Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Be good to yourself, be good to others

I have been trying to be more healthy of late. This has led to me looking up and experimenting with new and exciting recipes, ones with less of everything that is meant to be bad for me and more of everything that is meant to be good for me.

I am reluctant 'dieter'. In fact, I hate the word. I find it positively offensive when people refer to certain foods as 'sinful', 'naughty' or 'bad'. If I were to use the word 'sinful' to describe food it would be because the way in which it was produced was in some way evil. For example, I recently read the tragic case of Burmese slaves being kept on board ships and forced to work, under the threat of violence and death, so that their bosses could be part of the supply chain that brings us in the UK prawns. Prawns are delicious, but they are not worth that. Under those circumstances, with the knowledge I have, eating prawns produced in Thailand, likely to have been produced in one of these supply chain lines, would be sinful. 

Tonight I ate Peach and Chickpea curry. It was an experiment, a first. And, it was delicious! The recipe came from the lovely, inspiring Jack Munroe. A woman who has single handedly brought the issue of food poverty to the attention of political leaders. Recently Jack has been feeding herself on just £5 per week in order to demonstrate the reality of trying to live below the poverty line in the UK. You can read about here campaign here

So then, food can be good, and food can be bad, but none of that has anything to do with the harvest of good and beautiful nature itself. Food in it's natural state is good, good, good. The work of divine and human hands. Food is one of the many things that completely unites the human family, we all need it. So, food is also one of those things through which we can be fair to, and conscious of others. Everything I cook in my kitchen has been sown, grown, picked, packed, transported and sold by a neighbour. Knowing that, thinking that through each day, helps when it comes to remembering to buy fair and waste not.

Here is Jack's recipie. It is amazing. Try it.

250g tinned chickpeas
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1 chilli
a splash of oil
a shake of ground cumin
1 vegetable stock cube
1 x 400g tin of peaches
1 x tin of chopped tomatoes
a handful of fresh coriander

(I measured nothing, used an extra sweet red bell pepper, and replaced coriander with spinach, but there you go)

Drain, rinse and boil your chickpeas in fresh water for 10 minutes. Finely chop the onion, garlic and chilli, and fry this gently in a pan. Add cumin.

Drain the tin of peaches, reserving the sweet juice. Chop the peaches into generous chunks. Add these to the gently simmering onion mixture and sprinkle the stock cube over. Add the sweet peach juice mixture. Add the chopped tomatoes and coriander. Cook gently for about 30 minutes, until all the flavours have blended.

Serve with plain boiled white rice.


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