted 😉

Snacks and Drinks
Piece of Date & Zucchini Brownie (I made a large tray to take to my evening study class)
1 black coffee
1 soy latte
1 cup peppermint & nettle tea
lots of water with lemon

Evening Meal
For my main meal, I made one of our all-time favourite stir fries…. braised aubergine and tofu with pak choi.  Lil L’ absolutely loves this meal!  (I’ll post the recipe tomorrow)

Though this meal only takes 20 mins to make, I didn’t get time to eat it!  M rang at 5pm to say that he wasn’t going to be home in time to look after Lil’ L, so I quickly grabbed my coat and bag, dropped Lil’ L round at a friend’s house and dashed to the bus stop.  Luckily, all the stars were aligned for me yesterday and the bus turned up in perfect time (this RARELY happens) and I made it to my class on time (EVEN RARER!).

M and Lil’ L informed me that the stir fry was delish, so I’m looking forward to trying it for myself tonight 🙂

Supper
Fortunately, the nettle bhajee was so filling that I didn’t feel any hunger pangs all afternoon or evening!  When I got home at 10.30pm, I did have a small bowl of muesli and Shreddies, just to make sure that I didn’t wake up hungry.

Those nettles really did pack some power…  I felt like I was buzzing with energy all afternoon and night!  If I can find some delicious ways of cooking them, then I’ll be onto a winner.  Forget growing tomatoes and squashes, I’ll be filling the veggie patch with nettles instead 😉

What’s the most unlikely food that you’ve eaten?

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If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a signed copy of NAKED chocolate.  The closing date is Monday, 21st November.

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18 Comments

Filed under Being Frugal, Dinners

18 Responses to WIAW – Guess what I ate!

  1. Your lunch looks amazing! I have been thinking of trying nettles for a long time too, but I haven´t cooked anything with them yet. Now I finally have a great recipe to try 🙂

  2. The most unlikely food I ever ate was dandelion’s on a salad in Paris. Never have eaten them since, although I don’t know why because they were quite good on salad.

    • Dandelions are next on my list! They’re growing everywhere in the garden at the moment, even in the pots (which I meant to have pansies in them, not dandelions!)

  3. Thank you for this positive view of nettles! Will any plastic gloves do, or are you thinking of more those washing up gloves? (Nettles and I have an unfortunate, strong attraction to one another :-()

    • If I get stung by nettles, I end up feeling itchy for hours so I took great precautions and wore my rubber washing up gloves whilst cutting the nettles and preparing the Bhajee. I didn’t take them off until I was sure that there were no stray bits of nettle lurking anywhere on the worktops 😉

  4. Markio

    I guess the nettles will be dying back now. I’ll look forward to trying some nice fresh nettle shoots in the spring; they seem easy enough to grow around the veggie patch. I’ll try to leave a few for the butterflies.

  5. Blue garuda

    What’s the most unlikely food I’ve eaten?

    Today I ate Superglue.

    I think I would have preferred nettles! LOL 🙂

    Recipe:

    Gently drizzle the glue over a bed of warm fingers and then apply gently to the lips. Simply moisten the tingling lips with the tongue and voila! Perfecto! 😉

  6. I’ve never tried nettles before either – they look delicious in that recipe though 🙂
    I’m obsessed by cocoa porridge too – I’ve got some soaking in the fridge ready for tomorrow as we speak!

  7. My favorite vegetarian restaurant changes their menu based on what is in season, and I missed nettles when they were on it. I’ve always wanted to try them, but have never known what to do with them. I’ve also never seen them in stores and haven’t been brave enough to just go into the woods and pick some. Your recipe looks delicious!

    • I would be a bit cautious about picking nettles in the woods too… just in case dogs have pee’d on them! They do grow really easily though, so you could dig one up and plant it in your garden (if you have some spare space).
      I never imagined that restaurants would serve nettles! I’d love to hear how your favourite restaurant served them. Maybe we could try and re-create it?

  8. I had nettles when I ate at Aloka in Brighton and they were really nice! Love how you’ve used them, I would love to give that recipe a try! Glad you made your class on time 🙂

  9. Nettles are so brilliant! I love the recipe 🙂

    I think the most random thing I’ve ever tried to eat were hawthorn berries, but that was a complete disaster which ended in a tiny amount of very bitter syrup ♥

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